“In The Shape of An L On Her…”

Car!

Random did it. She turned 16 yesterday and went and got her learners permit today! She passed the test without issue.

So my oldest is now learning to drive. I raced home from work so that I could take her out for a spin. She slapped the “L” on the back of my car and we got ready to head out. Being her first “official” driving experience (she may have moved the cars a few times over the past year in our driveway, but I won’t tell) she did everything by the book!

She walked around the car- twice. She sat in the driver’s seat and adjusted her mirrors, steering wheel and seat. Her seat belt went on, she started the car and the radio got turned off. As we drove, she used signals, drove just below the speed limit, shoulder checked, and focused. Our trip up the road to the gas station was one of the most perfect by-the-book rides I have had since probably my road test 35 years ago.

Starting with the good habits is difficult. I know how I drive. I know what my car is capable of. I also know how to *ahem* bend the rules a bit. I had to put all of that behind me and talk with her about how to drive properly. She did great- and her smile afterwards was worth it all. Like back when I taught her how to ride a two wheel bike. She was so proud of herself. That was eleven years ago…

But she’s still my little girl. And I am proud of her accomplishments as well.

Our Oldest Turns Sweet 16

Today our oldest daughter hit that milestone of turning 16. As per her wishes, we did not make a big fanfare of it. She doesn’t like many pictures to be taken, but when we do she has a beautiful smile that makes others happy as well. Random also woke up early today to bake her own cake.

Besides being a good cook and baker, she is growing up in many other aspects. She can now try for a driver’s license! She’s been studying hard and I think she will get the learner’s license without fail when she goes in this week.

She makes me proud in so many ways. She will continue to be an amazing woman as she grows up. We love her immensely!

Happy Birthday Random!

You are our answer to Life, the Universe and Everything!

Growlers- July 2018

Last weekend I drove up to Visit my sister with my two youngest. On route from the ferry and just up the road from my sister, I was able to stop at a couple of breweries and get some new growlers filled with beers.

I saved them for today. I plan on sharing them with friends over a bbq at our place. I was hoping to pick up a couple more growlers while in Leavenworth but never did. Partly because wine was more prevalent down there. Another reason was the cost was more than double what I’d pay up here in BC.

One brewery wanted $45 for a bottle and $10 to fill. Another place only offered the major beer companies that was on tap for a growler fill. It seemed that the town was just starting to get into growler fills but wasn’t quite getting the concept.

Growlers are a way for friends to enjoy a variety of crafted beers. Friends who go for tastings and bring home memories in a bottle. Friends who like to share the tastes and experiences with one another. It’s not about filling a bottle just to get beer. Growlers are a way to bond.

Time to bond with friends!

WASPS!

Today we were cleaning around the yard getting ready for a bbq party tomorrow. As my son was cleaning up toys, he got stung five times by a group of wasps. They even chased him into the house to get him the last two times! I went to check where the nest was and got stung as well for just being in the area. FFS!

Every year I usually destroy two wasp nests. Seems like I found the first one of the year. Last year one was in my roof and the other next to our awning. So my son and I went to the store and got our spray attack ready. We are prepared to kill!

These jerks won’t be stinging my guests this weekend after tonight. Once the sun goes down, death shall be brought upon the beasts! Why must wasps be so evil?

Go make honey like the bees you jerks.

Leavenworth Day 2.

Wednesday was our full day of exploring Leavenworth. Maybe not all of Leavenworth, but at least some. Here is our little adventure:

We started with a lovely breakfast delivered right to our suite. Fresh fruit, sausages and waffles gave us full bellies because we needed to be ready for our first adventure of the day. We didn’t know that it was going to be almost dinner by the time we ate again. So we headed out bright and early (10:00am) to enjoy some…. tubing!

We went tubing along Icicle River. (It lives up to its name.) As exciting as it may sound, it was just a casual float down the river. The mountains and scenery were beautiful and calming. Some geese and ducks swam up to us along the way. We also saw a deer and her fawn hopping through the river towards the end. It took us 3 hours to float 4 miles. The hardest part was the arm strength needed to paddle from time to time. But the cold water balanced out the hot sun as we enjoyed the scenery. By the end, I was glad it was over- the sun was directly overhead at that point.

When we returned to land- we grabbed a couple of cold beers. Tubing made us feel youthful, so we decided to have a bit of silly fun. It was late afternoon by this point. Many shops would close by 6pm. We had at least two more places we wanted to see. What better way to have fun than….

Visiting a Nutcracker Museum!..??? 😦

Ya. Very not my thing. But with over 6000 nutcrackers inside- I learned a lot about the manufacturing and discovered that this is a huge collectible hobby. It made me realize that I don’t have an obsession with any one thing and need to fill my life with it.

After the Museum, we went for a quick wine tasting at Eagle Creek Winery. This is where we ended up buying a bottle to bring home. There are so many wine tasting locations in Leavenworth that it was difficult to decide which ones to hit.

After the winery we went for dinner at Gustav’s. A lovely pub located at the start of the Leavenworth shopping district with a patio balcony on the second floor. They boast having 30 beers on tap! During dinner we chatted with another couple who we had met while tubing.

Our last stop for the day was at Bushel And Bee Taproom. My wife taught me how to play Cribbage over a couple of drinks. I won two of the three games. My wife says “beginner’s luck”. I say “natural skill”.

All-in-all Leavenworth is a cute little town with lots of places to drink. I enjoyed our visit but I don’t think it’s the kind of place we need to return to.

Leavenworth Day 1.

My wife and I arrived at Leavenworth yesterday in the late afternoon. We drove down Front Street and found a parking spot rather quickly. The obvious aspect of this town is that it is styled with a Bavarian theme. Immediately I noticed two things about the town.

1. There are a lot of overpriced souvenir shops.

2. There are a lot of places to drink. A lot.

So we wandered into the Goose Ridge Vineyard Tasting Room and sampled some white wines and a dessert wine. The hostess was very friendly and knew about the wines she was serving. But when we asked questions about Leavenworth, she didn’t have any real answers. Which I found to be rather odd for a tourist destination.

We left the town so we could check into our Bed & Breakfast. We booked a suite in the Pine River Ranch which is about a 20 minute drive out of town. The room we are staying in is the Natapoc Suite: a super cute half cabin. There’s a fireplace, log furniture, and a soaker tub next to the kitchenette in the middle of the room. With it is included 3 bottles of wine (and a wine tour as well) and a cheese plate that was waiting for us when we arrived.

After a glass of wine in our b&b, we went back into town for dinner. We stopped for a couple of beers first at Icicle Brewing before heading into a restaurant called “Mozart’s“. We were seated at a table near the window and a lovely little Happy Anniversary card was waiting for us.

We had ordered the escargot to start and a share platter for the main. The meal was amazing. Well worth the prices in all honesty. The taste sensation of every bite had me wanting more. If you got to Leavenworth and want a celebratory or romantic meal- this is the place.

We made our way back to our accommodations and finished off a bottle of wine and a bath. I won’t tell you the rest- but it did involve the bed. Alright- we were asleep by 11pm. Relaxed and done for the day.

So day one was a success. Onto a full day now back in town.

17 Years of Marriage

Today is our 17th Anniversary. It so happens to fall on a Tuesday, just like the day we were married. If you want to read about our wedding, check out my post from a couple of years ago: This Is What 15 Years Does.

Getting married on a Tuesday meant that all of our major milestones will land on a weekend. Which has/will be very convenient for big celebrations.

2011 Sunday 10 years

2016 Sunday 15 years

2021 Saturday 20 years

2026 Friday 25 years

After that, it gets a little dodgy for the major fifths. But you have to admit that 25 years is a pretty hefty goal in this day and age. 2026 only puts me at age 50. I know we will remain together until one of us croaks. We’re just a great match with crazy quirks intertwined together.

Talking on the phone with my wife, we never want to hang up. Sometimes one of us calls back to try and annoy the other. We are also on our way to becoming one of those old married couples in matching outfits on a regular basis. We already have matching shirts. I’ve also convinced my wife that Sketchers are great shoes. Should I mention our matching inhalers?

I don’t know of anyone else out there that would’ve stayed with me this long in spite of my idiosyncrasies. My wife is a lucky lady to have me. I’m even luckier to have her.

Happy 17 Years of Marriage Lee-Anne! Thanks for memories!

Empty Threat?

My wife has threatened to remove my train garden if I don’t fix it up. So today I went to my local garden center that supplies G Scale trains. I brought with me some parts to get fixed and wanted to buy some stuff.

Sadly, the fellow that runs it is retiring within the year. That means no new stock or parts any more. And the stuff he has- is just getting cleared out. I had to make a decision. Do I buy some boxcars for a train set that doesn’t run, or do I walk away empty handed.

I left without buying anything. I texted my wife as well about the hard decision I needed to make. When I spoke to her however- it turns out she doesn’t want to lose the train. She was just making it as an empty threat to get me motivated again. Little did she know that the place nearby would stop supplying my hobby.

On the plus side- it looks like I can spend a “little extra” to get the trains running again. As well as throw a pond in alongside the tracks. Maybe I’ll go with a steam engine this time… I like Trains.

Nowhere To Go, Can’t Wake Up Late

Today we left my sister’s place at 8:15am. We weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere. Our ferry was to depart at 9:20 and it was just up the road.

We were one of the first few on board. But it seemed that they over loaded the passenger count. Turns out that there were four charter buses filled with choirs from around the world on the ferry. The ferry ended up departing 20 minutes late. Meaning we weren’t going to get the connection to our next ferry. I had no problem with this since the choirs were rehearsing on board the ferry. These were very talented kids and teens and a real pleasure to hear. They were also filled with smiles and wonderment as they enjoyed the ride along the water. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to have British Columbia as a home.

Because I knew that I wasn’t going to make the earlier ferry at the next spot, I chose to leisurely drive and stopped at a couple breweries for a growler fill. Unfortunately the first one I stopped at was closed, so I proceeded to the Persephone Brewing Company. While they filled my growler, a young kid sitting a a table with his father offered to do a magic trick for me. Again, I was impressed. He might’ve been about 12 years old and his card force skills were impeccable.

A rule of thumb that I follow for street performers is that if they can stop me and hold my attention for a few minutes- it’s worth giving up some money. This boy was talented and a really good showman. I hope he continues on his journey to entertain and perform. Donating a small token of gratitude can go a long way at any age.

That’s how today went. Easy breezy but unexpectedly entertained by talented youngsters.

Day 2 of More Nothingness

This vacation is filled with no plans, but we are still doing stuff. This morning I slept in and was served bacon and pancakes. It seems that when I was drinking the night before- I had agreed to take my son and nephew to the driving range. So I had to live up to my drunken promise.

We took some old clubs and my brother-in-law and I tried to explain how to golf to the kids. A few good hits, but mostly terrible form. We had lost of laughs and busted up a few dozen tees in the process.

While we were gone, my daughter used her free time to write. She is taking it upon herself to write a novel this summer. In a couple of years she wants to major in writing at school. This trip has been a great excuse for her to express her ideas.

Afterwards, I took each of my kids for a rip on the quad. They even took turns driving. We made a few videos and took a bunch of photos. It ended up being a fun day of nothingness again.

That’s the best way to spend a vacation.