Adventures in Washington

We have been to Seattle several times as we have family living there. Even when we don’t visit them, we love going to Seattle for a long weekend and have done so several times.  On one of the trips we took my kids so that can enjoy the area also.

Adventures in Seattle

Having been there many times, but not with my kids, we decided to take one of those giant touring boats to give the kids a view of the entire city and with a trained tour guide.  The tour is pretty cool in that they drive around the city streets and then drive into the Washington lake to show you everything from a different view.

After that little tour, we decided to take on the Space Needle.  Of course it offers the best view of the city and surrounding Puget Sound area.

Our next stop is the Museum of Flight.  Besides all of the great planes and history, we took rides in a biplane where the riders ride on seats in front of the pilot without a canopy. My daughter passed on the ride but my boys loved it.

To us, no stop in the Seattle area can go without eating at two places: 13 Coins, open 24 hours a day; and Serious Pie – a fantastic pizza place.

Really good food at both places.

We ventured on to Portland Oregon from there and continued a great vacation in the Pacific Northwest.

Adventures in Kennewick Washington for Thanksgiving

This year, 2015, Marcy and I decided to forgo our trip to Playa Del Carmen Mexico and visit my family in Kennewick Washington.  We have never been there before so we booked a quick 2 day trip.

We booked a flight from Burbank to Portland Airport.  Both nice airports and normally not to crowded.  We missed most of the holiday travel with a 9:20 on Thanksgiving day.  It was fairly cloudy on the flight up there but right over Shasta Mountain, I grabbed a picture on my cell phone.


After landing we grabbed a rental and headed out. Every other trip to family was only a 40 minute drive from Portland airport to Hood River Oregon.  Quick and easy. Well this time we were not so lucky.  The road trip this time was 3 hours down the 84, following the Columbia river.  The road trip itself was nice, but we can see the weather was going to go sour at some point.

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We made it to our hotel in Richland Washington right on the Columbia river and we had a nice river view room.  Not to bad for a Hampton Inn.

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We headed over to my cousin Kim and Wayne’s house where Thanksgiving Dinner was waiting (and everyone else according to text from my brother).

I have not seen my grandmother, aunt and uncle and my cousins for a couple of years.  It was nice to see them all again.  My grandmother is 93 and doing well.  I asked her how is she doing and she said better than my uncle John, who is 21 years her junior.  I think John disagreed but I love the playfulness.  It was good to see my brother Virgil and his daughter Emily.  I have no other family in California so this is as good as it gets for family holidays.   My cousin Kim and her husband Wayne made the meal and it was great.

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In the pictures:

Top Picture: Grandma Lorena, Wayne Sr., Emily, Aunt Sharron
Bottom Picture: Aunt Sharron, Uncle John, Wayne, Bronson (Kim & Wayne’s son) and Kim.

(I didn’t realize I cut Marcy and Virgil out of the pictures above… oh well.)

While most of the men watched football, the rest of us caught up with each other.  Time flies and everyone has been busy this year moving around, etc.  It was good to catch up.

After a good nights sleep, we went back to Kim’s for some left overs for lunch and poker. That is what makes a good Thanksgiving (not football!).   Luckily for Wayne and I, we made it to the money round and at 1:15, I went all in with my A K.  Wayne had the flush.  He grabbed first and I got gas money for the rental.  All good with me.

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We said our good byes and headed down the road trying to avoid the thunderstorm forecast in Portland.  This was the crappy part of the trip.

Heading back down the 84, it started to get cloudy.  At times, the sun was in my eyes and with the wet road, I was blinded and followed the white lines on the road.


That was just the start of it…  We hit the heavy thunderstorm in Hood River and we literally white knuckled it for 50 plus minutes into Portland.  At first we were going to a German restaurant we read about on TripAdvisor. After this, forget it. Straight to the Portland Airport Embassy Suites and turn the car in.  That was the end of that 3.5 hour crazy wet drive.

We got up and headed to the airport at 5:30AM and in the air at 6:30AM.  I do have to put a plug in for the TSA PreCheck.  We have such an easy time through security now days since that line is always fairly small.  Well worth the $85.00 fee.

I caught an early morning sunrise picture on the way to Burbank in the plane. Most people were asleep so I tried not to wake them with the rising sun.  An easy car ride home and we were relaxing from the trip by 11:30 AM.


It was a great trip and we are glad we took the time to visit my family. We get to check Kennewick Washington off of our travel maps. For that, we are Thankful!