Weekend in Washington a good time


This past extended weekend, beginning on Wed­nesday, was really a fun time.

We hadn’t been to Washing­ton state to visit son Dan since August 2005, so we were long overdue.

Not wanting to waste time, we decided to fly out of Wichita on the early flight, leaving at 6:45 a.m. which means getting up at 3:45. With gaining two hours you get there mid-morning, which leaves the whole day if you can make it to 11 p.m. Pacific time.

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We hadn’t tried the Park & Ride at Wichita Mid-Continent until this trip. It’s really handy, provides a shuttle to the terminal and saves two bucks a day on parking fees.

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First order of business upon landing in Seattle was to head for a place with seafood chowder. I had the crab chowder, which really hit the spot.

This was in Pike’s Market, which was busier than we had seen it on previous visits. Must have been the bad economy, or maybe it was because of spring break.

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We then decided to take a drive around Dan’s old neighborhood in Ballard. We parked the car and then came back to leave for Yakima—but the ignition wouldn’t work.

After spraying WD-40 into the ignition slot and making a new key, still no luck. So, a locksmith was called and two hours later we were back in business.

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I’m still laughing about this one. Dan went to a hardware store to get a new Toyota key made.

The lady said, “This is a marine hardware store.”

So then Dan said, “How do you start your boats? With a magic wand?”

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I thought we might have some problems watching KU basketball out there, because no doubt CBS would be showing West Coast teams. I was right.

So the next-best option was watching the game on a computer.

The streaming video worked good for the first half but, became extremely sluggish in the second half and was rebuffering continuously. Not a fun way to watch, but we and KU survived.

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The Washington Department of Wildlife had an elk feeding station near Yakima, so we drove there to watch the elk come down from the mountains.

It was an amazing sight as hundreds of elk made their way into the feeding area.

What the elk and we didn’t know was that the feeding was over for the season, but they showed up anyway.

One observer said if there was another big snow storm, they would feed them again. It was so majestic seeing those big animals pausing at the top of the ridge with their heads held high.

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We spent most of one day driving up to Leavenworth, a town that has reinvented itself as a Bavarian city, and then on to the Wenatchee Valley where there are orchards everywhere you look. The Yakima Valley is the same way.

In fact, the orchards are mixed with housing in town and in the country. There must be hundreds of thousands of acres of fruit production.

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The area is fast becoming wine country, with vineyards scattered throughout the area. They’ll even let you taste it.

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April 3 is National Walk to Work Day. I’ll do it all year.


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