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Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Trip To....

Washington. My sister and I attended a memorial service for our Uncle Frank who had been married to our Aunt Donna (my mother's sister) for sixty years.

My mother's two sisters, Colleen and Donna

We flew to Seattle and rented a car to drive the 100 plus mile trip east to Ellensburg. Oh, what a gorgeous drive..even the rain could not obscure the beauty of the rugged mountains and the swollen river.

In Ellensburg, we visited with cousins, aunts, uncles and extended family...many of which I haven't seen for quite a while. Why is it that we wait for weddings and funerals connect with our loved ones? I vow to do a better job.

On our way to my aunt's house through town by the college I looked in my rear view mirror and it looked like a Christmas tree had suddenly lit up...it was a police car pulling me over! My cousin, sister and I looked at each other...we had no idea what did I did wrong. As the young (must have been at most 23 years) officer walked up, I calmly pushed the button to roll down the window. He tells me he clocked me going 35 mph! Can you believe it? Evidently, the speed limit changes from 35 to 20 to 35 to 25 in a span of a few blocks. and I was speeding in the 20 mph zone. TWENTY MPH! That is slower than a school zone...or a residential area. The rental car I was driving had Oregon tags, so I was in luck...he wasn't going to give me a ticket, though he took my license to check to see if there were any outstanding warrants out on me. Glad I am clean as a whistle.

You should have seen the gorgeous, wide open, clear sky which was filled with twinkling stars. And that glowing full moon... surrounded by a halo...shining above white, glistening fields. It was surreal.

At the memorial service, the music was beautiful...my cousins sang their dad's favorite hymn, my cousin read a poem she had written about her dad...(it pierced my heart). The prayers, the talks by the family members and the Bishop were touching. I was so glad I was there.

Afterwards, the Relief Society (the women's organization in our church) prepared and served a most scrumptious spread of "comfort" food ...including ham, funeral potatoes (yumola)..

orange jello fluff (the one on the right)

rolls, and salad (don't tell anybody, but I had two servings of each)..it really hit the spot.

Spent some time visiting with family and then we headed back to Seattle via I-90.

Going back wasn't as easy, for it was now dark. And it was raining...at the pass it started snowing. Cars and big rigs whizzed on by, spraying road grim on my windshield, in spite of the fact that I couldn't see the lines on the road, since there weren't any. I kept both hands tightly gripped around the steering wheel. There was one spot in particular which was quite treacherous...let me say there was a lot of praying going on under my breath...pleading that we wouldn't bite the dust. Luckily, we survived.

So very glad when we arrived in Seattle and checked in to our hotel, The Inn at the Market (do you remember it depicted in a scene in "Sleepless in Seattle"?) Good karma was on our side for somehow we got a free upgrade ..the top floor suite with 180 degree view of the Sound. Didn't even ask for it. f.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c.

Everywhere we went, the people were friendly...our waiter at dinner gave us wonderful suggestions for places for us to eat and to see. He also told us about the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Museum. Since it was the last day of the exhibit, the museum was open until midnight. I don't know how we swung it, but the cute guy behind the counter ended up giving us free tickets ....I love free.

The next morning, had breakfast at the 5 Spot Cafe and then headed over to the Queen Anne district, where we stopped at a very fun fabric store called nancys sewing basket ; had some hot cocoa at the hip and hopping Muse Coffee Co. Checked out the Fremont district and I loved Burnt Sugar . Took a swing around the Ballard district (I think it was my favorite) filled with cute shops in old brick buildings...so very cool.

We ended our day in Seattle by taking a tour of Theo Chocolate...

I kind of overdosed on the unlimited chocolate samples. They do produce a very fine chocolate indeed.

It is always fun to explore and visit new places. It was a quick trip. Great to reconnect with my extended family...So very glad I went, especially with my sister, for she is the best navigator in a city with some confusing streets. It was even better when we finally figured out how to use Google Maps on my Iphone.


Picked up a bug on the plane...for I spent the remainder of the week sick on the couch...too weak to even peck on the computer.


Judy said...

What a summary K. Thanks for the update. What a great photo of sisters Colleen and Donna. I want to go visit up there with you. You paved the way and it is not far really. Glad you were safe across the pass.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Karen. Been thinking of the Nelsons all week. Love the pictures...especially the one with Aunt Donna in that cool dress...Uncle Frank is giving her a big kiss. She looks absolutely beautiful.