January 6th, 2018

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

For some reason I woke up at 3:45 this morning. I don’t sleep well usually, but it seems that I wake up when I have someplace I want to go and have an alarm set to get up early to go. Generally I wake up at 6:00 or so anyhoo.

This morning I did have an alarm set to get up at 5:30 to shower, eat, have coffee and then drive to Port Townsend for hearing aid supplies. After that I went to Sequim and the wildlife refuge I used to work at. I wanted to see my friend Dave who I have not seen in a while and maybe see some other people I have not seen for an even longer time.

It was a good visit and he put me to work helping him move some stuff around most of the day. And of course I didn’t mind helping. It was good to get some exercise in the process of getting things done. The weather was cloudy but decent. We went out for lunch then after he was done working for the day we went to eat Thai food for dinner at Sawadee Thai in Sequim.

I am quite sore today after an ass-kicking massage yesterday. My back and neck have really been giving me problems right now and the massage therapist just wailed on me and it was very painful. I am definitely much looser today despite the pain. Well worth the money I pay. With any luck (not sure if it is good or bad) there will be a cancellation this week and I get a call to be the stunt double for another massage. I do have one in two weeks so I am hoping this stuff will loosen up for a little while at least.

I still need to get an acupuncturist to work their magic on me. Perhaps I need a trip back to the San Juans to see the acupuncturist I used to go to. I could visit also friends while I am there. It is just so damn expensive to get up there (fuel, ferries) on top of the cost of a doctor visit and a limited winter ferry schedule. I just might do that. It might help me sleep too.

I got back into my water-drinking routine, egged-on by my Water Minder app. That, and the Activity Rings on my watch, really do motivate me to drink more water and get moving more. I’ve been eating better, too, so I am really hoping to see some improvements and lose a few pounds. I am trying to really cut back on sugar and don’t eat very much bread usually. In Europe we will probably be doing quite a bit of walking and I am really looking forward to it. Hell, I might pull a Forrest Gump and just start walking and not stop. The food will be an issue over there for me since I want to try most everything there. Walking will help keep that off too.

I have a feeling the trip to Europe really will be more than a vacation. It is going to be more than the incredible things we will eat, the beautiful new places we will see, the interesting and amazing humans that we will meet and all the fun we will have. It’s a personal thing with me that I cannot really describe, but maybe it will make more sense to you, the reader, when I post about our adventures.

It might even make more sense to me too!

Back to the Peninsula

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Travel

Had an emergency pop up with one of my hearing aids this past week so it was back to Port Townsend – but just long enough to drop it off for repairs. No Waterfront Pizza for me today, but I had burgers and fries on the mind once back on the Mainland…more on that soon.

I went to Sequim first, hoping to catch up with my good friend Dave. Both he and his wife are great friends and we have had some great times. I glad I got to see him. We got to chat for a bit and could have went on for a long time I am sure (we usually do), but I had to get to my appointment.

While over there it brought back many memories. I did get to see a few more old friends from the Refuge while we were at the kiosk. It was good to see them as well. I hope to get back soon and have more time. With my days off changing soon I am trying to squeeze in what I can on the few Saturday and Sunday “weekends” I have left.

It was such a beautiful day and I am glad it wasn’t raining. Had enough of that nonsense for a while. It was beautiful blue sky, sun, and perfect temperatures – a perfect day to be outside with friends. Wish I had not been so rushed but I needed to get groceries and get back home.

So back on the ferry after my appointment, the last one loaded on the boat, with just enough room:Barely got my truck on the boat!

 

It was great to be out in the sun on the water again. It has been a while and it was absolutely wonderful.

Yours Truly

On the ferry heading back home

 

Now it was time for that burger and fries. Actually it was four burgers and two fries. Hahaha! (They are not big orders of fries or big burgers.)

A Seattle Legend

Yep, my choice for best fries anywhere and a delicious, old-school thin-patty burger. For those of you in the Kansas City area, much like the old Griff’s Burger Bar. We had a Griff’s in Leavenworth while I was growing up and it was simple and good. They ALSO had a clown!

Anyhoo, those fries at Dick’s…man I like Five Guys’ fries but these are better than those by leaps and bounds. Just look at these things!

Best. Fries. In. The. World.

Best. Fries. In. The. World. Really. Yes.

Those are little straws of tasty perfection. I have eaten here several times since I try to stop when I am in the area. Fortunately that is not that often or I would probably be there way too much.

A few weeks ago I gave it a shot and made some pad Thai.

Pad Thai

My Very First Attempt at Pad Thai!

It actually came out pretty decent. Now I don’t need to spend $15 on a meal; I can make several meals’ worth for that price or less. Proud of my accomplishment!

Anyhoo, there’s a few new pics for you to look at and some new news to read.

March 19th, 2017

Adventure, Outdoors, Travel

(I started this post on March 19th and was too busy to finish it)

It has been a great time the last few days. Angie and Alexis came out to visit and we have been all over the place.

The first few days we stayed at the Hotel 5 in Seattle. It is a pretty cool boutique hotel downtown near the Space Needle, the Five Point, and many other fun and interesting things to see, eat, and do. I would (and will) stay there again and I recommend it to anyone.

We went to the Pike Place Market – always a good place to visit for great food and people watching. After that we went to the Five Point for some food and then headed back to the hotel to kick back a bit and figure out where we were going when.

The next day we went to the MoPOP (formerly the EMP). Alexis is a Kurt Cobain fan so she had to see the Nirvana exhibit. It’s a good thing we went when we did because today is the last day of the exhibit. Our timing could not have been better. It is traveling to Brazil, then back to here to be displayed again in some form but probably without some of the things we saw. There was a volunteer guide who was a huge Nirvana fan since ’92 that did a guided walk through the exhibit. It was very interesting to hear some of the things she talked about.

We left there and went to the Waterfront area and walked around. Seattle is such an awesome place.

The next day started out with decent weather in Seattle and then turned poopy as we headed southwest toward the coast. Lots of rain. Copious amounts of rain. We went to Aberdeen, WA…Kurt Cobain lived there as a kid. We got to see the park named for him and it is just down the street from the house he grew up in. I have been through Aberdeen a few times before and it ended up being an interesting place to visit.

We worked our way up the coast and their first-ever view of the Pacific Ocean. We got to Ruby Beach and did some beach walking despite the weather. We tried to find some tide pools but did not see anything – possibly this was due to the rough water.

We ended up getting a room in Forks, WA. Yes…THAT Forks. It was just a place to stop for the night and not hunting for vampires or werewolves. We found a decent, older motel for a decent price. Tomorrow’s destination was to get to Port Townsend and then get back to Seattle a day early to avoid not getting a ferry and them missing their plane.

We headed north and east from Forks on US 101 and stopped at Marymere Falls for a hike. We went through Port Angeles and Sequim and stopped there for Angie’s first taste of Thai food at Sawadee Thai. We then headed on towards Port Townsend for some sightseeing, shopping, and walking. Such a cool town to visit and hang out in. Afterwards we got on  the Bainbridge ferry – another first for Angie and Alexis. The water was pretty good so no scary ride this time…other than the hordes of prom-going teenagers. Not on e of the girls had a sweater, jacket, etc. and it was definitely not a warm day.

We made our way to the hotel near the mall and we found our way to that mall the next day after we went to visit Jimi Hendrix’ grave.

It was a good visit and we had fun. They got to see many things, but there is so much up here to see and do.

And So It Begins…

Adventure, Outdoors, Uncategorized

A little over two years ago I was… oh never mind. That was then, and this is now. Now is MUCH better. Then sucked in MANY ways.

With just a few days left here at The Spit, I started to move some of my belongings out of my cabin. Some is going into storage, and the rest I will take out to my new home on Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge.

I got out to Protection Island (“P.I.” as we call it) today with some of my belongings and it really hit me about this change – not only is it that am I moving out of Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. I just took my first solo trip operating a boat for the U.S. Government, taking my belongings out to an island that is a federal wildlife refuge that is closed to the public, and that I will essentially be the only person there most of the time. Here are a few pictures I took today: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnflaherty/sets/72157643042351424/. I will add to these during my stay.

I will be moved out there within the next week or so, putting out a few family pictures and setting up some of the few other personal things I decided to take with me. Not having a house (some may say “a real home”) is easy to overcome if you just do a few things to make it “yours”. Home is where, and what, you make it.

For more information about P.I. you can look at this website: http://www.fodnwr.org/in-the-community/webcams. This is our “Friends” group and most refuges, national parks, and other federal lands have similar organizations. They are all vital to these places and do so much and they can all use help and your involvement for these special places is very rewarding in many ways. Our Friends group has gotten a webcam put up on P.I. They also work on many other projects, one of which is a video about the history and importance of P.I.. If you click on the video link it will take you to Vimeo, which is hosting a very informative video about the island and its features. I learned a lot by watching it and maybe it will help some who watch better understand the importance and why these places matter.

It is amazing what you can do if you just set your mind to doing something and get it done. I have had many great opportunities happen in my life and those things have only happened because I wanted them to, and made them, happen. I may not have not done as much as some, but I have done more than others and I can take great satisfaction and pride in the fact that I have gotten to do so many cool things – well, at least to ME they were cool or I wouldn’t have wanted to do them. Dream for the big things and do what you need to achieve them. It doesn’t matter what others think… live YOUR life for YOU. If a “big” thing to you is something like getting a tattoo, or a second piercing in your ear, then by all means whoop it up!

Some can, and some do. The choice is yours.

Let’s Try This Again…

Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

Well, it looks like my Hawaii training/mini-vacation is tentatively scheduled for sometime in January… hmm, Hawaii in January. I do believe that will not suck much at all. Hopefully we can get it done this time and not have to deal with a shutdown. I’ve got things to do and islands to be on and do not have time for political BS.

On another note, it is starting to feel like Fall here. Leaves are on the ground, but there are still some trees that are just starting to turn! The weather is changing but it is still pretty nice here even though there has been some windstorms. Even when it is overcast it is still a wonderful place to visit. We are seeing lots of birds so get out your Sibley book, binoculars, appropriate clothing, some water and snacks and come on out for some birdwatching! It is a bit quieter here than in the summer, but the overcast weather is still good to be outdoors. Just look at it as you do not need sunscreen! I even got a call today from the caretaker on Protection Island to let me know there was a small group of orcas heading our way. Unfortunately I did not get to see them since I had things to do.

The change back to normal time was a relief, but we now close at 4:30. During the long days I split my day because it is easier to get things done since I have to close the refuge. This time of year, however, I work straight through so I cannot get away much until after I close up at sunset. I have to start getting to town to run errands after work instead of on my weekends so I can have some damn fun!

The last few weekends I have been busy running around doing some of those errands so no adventures to write about, but next weekend I plan on getting out to do some things so check back!