12 June 2014

America

Sailing boat seen from the Coho Ferry between Vancouver Island and Port Angeles
I don't know why but whenever I come to America, there's a big part of me that feels as if I am coming home. And that's how it seems this time. I feel very comfortable here, really alive, forever striking up conversations with complete strangers. Our English accents can be a useful key.

Yesterday we arrived in Port Angeles from Victoria. It was nice to arrive in Washington State by boat and the customs official in the port didn't give a damn about what might be in our suitcases or whether or not we had paid our ESTA visa fees.He was more interested in where we were going. And we were going to Ocean Shores through the woods. Tree after tree after tree after tree after tree. We stopped in Forks - a main location for the "Twilight" series of films that mean absolutely nothing to me.

I bought a "Forks" T-shirt and we talked to a little old lady who was down on her knees in her front garden - trimming the grass with kitchen scissors. She said her husband had "left" her two years back and I presumed this meant he had died - though he could have run away with the mayor's daughter - speeding through the woods to some distant motel in some distant city.
Deer in the dunes at Ocean Shores
Ocean Shores was an odd place - spread out amidst the dunes. So many hotel rooms and yet it felt so quiet - almost melancholy. After breakfast this morning we headed on foot across the dunes to the sea and came upon a female deer grazing. She looked at us nervously as I reached for my rifle camera. The beach is hard and never ending and you can drive your car there. Last night we watched the sun go down as seabirds paddled in the shallows.
Seabird in the sunset at Ocean Shores
On the way to Olympia we stopped at Aberdeen. We had lunch in Anne Marie's Cafe and met Anne Marie herself - a cheerful and redoubtable woman who should lead courses in customer service. Then to the Aberdeen Museum where I chatted with the curator about local history. He told us how to get to Kurt Cobain's childhood home for this demigod hero of the musical world was born and raised in this old logging town. He died just like Jimi Hendrix at twenty seven.
Kurt Cobain's childhood home in Aberdeen WA
Then on to Olympia - Washington's state capital. We are staying in The Governor Hotel and have a magnificent view from our room of the capitol building, the Capitol Lake and out towards Puget Sound. There was a bit of a palaver with the plastic room keys and finally they had to move us up to the seventh floor. Shirley is already in the huge kingsize bed while I tap away at the keyboard. Olympia seems a lovely little town and the walk along the wharf spoke eloquently of civic pride. Everything in its place. Huge locally sourced  timbers forming the solid boardwalk.

Tomorrow after more investigation of Olympia we will be leaving for Portland, Oregon and no doubt there I will once more say to myself - "I wish I could stay here longer". You simply cannot do everything and we are missing so much along the way. I just love America.
Whale watching in Aberdeen WA
My tower of beach stones at Ruby Beach

17 comments:

  1. I see Shirley has been at the pies again or isn't that Shirley Whale watching.

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    1. Ha! Ha! You naughty old seadog!

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  2. Sounds like you're having a great time!!
    By the way, don't suppose you saw yesterday's Sheffield Star? Shocking story about a youngster organising a rave at their retired teacher's (who is apparently away at the moment) home; announced on Facebook, apparently over 500 turned up and wrecked the place! Shocking.

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    1. Ha! Ha! A mischievous notion Senor Briano!

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  3. Doe, a deer, a female deer....never mind.

    Be careful, some whales are killer whales.

    I mentioned you in my post today.

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    1. Fah - a long, long way to run.... especially if you are a deer being pursued by a hunter. I shall read your post shortly. I hope you haven't condemned or mocked me as I am rather sensitive.

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  4. The seagull in the sunset is the kind of picture you see in calendars or on postcards, very nice! Also, the sailing boat, deer and pile of stones are good. Can't say I care much about Kurt Cobain; never met the fellow (nor have I ever been a fan of his music) but am sorry for his friends and family to have lost him so early.
    I won't start on the whale watching picture. Things like that bring out the nastiest parts of my usually rather nice character.

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    1. If you start eating potatoes, pastry and pasta you too could become a whale Miss Arian. Then you could post pictures of yourself in your newest dresses. Thanks for the seagull comment - much appreciated.

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  5. Gardner's restaurant in Olympia is an outstanding place. It's owned and operated by two of my friend Merlene's nieces, and is a really dandy place to eat. You may need reservations, it's pretty popular. I don't think the girls would remember me, so just tell them a friend of their Aunt Merlene recommended the place.

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    1. Jan - We saw that restaurant last night but we had already eaten in Ben Moore's Restaurant. Besides, Gardner's looked a bit too classy for low life English folk like Shirley and me. But thanks for thinking about our stomachs anyway.

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  6. Piles of stones ~ are called cairns.
    BTW ~ it is Yorkeys Knob festival this weekend here in Cairns ~ where they crown the King and Queen of the Knob.

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    1. I hope that young maidens will be dancing around Yorkey's Knob with glee this weekend singing its praises. I guess that most people in Cairns spend their free time building cairns with their Cairn Terriers.

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  7. It's whale-watching season here, too; both on land and sea! ;)

    I had a wonderful young man work for me for while when I was managing the resort of Hinchinbrook Island...Jamie was from Bellingham, Washington State.

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    1. I just checked where that island is Lee - between Cairns and Townsville. It must be a great place to holiday. I hope that Jamie obeyed your every instruction without complaint.

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  8. Whale watching indeed Pudding!! You should be ashamed of yourself.......
    I could not guess what the caption to that photo might be and when I read it I laughed out loud. Shame on me too, especially as I am still laughing...

    Ms Soup

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  9. I, too, have found that when entering the US across a more remote sea border post the attitude is completely different to that when entering via more 'popular' entry points.

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  10. Pudden chops, I'm saddened by your penultimate comment. Would you have taken a snap of a hugely emaciated lass and put the caption 'Stick insect watching'? I think not. Each end of the spectrum has a problem; don't they both deserve respect?

    LLX

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.