Louisville to Seattle to Newberg, Oregon

Three thirty in the morning is early. But I had a six a.m. flight. It’s not so busy at Louisville International Airport at four thirty in the morning. My journey would begin on a United Airlines Embraer Jet. Yeah, the dinky one. Chicago, here I come!

Got lost in O’Hare, looking for Alaska Airlines. Made the flight, with only minutes to spare. At least I didn’t have to sit around and wait.

Very smooth flight on an Alaska Airlines 737. Window seat! When I see the snowcapped mountains far below us, I know we’re close. We begin our descent to Seattle. Arrived in Seattle at ten thirty Pacific Time.  When I changed airlines in Chicago, apparently my luggage did not. No luggage.

Seattle is beautiful. Blue skies and pleasantly cool at 68 degrees. I need my suitcase! Alyssa meets me at the airport and we lunch at WildFin while meanwhile back in Louisville, my son wrangles with the airlines via telephone. He’s good at that. Alyssa and I have a full day planned that includes a pedicure and dinner with my Seattle cousins.

Leaving my cousins’ home in Eastwood, our view of Mt. Rainier is glorious and so is the extraordinarily large moon! Love Seattle when it’s like this. We pick up Gusto the wonder dog and proceed to our pet-friendly hotel room.

Good news! My suitcase has arrived in Seattle via United Airlines. I don’t want to wait for them to deliver, so we swing by the airport and pick it up. Happy, happy, happy! After being awake for nearly twenty-four hours, I’m finally going to sleep.

Day Two: Snoqualmie Falls Our last day in Seattle is bittersweet. After a wonderful breakfast with Alyssa’s mom, Lynn, and

nephew, Jayden, we take off for Snoqualmie Falls. From there, we return to downtown Seattle and on to Golden Gardens Park. I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a beach and looked at mountains. I like it.

After dinner, we say goodbye to Alyssa’s family and leave Seattle. Arrive in Newberg, Oregon at two a.m., well past my bedtime!

Hope you enjoy the pictures. We’ll be sightseeing in the Newberg & Portland area of Oregon over the next couple of days. The adventure continues!

From the Bluegrass to the Pacific (There and Back Again)

Today, I’m flying to Seattle for a short visit with friends and family. I was born in Seattle and some of my mother’s family still live there. My son married a Seattle girl and that was a double blessing, because I’ve had an excuse to return to the region and visit one of the most beautiful areas in the continental U.S.

My son and his wife are relocating to Kentucky, thus the reason for this trip. I get to make the journey, too. We plan to take full advantage of this opportunity to see places we’ve never seen. And we’ll be looking for dog-friendly places, since Gusto will be with us. As you can see, he’s happy to be included.

After we leave Seattle, we’ll head to Oregon, where we’ll stay a couple of days then head down the Pacific Coast, hoping to visit some new places we’ve never seen. I plan to post pictures and thoughts here and on Facebook, documenting this trip so my friends and family can see these places with us. Not like being there, I know. But hopefully it won’t be as bad as sitting through a long slide show of vacay pics with the neighbors. After all, if it’s boring, you can leave. I’ll try not to be boring and in any case, it’ll be short. Usually.

So thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll drop back in during this series of blogposts. You can follow this blog or friend me on Facebook or like my Facebook author page to keep up with what I hope will be an interesting trip. In any case, I’d love to hear from you regarding your favorite Western or Midwestern stops, especially if you know of any dog-friendly places along the way.

A Successful Summer Slow-Down

Help! I slowed down too much! You know the feeling. Absolutely languid. This uber-hot summer required slow movement. Or so I tell myself. But the truth is, I finally accomplished a slow-down.

One day last week, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. The humidity was low, which is rare during a Kentucky summer. So my facebook post was:

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be off work, so I’m gonna go out and sit in the sun right now. Just because I can. Yeah.

You might be thinking I’m lazy, but that’s not really true. I walk six miles a week, keep up with my housework and . . . well I don’t have to list everything I do. But my plan of action includes a few minutes every morning, when I jot down the important things I want to complete that day. When my list is either completed, or satisfactory, I feel free to sit in the sun or read a book in the middle of the day.

Gusto Takes a Siesta

So today, I encourage you not to skip your break. Take it. Enjoy a leisurely lunch if you can. Give yourself permission to rest.

It’s even been hot in Seattle where Gusto lives. He’s definitely achieved the perfect slow-down. It’s called siesta. This is the only way to truly enjoy a hot summer afternoon.

So if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll put my feet up and enjoy today’s siesta. Anyone for a tall glass of iced tea?

Happy Mother’s Day

One of the very first to hold me after my birth, my maternal grandmother gave me my name. She named me after my mom (Betty), and herself (Audrie). I know she loved me, though I never knew her. She died two years after my birth. I grew acquainted with her through my mom’s memories and the many beautiful pictures we have of her. A few years ago, I traveled to Seattle and visited her grave. Seeing that name on a gravestone was a little bit of a shock, but I’m so glad I did it. She became real to me that day. Though I had no physical memories of her, she really had existed.

Mom grew up in Seattle, where she met my dad, a young sailor on leave. He was from Tennessee. She left her home and family to follow him, and stayed with him through sometimes extreme difficulties, until the day he died. She was with him in San Diego, living on base, when her mother died in Seattle. She still has the airplane ticket from her flight home for the funeral.

These two strong women loved me, spoke into my life, and gave me my morals and principles. They were shining examples to me of the kind of woman I wanted to become. Women who gave everything for those they loved. Women who endured hardship as if it were just another bump in the road. Women who could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Dedicated and Godly women.

I was never able to send my grandmother a Mother’s Day card, or even tell her I loved her. I never heard her voice or saw her grow old. So I’ll tell my mom, her daughter: I love you. I’ll visit her and give her a gift and a card for Mother’s Day. I’ll smile at my reflection in the mirror, the part of me that resembles my namesakes. I feel very blessed to be descended of such excellent women. Happy Mother’s Day!