Friday, June 22, 2018

Two Week Catch Up

June has been a busy month.  We've traveled a lot of miles.  I want to share for my Friday Faves Fives some highlights from our travels.  So here are Willow's Weeks (two!) for sharing my favorite things from the the past fourteen days.

1.  On our return trip from the Pacific Northwest, we skirted around San Francisco (yeah, been there, done that) to spend just a couple of hours with our Army Reserve Chaplain son who was at Moffet Field doing some training.  How amazing is it that we would intersect there for just one afternoon?

2.  That evening we stayed in Marina, California, which is a little town near Monterey.  Monterey is famous; Marina is not.  But I found that little town to be delightful.  One reason we were there was to visit the former site of Ft. Ord where The Professor 'enjoyed' many hours of Army training back in the day. The Army fort is closed now and is the site of California State University, Monterey Bay.  Visiting the campus was a walk down memory lane for him.

3.  Then the next week. Chaplain Dan and his family drove out from their desert home to visit friends in Orange County.  So of course we hopped in our car and joined them one day at the beach.

I should warn you--following are some extremely cute and sweet pictures, so if you need to be careful of cuteness overload, please proceed slowly.)

Our water baby headed straight for the beach!

She loves playing in the surf with her daddy.

Hey guys! I found a cave!

4.  After a day of rest back at home (you need that if you navigate the LA freeways), we drove to LA and met them at the Los Angeles Farmers Market.  The best part (besides being with them!)?  The whole reason we chose to have lunch there:  the Singapore Malaysia Indonesian restaurant Banana Leaf!  The BEST 'es cendol' in LA! (Es cendol is a drink sort of like boba tea)

Perusing the menu

5.  We had intended to visit the La Brea Tar Pits in West LA, but on a whim, we changed our minds and drove farther west through Beverly Hills and Bel Air to the Skirball Museum because during the summer it has free admittance for all military and their families.  Skirball Museum is another one of those small gems that may not be well known but has marvelous exhibits.  PAL's favorite was the Noah's Ark interactive exhibit.  It deserves its own post--so much creativity!

See why I was not in communication much?  I was having too much fun!  Happy weekend to you all! And remember to stop and think and be thankful.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Pacific Northwest

I grew up in the Pacific North West part of the United States.  Normal for me was rain all winter with a bit of snow thrown in.  Forests of fir trees. Mountains topped with snow year round.  Flowing rivers.  I thought everybody was familiar with tall green trees and white towering mountains until I moved away.  Every year I try to revisit my roots mostly because my brother still lives there, but partly because the forests and mountains call to me.

The sound of water tumbling over rocks and logs in a rushing river is seldom heard where I live now among the arroyos and dry creek beds.  Sitting by a stream in the summer sun is music for my soul.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

En Route

I must say that I feel bad and sad about not reading and commenting on the Friday Fave Five posts that others contributed last week.  After I posted mine, life became hectic.  In fact, although I have taken A LOT of photos, I haven't even gotten them moved over to my computer yet.  So this is going to be a very short and abridged version of the past week. (I will post more in the next few days as I return home and download all those photos.)  But here is a short version of Willow's Week.  Friday Fave Fives are posted HERE.  You can join in!

1.  A wonderful, fun-filled time at my high school reunion.  My graduating class was SMALL- like 30 or fewer kids.  Of those, nine actual graduates were there (along with several who attended the school but didn't graduate--moved, transferred schools, etc).

2.  Attending our home church in Portland and visiting with so many people.  We had lunch with two very special people and caught up on their lives.  Then we visited with my uncle who I haven't seen for several years and is now in a home recovering from a stroke.

3.  Lunch with our former prof who is STILL teaching.  We managed to sit in the restaurant for HOURS and chat.  Prof Hills asked us to attend a class at the college where he is now teaching and answer questions for students, which we did a couple of days later. (These are international students who are from the province where we lived in Indonesia, and we discussed our cultural challenges in Indonesia and theirs as they adjust to American culture.)

4.  A day spent with my brother and sister-in-law just driving around Mt. Hood and having lunch at a favorite restaurant on the Columbia River.

5.  Fond farewells and more hours, days and miles in our faithful car.  We aren't home yet, but we are enjoying a new route home.

Friday, June 01, 2018


Even though I am traveling this week, I wanted to try to put up my Friday Fave Fives here at Willows Cottage.  I'll do my best to keep up the conversations, but I may be late.  This weekend is my high school reunion celebration and is of course why I have been traveling back to my hometown.

1.-2.  When Californians travel, we always note two things.  Is there snow on the mountains?  The Sierra Nevadas and the Cascades.  We were thrilled to see lots of snow on Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

There was also much more water in Shasta Lake, which means more stored water in California!

3. I love my home state of Oregon and it always thrills me when we finally arrive at the Oregon-California border.  I watch for the State of Jefferson sign on the barn and the cow and calf sculptures in the pasture, and I know we're almost there.

4.  The flora in the Pacific Northwest is so different from Southern California where we have tumbleweeds, palm trees, cactus and sage.  The PNW has rhododendrons! (I might miss these beautiful bushes like this one blooming in my brother's garden!)

5. But the best part of this trip will be seeing all our long time friends from school and church!