September 28th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel

Today, I woke up.

YAY!!!

Seriously, today I wanted to get somewhat of an early start to drive back over and down to Coeur d’Alene. I have never been downtown or by the waterfront so I wanted to do that. And, it JUST so happens that there is a famous place there I want to eat called Hudson’s Hamburgers.

I left the KOA and Apple Maps routed me east and south through Idaho which is how I wanted to go anyway since it is a road I had not been on. It ended up being a very scenic drive through gold farmlands in amongst the dark green hills. A very beautiful drive and one worth the time – it took me an hour and twenty minutes or so to get to where I was going. If you have ever driven through CdA/Spokane on I-90 you will understand avoiding that mess even by taking backroads.

I got into downtown and it’s a nice area if you are a shopper and like sidewalk cafes and beers – not really my kind of place to hang out. I got parked and just 600 feet around the corner there it was. Hudson’s. Nothing fancy and a very limited menu. Since I was here for a burger, I ordered up a cheeseburger with spicy mustard and onion. I stepped outside, unwrapped it and angels sang as a bright light shot out of the wrapper. Absolutely one of THE best burgers I have ever eaten. Yes, he said “ever”. Juicy, homestyle burger cooked perfectly, a slab of white onion and some fairly spicy brown mustard. I damn near went back for a second one it was so good. That alone was worth driving over six hours yesterday and the drive down to the restaurant.

I took a walk around the area, but since I am not really a shopper it didn’t do much for me. I did stop and buy an almond blackberry cookie at a bakery that was a little spendy but it was really good. I decided to get back on I-90 and head west of Spokane to pick up US 2/395 north toward the trailer.

I took my exit, and of all the bad luck there was a Dick’s Hamburgers joint at the bottom of the ramp. NOT all Dick’s are the same. This is not affiliated with the chain in the Seattle area. But, it has piqued my curiosity driving past it many times and ever since I ate at the Seattle ones as much as possible as you know from previous posts.

This was quite different than the Seattle ones but still a pretty good burger, and both are definitely much different than Hudson’s. I thought the fries were good but the Seattle ones have a soft spot as a similar memory from my childhood – my grandma’s hand-cut fries cooked in a cast iron skillet in lard. One of the top four fries I have ever eaten (Dick’s, my grandma’s, the ones at the bar near Grand Coulee Dam, the duckfat-cooked fries in Galway at a pub). Anyway, Hudson’s you MUST stop at and any Dick’s location east or west you cannot go wrong for different reasons.

Rider and I headed back to the trailer. I don’t think he is feeling very good. He hasn’t eaten much the last few days which isn’t normal. We got back and I tied him up outside. He eventually got to feeling a bit more lively and we took a walk over to the lake. I think tomorrow we are gonna just stay here and take the trail around the lake, and maybe walk around other parts of the campground.

It’s pretty quiet here right now but it is probably hopping when there’s no pandemic. They have a lot of family activities here along with the little lake and it is also part of a camping club network so yeah…it gets busy. But it is a nice place and the people are very friendly. It has great ratings and I see why. Not my usual style of camping but I knew I could get a spot here.

I actually ran into an issue in a spot last night and had to be moved. No, it was not another redneck blowhard asshat. It was an odd problem; the sewer pipe hook-up pipe was higher than my trailer tank outlets so they just would not drain. Of course I discovered this after I had already unhooked the trailer and got it set up. Something to remember to check for more often. I talked to them about the problem and they moved me to a better site and there was no extra charge. Luckily I had only hooked up the grey water and not the black but I knew what I needed to test it with and it wasn’t poo-related.

Sometimes I buy frozen Bird’seye garlic chicken with vegetables and pasta and it is really good. They came out with a new plant-based protein version (made with Gardein brand Chik’n) and it was not bad at all. Tonight I stir-fried it up (without the garlic butter) in some General Tso’s sauce. It was pretty good, but I find myself steering away from that old favorite to something less sweet and more savory these days. I guess my tastes have changed considerably as I noticed this about a year ago. I guess it’s why I have been eating more Thai food the last few years.

Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and I forgot I used all of my eggs up so I guess it will be either bacon and cheese in a tortilla (a “breakfadilla©” I shall call it and © 2020) or a Noosa yogurt. I did not realize it until I got back earlier but I didn’t want to leave again – not even tomorrow. I just want a down day to go hike around. I’ll make it work!

This has been a very relaxing trip so far. Today after we got back I just sat on the tailgate of my truck looking and listening for an hour or so. I am looking forward to the walk around the lake, too, and I know the dog will like that. It looks to be another gorgeous day tomorrow so it will be a great day to really lay back. Yeah, there’s several days of stuff to see and do around here but I only have a few days so I’m having a slack day.

It is very pleasant outside tonight. Cool but not too, perfectly still air and fairly quiet – a nearly-perfect evening that recharges you. The dog wanted to go for a stroll to check the irrigation so we walked leisurely down the road a bit and came back as he inspected; I have not seen a night like this in quite some time and it is so nice…even soothing. We have had cool nights but the never-ending wind…well, it never ends.

Getting out on these trips brings out the travel bug in a big way. It feels good to be on the road seeing things. I am so ready to get back to Europe I cannot stand it. I have been thinking about both my trips over and the girls and I were talking about our trip again. I need a long stay – enough to rent a place for a month, then another place for a month, and maybe a third, all in different countries. I still have enough miles to schedule a flight but I just can’t go for it yet.

I went out to close the front window cover a few minutes ago and had this weird flashback of doing the same thing in Banff National Park in September 2012 (almost eight years to the day…within a few weeks). My parents let me take the trailer to Washington State when I was moving, and I had a pretty big adventure. It’s why I started this blog. I didn’t know much about the trailer but I got through it and learned along the way. I have learned so much and I am still learning not just about the trailer, but a different way to live. It has an oddness and uncertainty about it most people would think “no, it’s not for me”, and rightfully so, I guess. It really is not for everyone. I really am enjoying it though. Most importantly I have had a lot of fun doing it.

It’s now time to kick back for the evening.

See you next time!

December 21st, 2019

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

59829677475__72F922A6-A741-4F77-992A-EF4C083534C5

Looking for a gig? The Bitch be hiring!

 

In celebration of the Winter Solstice I say good riddance to these short hours of daylight. I have been more than ready for not only longer “days”, but also some weather that is better than the lousy weather we have been having. The dog isn’t very happy about the rain keeping him inside either!

I won’t be doing a “year-end update” this year; I have been updating the blog with scattered posts. This year not much is really worth repeating so if you want to know what has been going on the last 11 months feel free to go back and look at my earlier posts.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to a much better year in 2020 and am anxious to get this retirement officially started with some travel. I was hoping to do something around the holidays but I am on standby for jury duty for a bit so I cannot go anywhere. It’s just as well, I guess; it saves me some money by staying home. Weather permitting I hope to get away for at least a weekend sometime very soon.

Monday, however, I was able to get away for a few days in Seattle. A friend was in town and offered to share a room so we could hang out a few days and walk around.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We went walking out and about Tuesday morning to sightsee, shop and eat. Later on in the day after a break at the hotel my friend wasn’t feeling well so I went back out after dark (which is around 4:20 in the afternoon). We had heard there was a political rally and, since I was in the area and am curious and had never been to a political rally like that I felt like I just HAD to go and experience it so I hopped on the light rail and went to the rally location. I will just stay apolitical and leave further comments on this out of the post. It was an interesting experience however and I would do it again!

After the rally I hopped back on the light rail and went to my old fave on Capitol Hill – Dick’s Drive-in – to snack on a couple of burgers and some of those tasty, delicious fries. There were actually quite a few people out not only around that area but around Seattle in general. Lots of shoppers and tourists. Wednesday was an early rise to get home and get the dog from boarding on time.

I’m still working on the intricacies of the song I started back in July. It is coming along well and clocks in around 4:30. I really wish I could have gotten it done much sooner. I find that it’s best to finish a song soon after it is started in order to keep the original “spirit” of the song but I got rather ambitious with some textural aspects of the song and keep adding layers so that has pushed the completion of it back. So far it is at about 14 individual tracks and I will be adding a few more tracks and expanding some I already have to make the sound very full. It’s getting close to being done but not quite to my satisfaction yet. I have really been trying to wrap it up though!

I continue to go through things around the house and lately I have been making some good progress with organizing and going through even more things to get rid of. I have some extra storage containers that I emptied previously when downsizing so I can start consolidating my things into fewer containers. It also gives me the chance to get the last few things I have in cardboard boxes into some sturdier waterproof containers with handles.

With all of the moving around I have done from 2012 until last year I tended to not acquire much in the way of new possessions. However, being fairly stationary for the last 18 months I have bought a few household items I needed so I should not need to get too much more. Now that I have retired and considering more travel I will not be making many more major purchases for household goods (I pretty much have everything I need anyhoo). There’s not really much room in a 15′ Scotty Hilander and most of my stuff would have to go into storage for any long-term travel if that is what I end up doing.

It’s pretty nice to have most everything that had to be done out of the way. Finally, there are no more surgeries and post-op recovery time or PT this year and it’s looking like I actually have a clear calendar for quite a while other than a couple of surgery follow-ups.

That’s all there is for now.

May 23rd, 2019

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

I’m sitting outside writing this…it’s a beautiful evening and starting to cool off. A hummingbird keeps coming up and staring at me. He likes the violas in the flower box behind me so I guess I need to move my chair. The birds are just singing their little feathered asses off. There’s a slight breeze bringing the salty sea air into the neighborhood. What a smell.

I just got back from going for a walk through said neighborhood down to the beach. A nice evening for a walk and there was only one other person on the beach. It’s amazing -the calming effects of the beaches in the PNW can do so much to soother some mental aches.

I really need to get more active. There’s been quite a bit going on lately actually…despite that I just haven’t been as active as I need to be or much in the mood to write anything lately. I’ve got quite a lot on my mind on top of the many things that are happening in my life right now. I may expand on some of that in a future post…or I may not. In a bit of a different headspace at the moment.

The garden is still booming and my tomato plants (still in the house – too cool at night) really have taken off. Really looking forward to seeing the tomatoes on them. I still want to make that garden-fresh salsa at home. The carrots are sure slow-growing but the peas and romaine are just going nuts.

Speaking of Colorado, I was out of town and ended up in a place that really reminds me of the Rockies. Brought a smile to my face. I met up with some friends and we ate what ended up being a fabulous meal at an Italian restaurant. It was the most expensive meal I have ever bought for myself, but it was worth every delicious penny. We had a great time and shared plates so everyone got a taste. Gotta treat yourself every so often!

This past weekend friends were in the area so we hung out in Seattle for a few days. Had a great time, and got to a few areas I had not been to before. I finally got to eat at Beth’s Cafe. A cool place that lives up to the hype. Rocco’s Pizza was really good. The Five Point was the same as it always is, and that’s what makes it a neat place to go to. Same thing with Dick’s Drive-In.

I hung around Pioneer Square waiting for them to get in to the light rail station. Interesting way to kill time. Some homeless dude wanted me to give him money so he could get some chicken. He was cool and pretty funny but kept talking to me while I was trying to walk away. He finally told me “No man, I’m gonna be straight up with you…I was just f______ with you. I really wanna get another $1.87 so I can go buy some weed!”. Cracked me up. Another one of those great experiences when you get out of your comfort zone.

Got a good score there though. As I was walking past MOD pizza and they were getting ready to open in a few days so they were handing out free pizzas to people. I ended up with two of them which worked out since my friends were starving.

I went to the Amazon Go store and I have got to say that is really pretty cool. You open the app and scan it at the turnstile. You put your phone in your pocket. You put stuff in a bag. You scan the turnstile again and simply walk out of the building. A few minutes later you get a detailed receipt. That’s just incredible. An interesting selection of artisanal sandwiches and wraps; not the typical turkey and cheddar. A pretty decent selection of items – reminded me of a local neighborhood market in a way. Just full of technology.

Busy weekend on the roads this weekend – it’s gonna suck. That’s how it is when you live in a tourist state though. After all the years I spent in Colorado I learned to ignore it as much as I can, but it’s still pretty damn annoying.

Be careful out there!

July 27th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

As I start this post I am back in Seattle and will head to my hotel this afternoon. I catch a plane tomorrow morning to go back to KS again.

My day as it unfolds:

Until then I am starting out in the Capitol Hill station getting ready to get back on the light rail. Came up this way to go to Dick’s Drive-In for a snack (burger, fries, vanilla shake) before I go to Pike Place Market for another snack. I am debating going to the International District for another snack but not sure yet. There’s a lot of good stuff to eat at Pike.

Capitol Hill is a really cool area. I would like to explore around there a little more and may be doing just that in a few weeks when some family gets here. There’s a restaurant in that area that I want to find – I just haven’t been there yet.

Got to Pike and went directly to Mee Sum Bakery for both a baked and a steamed bbq pork hombow. Been a year since I had one and it was delicious as always. The area was busy as hell and I didn’t stay there long. I saw a little boy there that had a shirt on that said “Snacks first, then pants”. Cracked me up.

Seattle is just swarming with a lot of people. It is also pretty warm so I decided to head to my hotel and went back to Westlake station to head south to check in. I also was not very hungry with what I had eaten on the two stops I already made plus the heat was nothing I wanted to hang out in. No International District this go around.

My usual hotel was booked up so I am trying out a new place tonight. It’s actually more convenient to the airport so if it works out I’ll probably be changing my hotel preference to this new one.

Seattle is such a cool city. It has major homeless issues and can be expensive but there’s no denying it’s an interesting place to hang out, eat great food, and have a lot of fun. Be prepared for some huge crowds though.

I got to the hotel and it is damn good to be in the A/C. I walked 3/4 mile from the light rail station to get here and it was almost all in the sun. Good to get exercise though and as of right now I have walked a little over 4 miles today.

I took a walk to get dinner and ended up having Japanese at Masae’s Teriyaki. I have really never been a fan of teriyaki, but the teriyaki I have had in the past has been pretty heavy on the sweet taste and not much savory. This was a perfect balance. It was delicious and filling, and I even ate the slaw that came with it. I thought I would at least try the slaw since I didn’t see any of that nasty stuff called mayonnaise on it.

Since I will be making several trips back to Kansas in the near future I will maximize my time while I’m in Seattle, finding some new places to eat and interesting things to see and do. Today worked out pretty well, and I can even get over here earlier to have more time to do stuff.

I’m anxious to get back and spend time with my dad. This cancer thing has really surprised us all and it sucks. Life is always too short and I try to make the best of it all the time. This will be no different for any of us – we’ll enjoy the time we have and make the best of the situation.

That’s all for now.