Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Colville Memorial to Donna (Granny)

     Time or not, I will tackle this blog now so I might move on and continue with my blogging. As far as I know, anyone that follows this blog is aware that my best friend of 39 years passed away while battling AML. The leukemia apparently did not kill my wife, according to the doctors, it was the chemo, radiation and the combination of horrific drugs that are used to control the disease that killed my sweetheart.

 One of my favorite shots of Donna (and one of the few times she was allowed outside during her 4 months at the hospital) a few weeks before her release back home.

Donna was so happy to be out of the hospital... hell, who wouldn't after the amount of time she spent there.
The drive home was wonderful and traveling again with the dogs was paramount to all else in Donna's world.

Things didn't work out like Donna and I wanted because she was soon back in Seattle on life support. My sister Teri and our son Jason came to stay with me while the inevitable was taking place. Donna passed among loving family members on March 15th, 2015.

Two weeks later I decided that a memorial was needed at our home for the local people that loved her and could not make a trip to Vegas. I love the photo of Donna talking, or playing, on the phone at about 6 years of ago. Also, out for all to see, were some of her scrapbooks that she would work on months at a time until just right. Tweety Bird is there because Donna loved that bird (along with tulips) from the day I met her.

Duane Brown of Las Vegas, who happens to be my best friend, flew up unannounced a couple of days before the Colville memorial to spend a little time with me, thanks buddy.

Every one of our neighbors came by to show respect to Donna, even though she really was only here for 6 months before being hospitalized.

My oldest son and family also came up for the day. Actually they came up for days before to help clean and donate some of Donna's stuff that would of been hard for me to do alone. There's Denny, Laura and our granddaughter, Ashely.

The "church" bench in the previous photo was built and donated by all our neighbors in Donna's memory. It sits on my back patio as a reminder of what wonderful people I am surrounded with.

A week after the memorial, Nona a friend of 40+ years, also came up to give me a little support after all had left. It was so nice of Nona to take the time to visit, although the whole time she was conniving on how to get Washington's water back to LA. No way live in a desert, raise cactus rather than lawns!

Next blog will be the Vegas Celebration of Life.

Monday, May 4, 2015

What Granny and Opa liked to do on vacation.

I had intended on doing a blog of both the Memorial service in Colville and the one in Las Vegas but find I am not quite ready to tackle that kind of blog. I've pulled a vacation that predates our blog in order to give the grandkids some insight into our earlier travels.
This is Baja, one of our all time favorite places to visit and relax. It is comprised of two different years, 2002 and 2007.

It was always exciting flying down the inside of the Sea of Cortez because one, it's beautiful and two, I knew we were going to have two weeks of relaxation. (and taco's)

The terminal at Cabo is a welcome site, that means you've made it on to the ground safely. I only stress this because, although the ground is very level, at the last minute it looks like you are going to fly into a cliff. The airport is built on a 200 foot plateau and the landing runway starts right at the beginning of rise.

We can't get our rental fast enough to get out of the fast pace of "swinging" Cabo. The Punta Colorada Hotel is 20 miles from anything...literally, nothing for 20 miles. The very simple rooms have no TV, no refrigerator, no radio and one working phone in the office! How is a person supposed to survive under these extreme condition?

Bar, beer, burritos, bitchin' people and beautiful views, day or night. On this trip the hotel was filled with Alaskans, down fishing for marlin. What a great group and because they head out on the boat around 5 am it's really an early and quiet night for us. I've never taken a boat out but granny has...I prefer to shore fish or snorkel. 

As I said, this is no "Four Seasons Resort" but the views and tranquility more than make up for the lack of room service.

If you do get tired if the salt water there is always a wonderful pool to take a dip in.

Want to get out of the water for a change? The hotel has a couple of quads, just for the asking.

With miles and miles of beach to ride on you do occasionally come upon some sad sights. Looks like dogs or a coyote found these sea turtle eggs last night.

Further down the beach we find some pieces of a long deceased whale. There was some of its baleen just off shore and I waded out look at...big mistake. As soon as I brought it to shore, we got a whiff of the I couldn't wash my hands hard or long enough.

Heading in to dinner there is a reason Donna's has a mischievous smile...I'll explain soon.

While in line to eat Donna had overheard some of the Alaskan guests complaining because there didn't seem to be any wasabi for miles, it's not exactly a staple of the Mexicans. These guys go out everyday, spending hundreds of dollars to catch tuna and just wanted some fresh sushi. It just so happens that we always carry a tin of powdered wasabi when we go to Mexico... so you might appreciate the deal Donna is setting up. She'd supply the wasabi and we could join in on the nightly feast. That's my little negotiator at the end of the bar.

Next day when the boats came in, and every day after that, we were eating "high of the hog" because my bride always packs wasabi!

Yep, I'd say she was pretty proud of herself. :-)

Ok, back to why we loved it down near Lands End. Great food, good company, water in the mid-80's, beautiful sunsets...

and more possible, beautiful sunrises!

Snorkeling in the rougher water was my favorite type.

Most of the coves we dove in were fantastic, full of colorful fish and delicate coral. Never go down to Baja without your equipment. (or wasabi)

Donna loves stacking rocks into cairns, as you might see from the background. She will do this for hours even though I tell her that the first storm will take it all down, no's what she likes to do.

Besides reading, stacking rocks, snorkeling... walking miles on a sandy beach looking for "just the right seashell" was another passion of Donna's. I can usually only do this for 1/2 hour because after that my neck is sore from looking down all the time. It's amazing how many perfect "have to keep" shells Donna will find. I know we have gone home with 5 to 10 pounds of shells, more than once.

At least once a trip we will dress in our Sunday best and splurge on a $40 or $50 dinner...yeah, just call me a reckless big spender.

At the end of our trip we always check-out early for our late scheduled flight. This way Donna can get in some premo shopping in downtown San Jose Del Cabo.

A stop at the a famous Cabo glass factory was always a must although for some reason we felt cheated the last time there.

Our last spot is the InterContinental Hotel in Cabo. I'm not sure how we discovered this ploy, but we walk in like we own the place, straight out to the pool bar, where everyday at 3 pm is two for one drinks and free chips and guacamole. We'd sit, have a few drinks and chips while recounting what a great trip is was, all with a view of Lands End right in front of you.

That's one tired, but satisfied traveler. While all the memories are great, it would sure be nice to be with my best friend again.