Tag: travel

Albuquerque 2021

Because my dad died during Covid, we delayed his memorial service until this summer, when we thought the pandemic would be over. It’s not, of course. However, it worked out well because his birthday is August 5th so my mom scheduled it for that day.

We flew to Albuquerque on August 4th, checked into Hotel Chaco and then met almost everyone else for dinner at El Patron. My brother Todd, my sister-in-law Rozanne, my niece Kristin, my sister Trish, brother-in-law Jeff, their daughters Sarah and Leah, my aunt Lorna, my cousins Jodi and Delene and my mom, of course, were all there.

Dinner at El Patron

The memorial service was the next morning at their church. It was a nice service and my sister, brother-in-law Jeff and I spoke (I transcribed what I said here). I have a fear of public speaking so I was very very nervous about it. My sister was too, and fortunately, I brought airplane bottles of Maker’s Mark so we snuck away before the service and we each had one to calm the jitters. 😝

We had a family lunch at my mom’s house after the service. My uncles, a.k.a. my dad’s brothers, Bob and Roy, Roy’s wife Leslie and Bob’s daughter Carole were there too.

Gay, Sarah, Trish, Leah, Kristin, Jeff, me, Hudson, Havana, Bob, Eva, Rozanne, Todd, Carole, my mom, Leslie, Roy, Jodi, Lorna and Dalene

Across the street from our hotel was Sawmill Market, which was fantastic. We ate almost every meal there, trying to never repeat anything, and we still didn’t try 3 or 4 places. Next visit to Albuquerque, I guess. Everything we had was really good and it was so convenient to go there and everyone could get what they wanted versus spending 20-30 minutes on Yelp before every meal trying to find a good place to go.

First dinner at Sawmill Market

The highlight of the trip (of the year?) for Havana and Hudson was meeting Charlie Heaton, an actor in Stranger Things and other things. Several Netflix shows are filmed in Albuquerque and he was filming season 4 of Stranger Things so was staying at the same hotel and happen to be sitting all alone next to all of us at dinner on Friday night at Level 5 where we had a big family dinner. I sent him a beer and we got him to come over and say hello to everyone. Later, we had dessert and invited him over to share desserts and he hung out and talked to all the kids for a while.

Eva, Havana, Charlie and Hudson

Our hotel room had a nice big terrace so we hosted everyone for pizza dinner, from Sawmill Market, of course, on Saturday night. A bunch of us went over to order the pizzas beforehand and then had a drink outside in the courtyard waiting for the pizzas. It was a very nice evening all around.

My mom, Jeff, Hudson, Eva, Carole, Sarah and Gay

Ruth’s birthday in Spokane

Gay threw a party for her mom’s 80th birthday in Spokane. We picked the kids up from school on Friday and headed to Spokane, beating the rush hour traffic out of the city and avoiding any traffic on Snoqualmie Pass making it a smooth drive across the state. We checked into the Davenport Grand Hotel at 8:30pm, had a late dinner and went to bed.

Saturday

The birthday party started at 1pm, we stopped at Costco for flowers, Sweet Frostings for cupcakes and then set up for the party at Prospectors Bar & Grill. The party went well, lots of old friend showed up, Gay gave a nice speech and I think her mom had fun.

We had dinner at Downriver Grill with Amy & Chad and Jon & Megan, who were also in Spokane, but for a funeral. We later discovered that the restaurant was in the same location that Gay’s step dad’s butcher shop was in 40 years ago! The kids went over to Amy & Chad’s house to hang out with Leo, Kaki and Emmarie.

Sunday

The original Davenport Hotel has an old school Sunday Brunch. We invited Gay’s dad and aunts but they decided not to go. That was a mistake because the brunch was amazing! In the atrium there was Bloody Mary Terrie making crazy Bloody Marys four at a time that were impossible to pass up. Gay got in that line as we were seated. The hostess walked us by all the food stations and explained what everything was while Gay waited in the Bloody Mary line where Bloody Mary was making . The food was all buffet style and our champagne glasses (and the kids’ sparkling cider glasses) were always refilled automatically. There was so much food including pork bellies, prime rib, made-to-order crepes, waffles, pancakes, fruits, omelettes, eggs, Eggs Benedict and a dessert table with a chocolate fountain the kids dipped strawberries in.

Bloody Mary at The Davenport Sunday Brunch

We walked around downtown Spokane a bit, the kids rode the carousel at Riverfront Park.

Gay and Havana met her mom and her mom’s friend, Ginny, for a beer somewhere near her mom’s house. Later, I took Hudson and Eva out to dinner at Table 13, the hotel’s restaurant, and Gay and Havana met us there just as Hudson and Eva finished their dinners.

Monday

Gay met her friend, Lisa, from high school for coffee and I took the kids for breakfast before picking Gay up and driving home.

I’ve always dreaded coming to depressing Spokane. This was the first time I enjoyed the visit. The Davenport hotels are great, there are more good restaurants than ever, it feels more diverse and less redneck than it used to be.

Deception Pass

We packed up the Basecamp Friday and soon after Havana got home from school we left town for Deception Pass State Park. Traffic was bad all the way to Marysville so we didn’t get there until after 7pm. Jon and Megan and Emmarie left later and got there at 8:30pm. We were neighbors in slips 306 & 307. The last time we were here was over 12 years ago when Gay and Megan ran a marathon.

Jon and I went to the Deception Pass Bridge for some drone videos and photos — I flew the drone under the bridge and then over the bridge:

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Flying the drone so far away, sometimes out of sight, and over water made me nervous given how my previous drone was hard to control and ultimately died in water. But the Mavic 2 was perfect.

Barley needed a seat after a long walk:

Havana wanted to sleep in the tent with Gay so I got to sleep in the Basecamp with Hudson and Eva both nights. I really like sleeping in the Basecamp. The Discovery is still great to drive.

Anticipating rain, I picked up a Caddis Rapid Shelter 10’x10′ canopy at REI Thursday evening. That was easy to setup, feels very sturdy and worked great over the camp site table to keep the rain off us. That’s going to be nice to have!