Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham

While our car was getting some recall work done at the local Toyota dealership,  we took the opportunity to walk the half mile or so to this lovely Bellingham city park, where we walked for nearly three hours on another beautiful day before walking back to pick up our car.

The bridge built under the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s is well worth a look.

It was a lot more fun - and healthy - than hanging around the car dealer or getting a ride to the local mall.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Thunderbird Lake Sunset

From our back yard...

Working Under Pressure

A tiring but satisfactory weekend, during which we rented a pressure washer and attachment and pressure washed our driveway thoroughly. The Whirlaway Surface Cleaner attachment was a lot harder work on our old aggregate driveway than this video indicates, but we got the job done.

Next we seal...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Patio Pour

When you're paying for a new patio, it only makes sense to enjoy the entertainment it provides.

Monday, August 10, 2015

It Can Be Cheaper to Travel

For example, when you're at home long enough to stare at your old aggregate patio and decide it really needs to be replaced.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sehome Surprise

The doorbell rang twice today and before we knew it all eight grandchildren were at our house. What a terrific surprise!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Home Again

Kathy and granddaughter Taegan making an apple pie using apples from our tree...

And cranking pasta...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

'Biz Bed' Seating on that Open Skies 757

We had snagged a great deal flying between New York and Paris on the British Airways Open Skies slight. BA markets the flight and its Biz Beds as a "cozy boutique experience," and that it is. It's the strangest configuration we've ever seen. To squeeze four flatbeds per row into a 757, there's one forward-facing seat and one rear-facing seat next to each other on each side of the aisle.

Avery and Kathy faced each other, while Brian faced a young French mathematics professor in his way to the US for a holiday.

A fan-shaped privacy screen is available between the armrests, but it seemed gauche to use it.

Besides, Brian doesn't have that much against math teachers, and pleasant conversation ensued at the beginning of the flight and again toward the end.

It was a very enjoyable flight with good service and good food, despite quite a few bumps along the way. Despite our misgivings about flying that far on a 757, we would do it again in a minute. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Last Flight of Our Trip with Avery

Homeward bound...

Amazing: EWR-SEA on UA

United upgraded us all to First overnight.

Are they losing enough elites that lowly "Lifetime" Gold actually counts for something?

Monday, August 3, 2015


We'd snagged a great prepaid rate at the Hilton before finding and snagging that great business class fare that has us returning from Orly.

This morning we rose early enough to catch the one-hour plus RER train that took us all the way back into Paris and out the other side.

One gets off at Antony and catches the light rail ride that goes directly to Orly in 10 minutes or so.

Check-in, security, and passport exit control were all quick and easy.

We're sitting in the small but comfortable Open Skies Lounge, waiting to board our flight in a little less than an hour, looking forward to trying out the flatbeds on BA 8003, our second consecutive transatlantic 757 flight.

That's probably our 757.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Hilton CDG: Déjà Vu

Last year this property was an early stop with Jake, during which we experienced several idiosyncrasies, including a strange lounge and a lengthy delay checking out, necessitating Brian's running to catch up to Jake and Kathy in the terminal.

Today we arrived before 4:00 pm, and dutifully stood behind only one other person in the Hhonors elite line.

"Bon jour," said Brian cheerfully when it was our turn.

"Bon jour, replied the clerk. "I am going off shift now."

"Ha ha," said Brian, "I remember this hotel."

"My colleague will be right here," but of course he wasn't, and the clerk did check us in, no doubt violating French labor laws in the process.

Brian snapped a photo of the check-in queue as we headed to the lounge for a drink just before 6:00 pm.

We were lucky. We'll allow lots of time to check out in the morning.

The hotel does offer a scenic elevator ride.

Cathedràle Notre Dame de Paris

A quick look, an ice cream / sorbet stop, a return to the Marriott Rive Gauche to pick up our luggage, and a fast ride to CDG and the Airport Hilton with a tired girl.

Cooling Off in Paris

As the song goes, 

I love Paris in ze summer
When it sizzles...

Fortunately it wasn't that hot.

Paris: Avery's Balanced Breakfast

The Eiffel Tower at Last

It's over 900 feet high, it was built in the 1880s for the Paris Exposition, Parisiens hated it until they grew to love it, and Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty, kept a little office at the "sommet" where he received visiting dignitaries like Thomas Edison.

Now that we know all that, it's time to ride the elevator cars that creep up the legs to the second level, and then stand in line to take one of the four smaller elevators all the way to the top.

We were up and down in a bit over 90 minutes, with plenty of time to take in the views.