Mar and Gar's Adventures

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Ganges -days 2 & 3

We left Cornet Bay at 6:00 a.m. to hit slack current going under Deception Pass bridge.  It took us about 4 hours to get to Bedwell Harbor in Canada where we cleared Canadian Customs and then headed to Ganges harbor on Saltspring Island.  We got a spot on the port dock right where the seaplanes land but moved later in the day when an opening came up just a tiny bit further to one of their other docks.  These docks are first come/first serve so you never know what you will get.  We like these docks because they are right at the base of the town so a short walk to stores.  There are a few other marinas but they are slightly further away.  

Ganges is always a happening little town.  We had lunch after we got there then did some exploring.  

One of my favorite pastimes is watching other boaters as they try to dock or figure out where to go… back at Bedwell where we cleared customs a boat tied up in front of us and they were clearly new boaters.  I had to explain that they tied up in the float plane designated area… not sure how they missed the sign!  Then as we left there a large sailboat came in and went to a dock with big signs saying not to tie up there.  

At Ganges boats kept trying to go to the Canadian Coast Guard spots or the float plane or local passenger ferry spots.  All are clearly marked so it is fun to watch them being told to move.  Most were good dockers so no real excitement there.  There was the one power boat that came flying in past everyone well above the no wake 5 knot speed limit.  Boy, did that wake all of us.

We had a disappointing dinner at the Oystercatcher restaurant our first night in town.  The chowder was just ok and the oysters were too huge and not cooked real well….in my opinion.

Saturday was the Ganges Market day and there is always lots of food vendors and funky local artisan stands.  The local produce always looks fabulous.  It is lots of fun to just wander it and try samples and chat with locals.  

We barbecued on the boat Saturday night and listened to the Mariners on  XM Radio while texting game comments back and forth with Robin Miller back home.

It was another fairly early night because another early departure Sunday.F9E4756C-D3FB-40E9-8AA7-F2A4CFFFCA3D1CC6EAEA-FF64-440B-A89A-C67E653981E8BDC3CF74-030D-483F-B46F-C25B836962CA


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Summer Boating Begins

Day one

We unofficially started our annual boating trip Wednesday night June 20 by going to the fuel dock, filling and then spending the night on the dock getting organized for an early departure the next morning.  We departed Des Moines at 6:00 Thursday morning, June 21, 2018.  For Garry it will be at least 40 years going to Canada.  For me, about 33 years with him.. Oh, how does the time fly???!!!!  It starts with the beautiful Gulf Islands (for you Americans that is what you call the Canadian San Juans). Then after a few years you venture to Desolation Sound.  And you are amazed with the beauty and quiet.  Then you get crazy and go further to the Broughtons.  Google Broughton Archipelligo.  Beyond beautiful.  Then even crazier in 1996 you boat to Alaska.  And you luck out because it was one of the warmest driest summers in years so a great trip.

It is a mellow start to our trip this year.  We have lost a friend from our yacht club recently who we traveled to Alaska with.  You start looking back and realize what amazing things you did and places you boated to.  We are both so lucky we are still able to boat as we do.  We have helped spread ashes at the Indian Village.  I know where 1/3 of Garry’s ashes are to be spread (Surprise!  Ramsay Arm!) .  Hopefully that will be many years from now. And we have had many a bonfire with only ashes left the next morning.

The last few years we have taken a slightly longer route at the beginning of our trip and rather than going past Port Townsend and crossing the east entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca we have travelled the east side of Whidbey Island.  That is usually better water and less wind.  We went past my moms’s place on Columbia Beach Drive near the Clinton ferry.  We slowed down enough to call mom on the phone and see her waving to us.  (Sorry, Joann, I didn’t see you waving too!) A little later we passed my friend Rayma’s place on Camano Island.  She could see us but her house is hard to find hidden in the green trees up a hill quite a bit.

We could have made a long day of it and made it to San Juan Island or possibly even into Canada, but we decided to stop after 7 hours and we stayed at Cornet Bay State Park on their dock.  It is a nice spot and just a few minutes from the Deception Pass bridge.  We did some walking and exploring and had an early night because day 2 would be another early start.2F7A75DD-BFDF-4AF5-9693-ED2B44B6706EA619BB9A-8BBC-4BE1-B838-77253D3C58DAF2A43536-723B-4CD3-AB13-4A1DBDAD7819

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Mexico Trip by Proxy

This is a first for me.  I am writing about a trip that I am not on, but thanks to our wonderful world of technology it seems as if I am almost right there.

You may or may not remember that we bought a boat in San Carlos, Mexico, in February.  We bought it the day before we were leaving and had never seen it in the water or had a chance to start and run the engines.  The purchase was done with fingers crossed.

After a few months (and lots of help from a friend in Arizona) we got the boat licensed in Arizona and got the title to the trailer put in our name.  Why Arizona, you ask?  Well, we are property owners in Arizona so it is cheaper because there was no sales tax.  Since we don’t live there we do have to pay more than a resident for our annual tabs but saving that sales tax was a big thing.  Turns out most of the American owned boats in San Carlos are registered in Arizona for exactly this reason.

So on June 1st Garry and his oldest son David headed on an adventure for a week in San Carlos to deal with Mexican paperwork and put the boat in the water, test it out, and hopefully do some fishing.

The best way to get to San Carlos from Seattle is via American Airlines.  There is one flight a day that has a connection in Phoenix that works… so the trip is Seattle- Phoenix, a 2 hour layover and then Phoenix to Hermosillo, Mexico.  After that, it was pick up a rental car and drive about 2 hours on a major highway to San Carlos.  They left Seattle at 5:00 a.m. and were in Hermosillo by 11:30 a.m.  It was a little confusing for me because Phoenix and Mexico do not go on daylight savings time and I had forgotten that.

The guys are renting a house for a week for $600 US.  It is a house that one of Garry’s Mexican buddy’s lined up for him and it is right by the marina.  Garry says it is OK but not up to our standards.  Fine for this week, though.

Here is the good thing about technology.  Every time Garry makes a credit card purchase I get an email notification that a transaction out of the country had taken place.  So Saturday morning, bright and early, I saw that he had put Mexican marine insurance on the boat.  Then later I saw he had put fuel in the boat so I knew had had launched the boat and that it ran.  He had no idea I was along on the trip via emails from American Express.  Then when he took pictures with his iphone and was using the wifi at the house, his pictures synced with my Mac, iPad and iPhone so I got to see those also.  Two days ago David accidentally butt dialed me on FaceTime so we got to see each other and talk while they were on the boat in the marina.

In addition to getting his required Mexican insurance on the boat he also had to switch the Mexican permit into his name.  His friend went with him Monday to do that. It turned out it was at a bank.  He had all the necessary paperwork, ID and pesos so $60 US later mission accomplished.  The permit is good for 10 years.  That should be good for us, right?

I get a call or two a day from the guys.  They have gone fishing a few times, but one day was pretty rough so they did more sightseeing than fishing, staying in closer for protection from the wind.   One day they caught a Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi).  Last night they went to one of our favorite restaurants and the chef cooked their fish for them a couple different ways.  Garry put our favorite waiter on the phone with me.  He wanted to know why I wasn’t there and he missed seeing our little car.   Today (Wednesday) they were going fishing with another Mexican buddy along.  The waters were supposed to be better and they were going to go further out.  Hopefully there was some successful fishing and catching.

The weather has been hot and humid.  It has been as high as 100 – 102, but down also in the mid 80’s.  The humidity is kinda getting to them but it sounds like they are staying hydrated….. at least until margarita time.

They get home Friday night with a reverse of the trip down… again, only one flight a day that works.  They leave Hermosillo a little before noon and get in about 8:30 Friday night.


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Washington DC Chapter 2

IMG_6154Theresa and I are home from DC and it is Memorial Day as I am writing this post.  So, I left you dangling at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  After finding out about tickets for that museum I went next door to the Holocaust Museum.  If was fairly busy but not a long wait line to get in.  I have been to the Dachau Holocaust Museum near Munich years ago but this was  a much broader view of this terrible period in time.  One of the things you can do there is take a small card that is the story of a victim and you see what happened to that person and when it happened.  It makes the museum more personal and also sad.

I took the Hop On Hop Off bus back to my hotel and went back to the National Portrait Gallery to try to see more of the artwork there.  I probably saw about 1/3 of the museum altogether.

Theresa had fairly late meetings and then was going to be having a few beers with co-workers so not knowing when she would be back that night I went to the bar in our hotel for a drink and then when I learned she would be really late I ordered a light dinner and ate it at the bar.  I met a really nice woman and we sat and chatted for almost 2 hours while we had beverages and dinner.  The crazy thing is that we never exchanged names but I know so much about her.  She is 27 and from DC but is living in Houston while she works on her doctorate in Social Services.  She is back in DC visiting family and looking for a wedding venue for next year.  I learned a ton about growing up in DC and about her fiance and his family in Ohio and Kenya.  IMG_6105

When Theresa got back we realized that the Washington Capitals were playing game 7 of the hockey series.  It was being played in Florida but the home event center was packed with fans watching it on the big screen.  When the game ended and the Caps won the place went crazy.  We decided to go out and join the throngs of celebrating fans.  What a hoot!  People were climbing trees, museum steps, shouting, singing, cheering.  We don’t know how it happened but we ended up literally within arm distance of a local newscaster from Channel 4 trying to get organized and do a little broadcast in the chaos.  One young fan grabbed me and he told the news guy to film me saying, “Get Grandma, Get Grandma” so I decided I had better jump up and down and yell “Let’s go, Caps!!!” with him.  It really was hysterical.  Theresa and I were just cracking up.  When we left we passed the news van and chatted for a bit with the newscaster and found out his name was Shomari Stone and had worked for 3 years KOMO in Seattle some time ago.  IMG_6132

Thursday Theresa had a meeting at the Pentagon but was going to be done early afternoon so in the morning I booked my first ever Uber ride and went to get tickets to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  By first ever I mean that I was the one who did the booking.  I have been in an Uber car before but have never actually booked a ride.  Anyway, I Ubered both to and then from that Museum and met Theresa and her co-worker Meghan in the lobby of the hotel.  They finished up some work and Meghan headed to the airport for home.

We had a 3:00 tour for the the Bureau of Engraving and Printing but were early so they just put us in the 2:30 tour.  This is the only museum in my whole trip that I thought was pretty much a waste of time.  It lasted about 15 minutes and was only semi-interesting.

Since we had lots of time left in the afternoon and we were close to lots of monuments and memorials we took off by foot and saw the World War II memorial, the Viet Nam Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial.  Our feet were getting pretty tired, so we took a short break at a concession stand where Theresa had a hot dog and I had a lemonade – this detail will be important later on – and we caught an Uber back to our hotel in time for their daily happy hour of free wine and sodas and light appetizers.

There are a gazillion restaurants all over town and we had a hard time deciding where to have dinner.  We finally picked the Chophouse & Brewery just a short walk away.  It was pricey but our waiter suggested we split their special because it was so much food.  We had the Tomahawk Rib Eye Steak Oscar, garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, cornbread, and onion rings.  All of that was included in the special…  And we barely put a dent in all the food.  We felt bad about not finishing so we had it boxed up because Theresa wanted to give it to a homeless person we had seen.  So, off we went all our food.  It was an interesting conversation with this man.  He was grateful for the food but said he was on a protein diet.  He could eat the veggies and the meat, though.  He was very talkative and he mentioned thanks to Obamacare he was able to be micro-chipped.  Hmmmm. OK??   The conversation started going a bit off the rails at this point.  Way more information than we needed about his medical issues.  After a period of time we tried to gracefully make our way back to the hotel.IMG_6175.JPG

You are probably asking if there were a lot of homeless people.  We saw some but nothing like in Seattle.  There was the occasional person near a door or on a bench but only on Friday did we see an area that had about 4 tented areas next to each other.  And none of the ones we walked by made us feel threatened in any way.

Oh, I forgot to mention that on Thursdays there is a farmer’s market across the street from our hotel, right in front of the Portrait Gallery.  It isn’t huge but it was fun to wander over to see it.

OK, back to the story of the hot dog.  Since Theresa and I had eaten identical things all day except that dog we can only assume that is what made her sick.  All night sick and most of the next day.  She roused herself enough some on Friday so went to the National Archives to see the really important documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights. On our way there we stopped at the Navy Memorial where a high school band looked like it was going to perform so we sat and learned about the band and listened awhile.   It was the Thomas Kelly School band from the south side of Chicago and until in high school none had ever played an instrument.  The curriculum starts with learning Mary Had a Little Lamb and after a few years they get into the marching band or the jazz band.  It was very fun to sit and listen.  IMG_6178

After the National Archives Theresa went back to the room to take a long nap and I headed off on my own and went to the American History Museum.  They have a special display now about Viet Nam and it makes you realize how far back it all started.  We always seem to focus only on the 1960’s and on but there is so much more.  I also got to see the all the First Lady gowns, many of them Inaugural gowns.  I didn’t spend time looking at all the plates.

I made it back in time for us to catch an Uber to go to our congressional tour of the Kennedy Center.  Theresa wasn’t sure she would be up to it, but we decided to give it a go.  If you get a chance to take a tour be sure you do!  It was wonderful.  Ours was a little more extensive than the public tour but I think you can request a congressional tour through one of your legislators.

Saturday morning we took the Metro out to the Pentagon and walked through the 9/11 Memorial there.  This was one of the highlights of the trip.  It is an amazing, thoughtful and emotional memorial.  We were lucky that there was a docent there who explained in detail things you normally would not know by just walking around.  Theresa showed me the window to the room where she had her meeting on Thursday and it was just a few offices away from where the plane hit to Pentagon.

We discovered a museum in an unexpected place.  Next to a Starbucks and in Trump Tower is the Clock Tower tour (free) of the clock tower for the old Post Office.  You don’t actually go into Trump Tower for the tour but you see portion as you take an elevator up to the clock tower.  The views are great!  The clock tower is rung every national holiday and for a few other occasions.  It is rung by hand by a group of trained volunteers and will be rung on Memorial Day.  IMG_6227IMG_6229

The rest of Saturday was to finish packing and take the Metro to the airport.  There were thunderstorms predicted and they arrived just as we boarded the plane so we were delayed an hour for take-off but other than that a nice flight home.

It was a wonderful trip.


  1.  Take every pair of comfortable shoes you have but if you are there when it is warm or wet your feet will swell and you will get blisters so get some good bandaids.
  2.  Stay hydrated!!!
  3.  Don’t eat the hot dogs!
  4.  Pace yourself!  You cannot see it all so don’t try.
  5.  Arrange well in advance for certain tours from your legislators.  You can’t just show up for a Capitol Tour.
  6.  Don’t be afraid to take the Metro.  It was a little confusing but was fun.
  7.  If you go in May there will be a ton of school field trips.  Be prepared.  Most of the kids were very well behaved but there were thousands of them!
  8.  It is a city of sirens and horn honking… so expect noise.






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Not Enough Time

Washington DC – wow, what an amazing city and experience. Six days here doesn’t even put a dent in all there is to see and do. I am so lucky that I was included in a couple events that Theresa was attending- one being a Happy Hour sponsored by two Washington congressmen and a personal night tour of the Capitol by congressman Derek Kilmer. But I will get back to all that later.

We arrived late Monday night and had an Uber ride to our hotel with Theresa’s boss. We are staying at the Hotel Monaco, which is kitty corner to the arena where all the major sports teams play and we are directly across from the National Portrait Gallery.

Monday night the hockey team Washington Capitals was playing game six of the semi-finals for the Stanley Cup. We were all hungry so the three of us and another of co-worker decided to walk a few blocks to a Mexican restaurant and have some tapas before they closed. Theresa and I checked in first and left to meet the others. Well, in that short time the game had ended and the Caps (Capitals) has won so everyone leaving the arena was in party and celebration mode. Car horns would give 3 strong honks, then everyone would yell “let’s go, Caps!” Honk honk honk! Let’s go, Caps! Then lots of cheering. It was a great welcome to DC.

Theresa had stayed at this hotel before but was really disappointed with our room. It actually was on the lower level and the only windows were up high and you looked up to the street. Kinda creepy. I like to people watch but not be the one watched. And the ceiling of our room was really low so you felt cramped. We arranged to move to a better room Tuesday after all the hockey fans had checked out in the morning. The new room is great and we are super happy.

Tuesday morning Theresa left for her meeting at the House of Representatives and I took off walking and exploring. It was raining so took a hotel umbrella, thank goodness, because at one point it was torrential rain. I am really good with directions until just close to my destination then usually turn the wrong way, so of course I needed help from time to time til I was smart enough to see the great street signs and also use Google maps on my phone. I walked past many important buildings like the FBI, Dept. of Justice, several of the Smithsonian museums, the new African American museum, the Washington Monument, the White House and ending up at the Portrait Gallery. My goal was get oriented and then hit it hard on Wednesday. But I learned at most of the exhibits you need a ticket to get even though they are free. That is how they control how many at a time are in the building. The popular ones daily allotment of tickets often means waiting in a line early in the morning and hope you get one. So, for example to see Museum X, Y or whatever you go before the ticket office opens, stand in line, chose a tour time, then go back later for the time your ticket is for. Some exhibits you can order tickets in advance. I am still learning some of that.

Anyway, after a long day of walking I joined Theresa and 2 coworkers in our lobby for a short happy hour and appetizers, then got to go with them to a rustic downstairs bar a few blocks  away for a no-host Happy Hour sponsored by Congressman Derek Kilmer, 6th congressional district and Congressman Denny Heck, 10th congressional district. (Both present, plus a congressman from Colorado ). There were about 20 -25 people and all very welcoming to me being there with them. It was interesting eavesdropping in on conversations and people watching. There was a lot of schmoozing and not much drinking. So even though we did 2 happy hours I had a total of 2 glasses of wine, Theresa and coworkers either water or maybe a wine or a beer. Just want you all to know it was very good behavior and not a booze fest.

Theresa and I then hiked 30 minutes to the Capitol building where Congressman Kilmer gave a night tour to about 15 of us. It was fabulous. The Congressman has a great sense of humor, an obvious love of history, and a ton of fun trivia facts about the Capitol. By the way, a normal person can request a tour through their district representative but you need to do it months in advance. It is not a drop-in thing at all. The House was working but in recess so we didn’t tour the floor of the House, but we got to go up in the gallery. We did get to go on the floor of the Senate. There is lots of security but all very friendly and efficient. It was a really great tour, about 1 1/2 hours, then the Congressman walked with all of us to where we catch an Uber, taxi or Metro to go to our various destinations. He stayed with us until the last person had a way back where they needed to go. In case you can’t pick this up, I really liked and was impressed by Congressman Kilmer. That district should be very proud he represents them.

We got back to our hotel around 10:30 and were hungry so went into the bar where they were still serving late snacks. Our waiter forgot to put in our order (even though we had paid) so he felt bad enough to get us a couple free drinks and added some truffle fries to our order. I think we got to our room around 12:30….

Wednesday morning I was lazy and fell back to sleep after Theresa headed to her meeting at the Senate. And because my feet hurt, I got a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus tour. It is touristy but a great way to get around and learn more interesting facts. I got off at Union Station and had lunch and people watched. It is a beautiful building and super busy. I wandered across the street to the National Postal Museum next door to Union Station. There was a docent giving a tour to a couple people so I joined them. What a fun and interesting museum. Our guide knew so much and we saw very rare stamps like the up-side down Jenny airplane, very unusual stamps like the one that is a feather (for airmail), one from 1937 taxing marihuana (spelled that way then). In reality it was a tax on hemp, so, no, marijuana was not legal in 1937.

While there we got a really special treat. The musical Hamilton is coming to DC in June so all over the city there are special exhibits opening soon. The Postal Museum will be displaying the dueling revolvers from the famous Alexander Hamilton – Aaron Burr duel. They had just brought the revolvers in by armed guard that morning and were setting up the room. Our tiny group of 3 got permission to peek in the room and take pictures as long as we stayed behind the roped area. The exhibit opens Friday and there will be long lines, so seeing this way was super cool and special.2194D485-7D4E-429F-9620-F042A1F3A85A

I hopped back on the bus and got out at the stop for the Holocaust Museum and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Theresa wants to go to the bureau so I was on a fact finding mission about tickets. They suggested trying Thursday because with the holiday and also tons ( and I mean tons!!!) of school tour groups it would be very hard to get tickets for Friday.

OK, this enough for chapter 1 of the trip.



A Capitol Idea

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Photo by Pixabay on

It is time for a new adventure!  I am leaving today with my daughter for 6 days in Washington D.C.  She is going for work…. it is Puget Sound on the Hill Days… and asked if I wanted to come along.  I have never been to our nation’s capitol so of course I said yes!

Even though she will be working for part of the trip I get  to go to a few functions with her so will definitely be writing about it and taking pictures.  One is a night tour of the Capitol!

I totally over packed for the trip but I have all sorts of excuses… Like, what if it rains and all my clothes and shoes get wet?  What if I spill and I can’t get my clothes cleaned.  Of course I could have packed less and do what I did when I went to New Orleans with my daughter – go shopping in the town I am visiting.  I still might have to do that.



All About Mom…

Sorry!  I never posted about our last bit of our trip home.  I will make it super fast because I want to write about my mom and her trip she left on today.

We got home mid March… the trip home was uneventful.  We were a few days earlier than planned because of bad weather forecast in the passes.  Garry wishes he was back in Mexico.  I miss the weather but am glad to be home for awhile.

Now, on to Mom.   She was a bit envious of the river cruise that Garry and I took last fall in Europe so she booked herself a river cruise in France and so today at a very spry 90 she is headed by herself over to Bordeaux to got on her ship.

The trip started out with the most amazing experience at SeaTac airport this morning.  Mom was coming in to Seattle on an airport shuttle and it was going to get her in really early so I asked my sister Robin if she wanted to go the the airport with me and surprise Mom, help her check her baggage and spend a couple minutes with her then send her through security.

My sister and I headed to the airport with enough time to try to figure out where the shuttle would drop her off.  After a few questions with different people we were just by the Delta check-in area when we saw her shuttle almost there.  Perfect timing!!  And boy was she surprised to see us!

We headed into the terminal and were trying to decide the best way to handle things because she needed a wheelchair for the airport.  She is spry but at 90 and with her purse and carry-on the walk is often long and tiring.  We were in a line for people needing extra things like that when a nice man from Delta came and plucked us out of the middle of the line.  Literally… just said come with me.     He inquired about the trip and on hearing she would need a wheelchair, he had one brought over asap and then took us and her documents to a different check-in, handled her check baggage and just has us wait with the nice lady who would push the wheelchair.  This nice Delta man was surprised at Mom’s age, and also amazed she was born in Seattle and that Robin and I were, also.   There are so many transplants that it is rare for a true Seattle-ite these days.  We laughed and joked that he picked her from the line because he knew she was famous.  She mentioned she was a secret agent.  Not too sure if that is smart to say at an airport these days but it didn’t phase him… oh, and it is not true, as far as I know even though my brother-in-law Mario thinks it is.


Mom all ready for France

We chatted and as she was given her boarding passes we mentioned we would go with her to Security and say our goodbyes.  Nice Delta man said, why say goodbye there… Duh, silly man!  Because we don’t have tickets.  He said that you just have to know who to ask.   I said very cleverly, “huh”?  And then he said, “I am the one to ask.  Give me your driver’s licenses and I will get you passes to go with your Mom to the gate.

According to our nice lady pushing the wheelchair that our nice Delta man was the Manager and he does this sometimes.  And going with someone in a wheelchair is totally fun!  We went through premier lines, to the front of all lines, and she just whizzed us through security so fast we couldn’t blink!

We were really glad of the wheelchair because Mom’s departure gate was clear at the end of A concourse so it was a looooong ways away.  Robin and I were able spend another hour or so with her before we headed home.  Even though Mom is traveling alone there are a few other Seattle people on the flight with her Travels With Alan group so knowing her she met some before even boarding the plane.  And I can hardly wait to hear her adventures when I pick her up next Sunday back at Sea Tac.