Saturday, April 7, 2012

Been there, done that!

We're recovering from our trip to Seattle to celebrate Drayton's birthday with him.

But first, I went with a Friend to Paloma, Chihuahua, Mexico, who was transporting computers to and from an educational project down there. The first picture is of high school students at a computer lab in the town library, which had Internet connections; the high school does not. To go beyond elementary school, students have to pay so much a month (I think it's $25 ... in an impoverished city with VERY high unemployment, not many can do so). Step outside into the street, look north, and there's our border wall, just a few blocks away. The picture of the old Victorian house was taken with my new iPad; I think it will serve well as a back-up camera, as well as in other ways.

On the other hand, I thought I would get smart and upgrade iPhoto in my MacBook ... and now I have trouble linking to some of my more recent photos. I need a 17-year-old tech aide!

A wonderful revisitation for me was the Pike Place Market in Seattle. I remember it as an awesome place of sights, sounds, smells and people ... it still is. We did birthday supper at the Crabpot ... great seafood!

Sunday we went to Space Needle area (didn't go up) and, thanks to Sandy, toured the Pacific Science Center ... with LOTS of families. What a great discovery area it is, with very helpful aides all along the way. Very interactive

Palomas is associated with Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, NM, just a few miles north. That brought down Pershing and the U.S. Army. I've noticed that Villa's statue in front of the Palomas City Hall, a few hundred feet from the border, always has a pigeon on top of it. Now I know why ... there's a nest in Villa's hat.

I haven't been back to the Pacific NW since I left for grad school in 1964 ... a lot has changed! This was Sandy's first trip to the area and, for both of us, it was our first trip around the Olympic Peninsula. On our first day there, Friday, March 30, Sandy kindly put up with me doing searches for past residences ... I found three of them, though the 8x42 trailer daughter Beth was brought home to is long gone (thank goodness!). I could hardly recognize Pacific Lutheran University, from which I got my undergraduate degree.

The prettiest place I lived was Steilacoom, and the downtown area still has much of the old flavor, though it's surrounded by subdivisions now. The ferries still go out to some of the islands in Puget Sound, including the federal prison on McNeill Island.

The Victorian house picture was taken with my new iPad, a device I'm hoping to use as my backup camera, now that I've dropped my little Olympus too many times. I think it will work. However, I'm finding some incompatibility between old and new versions of iPhoto.

On Saturday, Drayton and Sandy and I went to Bellingham (Drayton graciously loaned us the use of his car while we were there, as well as his bed) and had lunch with Grandson Seth Underwood. 'Twas rainy, but good to see Seth and see his town. On the way back, the sun cleared as we toured the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Such a wonderful experience!

Sunday was Space Needle and Pacific Science Center day. Didn't go up the Needle, but, thanks to Sandy, we enjoyed the discovery exhibits at the Science Center. Great interactive exhibits with lots of attentive staff to help the many families that were there. The mantis even moves! And the butterfly room was delightful!

The trip around the coast was rainy, but interesting to see. We did get to the beach in a couple of places. Stayed in Port Angeles and had supper with old Park Service friends Dave and Judith Morris. Sandy is SO patient ... when old parkies get together, they tend to talk NPS stuff!

'Twas nice to get back to sun and dryness, but it was a great trip and we enjoyed being with Drayton off and on for a few days. The airports and planes ... not so much. Necessary evils in this day and age, I guess. tv