February 7th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Travel, Uncategorized

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page – St. Augustine (maybe…it’s controversial)

Today I am in KC, but tomorrow I am off for another adventure – heading back to Europe again! This time two of my daughters, Chelsea and Angie, are along for the adventure! Unfortunately Meghan has too much going on to be able to get away this time but we’ll get to do a trip somewhere at some point.

I got the tickets back in October for this trip and it has been more than just a little challenging for the three of us to keep our excitement under any type of control. The last two weeks have gone by quick and the last few days it has really gone by even quicker!

There will be a lot of cool things we are planning to see and do, and a little time to freestyle it and just go where we end up. Be sure to check back here every day to see where our adventure takes us.

We have had to plan most of our trip since it will be nine days or so. We’ve been looking at not just the ol’ interwebs, but poring over guidebooks and maps as well in order to maximize our time. I do have to admit it is nice to have many things already figured out even though it is not how I usually travel on road trips. I have posted my thoughts on planning for trips before but I must say that it actually has been fun and enjoyable researching things and places to see and experience. So much so that I just may have to rethink my anti-planning methodology somewhat, especially for trips like this. It is going to be a fairly quick and busy trip so it had to be planned to make the most of our time but we will still have a lot of fun. A big thanks go out to their families for helping to work this trip into their busy lives.

One of the biggest things to figure out was where to fly out of. With all of us scattered about the western half of the country it was tricky trying to figure out where to leave from. After all the dust settled I decided it was easier and cheaper if I just went to KC and the three of us flew over together. A few hundred more airline miles earned and I will have enough for another (my third!) free ticket so it serves another purpose too. I was really hoping for a non-stop flight but Kansas City only has international flights to Canada and Mexico; there are no intercontinental flights that are non-stop.

That means I fly to KC, we leave KC, have two stops with layovers, then we are on a plane across the Atlantic to our first destination (which you will find out about tomorrow – pretty exciting!). Coming back our flights will be different and I’ll be posting about that when the time comes. Having a shorter flight across will be a good thing to start the adventure!

Traveling light and compact can be challenging, but it is easily done. I won’t go into details since there are plenty of “experts” on the internet about the subject. I started out with a good guidebook on my first trip over and learned quite a lot about what I needed to learn about packing for a trip like this. Having done a little backpacking in the mountains I know to travel light, and my previous trip was a good primer.

With the coronavirus outbreak we are definitely well aware of how it can impact our plans so we are keeping one eye on the news. We will be sanitizing everything we can where we are and not touch anything more than absolutely necessary.

Last minute checks are always nerve-wracking for trips like this, trying to make sure you have all the things you need that you cannot get elsewhere like your prescriptions, glasses and such. Yes, it’s true the rest of the world is civilized like we are so you can always find most everything you need.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Day 1!

(As usual, I am posting these entries on a delay for personal safety)

 

 

February 21st, 2019

Adventure, food, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

IMG_1881

I’m just not seeing this…or am I?

Been busy getting out and about lately. I went out with one group of friends and tried a new (to me) Italian restaurant and the pasta primavera was fantastic. To start it was delicious crusty bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I went out to a bar and got pizza with some other people and had a great time that night, too. Checked out some live music and much fun was had.

I got my taxes done yesterday. I had paperwork burn-out from taking care of all of the estate things from my Dad. I really wasn’t in the mood to do it, but I bit the bullet and took care of it so that’s off my plate. It has to be done and there is no getting out of it. Next I have to work on his taxes and that should be all of his paperwork completed. It’s not been too daunting taking care of all of the paperwork; but the emotional aspect is tough.

It’s been good getting back to my version of normal. I have outside more, getting exercise in and am keeping it up eating better. Today was a little cool but sunny and that was good to be out in. Not a cloud in the sky to be seen.

Had to reload my WaterMinder app as I had slacked off on drinking water every day like I should be doing. It nags you to drink until you get to the level you should be drinking. It is a very useful app and has made a difference in getting my levels up and a little more energy and less hungry so I’m losing a pound or two. Another plus.

Still anxious to get the trailer out, and today’s weather really made me want to go somewhere even more. Got a few things in the works – I just got a ticket for one, another is almost taken care of (this weekend it will be) and one other adventure I’ve just started looking at and working on. Like always, when I do these things they will be posted so you’ll have to come back and see what it is if you’re interested. You know you are!

September 3rd, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

If you want to contact me please feel free to send a message or a comment. I have to approve them so I see them anyway.

I wanted to pass along because I gave out my website address to some relatives at the funeral. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that they can contact me through here.

I had the day off today. I really wish I would’ve realized that before I went to work though. I am quite used to working holidays after all these years and didn’t bother to read the email as carefully as I should’ve so it’s my own fault. That’s OK. I woke up at 4 AM anyway, long before my alarm. That’s very frustrating.

So after I got back home, I took the recycling and dropped it off. Then I washed the trailer and the truck. I haven’t washed a vehicle by hand out in the yard in a long time and it was actually quite therapeutic. I usually just take them to the car wash.

It felt good to get out and do it though. I’ve been sitting on my ass way too much lately and I need to get busy again.

I wanted to get the salt air washed off of both and get them looking good for a trip. I’m not sure about where to go next weekend. The following weekend I have a long weekend and I’m going to enjoy it.

Looks like I’ll be off a few months this winter and come back early. I’ll have time to make a trip to Europe and some other places too. I have some appointments to keep but I’ll make time to do some things.

I cooked up a breakfast tater tot hot dish this morning and put some burritos together for meals. I’ll be eating some Instant Pot items from the freezer that I made ahead and froze. Looking forward to trying some new recipes after I make some room!

May 4th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

Today’s adventure is to Victoria, BC on the MV Coho out of Port Angeles, WA.

I am excited to finally go over and check out Victoria. I have been through there on my short motorcycle trip but have not visited it properly.

Going to Canada is international travel, but doesn’t really seem like it since there’s no 12 hour flight. Once you get there, though, it’s quickly apparent it is. A passport check and the signs in French really are big clues.

I have an enhanced driver’s license but am bringing my passport because I want to try and get a Canada stamp in it to go along with the Europe stamps from our trip.

A few years ago I rode my motorcycle over on what ended up being a misadventure with the mechanical issues it was having and got to Port Alberni and had to turn around for home. I rode through Victoria on that trip but didn’t play tourist in the city since I was trying to get to the other side of Vancouver Island.

Today I plan on getting some miles (or would that be kilometers?) under my belt seeing the what the city has to show (and feed!) me. I hear the Royal BC Museum is a great place to visit for a few hours so I may do that. I’m really not much for shopping – I’d rather see and do things and have experiences. I will probably go in some shops that are interesting. My neighbors were here last week and she said there was a clothing store selling hemp clothing. I definitely want to check that out if I can find it.

The weather seems to be clearing off nicely as I sit here on the ship waiting to sail. It was cloudy when I got here and the weather forecast is calling for mostly cloudy and a 40% chance of a shower over there.

The trip over was strange in that the seas seemed calm but the boat was still rocking a bit. I’ve been on the water many times before and have never experienced that. Very strange.

We got into the harbor and for some reason customs was really grilling me. I had a backpack with a raincoat and water bottle and he kept on me about getting searched. I have nothing to hide and I hate getting hassled – if you want to look through it then just do it and stop effing with me. I didn’t have this much trouble going into European countries.

I walked down to Chinatown and looked around. I went into a few shops and looked around at the Chinese herbs and groceries that were available. I wanted to pick up some herbal patches for my neck but didn’t know if I could take them back to the US so I didn’t get any.

It was 11 o’clock in the morning so what better time for a delicious pint of Guinness. I ended up at a pub called Irish Times to not only quench my thirst but to also get a big plate of poutine. All of the servers wear kilts and the atmosphere was classic pub and well done. I like the comfy atmosphere much better than most bars I have been to in the States.

I opted for the Irish poutine – it looked pretty traditional but with a twist. It had Dubliner cheddar cheese from Ireland and bacon. It was fantastic and very filling. I could see a big giant bowl or two of that after a long night of partying.

They had a pretty good menu full of many varieties of deliciousness. I saw them bringing out a Scotch egg to somebody. I’m not big on eggs other than scrambled but that might be interesting to try.

I mainly just walked around looking at things afterwards. I went into the British Columbia Parliament building and did a self-guided tour. I got to see the room where the Parliament decisions are made for the province.

I went to a grocery store and picked up a couple of snacks. It was about a mile from the parliament building each way. I headed back towards the parliament building since it is fairly close to the ferry terminal. Next to the parliament building is a little park with the water fountain and a wall of water behind the British Colombia seal and also the seals of all of the other provinces as well as the Canadian seal.

There was a really nice public space in the front with beautiful flowers and a nicely manicured lawn. Seems like a good place for a snack and doing some people watching.

It ended up being a beautiful day. Hopefully I won’t have to put up with any more customs BS going back over. I guess I’ll find out in a bit.

March 10th, 2018

Adventure, Just things, Uncategorized

Didn’t sleep very well last night. You know that trouble you have getting a good night’s sleep when you are in a hotel or a new place. On top of that I heard a damn dog barking – even without my hearing aids in. One of the joys of being in a populated area. I did hear frogs croaking while I was driving here last night though. That was a trip in the Wayback Machine. I have not heard that noise much the last several years.

I got up early and had a package of mini-donuts and coffee for breakfast. I am really trying hard to avoid sweets and it’s going good so far. I have to say that those donuts I used to be able to eat but they are just too damn sweet now. I guess laying off is cutting into that sugar addiction that is so prevalent in this country. I am trying to get my sweets from fruits and I can tell a difference. It just doesn’t appeal to me like it used to. Many of the sweets I used to gorge on suddenly are not as good as I remember.

I did give in today to temptation, but not for the cookies. I came out of the store this afternoon and there was this cute little girl standing there all alone with her Girl Scout Cookies. She looked so sad so I went to the truck and put my groceries away. I went back in to her little table and asked her “how much?”. She looked up at me with these sad little doe-eyes and said “Five” rather quietly. I asked her how her day was and all she said was “slow”. I was only going to get one box since I am cutting that kind of stuff out of my diet. I decided to get two and I wish I would have bought what she had on the table. She cheered up a little and counted out my change after I got two boxes.

I got some groceries to make a few things to eat here at my new home and save some money while I am here this weekend. I got a Boboli-style flatbread crust. It cooked a little faster than I thought it would so it was a little bit over cooked. But for lunch I tried a package of a Kroger chicken verde on some white corn tortillas and it was actually very good. I usually don’t buy much, if any, of the convenience foods but I don’t have all my kitchen stuff here yet. I gotta have a recipe for that chicken verde. Luckily I have leftovers.

I finally got the truck unloaded this afternoon. I had issues getting into the storage unit. Actually it was getting into the gate to get into the storage unit that was the issue. I finally got it done and I think it will actually hold everything I have that needs to go in there. I got one storage bin emptied and another has motorcycle clothes I need to get rid of since I am no longer able to ride. This one is a third of the size of the one I have by the apartment. I had to have a large storage unit for the canoe to fit so this will save me serious money.

Tomorrow it’s off to Costco to order some new glasses. They should be ready to wear right after I move completely over so the timing is good. Hopefully I can get them back before I go out of state. After Costco it’s back to the apartment for one last week at this position then two weeks off. I want to hurry and get the move over with so it is off the list and I have few days to get it all put away and relax.

This weekend has been kind of like a vacation of sorts. Got my work done fast that needed done and the rest of the day was for me. I moved the living room area around to fit the futon (a bit bigger than it needs to be). I got some blankets washed that had been stored. I wanted to get the “stored” smell and dust off of them after sneezing this morning. The futon is fairly comfy to sleep on, and I really enjoyed it as I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of “The Big Lebowski” by watching it from the comfort of a couch – something I haven’t had of my own in a while. It was so nice to lay out on a couch for a change and watch a movie (even though it was on the iPad).

It’s been a productive weekend and it was good to get it done fast.