Friday, May 14, 2010

The Birthday Jaunt...

Usually in early May, The Farmer gets antsy...antsy to get off The Farm and see the world a little bit. I think this occurs because he can see the hands of time winding down into Harvest Time, the time of exile, the time when we are confined to The Farm for the duration...Happily, this restlessness often coincides with my birthday, and The Farmer kills two birds with one stone by taking me away for a few days.  This year he asked me, as he usually does, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do. This year, as I usually don't, I told him. Usually, I hem and haw, and try to figure out what he wants to do.  I have this phobia about being responsible for making choices that affect us both. I'd rather endure something I don't like, than make someone endure something they don't like...I've decided that it's a sickness, so this year I boldly made some choices.

I wanted to go to an RV show on Sunday in Puyallup. The Farmer looked at me oddly, then shrugged and said, "I guess we could do that." He doesn't see the need for an RV in our lives, and I see it as a possibility which is a bit fearsome for him. (He asked what I wanted to do!) Graciously, he headed down.We arrived in a rainstorm, one hour before the show closed...It made me decide I didn't want to go anymore,(The Farmer kindly showed no relief) so we went here instead.

I liked looking at the Cabela's version of stuffed animals, and we marveled at how much stuff was in this place, but all we bought was a can -- a large can -- of mixed nuts.
I guess we're just not that outdoorsy...kinda funny being farmers to say we're not outdoorsy.
But we're not that kind of outdoorsy...

So then we drove on to the destination of my most desired activity: Anthony's Hearthfire Grill!

Not really!-- I guess...though we did have a delicious meal there, looking out over the waters of the south end of Puget Sound in Olympia.  No -- really I wanted to tour the State Capitol, as I had never been there before. It's true...for all my political venting and interest, I have never been to the Capitol for any good reason at all. Forgive me!

And on this day, I was there only to enjoy it's history and beauty...which I did!
Oh! It was a gorgeous day...and then it poured...and then it became gorgeous again...and then the wind threatened to topple the giant firs on the campus...and then it was gorgeous again...and get the idea...

Our tour guide, Linda, was very knowledgeable about the building of the Capitol and the specifications, and the history of the state. You all probably know this, but I admit that I did not know that our legislature requires that each bill have only one topic or issue. If a bill is about requiring bike helmets, it is only about that -- bike safety, or establishment of bike lanes cannot be included. This helps to keep pork out of the bills, but it also means that Washington state has lots of laws on the books...lots!

The picture above is of the lovely reception room, that basically doesn't get used, as no one of any importance really cares about coming to Washington any more...wonder why...

Below is a picture of the huge Tiffany light fixture that hangs from the rotunda. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed and created all the light fixtures for the Capitol. They are unique and now exceedingly valuable. We were told that the value of the rotunda fixture, and the two chandeliers in the reception room, at this time exceed the value of the building itself. 

Oh, I learned a whole bunch of interesting things, and enjoyed this tour immensely. By the time we were finished, the weather had stabilized somewhat, and we walked around outside, and enjoyed the view over Capitol Lake.

My next destination of choice was Mt. St. Helen's...not such a good idea as the storm front seemed to be preceding our arrival there. Being hopeful, Randy kept on heading southeast to Spirit Lake Highway, which we traveled through sunshine, then showers, then dumping rain, then sunshine, then hail -- and finally snow...accumulating-on-the-roadway-snow.  We made it into the Blast Zone -- and I first thought, "Why are they blasting here?...Ohhhhhh...." (Hey! I was riding in a vehicle, getting sleepy...). When the road, now white, swept around a corner and disappeared into a cloud. I informed Randy that I had seen this before in a dream and it hadn't turned out well...He graciously turned the pick-up around, saying, "I don't think this is a blessing to you." Really? What made you think that dear? Was it the white knuckles, the stricken look on my face, or the involuntary cries? Whatever -- thank you for turning around!!

The next day we traveled from Portland to Tillamook to visit the Tillamook Air Museum. We've been wanting to make this stop for some time. The building is huge, no -- HUGE!, as it was built to be a hangar for 9 dirigibles. This base was established early in World War II when dirigibles were the best thing for scouting out enemy submarines. Two of these hangars were built almost entirely of wood, as metal was needed for the war effort in other more important ways...Amazing structures. I enjoyed the history of the buildings more than the airplanes now housed inside. Sadly, one of the hangars burned down in the years after it was decommissioned. It was being used to store over 100,000 bales of hay, when a fire of unknown origin started...There was no stopping that! This happened in the 70's so there is video footage of the overwhelming conflagration...History up in smoke...sad!

It's just too hard to show how large this building is. We tried to take pictures inside, but the image was lost in the cavernous interior...But here's a look at the construction:

Randy, of course, enjoyed the planes more than I did...And he got stuck in "The Engine Room" portion of the displays...

...and I have to admit that I do like looking a the "cutaways". Oh, the mysteries of internal combustion, open for my eyes to see...and I'm pretty good at knowing what I'm looking at -- thanks to a hubby who doesn't mind explaining it all. This was a 7 cylinder radial engine...wonderfully weird!
Mostly, I liked to look at stuff like this:

I was reminded why I never became a pilot...details, details!!

Or maybe it was because of this:

I'm not too good with danger.

After a good long time of looking at planes

...we headed to this place.

We watched them make and package cheese and we ate ice cream...Tillamook Mudslide (chocolate with fudge chunks) and Mocha Almond Fudge.
The sun was shining gloriously as we drove up the beautiful! Randy treated us to the ocean view room with fireplace and the view was captivating...Oh, I love the ocean!! At least to be beside the ocean...on the ocean -- not so much, under the ocean -- not at all! But beside the ocean? My favorite place to visit! Here's the view from our room:

We had a lovely walk on the beach on my birthday...It was a treat!

I could easily have stayed on this beach, or in that hotel room for a few more days...
but it was time to head back to the farm.
We took the scenic route home, up to Astoria and across the bridge into Washington. Then up the coast to check out Long Beach, where took a little time to drive on the beach, something we'd never done before.

It was a great little jaunt -- relaxing, refreshing -- and now we are ready to be on The Farm for the duration.

Home Sweet Berry Farm...where currently the sun is shining, making for some good livin'. Right Daisie?


Jerrie said...

What a fun road trip! I love all those places you went. Makes me think a little trip is in order.

I so enjoy Cabellas and I am so NOT outdoorsy AT ALL (my poor yard and flower beds can attest to that), but I do love that store (I usually end up with a cute shirt or some socks).

Love the capitol...glad you finally got to visit!

And Oregon? If I didn't live right here that would be my next choice!

Glad you had a good time and glad you're back!

Tami said...

You just took Fred's dream trip. Seriously, I think our next vacation will be to follow right in your footsteps.

I love Cabella's because I love any store with a cafe. Handy!

Ridgely said...

This is so cool, you are showing me pictures of all our "old" stomping grounds! We've camped at Cannon Beach (no ocean front property for these poor folks!) lots of times and attended conferences at the conference center....HIGHLY recommend this if you get to some day. You must have drive through Jess' town....were you on Rt. 99...going through Sherwood, Tualatin, Newberg, McMinnville????

Laura said...

It looks like you had a great trip! Your pictures are beautiful. I love Cannon Beach :)


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Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (