July 2014 – A Day in the Mountains – Lake Serene

Lake Serene. If I had just one day to show a visitor the backcountry of the Cascade Mountains, Lake Serene would be near the top of the list. It has everything the Cascades has to offer, yet it’s only a 40-minute drive out of Everett, and Everett itself only 25-minutes north of Seattle. Yep, Lake Serene has everything; except solitude that is. Lake Serene is no secret and it’s best to hike in early to beat the crowds. Continue reading

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June 2014 – Seattle’s Funky Fremont Fair

Funky; adjective \ˈfəŋ-kē\ Eclectic, off-beat or counter-culture event, people or music with an earthy unsophisticated style and feeling.

Seattle is a sophisticated city, but it’s also known for its funky side. Neighborhoods like Georgetown centered by its hippy trailer park, West Seattle’s beach front, Ballard and its street buskers and bars, but the Fremont District; . . . well Fremont must be the funkiest of all with its annual Summer Solstice Street Fair – and we wouldn’t miss it. Continue reading

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June 2014 – Sea Kayaking in Puget Sound

It’s June 1st and good weather is finally breaking out across the Pacific Northwest – time to go sea kayaking. So, we reserved a one and a half hour tour with Whidbey Kayaking Company at the boutique town of Langley on Whidbey Island hoping for sun, whales, seals and eagles. We were rewarded with everything except the gray whales which had migrated north a few weeks previous. Continue reading

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May 2014 – Folklife in Seattle

It’s springtime in Seattle, Memorial Day weekend, and that means Folklife Festival at the Space Needle. This celebration of acoustic music and art is a Northwest favorite featuring artists and musicians from the Pacific Northwest. There’s polished bluegrass bands, dreadlocked street buskers, artisans selling counter culture specialties, Jesus freaks, magicians, all set outdoors in the Seattle Center grounds with six outdoors stages on the green for the professionals and the sidewalks open to anyone with a banjo, washboard or bagpipes to play on (with permission from the Folkilfe administration). Continue reading

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Paris, Condensed

After a spending a week in Provence, our friends Brice and Aline were determined to show us the city they know so well – Paris. So we boarded the train in Marseille and arrived in Paris two and a half hours later. Continue reading

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April 2014 – English as a Second Language

Siphon from Cambodia rubs my belly while saying, “You good teacher.” That’s what I like to hear.

It’s April, 2014 and the spring quarter of English as a Second Language (ESL) has started at the local community college. For the past two years I’ve been volunteering as a tutor in the ESL program. I’ve tutored students from Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Latin America, Southeast Asia, China and the Kingdom of Bhutan. Continue reading

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Sunny Southern France; Provence

Our friends Brice and Aline picked us up at the airport in Marseille. We would stay with them at their home in Avignon, in the center of the Provence region of southern France, through early July. And, we’d be there during the annual Avignon festival, a celebration of art, theatre and music that lasts over a week and draws visitors from all over Europe and America. Continue reading

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