Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Family Interlude in Seattle

Where in the World are Keith and Kathy?

We recently spent a month in a beautiful Escapees Park in Chimacum, Washington, near Port Townsend. During this period we visited with our son, who is a graduate student at the University of Washington. Our daughter and one of our granddaughters flew out from Maryland to spend a long weekend with us, and we flew to Massachusetts a few days for Kathy’s parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. Kathy actually flew to Massachusetts twice, but that’s a different story.

Happy 60th Anniversary to Helen and Walter

Port Townsend is a quaint, somewhat artsy-fartsy town, with several Victorian era homes and commercial buildings. The downtown area includes many establishments which cater to the female visitor’s never ending thirst for retail therapy, as well as a couple of excellent Thai restaurants, and a terminal for the ferry to Whidbey Island. Our busy schedule limited our time to tour the town, but Keith did enjoy several good Thai meals during Kathy’s second visit to Massachusetts. We rate the Thai 1 2 3 restaurant in Port Townsend 3-3/4 COWs. There is no table service, but they will bring your meal to the table after ordering and paying at the counter. The benefit of this limited service is excellent food at reasonable prices, about 10 to 20 percent lower than typical for full service Thai. There also is a very good diner in Chimacum, where we enjoyed several excellent breakfasts.

We enjoyed several meals in the Seattle area with our son and his wife, including a couple of good Indian meals, as well Pho, which is a tasty Vietnamese rice noodle soup. We also had lunch at Chandlers, a upscale restaurant with waterfront seating on the southern tip of Lake Union.
Lunch at Chandlers

For our visit with the 4 year old granddaughter, we moved temporarily to the KOA in Kent, near the SeaTac airport. We seldom stay at KOA, because they are pricy and cater mostly to families, but it was perfect for this visit. Our granddaughter thoroughly enjoyed the heated KOA pool, and the playground. She also enjoyed her visit with Uncle Will and Aunt Larissa, who pitched their new tent in a nearby site. We cannot comment with certainty, but we hope she also enjoyed her visit with Grandpa and Babchi. We were sad to see them go, and will look forward to seeing them again in the fall.
Larissa in the KOA Pool With the Blossom

When Kathy was in Massachusetts, Keith had a couple of interesting submarine experiences. While crossing the Hood Canal he was stopped at the drawbridge, which was open for passage of the USS Alabama, a nuclear missile submarine leaving the Bangor Naval Submarine Base for Pacific patrol. He learned these details while chatting with a young lady who was standing on the roadside taking photographs, as her husband departing for duty on this vessel. Keith unfortunately did not take pictures, as he not have the camera.

A few days later, Keith visited the Naval Undersea Warfare Museum near Bremerton, Washington. This fine museum features many excellent and well interpreted displays on all aspects of undersea warfare including submarines, submariners, torpedoes, diving and submarine rescue technology, WWI and II submarine actions, etc. There also were excellent interpretive displays on weather, geology, ocean currents, and other geophysical topics related to undersea navigation. To Keith’s delight, there was even a display highlighting the role of materials advances in the evolving development of underwater capability.
Naval Undersea Warfare Museum
Nuclear Submarine Control Room

On 10 June, at midnite, Keith picked up Kathy at SeaTac airport, and the next day we took the ferry to Whidbey Island and drove north to Bellingham, WA, where we parked with 17 other RV’s at camp Wal Mart. This is an excellent stop, with plenty of RV parking away from the cars on the west side of the lot. The store is open 24 hours, and Keith shopped at 4am. Later in the morning we crossed the border and motored north through the beautiful Frasier River Canyon, stopping for the night at Lac La Hache Provincial Park. Our next destination is Dawson Creek, BC, where we rendezvous with our Alaska Caravan. More to follow.

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