May 2002

Movin’ on, we join Sunny on our last expensive excursion in May ’02 at Universal Studios. We told you we blew a wad in May in Malibu kinda thinking this was close to the end of our road trip (we hadn’t even launched a website yet, but wanted to chronicle our years trip, some other time ~ this website is too much like work ya know).

But back to the fun and spending of money we really shouldn’t have, Sunny tried on hats we didn’t buy.

We actually had a bunch of pictures from Universal Studios but either lost them.

Or took pictures with our last 35mm camera and deleted the digital ones and never developed the 35mm ones…

We really don’t know. But Greg shot lots of video with his relatively new Digital 8 video camera that we also bought in May.

The D8 video takes screen captures right onto a memory card like a digital camera so we copied them to the PC and recently found them on the CD with the May pictures reminding us of our trip to Universal when we shouldn’t have gone cause finances were really running low (the D8 camera was a bargain though ~ a return without a box or cords for like $300 when they were around $800 new at the time ~ how could we not afford it, right?).

That’s what Greg reasoned.

And Sunny agreed. Not bad pictures for a video camera, right? They don’t print worth crap though.

By the way, Universal Studios is cool and you should go somewhere else for reviews cause there’s nothing we can tell you about it that you can’t find ad nauseam elsewhere.

As for us we headed north towards Seattle and stopped in to see Greg’s long lost Mom and Sister. Jeanne and Camie were an extremely important part of Greg’s life when he was around 13. Greg’s parents divorced when he was ten and he stayed with his bio Mom, Mitty (not pictured). When bio Mom remarried to Ricky, Greg’s brother James (at 14) did not get along with Ricky so he moved in with bio Dad. Dad was remarried to Jeanne and lived in Midland, TX with Jeanne’s daughter Camie and an exchange student from Costa Rica, Ivonnia. Greg and his bio Mom (now single again) were getting along fine together in San Antonio, but Greg craved a relationship with Dad so he traveled to Midland as much as he could to spend time with Dad, Jeanne, Camie, James, and Ivannia. Whew. Shampoo, rinse, repeat as needed.

Anyway, Dad goofed and there was another divorce and Greg lost touch with Jeanne and Camie from 13 years old to 34. While in Malibu, Greg got Camie’s phone number and learned that she was in Sacramento so he called (with more than a little apprehension) and re-connected immediately. Camie was happy to hear from him and thought it would be great if we stopped by on our way back to Seattle ~ and ~ Jeanne recently moved to Sacramento and would be there!

So, we went and stayed in Davis (next to Sacramento) and visited all day the next day. Greg cried when he saw them and had forgotten how important these ladies were to him at such a transition age. We caught up on each others lives, and the rest of the Family got along great.

Camie was married to Patrick and they have a wonderful daughter, Emori.

When we were in Sacramento, we told Jeanne and Camie about how we were headed back to Issaquah and what a neat place we thought it was. They had been considering living in the northwest and added Issaquah to their places to learn about for living ~ about a year later, they all moved to Issaquah and we haven’t been able to get back and see them yet, but we have seen them in San Diego and we keep in touch on a regular basis now. Isn’t life great!

We left Davis and headed north towards Issaquah. We were very ready to get there, so we did little stopping on the way ~ but wait, there’s a really, really big mountain…

That’s Mount Shasta in Northern California. It belongs to the same chain of northwest volcanoes that Mt St. Helens lives in. The really cool thing about these mountains is their height in relation to where you look at them. They rise to above 14,000 feet above sea level and we’re standing relatively close to sea level. If you’ve ever been to Denver or in Colorado and seen the mountains, you’re standing at 10,000 feet and looking up at the peaks around 14,000 feet ~ a rise of about 4,000 feet. Impressive, but not the same as looking from sea level to 14,000 feet.

After rescuing Sunny…

We took another cheesy Family photo.

And we made it once again to Oregon. We’ve spent so little time in this state because we’re always trying to get back to Issaquah or going south trying to get to Texas.

So we allowed the cheesy billboards to stop us off the highway at a common touristy spot ~ we were excited to get back to Issaquah, but very concerned that our year on the road was coming to an end…

And look at that broom standing sideways and weight falling to the left, and everyone standing weird like… Yes it was that cheesy.

Until we got around here… Greg’s maybe a couple of inches taller?

And now like over a foot taller? We were also given divining rods and they worked! Another trick they did was stand you on three different X’s and you closed your eyes and tilted your head back ~ on one of the X’s your body would sway in a circular motion and you wouldn’t really feel it. On another X your body would sway front to back, and on the other X side to side. It was very strange because you wouldn’t recognize your body doing this ~ you would watch other people do the same.

The story on the Vortex goes something like this ~ early settlers were exploring the area when one of their horses would not enter this particular area. So they built the building above and it slid off its foundation and they laughed at each other because it looked like they stood sideways. They drank heavily. Over years of drinking heavily in a building that they stood crooked in, they noticed that no birds or animals built their homes inside this Vortex of Terror (okay, we added ‘of Terror’) and their animals didn’t like to be inside this Vortex of Terror. Eventually, when the modern surveying equipment made it here, the lines that are normally straight surveyed around this Vortex circle of about a quarter of a mile ~ the museum shows you the survey and has modern surveys to back it up. Compasses go whack inside the Vortex (of Terror) and some animals / pets will not go in. We tried ours and they of course were more interested in the attention of people than any Vortex of Terror. One of the theories that we liked was that the earths magnetic field is all goofy here which explains the survey, divining rods in amateurs hands, and the body rocking thing… But how do people and things visually look smaller as they go inside? We liked the theory that atoms shrink as objects move towards the center ~ so you can see this effect from outside, but can’t measure it because your ruler gets smaller with you!

What seemed to be an interstate tourist hole turned into a pretty cool experience. We’d give five thumbs up for the Oregon Vortex (of Terror) off I-5 North in southern Oregon.

Home. We sure have a lot of homes for being Texan Canadians.

And we made it back to Issaquah just in time for, well, really nothing. We weren’t really sure what to do so we called our dear friend Kim and played like we were somewhere in California when we rang her doorbell and laughter ensued!

We went with Kim and her daughters Hannah and Savannah to our favorite feeding trough…

And Savannah got so dang big. She was like a baby when we left just a year ago.

Hannah or re-incarnate Marilyn? You decide. We’re just throwing it out there…

We were really happy to see our waitress friend Erin still working at Red Robin. She helped us out on a regular basis and is one cool chick.

We also visited the house we left and had sold to some cool attorneys who turned it into an office. They had painted it and changed the driveway from running down the side of the house to the front. It looked really great on the outside, and still looked great on the inside from the work we had done.

We took our attorney friend, David (left) and walked down to our favorite coffee shop in the world to see our friend Rick (top right) at Cool Beans in Issaquah. It was great to be back.

So we went to see John Lennon, alias: Van, living as a vet on Tiger Mountain where we became good friends as neighbors when we lived in the tri-level house down the street. Van took the original homesteaded house on Tiger Mountain and raised it (not razed) like two feet digging out and putting a modern living space on the bottom. So the original house sits on the second floor and is decked out all antique and the bottom floor is decked out all modern. The original house was placed here because there’s a natural spring running under it and Van’s trying to figure out what to do with it. Plus, you can see Mt Rainier from his deck. Cool place, good people.

Jenn likes bunny rabbits. John, we mean Van, also has goats and sheep and dogs and chickens and a garden and any variety of animals he decides to rescue from his clinic.

Timon doesn’t need a rescue except from himself. He chased the kids up the tree and this makes him smile.

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