2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 2: From Weed, California To Vancouver, Washington

June 2, 2019

Sunday morning we left Weed, California and made our way up on US 97 to Crater Lake National Park. US 97 is also named Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, because it runs east of Interstate 5 along all the volcano/mountain chains up in the Pacific Northwest. Our morning started with a big treat for us. The Sun was shining, the sky was clear, and Mount Shasta looked stunning with its snow-covered top(s). Most mountains have no caps anymore, because they were blown away from a volcanic eruption or weathering in this region. It leaves these mountains with two or more tops, which is sometimes hard to tell, which one is the highest point, the summit.

Once we’ve made it to Crater National Park, we’ve noticed lots of snow along the roadway. I said to Kevin to take a break and let the kids play in the snow for a little bit. The girls had so much fun sticking their fingers in the frozen white and having a small snowball fight. The fun was over, when Sara threw snow in Katelynn’s mouth. It was time to move on. Sara got some Karma later, when I threw a small snowball on the back of her head at the lake. It didn’t hurt her, because the snow was soft. But it made her think twice being a stinker to her older sibling.

When we saw the lake, we were mesmerized by its blue mirror reflecting water; the size of the caldera,; the big cone “Witch Cauldron” on Wizard Island; and the snow, which was still on the ground in the beginning of June. I’m happy, that the true love of my life took me to this lake. About 25 years ago, my son’s father supposed to take me to this lake. As a matter of fact, he lives in Oregon. But it didn’t work out. So here we go. Kevin made it possible for me to see this beautiful work of nature.

Crater Lake is with a depth of 1,949 feet (594 meters) the deepest lake in the United States of America. The caldera was formed when the Mount Mazama volcano collapsed approximately 7,700 years ago. It is filled with water due to heavy rain and snowfalls. Therefore the water is crystal clear and reflects blue due to the BIV (blue, indigo, violet) in the solar radiation interaction. The lake has two islands: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. There is also a great chance that the volcano will erupt again, in the future.Β 

From Crater Lake National Park, we drove past Mount Thielsen, which has a very interesting looking summit. While capturing photos of it, I ran into a guy from Oklahoma. We had a little conversation about Oregon and Washington, before our ways separated again. It’s nice seeing people from home or a neighboring state. We always have something in common.

Soon, we’ve made it to Eugene. There we went back on Interstate 5 to drive to Portland. Our motel was on the other side of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. My long-time friend, David, was waiting for us, so we all could have dinner together. It was wonderful to see him after over 26 years, again. We had a lot of years to catch up. Kevin and David talked about Seattle and the Army. I’ve never have seen David talking so much, when he was younger. But it was fantastic. He’s back home and in his environment. We’ve all enjoyed the conversations. After guiding us to the motel, David said, we should visit on our way back from Seattle. That way, we could also meet his wife. So, Kevin and I planned a lunch in Vancouver for Wednesday.Β  There is always some room on our trips for being spontaneous. Especially with kids, we have to be flexible.

… to be continued …

2018

Christmas Eve 2018

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On Christmas Eve, we all finally can take it easy. Santa is with his reindeer and his big sleigh full of presents on his way. Right now, he’s probably over Western Russia or Eastern Europe, while I write this. I hope, he brings me lots of health for 2019. This year was a bit rough for me.

The girls went with Kevin to see “Small Foot” in the Cinema, this morning. And all what is left, Sara and I have to prepare some reindeer food. We use “Fruity Pebbles” cereal and add some glitter to it. Maybe Rudolph “steals” another carrot out of our garden, tonight. Who knows? πŸ˜‰ He’s very welcome to have a healthy snack. The reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen are welcome as well. I should make it a tradition, growing carrots for Christmas. πŸ˜€

Kevin and I also celebrate being 18 years together, today. It’s another reason, why Christmas Eve and Christmas is extra special in our house. ❀

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Kevin and I celebrated our first Christmas together, back in 2000.

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2017

The First Christmas Present

Kevin and I met in a club, 17 years ago. He was with a couple of friends, who were friends with my friends. After a couple of drinks we got into a conversation. When I was ready to go home, he gave me a ride to my apartment. Since he knew where I worked, he had shown up the next day. Usually I don’t give people my phone number unless they ask or I ask for theirs. But when Kevin was standing in front of me, I said: “Dude, I forgot to give you my number last night. If you want to hang out, give me a call. Maybe we can do something for Christmas together.” Kevin agreed, folded the note and left. The same night, he called me. And we were talking over a beer in a bar.

The next day was Christmas Eve. I was on vacation leave for the remaining days of the year. Months ago, a friend of mine and I planned a small Christmas dinner for the night before Christmas. I asked her, if it was okay I bring a friend over. She said: “Well, it’s Christmas. Nobody should celebrate this special holiday, alone.” Kevin picked me up from home. When I sat in the car and we talked a little bit, he opened the glove box and handed a little present to me. I shook it, to hear what might be in there. Kevin screamed: “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Later on I found out, why he did that. Well, the little elephant lost part of its trunk, when I shook the little box. Even when the elephant doesn’t look perfect anymore. But it is a story worth talking about. πŸ˜€ It was very sweet of him, since we knew each other for a couple of days. And it was the first gift, I’ve got from Kevin. I still treasure these three wooden elephants to this very day.

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These wooden elephants were the first Christmas gift, I received from Kevin back in 2000.