A Lake in the Olympic National Forest

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You may have wondered where I have been. I have been on a road trip that began the end of June. This photo is my favorite photo of the entire trip. You see, my grandchildren are the silhouettes on the two piers. It was a lovely place and a calm beautiful evening. The crescent moon and the north star hung in the sky as the tiny lake waves lapped against the beach. I wish we had been able to stay there a couple of days. When you’re on a road trip, it’s hard to not plan ahead and give yourself the authority to stay an extended time, especially when you are caring for two little ones.IMG_1004With all that said, we drove through California, Idaho, Washington, cruised into Alaska, stopped in Victoria, drove through a different section of Washington, Oregon, and California to get back to Graeagle so the kids could go kayaking. I’ll be filling you in on the places we went in the coming weeks. What I want to leave you with today, is this photo of Lake Quinault in the Olympic National Forest in Washington. If you ever get the opportunity to go, do it. It is an amazing slow-paced place. It’s a bit like going back in time and there’s nothing wrong with taking a deep breath and slowing down a little now and then.

Little Jewell

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Not too long ago we took a cruise to Alaska.  It was more than I could hope for.  There was wildlife everywhere, the food was great, and everything about the trip was memorable.  We stopped in Skagway and went on a tour at the Jewell Gardens while there.

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New Uses for Old Things

I have the most amazing handblown bowl from the tour.  From where we were sitting, it looked so much smaller then when it was delivered to my home.  I see it everyday and remember our amazing trip to Alaska.    

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Open Air Rooms

Skagway was the last place I expected to see amazing gardens.  Alaska seemed an unlikely place to find glass blowers, these gardens, and a tea shop all wrapped up in one.  It made me realize what one can do with a little creativity and a passion for what they love. 

Gives New Meaning to the Flower Bed

Gives New Meaning to the Flower Bed

If ever in Skagway, I highly recommend touring this place.  I don’t think it would have stayed in my memory, like it has, if I had only happened upon it and just strolled by.  The tour made it all the more worthwhile.  I’m not sure about global warming but there was not as much snow in Alaska as I was expecting.                                      Go see Alaska before it melts away.

Clouds Over US

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Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with new ideas to write about on my weekly blog.  I was already two days late on this weeks blog, so…..

Clouds Over Italy

Clouds Over Italy

I decided to take a walk and see what might pop into my head.  I was nearly halfway done, Dave Matthews playing on the iPod, when I noticed how very blue the sky was, so I looked up.  (I’ve shared some fabulous clouds from my travels so you’d understand the type of clouds that I saw today.) 

Hawaiian Rain Clouds

Hawaiian Rain Clouds

I found that there was an amazing large cloud above.  It was the kind of cloud that makes you wish that you were lying in the grass on your old school yard sharing the shapes that you were finding in the clouds with your closest friends.

Reflective Clouds In Alaska

Reflective Clouds In Alaska

The shape of the cloud was the Continental United States.  It had the land masses of Texas, Florida, and Maine included in it.  Hawaii and Alaska were not included; nor was Mexico or Canada.  It was just this perfect, puffy, white cloud of the U.S.

Clouds Over Scotland Locks

Clouds Over Scotland Locks

I didn’t have my camera or my phone on me, but maybe it’s better that way.   I’ll just have to keep that beautiful memory tucked away in my mind.

A Whale of a Tale

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My god-daughter, from England, and her parents came to visit a few years ago and she wanted to go to Monterey on a  whale watching excursion.  She had seen a video on YouTube that looked amazing, so we arranged the tickets and headed for the coast.  We stopped along the way to view the coastline.  It was a rather gloomy day, probably a lot like the days they were accustomed to in England.  We no sooner got out of the car, when we noticed a young woman approaching a picnic table with a brown paper sack.  I assumed that she had wanted the peace and tranquility that surely could be found at the beach.  She sat down and took out a Subway sandwich of which she took a bite.  A seagull immediately swooped down and took the entire sandwich from her hands.  She got up and started running, flailing her arms, and screaming at the bird.  It was an amazing sight!  I wondered, what would she have done if the bird dropped the sandwich?  Surely, she would not have eaten it.  We all laughed because it was such a sight to see.  As we walked away, I noticed this flowering plant in the sand.  I just had to snap this photo.  It is one of my favorite flower shots because the circumstances around it, fill my mind each time that I view it.

Sea Shore Heart Shaped Flower

Sea Shore Heart Shaped Flower

I thought that, even in the chaos of the moment, there is beauty to be found, everywhere.

Gulls of the California Coast

Gulls of the California Coast

Here are some of those dastardly birds.

Monterey Bay whale watching

Monterey Bay whale watching

The whale watching trip was unbelievable and the whales were all around the boat feasting on krill that was running on the top of the waters.  I never thought that I would bother to go whale watching again.  It couldn’t ever be that fabulous another time!  

We did go again, but not to Monterey.  We went many times while on our cruise to Alaska.  The whale watching trip that stands out the most was the one we took in Valdez, Alaska.  That place is pristinely clean, beautiful, and full of gorgeous wildlife.  We were on this small boat, looking ahead for puffins when we saw a bald eagle swoop down and steal the fish away from a snacking seal.  The seal looked a little bewildered and I caught this shot as the eagle was pulling up with the fish firmly in his talons.  

Valdez Bald Eagle Fishing

Valdez Bald Eagle Fishing

Chaotic for the seal, yet a wondrous sight for all of us.  Beauty in chaos.  Is there a time when you have found something unexpected in a surprising place?

A Whale Tail

A Whale Tail