Stunning Cloud Display During Sunset

Kevin wanted to watch his ghost show on TV, which spooked Sara a little bit. Even after telling her several times it is only a show, she did not like it. So, we two sat outside and watched the clouds in the sunset instead. The Sun and the clouds provided quite a bit of a display. In the distance, we also could see some Mammatus Clouds. Sara enjoyed this so much more than the silly ghost stories. Joshua keeps her company while they both watch Spongebob. 😉

Travel Journal, Day 7: From Willits, California To Dallas, Texas

June 7, 2019

Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I had so much fun on our trip in the Pacific Northwest. But we all had to admit, we were ready to go back home. The night before, we’ve sorted and packed our items in the luggage, making sure, what we want to take on board as a carry-on and what will be checked in. Everything was in the car, and we were ready to drive to San Jose the next morning. In San Jose, we had to bring back the rental car. In the airport, we’ve still had time for another hour to print out our tickets and check in our luggage. Sara saw a piano and played some tunes for a few minutes. This girl needs piano lessons. She needs to learn to read keys and play by sheets, and she will do great at the instrument.

Once we could check-in, we all had lunch in the airport. At 2 p.m. Kevin gets a message on his phone, we didn’t like at all. The flight was delayed from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. I got frustrated and said, that the company sucks. Kevin got even more frustrated, that I had to calm him down. He was tired, and he just wanted to get home. The girls were well-behaved, played games on their phones, watched a movie and had snacks. At least that helped the situation. We also had to make plans, where we would eat for dinner in the airport. When we were in the airplane, the pilot took the shortest, but safest airline route to get us to Dallas. The jet stream did its part as well. We’ve arrived in Dallas at about 1 a.m. (CDT). The flight was about 30 to 45 minutes shorter, than planned in first place. That night, we didn’t care about unpacking. We went straight to bed and worried about everything else the next morning.

Tired and frustrated, I wasn’t sure, if I’d fly with Southwest Airlines again. But after we were rested for a couple of days, I said to Kevin, that the company was always friendly and even when they screwed up, they did their best to accommodate us. They kept their word and still delivered. So, it wasn’t that bad after all. I’d give them another chance. But I would prepare for any lost luggage and delay in the future.

~ THE END ~

Travel Journal, Day 3: From Vancouver To Everett, Washington

June 3, 2019

Monday morning, Kevin got a phone call from Southwest Airlines which stated that our luggage arrived safe and sound in the SeaTac airport. Knowing that, we decided we make a trip to Mount Saint Helen first. David posted a video about the Lower Lewis River Falls on Facebook in the previous week. And that caught my interest. The falls are just a little bit east of Mount Saint Helen, and can be done in one trip. The phone call ended about ten miles north of the exit on Interstate 5. Kevin and I made a spontaneous decision and back tracked to State Route 503. A little over 60 miles later, we made it to the entrance trail of the falls. It was about a 3-minute-hike, before we reached the overlook. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I tried to find a way down to the river’s edge. But we didn’t want to chance rolling an angle in the middle of the Washington woods. Instead we hiked down the regular trail, to see some flora and fauna.

Here is a short video, I filmed of the gorgeous Lower Lewis River Falls. https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/48046148486/in/album-72157705230883495/

On our way back, we went to the Pine Creek Information Center. The lady informed us, where we would have a good view of Mount Saint Helen. And we were lucky. The National Forest Road 25 just got cleared from the last snow and opened on Friday.  There are several nice overlooks along NFD 25. A few motorcyclist were standing at one of the parking/viewing areas. One of them told the story about the exploding mountain, when he lived in this area 39 years ago. I overheard him saying, that the blast of the eruption broke his sister’s house windows and they could feel that hot shock wave. They were all lucky to be far enough away to survive it and tell the tales. We all gazed at the Mount Saint Helen and let the story sink in for a moment.

Soon, we’ve reached US 12 and drove back west to Interstate 5, where we were on our way to SeaTac. Picking up our bag was very smooth, and we could soon move on to our motel in Everett, north of Seattle. But first, we’ve got a good climbs of Seattle, before we had dinner and called it a day.

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Seattle, Washington

… to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 1: From Dallas, Texas To Weed, California

June 1, 2019

At 8:45 a.m. our plane took off from Dallas Love Field. We were on our way to San Jose in California within 3 ½ hours. Arriving in San Jose we found out that Kevin and my luggage (we usually share one bag) wasn’t at the airport. After some back and forth in the Baggage Claim Office, we decided to go get our rental car and move on as planned. Southwest Airlines called us back later that day, letting us know, the luggage never made out of Dallas, and asked how they could accommodate us. I told Kevin to let the Baggage Claim know to send our bag to Seattle by Monday. I was in a bad mood and didn’t want to talk to the guy on the other end of the phone. It was bad enough, I didn’t have my hiking shoes with me and had to purchase some toiletries, clothes and shoes to hold us over until two days into the trip. But at least they found our luggage. It could have been much worse. At least I had my camera gear and our passports in my carry-on, in case we wanted to go to Vancouver, British Colombia in Canada for a day.

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Mountain Range somewhere in southern California close to the Mexican Border

Our first destination was the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Kevin, the girls and I couldn’t wait to see the huge bridge stretching one mile over the entrance of the San Francisco Bay. The bay and the top Golden Gate Bridge were covered in fog. A cool wind blew from the Pacific into the bay. It was perfect weather for sailing, surfing, parasailing, and many other water sport activities. There were a lot of people having fun in the bay that Saturday afternoon, while many tourists were just in “Awww” seeing the San Francisco Designated Landmark. Since it was very misty, we could only get a climbs of Alcatraz Island. But it was all what we needed. I’ve got some pictures of the former prison out in the distance.

Here is a video of us crossing the Golden Gate Bridge: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/48034613211/in/album-72157705230883495/

The first night we made it to Weed, which is a stone throw north of the town of Mt. Shasta. On our way there, we had a good look at the mountain. But it got too dark for capturing good photos.  The next day, we were in for a treat.

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Mount Shasta at dusk

… to be continued …

Last Minute Preparations For The Trip To Seattle, Washington

Between taking care of some errands and all the tornado warnings, I had to make some last minute preparations for our trip to Seattle. While sitting with Sara and our fur babies in a fort build from mattresses, pillows, blankets, and plush animals (they need to be safe too), I had some time pondering about the Seattle City Pass, what other destinations are surrounded on the way from San Jose, California to Seattle, Washington, and how far the distances are between these points of interest.

Meanwhile the storm was brewing outside, and there were also a few tornado touchdowns in the Metroplex. While Sara and I sat together in her little fort, we talked about the upcoming trip, and how she feels about being in an airplane for the first time. Trust me, it kept us from getting nuts with all these sirens going off in the neighborhood. Soon, the sky cleared, the Sun came out, and I could finish my research on the computer.

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We will fly with Southwest Airlines to San Jose in California , and drive from there to Seattle, Washington.