Thailand Summary Part 1

Thailand Summary Part 1

Wednesday morning – July 26, 2017   (Seventh post of this travelogue)

First of all, we made it home just fine – albeit very tired.  We left the hotel in Bangkok  Friday morning at 5:00 AM local time and arrived at our house at 3:00 AM Saturday Morning,  Denver time.  (a total of 35 hours from door to door).  Our flights took us from Bangkok to Hong Kong then to Los Angeles and finally to Denver.  With the exception of the last leg, our flights were on time.  I had upgraded our seats on the last two legs to give us a bit more legroom and that really helped us survive the long hours in the planes.

I had planned to do some work on the travelogue during this travel time, but it just did not happen.  Fortunately we were able to sleep a bit on the planes and get some reading done.

Now, I need to catch up.  This post will cover the second excursion in Chiang Mai and our activity in Bangkok.  I hope to finish the travelogue with a final post that will cover several observations about our trip.

Before I start on the second day of touring, I need to mention that our dinner the previous night was quite an event.  The restaurant was very traditional with seating on the floor.  Fortunately, we were seated at tables.  In addition to a very fancy Thai meal, there was live entertainment that presented many types of Thai dancing and music. 

Our second excursion from Chiang Mai was a LONG one.  We left the hotel at 7:00 AM and arrived back just before midnight.  Our travels took us to north from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and then onto the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Berma, and Laos intersect.  That is roughly a 400 mile round trip.

As we travelled to Chiang Rai we drove through mostly farm land.  The primary crops were corn and rice.  The rice fields are amazing.  We stopped at one point to view several rice paddies in various stages of maturity and watched workers in the field.

Rice Paddies

Workers in rice fields

Our next stop was the Wat Rong Khun temple in Chiang Rai.  It is also known as the White Temple and it is almost beyond description.  I have attached some photos that really do not do the temple justice.  We were told that this temple has been voted the second most picturesque Buddhist temple in the world and we can believe it.  A great site with lots of photos and information can be found here (well worth the visit).

Wat Rong Khun

The artist who created the temple also created a meaningful way for visitors to be part of Wat Rong Khun, by way of leaf chimes. There are thousands of metal chimes, where guests can write a prayer or message. These chimes are then stacked to create beautiful prayer trees and covered walkways.  We hung a couple of chimes with thoughts about our daughters and their families.

Hanging Chimes on tree

We next toured Baan Dam (black house) museum in Chiang Rai.  This is a compound created by the late master artist Thawan Duchanee.  The structures are mostly native teak wood and house some amazing artifacts including furniture made form wild animal horns. 

Baan Dam Museum

Baan Dam Museum

After lunch we toured the Karen Long Neck Village.  Karen is the name of the tribe rather than the name of a person.  Phil, our guide, talked with one of the women and, through translation, was able to give us some insight to their culture.  The village is really more of a “front” for selling hand made goods that the women create.  Even though the village is a bit commercial, it still has the very primitive feeling.

Our Guide Phil  interviewing one of the longneck women

Our Guide Phil interviewing one of the longneck women

Long Neck Village

Long Neck Village

Long Neck Village 2

Grandma Time

Grandma Time

Our next stop was the “Golden Triangle” which is the intersection of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar (Berma) and Laos.  We took a boat across the Makong river and visited a very primitive shopping area in Laos.  We could not go into Myanmar because that requires a visa.  It is interesting to note that all of the discussion used Berma as the country name, rather than the correct name of Myanmar.

Golden Triangle

Golden Triangle

Waiting to board boat to Laos

Waiting to board boat to Laos

 

Shopping in Laos

Shopping in Laos

After our quick visit to Laos, we started the long journey home.  We stopped for dinner at a restaurant called “cabbages and condoms”.  It turns out that this was one of a chain of restaurants in Thailand.  Quite an interesting theme, and a fun stop.

My trip home was a bit “awkward”.    I felt like I was getting car sick and that never happens to me.  Our van got stopped because of a downed powerline across the road.  I got out of the van and as soon as I did, I got sick to my stomach.  Once we got going again, I felt OK – for a short time and then got sick again.  That was the beginning of a very long night of the worst flu-like symptoms that I have ever experienced.  The symptoms lasted into the next day,  I even got sick on the plane to Bangkok.  It turns out that several folks had the same problem.  The best we can figure out is that it was some sort of food poisoning.  As I draft this, Pat is now having some of the same symptoms. 

Tuesday, we flew from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.  As noted in the last post, we stayed at the Holliday Inn Express.

I was still under the weather a bit and both of us were exhausted, so our only tourist activity was a dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River.  It was a fun cruise with great views of the city, decent Thai buffet and a live band.

Dinner Cruise 3

Dinner Cruise 2

Live entertainment on dinner cruise

Live entertainment on dinner cruise

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Bangkok, Thailand

Hello from Bangkok, Thailand

Thursday evening  – July 20, 2017   (Sixth  post of this travelogue)

We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express Siam (link to Google Map location of hotel)

Well as usual, I am way behind on my travelogue.  I will start this post by describing the Friday night Stampin’ Up! party.  And quite a party it was.  They had a huge tent erected, arranged for Thai vendors to be present, had live Thai musicians and dancers, and had several stations with Thai food that you could choose from.  In addition, we got special flower bracelets. They even had baby elephants to greet us.  I think it took 23 buses to get everyone to that location.  I have posted two pictures.  The first is a view of the tent and the second is of Pat and I being greeted by one of the baby elephants.  He had been taught to put his truck around one of the people being greeted (note his trunk around Pat).  Without question, SU spared no cost to honor their demonstrators.

Friday Event 1

Pat Jim and elephant

As I mentioned, Friday was our travel day to Chiang Mai.

Saturday was our first of two FULL days of touring.  Our first stop was a mountain village.  We took the standard van to fairly large village and then transferred to a “taxi”  (actually the back of a pickup) and then climbed to more than 4000 feet to the wonderful and beautiful Doi Pui village.  They have lots of gardens and waterfalls and then you climb to a coffee house a few hundred feet above the village.  They pride themselves in growing great coffee.

Jim and Pat in mountain village

Poppies and Marijuana

Poppies and Marijuana

 

Our guide Phil in the village

Our guide Phil in the village

Our Taxi

Our Taxi

There is a story behind the coffee.  In one of the pictures below you will see both poppy flowers and marijuana plants.  This part of the country was a very large producer of opium (from poppy plants).  The government worked with the farmers to convert their poppy farms to coffee farms.  Apparently the effort resulted in a very significant reduction (or at least that is the story).

Coffee Beans

Coffee Beans

Our next stop was Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Buddhist temple far above the city of Chiang Mai.  We took the funicular up to the temple and observed the amazing architecture.  From there we took the “taxi” down to the main village and had lunch and visited a jade carving business.

Some Jade Carvings

Some Jade Carvings

In the afternoon we toured two more Buddhist temples:  Wat Chiang Man and Wat Para Sing.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple

Wat Phra Singh Temple

Wat Phra Singh Temple

We returned to the hotel to freshen up and then went to yet another Thai restaurant (can you tell that we have had our fill of Thai food?).  Indeed when we checked into the hotel in Chiang Mai, we had dinner in the restaurant on our own and Pat had a hamburger and I had a pizza.

I will cover the second tour in our next blog.

We will be leaving early tomorrow to begin our flights home.  I will try to get one or two more blogs done on the various planes.

That is all for this blog

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Hello from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hello from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Saturday Evening  – July 15, 2017   (Sixth  post of this travelogue)

Today was our travel day from Phuket to Chiang Mai.  Our flight was a bit less than 2 hours.  It is amazing how the airlines over here treat you like humans.  They even feed you on the plane!

We are staying at the DusitD2 Hotel (link to Google Map hotel location)

This is a very nice hotel, but not quite the same level as our last two.  I have included some pictures of our room.

Chiang Mai Room 3 Chiang Mai Room 2 Chiang Mai Room 1

In the last post, I forgot to include a picture of our Thai Cooking Class instructor with her star students {grin}.

IMG_2186

Our Thursday excursion was a lot of fun.  Our first stop was a cashew processing plant.  We really did not get to see all that much, but we did see two workers hand shelling the nuts.

Hand cracking cashews

 Next we stopped at a very large Buddhist compound that had several magnificent temples

Our guide at the Buddhist compound

Our guide at the Buddhist compound

Main Buddhist TempleAnother Buddhist Temple in complex

Our next stop was an elephant reserve where we got to ride the elephants.  We are glad that we had the experience, but the gait of the elephant is such that the ride was quite rough.  The trek was perhaps a half mile through some neat scenery.  However, at the end of the ride we were ready to get back on the ground.

Our elephant waiting to give us a ride

Selfie on an elephant

Our last stop was a farm.  All of the exhibitions were examples of how farming was done many years ago.  We got to see them grind and sort rice, observe a rice paddy watch them process latex rubber from the trees and ride in an water buffalo cart. 

Monsoon rain

Monsoon rain

grinding and sorting rice

Rice paddy

Farm transportation

Having spent most of my life in the rubber industry made latex exhibition part of the tour even more interesting.  Latex or “natural” rubber derived from trees has some great properties.  However, it does not have good mechanical properties that would make it useful for belts and hoses, so I got to learn quite a bit between the demonstration and my research (link to information).

Collecting the latex rubber

Collecting the latex rubber

Processing the latex rubber

Processing the latex rubber

As soon as we arrived at the farm we experience a monsoon rain as you saw in the previous photos. 

Yesterday we were scheduled to take a heritage trip and do some shopping.  Part of the trip was a duplicate of Thursday’s trip so we decided to chill out at the resort.

And now for our discussion of the weather here:

A little rain never hurt anyone

Actually up until the last few days the weather has not been all that bad.  Yes it is hot and humid, but the grandeur of the trip makes that bearable.  Many days had light rain but it stopped fairly quickly.  Not the case with the monsoon rains the last few days.

That is all for this trip.

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Hello from Phuket, Thailand (part two)

Hello from Phuket, Thailand (part two)

Thursday morning  – July 13, 2017   (Fifth  post of this travelogue)

Tuesday our excursion was a Thai cooking class.  They bused us to a fancy Thai restaurant that also holds cooking classes.  Right after we arrived we walked to a nearby open air market (photo).  Our instructor showed us the various ingredients that we would be using and let us sample some.  When we returned we met in an air conditioned class room where the instructor prepared each of four dishes.  After she prepared each dish, we then went to an open air cooking room where each of us had a heating stove and all the ingredients to duplicate what she prepared.  That area was pretty hot and humid.

Location of our Cooking Class

At the market for our coking class

The Chefs

The Chefs

Two of the four dishes had squid in them (one was like a crab cake).  That was not our favorite ingredient, but we sampled anyway. 

After we had completed the meal preparation, they served the dishes that we prepared in a rather fancy dining room (photo).

The meal we prepard

The meal we prepard

On the way to the market we passed a large Banyan Tree that begged to be photographed.

Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree

Wednesday, we changed our plans so that I could go diving and Pat could have a down day.  I was really nervous about the dive.  It had been four years since my last dive and that dive was very marginal (both scenery and dive company).  If you have not dived in the past two years, you need to sign up for a refresher course.  Instead, I fudged the application and studied about 2 hours of video from my original diving class (2005).

The dives went very well.  It took me a couple of minutes to feel comfortable with the first dive, but after that, it went well.  Well, almost.  On the first dive my weight belt was too loose and I almost lost it and my swim trunks {grin}.  Then on the second dive I slipped on the top step going down to the dive platform and made a big scene – but no injuries.  The first dive included swimming in a “wrecked boat” (really a boat that had be sunk to provide an environment for the fish).  The second dive had great plant life and a ton of fish. 

Diving Boat

For my log book

I have shown the two dive locations – mostly for my reference.

Diving one location  (link to Google map of dive location)

 

Dive two location:  (link to Google Maps location of dive 2)

 

As has been the case for the past SU trips, we receive lots of gifts.  At the General Meeting Pat got several products and I got a neat shirt.  Then each night we recieve “pillow gifts” that are really neat.  Quite a bit of the product she has received if from the new catalog which will be released September  first – so we can’t show pictures.  However, I am including a picture of the great carry-on bag.

One of Pats pillow gifts

One of Pats pillow gifts

Today we have a great excursion, but you will have to wait for the next post to find out what it is.

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Phuket, Thailand

Hello from Phuket, Thailand

Monday afternoon  – July 10, 2017   (Fourth  post of this travelogue)

We have arrived at the Angsana Laguna Resort in Phuket (link to Google Map of resort location).  This is a five star resort that is extraordinary.   We have not had much of a chance to explore all the amenities. 

 

Here are some photos of the room.

Sign on ur door in Phuket

Sign on ur door in Phuket

Note sunken shower

Note sunken shower

Phuket room 4 Phuket room 3 Phuket room 2 Phuket room 1

Yesterday the same vans that took us around Krabi drove us to the hotel.  As the crow flies, it is perhaps 40 miles, but that is over the ocean and we had to drive quite a ways north and it took us about 2 ½ hours.

Today was the General Meeting in the morning.  We were bussed off property by some neat little busses (photo).  They announced the 2019 incentive trip – a cruise of the Greek Islands!!!  Next year the trip is a cruise to Alaska and Pat will earn that trip in the very near future.

Buses to take us to the General Meeting

Buses to take us to the General Meeting

Now I need to catch up on the rest of the Krabi trip.  In the last post, I forgot to mention that on Friday we had a one hour Thai Massage before we went to dinner.  At times they applied a lot of pressure to various muscles and that was a bit painful, but the overall result was a body with reasonably relaxed muscles.

Saturday was our second full day of touring.  We took a speed boat to the huge Island of Phi Phi (pronounced pee pee).  We made several stops around the island.  One included lunch in the main village on the island (link to Google Map location)

 

 

If you look on the map, Phi Phi island is about equidistant from Krabi and Phuket.  As I mentioned previously, the geology of this area is amazing.  I have included some photos of the huge rock formations.  I texted one photo to Thomas (grandson working on his masters in geology) and here was his reply:  “ I was looking at some maps and papers and it looks like that whole peninsula you guys are on is an old volcanic arc, definitely a great sampling of rocks then!”   Sometimes we are amused at his love of rocks {big grin}

Rock formations 4 Rock formations 3 docked for lunch in Phi Phi

Our Speed Boat (center)

Our Speed Boat (center)

We returned from Phi Phi around 3:30 and freshened up at the resort before going to yet another great Thai restaurant. 

As some of you know, I tend to observe obscure things (Pat just says I am weird).  The latest is that the days here are much shorter than in Denver (because of the time of the year).  The sunrise/sunset here is:  6:15/6:49  (12 hours and 34 minutes) vs  5:42/8:30 (14 hours and 48 minutes).  We are a bit north of 8 degrees north while Denver is a bit south of 40 degrees north latitude.

At the resort, we are on our own for several meals.  Stampin’ Up! deposited $460 in our checking account to compensate us for those meals that are not furnished.  It is an amazing company that really understands and rewards the demonstrators that are fundamental to their business.  Pat has been a demonstrator for 18 years and I have not observed any decline in the benefits they give to their valuable assets.

That is all of this post.

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Hello from Krabi, Thailand

 Sunday morning  – July 9 , 2017   (Third post of this travelogue)

Oh my gosh, I will never catch up.

Let’s start with our trip from Singapore to Krabi.  We had two flights connecting in Samui, Thailand.  I panicked after we checked in since our luggage was only checked to Samui.  Turns out that is normal.  However, we had less than an hour (our flight was running late) to clear customs, claim our luggage and transfer it, go to the ticket counter to get boarding passes and then to gate.  Not at all possible under normal circumstances.  However, a person met us at the plane with a sign with our names on it and escorted us thru the process and we made it. 

The Sumi airport is very small (taxi way and run way are the same)

.  All of the buildings are open air and the whole place is a mass of beautiful shrubbery and flowers (see photos).

 

Our escort in SamuiOur escort in Samui 2

Our open air gate in SamuiPlane on runway in Samui

The resort (Dusit Thani) is a beautiful place (Link to Google map location of resort).   

Here are some pictures of our room.

Krabi hotel room 5 Krabi hotel room 4 Krabi hotel room 3 Krabi hotel room 2 Krabi hotel room 1

We were met at the Krabi airport by our tour guide and driven to the resort – about 30 minute trip.  Again, the right hand driving is a bit strange, especially with the driver dodging a ton of scooters and driving fairly fast on roads that have nothing but curves.

Friday we went on our first tour and what a great tour it was.  We started off with a kayak tour of one of the many “islands”.  Indeed, I am not sure what to call them.  They are huge rock outcroppings, some of which are perhaps 30 stories tall (see photos).  Because we are the “old folks” (not sure why I put that in quotes {grin})  they paired Pat and I with the guides so they could do most of the paddling.  It was a tour of about 1-2 miles and we stopped in a great opening in the one of the rocks that had a small beach and unbelievably lush rain forest (including tree roots that hung down like ropes).

Pat in Kayak Kayaking in canyon Island in Kayak tour

We had lunch at the place that furnished the kayaks and then headed out in what is called a “long-tail boat”.  These boats have to be seen to be believed.  They look very home built with an automotive engine driving directly to a prop that is on a long arm in the back (link to info).  There are hundreds of them in this area and, apparently all over Southeast Asia.  They are unbelievable primitive including using a string for the throttle.  The boat took us out to an island with a wonderful beach.  Some of the folks snorkeled – we just relaxed.

Long-tail boat 1 Long-tail boat 2

After the long-tail boat ride we all went to dinner at a Thai restaurant.  The variety of food is huge and varies quite a bit from restaurant to restaurant. 

This is a pre-planned trip (by Stampin’ Up!) that is an optional, extra cost additional three days.  We will do the same at the end of next week.  There are 17 folks on this pre-trip which is a great size group.

I will catch up on yesterday’s tour in the next blog.  Today we transfer to Phuket via small bus type vans.

For sure we are not having any fun {grin}

Jim and Pat in Krabi

That is all for this trip. 

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Hello from Singapore

Hello from Singapore

Thursday morning  – July 6 , 2017   (Second post of this travelogue)

Well, we survived a total of 27 ½ hours from DIA to our hotel in Singapore.  We flew to Los Angeles, then to Hong Kong and then here.  Most everything went smoothly.  Our last flight was about an hour late, but that was not a big deal.  However, it did put us at the hotel at 3:04 AM!

It was a strange day of travel and meals.  As we noted in the last post, we had a nice sit-down breakfast at DIA.  We then ate lunch in the International terminal at LAX food court.  Then on the flight to Hong Kong they served us both lunch and dinner.  To end the day, they served dinner on the flight to Singapore!

I had loaded an Uber app on my phone when we were in Europe last year.  It worked like a charm here.  The driver was prompt, spoke pretty good English and the car was very modern and clean.  It took a minute to get used to the right hand drive system here, but the ride was great and the cost was less than $10 (charged to your card when you are picked up – fixed charge by Uber for the route.

Our hotel is the Holiday Inn Express Katong (Link to hotel Google Map locaton in Singapore).  It is a beautiful new facility.  In order to check in, you have to take an elevator to the seventh floor.  It is located between the airport and the main downtown area.  Our room is very unique, but quite pleasant (see pictures).  One picture shows the bed area, while the second shows the unique wall next to the bed that has the shower glass as part of the wall.

 

Singapore Hotel 1Singapore Hotel 2

 

We tried to sleep in Wednesday morning until 9:30 but woke up about 8:00 and just relaxed for a time.  The breakfast (included as is typical with HI Express) was different but very good.

I made the observation about Uber and our phone.  We chose an international phone plan for AT&T that makes our use the same as in the State.  It is a bit costly, but we have unlimited text and calling and access to the data in our plan – that is important with all the stuff going on back home.  It makes me recall our trips to Europe where I had to walk to a computer café and pay for very slow connection speeds.  Now we get everything we want on our phones and can even tether the computer to our phones if we are not in the hotel.  I guess if you go far enough back (not all that many years) we did not even have the internet or had to beg to get on the hotel fax line to do a quick dial up.  The young folks of today have no horror stories to tell {grin}.

Yesterday we decided to take an Uber to roughly downtown (not too far) and then buy passes to hop on –hop off to see some of the sights of the city.  We had planned to make two of the loops (yellow and red), but traffic was terrible and it took over two hours to make one loop.  On top of that, it rained hard and the lower enclosed area became very crowded.  We decided to only do the one loop.

Singapore architecture is very modern and there are hundreds of high rise apartment buildings – each with very distinct building designs.  The business towers are also very designed with amazing architecture variations.  We were disappointed that we did not see any historic buildings.

We are at the airport as I finish this post up.   We are heading to Krabi Thailand for our pre-trip (arranged by Stampin’ Up! but not included in the paid part of the trip).

It just dawned on me that I had not explained why we are taking this trip.  Pat earned the trip through her sales at Stampin’ Up!.  They pay all expenses for both of us for the planned week long trip.  Thailand would not have been high on our bucket list, but we are excited to make this trip.

That is all of now.

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Hello from Denver International Airport

Hello from Denver International Airport

Monday morning  – July 3 , 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

I had hoped to write a bit more about our stay in Dillon, but ran out of time.  I will add a couple of notes here and then slide into our current trip.

When we left off, we celebrated Madison’s birthday with lots of fun activities.  The rest of our stay was fairly typical for our Dillon vacation:  shopping, eating, and taking walks. 

However, we had one event that was not so good.  Damon and I, together with the girls, were loading the canoe in the water from the camping area, when both Damon and I slipped on the steep slope and fell down.  I was OK since I had my knee braces on, but not so for Damon.  He really tore up his shoulder.  Tuesday they went to an orthopedic surgeon where he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff.  He has surgery scheduled next week.

Other than that, the stay was amazing.  The mountains were beautiful with some snow still on the slopes and the weather was great.  Even though we did not have the bus, the combination of their trailer and tent made it possible for all of us to have a great time.

We returned to Evergreen on Wednesday the 28th.  This was a bit early, but we wanted to have sufficient time to prepare for this trip (no small task).

Now for this trip.  We are heading to Thailand!!!!  Today we travel to Los Angles, then to Hong Kong and finally to Singapore.  We arrive in Singapore at 12:15 AM on the fifth.   We will spend two nights in Singapore before flying to Thailand.

Because of the date change, we really do not experience the fourth of July!   In total, that is more than 20 hours of flying.  I did purchase seat upgrades on the first two flights and that should help a bit.  For the long flight (LAX to Hong Kong) we have bulkhead seats, so we should not feel too cramped.

Our flight leaves in a few minutes, so I will end this post now

Well, best laid plans……..  my document went crazy and I had to do a bunch of editing to get it back together.  Obviously I did not get to post it before we left.  I am now doing some more drafting on the plane.  Hopefully I will have time to post it in LA.

We left the house a bit after 4:00 AM for our 8:36 flight.  As some of you know, I always prefer a relaxed seat in the airport to rushing.  Besides, we did not know how complicated our check in would be since we could not check in prior to arriving at the airport – reportedly because we were travelling to China.  Turns out  that it was a piece of cake and our bags are checked all the way to Singapore. 

We had a leisure sit down breakfast in a neat restaurant.  Our seats on this plane are in the exit row with lots of leg room (because of the upgrade).  The center seat is empty, so we have plenty of room.

We made it to LAX early and my fear of making connections turned out to be unfounded.  We did not need to go through security again and were able to walk to the International terminal.  The whole flight schedule seems so seamless. 

We were able to  have a leisurely lunch in the food court (Panda Express) and I am able to finish this blog.

That is all for this post.

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Hello from Dillon, CO

Hello from Dillon, CO

Saturday evening  – June 24, 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

As some of you are aware, we spend two weeks at the Heaton Bay Campground each year with one or more of our girls and their families.  This year started out a bit strange, since we normally schedule the two weeks so that we spend the fourth of July in Dillon.  However, we will be leaving for Thailand on July 3.  As a result our reservation is for a week earlier than our daughter Kelly’s family.  That said, they wanted to spend the past weekend in our camp spot (tenting)  so that we could have some family time.

Obviously our plans were to drive the bus to the campground on Saturday (6/17).  Unfortunately that did not happen.  I had done some work on the engine (valve adjustment) and the engine seemed to be down on power and was smoking a bit.  My test drive was short and I laid the problems off to a cold engine and my imagination about engine power.  However, with the Durango hooked up and the bus loaded it became apparent that the engine was not happy.  I turned around and drove it home.

After a lot of anguished discussion we decided that Damon (Kelly’s husband) would get their camp trailer and we would stay in it for at least part of the stay.  We felt terrible about all the trauma, but they were so accommodating and we will still be able to spend some time together.

Kelly and Damon and one of the granddaughters (Madison) spent Saturday night in a tent while Pat and I and Molly spent the night in the trailer.  We all had a great time that night.  They then had to travel back home (Littleton) and we have enjoyed the trailer all of this week (with the exception of Monday night).

Monday we drove down to Denver to be at the hospital when our oldest Daughter, Lisa, had 5 ½ hours of surgery (double mastectomy).  She did not get out of surgery until about 7:00 PM, so we stayed at the house that night and came back up here Tuesday morning.

Molly, our youngest granddaughter has stayed with us the whole week.  It has been great.  We watched 5 DVD movies, played card games, did a bit of shopping, and just had a great time.

Late yesterday Kelly and the family returned and will be here for two weeks.  They have been nice enough to stay in the tent, while we enjoyed sleeping in the trailer.

Today was Madison’s birthday.  Madison is our second youngest granddaughter.  She had the day planned out and we had a ton of fun.  She did some paddle boarding on her new board (she is paying for the board herself), and the rest of us took turns riding in their canoe.  They went to a concert tonight – Pat and I are relaxing in the trailer.

That is all for now.

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Hello from Sumner, WA

 

Wednesday evening – May 24, 2017   (First post of this travelogue)

As you can probably guess, I am back in the Seattle area teaching another Boeing class.  This class is a 5 day class called 3 Axis/Machine Tool Alignment Concepts.  The class involves learning about and performing all of the test necessary to completely align a massive machining center.  It has not been one of my favorite classes in the past, but I put a lot of work into “taking my presentation to the next level”.  That has helped me feel much more comfortable teaching the class.  It probably helps that I have some great students.

Part of the class involves touring the huge manufacturing plant in Auburn, WA where I am teaching.  The plant machines many of the parts for the planes that Boeing makes.  Without question their equipment is mind boggling (both in terms of numbers, but more importantly – variety).  They have a lot of huge equipment that is specially designed for their needs.  Those of you who know me, know that I hate that kind of tour – yeah right!!   I probably embarrass the students because of my jaw dragging on the floor {grin}.

For the past several posts, I have noted the terrible weather and the huge amount of rain that western Washington has experienced over the past several months.  Well, the weather this week has been pretty good.  One of the benefits of good weather out here is the beautiful view of Mt Rainer.  With all the snow cover, it is magnificent.  The attached photo does not begin to do it justice.

20170523 Mt Rainer

 

The class this week is on day shift, which means we begin class at 6:00 AM.  That makes for a strange day for me.  Plus I have to be careful to make sure I get a reasonable amount of sleep.  I save a bit of time by eating dinner in the room most of the time.  I stop by Trader Joe’s and pick up salads for lunch and some sort of meal that I can microwave for dinner.  That works out pretty well.  I can come back to the motel and relax and do not have to leave again for dinner.  The food is pretty good and easy to fix.

That is all for this post

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