April Travels

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While Seattle did see plenty of rain that month, April travels was the dominant theme rather than April showers. We started the month with a weekend trip to Sagecliff resort in eastern Washington and ended it on a weekend trip to Vancouver BC. Of the three weekends in between, we spent one snowshoeing at Mt. Rainier and another on a day trip to Friday Harbor. And James made four business trips, three to the Bay area and one on a week-long trip to Japan. We kept busy during the week as well, attending three Seattle Kraken NHL playoffs home games, the Seattle Seahawks 2023 draft party, and a second Butcher’s Table Winemaker’s Dinner.

Below are highlights from March 31st through 30th, 2023. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a map with our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Sagecliffe Resort
When traveling downtown, we either walk or Uber. When out on weekend trips, we normally drive. The appeal of driving is complete flexibility and, the further you go, the more advantaged you are to drive yourself. But, there are some upsides of paying for a ride. In this case, we wanted to spend the weekend at Sagecliffe Resort, a two-hour drive away in eastern Washington. But James had a late Friday meeting, and we have a pretty strongly-held rule that we get a nice dinner Friday night with a bottle of wine. The only way to make that work when heading out for a weekend expedition that is two hours from town is to go Saturday morning.We decided to try an idea. What if we “Ubered” the longer distance, and brought along a great bottle of wine and a nice meal? Our experiment was an amazing success. We had a great meal in the car and got to enjoy an evening at the resort and listen to some good live music. Read more …

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The 22 pieces of wood plus attachments to build a small cabinet for our master bathroom.
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Completed Cabinet
The completed cabinet, sitting next to the toilet in the master bathroom. It’s a simple item, but quite convenient to have.
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San Franciso Day Trip
James made a business trip to San Francisco for a day and the clear, calm weather on both his outbound and return flights provided some wonderful photo opportunities.Read more …

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Garner Construction
We passed this Garner Construction truck with its creative logo showing a crane lifting the letter ‘E’ in their name.
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Cobham Explorer
A Cobham Explorer 8120 auto-acquire, drive-away Ku-band satellite dish being setup on a small truck parked in the lot across from our building.
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Hatch Cantina
A great meal from the new menu at Hatch Cantina, at our usual table at the window.
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San Juan Clipper
The San Juan Clipper out on sea trails this morning prior to the start of the 2023 season. Until last year, the vessel ran a ferry service between Seattle and Friday Harbor in the San Juan islands, but now only makes three-hour whale-watching tours. A recent Coast Guard regulation change limited the vessel to only 150 passengers, 3/4 of its maximum 200-person capacity, making the ferry route unprofitable.
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Above Garage
The floor above garage level at the 4th and Bell construction site is nearly ready for a concrete pour with rebar in place.
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The excavators at the 2208 4th Ave construction site have dug well below ground level now and the crew has shifted the corner braces down.
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Red Hen Rigatoni
James made another trip to the Bay area two days after the previous one, and we both ended up having Italian food for dinner, ableit in different cities. While James was at Perbacco Italian restaurant in San Francisco, Jennifer tried the Red Hen Rigatoni recipe, reproduced in the Washington Post. This was the meal that generated such a stir when President Biden and his wife Jill both ordered it at Washington’s Red Hen restaurant.Read more …

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Mt. Rainier Snowshoe
After James returned from the Bay area, we spent a weekend snowshoeeing at Mt. Rainier. Our first day’s trip was to Reflection Lake, where we walked alone through fresh snow in the hushed and beautiful winter setting. The previous weekend the road up to Paradise didn’t open at all due to a major snowstorm, and we were the first ones out for two weeks.Read more …

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Winemaker’s Dinner
At a second Winemaker’s Dinner at the Butcher’s Table. Here Gilles Nicault, director of winemaking and viticulture at Long Shadows, is describing the wines we are about to taste.
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Tasting Flight
A tasting flight of Mishama Reserve steaks paired with various vintages of Long Shadow’s Chester Kidder Cabernet-Syrah blends.
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James in conversation after the Winemaker’s Dinner with Longshadows’ president Dane Narbaitz (left) and Jason Sanneman, the Assistant General Manager and Wine Director at Butcher’s Table.
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Ferrari Modena
A sedan painted Ferrari red and labeled convincingly as a Modena F120. If Lada was to design a Ferrari, this might be it :-).
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Peter & Laurie
A great dinner with Peter and Laurie Hayden, owners of Nordhavn 68 Tanglewood.
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The Timeshifter app helps battle jet lag by shifting time zones over the course of multiple days rather than all at once. It also optionally suggests taking melatonin and consuming or avoiding caffeine at certain times to further improve the change in sleep times. On the recommendation of a co-worker, James tried it for the first time on a recent trip to Japan and it seemed quite effective. We’ll be heading to the Spanish Grand Prix next week, and will try it again.Read more …

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Snowshoe Tails
Our MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes have optional tails that snap on quickly to extend the surface area. This should help float us higher when walking on fresh, loose powder.
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Urban Artworks
Utility box artwork by Victor Melendez, another Urban ArtWorks creation. The non-profit has a “mission to engage youth and communities in the creation of public art that inspires connections and honors their voices.”
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Masses of tulips in bloom at Seattle Center near the Space Needle.
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Kraken Playoff Games
The Seattle Kraken, in an impressive and unexpected feat, reached the Stanley Cup playoffs in only their second year of existence. We unfortunately were playing the defending champions, the Colorado Avalanche, and our prospects weren’t great. But the team continued to over-achieve and ultimately won the series 4-3. This gave us three historic first-ever NHL playoffs home games, and we attended every one. The play was intense, the atmosphere was electric, and we had a fantastic time at each event.Read more …

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Friday Harbor Day Trip
The one-hour seaplane flight from Seattle to Friday Harbor in the San Juan islands is scenic enough that Kenmore Air offers sightseeing-only flights over both areas. We enjoyed those wonderful views on a recent day trip to Friday Harbor via Kenmore Air.Read more …

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The CMA CGM Rigoletto arriving into Seattle as the LNG-powered Integrity departs. The 1,145-ft (349m) Rigoletto, built in 2006, has a nominal TEU (20-ft equivalent unit) capacity of 9415 while the 1,200-ft (366m) Integrity, built in 2020, has a nominal TEU capacity of 14,806. The Integrity is only 5% longer than the Rigoletto, but with 26ft (8m) more beam, it has a 60% higher capacity.
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Blood Pressure Monitors
For years James has used a wrist-cuff blood pressure monitor, which is nice and small, but less accurate than arm-cuff monitors. We just picked up the Omron Platinum. Ironically, Spitfire has hypertension and also needs blood pressure monitoring. He gets too excited at the vet for them to be able to accurately measure his blood pressure, so we do it at home with the CONTEC08A-VET at left.
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Testing Blood Pressure
Testing Spitfire’s blood pressure with a the CONTEC08A-VET at left. The smallest size cuff is just barely small enough for him, but we are able to take more accurate readings when he is at home and calmer than at the vet. He mostly sleeps through the whole thing.
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Royal Princess
The Royal Princess, the second ship of the 2023 Alaska cruise season, arriving into pier 66.
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Enjoying a meal at our favorite table at Tavolata before watching the Kraken take on the Colorado Avalanche in Denver for game 5 of the series. It’s late April, and the weather is warm enough at 63°F (17.2°C) to sit by the open front windows.
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Squeaks Mobile Dog Run
The Squeaks Mobile Dog Run van parked outside our building intrigued us, so we stopped by to chat with owners Seth Goldberg and Nicole Sesar. Their non-powered dog-propelled treadmills are designed to provide 30-minute runs for dogs up to 150 lbs (68 kg). Their mobile dog gym, founded in July of 2022, is the first in Washington State.
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Seahawks Draft Party
Jennifer loves to get pictures with team mascots and recently added another to the list with Blitz of the Seattle Seahawks at the team’s 2023 NFL Draft Party. The event was held at the Space Needle with guest appearances from several players as the 2023 NFL draft was broadcast. The party was fantastic, made even better by the sweeping views from the Space Needle on the warm and sunny day.Read more …

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Vancouver Cruise Port
The Canada Place cruise terminal in the Port of Vancouver handles over a million passengers a year, with 331 ships scheduled for 2023. Most are heading to Alaska, but other destinations include Hawaii, Asia, California and the South Pacific. The port is the only origin terminal supporting one-way Alaska cruises, due to Jones Act restrictions that prevent ships built outside of the US from transporting passengers between two US ports. And only ships departing for Alaska from Vancouver cruise through the spectacular Inside Passage in its entirety. Ships departing from Seattle or other US ports reach Alaska offshore, along the west coast of Vancouver Island.In another “filling in the gaps” trip, we booked a one-way cruise from Vancouver to Seward, Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel. Read more …

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map. And a map of our most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.


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