Oct 12, 2015

Moon Eclipse, Lanterns, and Egg-Nuts

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
Martin Buber

Rare red moon eclipse over Spokane
Next one in 18 years!
by Adam Knapp
Since we are in the US we took the time to visit friends we hadn't seen for 10, 20 or 25 years, as well as family... If the last 3 years of traveling has taught us anything, it is to take more time for people you love, less time for things that do not matter...

Thank goodness there is LinkedIn. Upon our return to the US, I realized I had lost contact with many people. Life events or work make people move around often and sometimes in a quick and sudden manner. If you think it is hard to keep track when you are within the same country, try to keep track when traveling around in places where there is not even internet for months at a time... Not to advertise for them but LinkedIn allowed me to reconnect with 180 people in the matter of a couple of months.

We planned a road trip to see many of them and their families. We are thankful for their generous hospitality, the sharing of good food and stories, and their welcoming and acceptance of who we are. We visited some new places, some already known: Lake Tahoe/Reno, Napa Valley, Pasadena, Richland, Spokane and a little bit in between.

Lake Tahoe
Visiting family in Reno I learned to use a paddle board on Lake Tahoe with a teenage grandson. I had dreamt of trying one out but most places I had the chance to had too many waves for a beginner like me. The company and the near calm of this lake helped tremendously. Although crowded for us, the area is very beautiful. We enjoyed a beach picnic, a tour of town, hearing kids play in the cool water, people taking pleasure in nature as well as seeing the changes in rapidly growing family members.

Napa Valley brought us a friend Mike hadn't seen in 20 years, I, 25 years. So little changed in that span of time. It felt like we took up the conversation where we left it that long ago. It was a very relaxing visit. We were happy to know all was well for our dearest friend. As parched as California is, you only have to dig 7 feet to reach water so her yard is still lush, making a lot of people ask questions. We hiked to a park in the early morning, watching several colorful hot-air balloons floating around the valley. Pleasant times but it's time to move on, parts are awaiting our arrival to install on the boat.

Abor Crest - Cliff House Estate
Above 450 foot cliff
Royal Riblet's square wheel circa 1924.
Supposed to increase traction while reducing erosion.
Inventor owned this place before winery
Arbor Crest - Eagles Nest
Designated National Historic Landmark in 1979
Visiting friends in Pasadena reminded us we are thankful we can retire as early as we are rather than having to work to support kids in college or an expensive southern California lifestyle. Gorgeous weather, great fresh farmers market and garden foods, delicious meals and interesting discussions abound and we leave refreshed by this time spent in good company.

Richland in the Tri-City area of Washington, near a previous place of employment for Mike is where we met a friend we hadn't seen since his wedding 10 years prior. He and his wife now have two kids and live by the river in a beautiful home already decorated for Halloween. It was nice to reconnect with a friend who still seemed very thankful for lessons Mike, knowingly or not, imparted in this younger co-worker.

In honor of firefighters:
Robert C. King , Jr and Michael V. Kiefer
Spokane was time for family again. It was a long two-day drive each way so we stayed a while to recuperate. We were fortunate enough to watch the full eclipse of the red moon from the cliffs above the city (the next one will be in 18 years!), take part in a 5K walk honoring the Twin Towers 9/11 victims, visit a winery, and attend the Chinese Lantern Festival, a first in the USA, where Adam was volunteered to be on stage with a balancing and juggling act. What fun it was to see him up on stage!

Another great picture from Adam Knapp
Same flowers at dusk

At two and the youngest, Liam came up with a very good word for chestnuts while we were walking to a park following streets lined with these massive trees. He knew the word for egg and the word for any nut so he came up with 'eggnut'. Chestnuts are ovoid like an egg but brown and hard like a nut. Very clever. He is following in the footsteps of his dad who claimed he was a 'meatatarian' when tired of not being allowed to eat meat... We were oh so tough on him and his brother...

A long drive back home we are filled with good memories that cannot beat any TV shows, internet, youtube videos, or movies. Life lived is better than read about or seen through lenses.

Have you visited a friend or family lately?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! We love your pictures of the Lantern Festival.


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