Thursday, July 2, 2015

Home from Ohio

Sorry for the silence of the last couple of days. It's been an intense time of traveling and catching up on chores at home. As you may have gathered, I'm back from Ohio.

Before I left, Older Daughter had just started her classes and showed me some of the books she would be using.

She was particularly taken with how thick the etiquette book is.

Proper etiquette is an integral part of a professional live-in nanny's life, particularly since she'll be placed with a wealthy family.

Then came the difficult moment of saying goodbye. It's time to let Older Daughter soar on her own.

Speaking of soaring, I took off the next day and left Cleveland behind. Here's the shoreline of Lake Erie as the plane gained altitude...

...along with some of the clouds that have bedeviled the area.

I always request a window seat for the few times a decade I fly, since the views are always a novelty. (The spots you see are on the plane window, not my camera lens. Well, most of the spots.)

The further west we went, the drier the terrain became.

An unknown and isolated little town.

Eventually we passed over the more forested portions of western Montana where things got more interesting.

We flew right over Coeur d'Alene. "Hey, stop the plane! Parachute me out! I'll walk home!"

Here's a glimpse of Spokane. I believe the main thoroughfare is Division Avenue.

I think this is the Columbia River, but I'm not entirely certain.

We approached the Cascade Mountains, and this mighty peak reared upward: Mount Rainier.

At last we landed in Seattle.

On the way to claim my bag, I was amused by this sculpture of skewered luggage.

After negotiating the highways out of the city with surprisingly little trouble (it was about 8 pm by this point), I headed east toward the Cascades. I was actually feeling pretty good and planned to get to the other side of the mountains before stopping for the night.

(How's this for timing? The mountain peak just touching the full moon rising.)

However the pass -- that would be Snoqualmie Pass -- was closed. Yes, closed. Why? It couldn't possibly be weather-related...

So I was forced to turn around and find lodging for the night. The first motel -- I emphasize motel -- I stopped at wanted a staggering $220 for the night (and had a sourpuss proprietor to boot). Um, NO. Driving on, I came to the town of North Bend and stopped at this plain little motor court motel.

I'm not exaggerating when I say the room had not been updated since the 1970s (with the exception of a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall), complete with one of the first push-button telephones.

But it was squeaky-clean and decently-priced, and the friendly proprietor told me they closed the pass once in awhile for "blasting."

I wondered what they were blasting, but the next day as I drove over Snoqualmie Pass, I saw they were doing major construction, so presumably it was associated with that.

I crossed the pass and headed east, descending down the mountains. Here's a final glimpse of Rainier in the sideview mirror.

I thought about searching for an alternate route over the Columbia River after seeing the massive traffic jam the Friday before, but the only alternate routes were several hours' drive out of my way (either north or south). I figured it was better to tough it out in the traffic jam.

But I sailed right through. They were still doing construction on the bridge, but there was no back-log at all. Phew.

Then it was hours and hours of boring solitary driving across a desert-y landscape.

I was never so glad to see Spokane. I had already called ahead to Don, who was meeting me at the car rental agency in Coeur d'Alene. The trip was almost over.

We came home to hot hot hot temperatures -- it was 98F today -- but I slept like a baby in my own bed once more.

I'm glad to be home, though we're missing Older Daughter something fierce. But she called last night and we put her on speaker phone, and she talked with great animation for 45 minutes, telling us about her classes, instructors, and job prospects. Yes, it was the right decision for her to attend nanny school.


  1. Patrice, I love your photo posts. I'm from North Idaho and seeing all the photos of home make me a little wistful to be there.

    I'll be back there in about five years or so, but it's always nice to click on your blog and see the places I miss.

  2. My mother had that etiquette book my whole life.

    - Charlie Mitchell

  3. It's great to travel with you, Patrice. Thanks for taking us along, and welcome home.

    The photos are really enjoyable. The moon on the mountain peak shot is a one off if ever there was one.


  4. So glad for all of you.

  5. Patrice,

    It's hard to let your first child go off to school in another state, to start her adult life and career. Congratulations to your daughter for starting nanny school.

  6. Thank you for taking us along on your and older daughters trip. All of the photos make me feel that I am with you on the trip. Congratulations to older daughter on the choice of her life's work and I wish her well.

  7. We travel a lot and our preferred mode in in our motor home or travel trailer. But some trips require stays in motels. It is almost criminal how often motels will be dirty, smell or simply objectionable. Brand and room cost don't seem to determine quality anymore either.
    Once in 1972 my wife, two kids and I were on a long trip and found ourselves just NW of El Paso when evening prompted us to look for the next place to stay. As we came into the small New Mexico town we saw someone on the side of the road waving a sign advertising the little motel. Their sales pitch was that we could look at the room first if we wanted to. Very different. I think the cost was $6. A very small room but perfect for a good night's sleep for four not rich travelers.

  8. This is one of the reasons I love coming here to this blog - I get to travel to places I will likely never see for myself.

    It's pretty much a certainty that I'll never see the Columbia River, or Mt. Rainier, or Seattle, or the desert between the Cascades Spokane. (And quite possibly, I'll never have another chance to see Lehman's.)

    But, when I come here to this blog, because of your efforts, I CAN see those places. It can't be easy to always be thinking of the next picture, pointing the camera out the window, hoping to get a good shot.

    I love the travelogues. We'll all miss OD, too. What a whirlwind week. I bet you slept like a baby when your head hit your own pillow.

    Just Me

  9. Sorry to bother you. Do you know if Survivalblog is down? In the past you have let us know if its servers had been under attack. It sometimes happens on a holiday weekend. Just wondering?


    1. Looks like their technical issues are resolved and the site is back up.

      - Patrice

    2. This is a site that I use to check the up or down status,

  10. AlthougH I have enjoyed reading and seeing your photos, I am soooo glad you are home. Even from this distance, I missed you. Best wishes to OD

  11. Understanding your joy/pride/pain! :) Thanks for sharing your trip, always fun to tag along!!

  12. Thanks for sharing your journey with us Patrice. I've been thinking of the family, especially OD as she sets out on her own and prepares for her profession. It will be a big adjustment for everyone and I pray for God's blessings upon you all. Jenny