Jason’s birthday

This was the first birthday Jason did not take off from work ever! New company and a manager who already requested the week off nixed that.

After he finished work, we went out for dinner, tried out Topgolf, and then came home for a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, made by Xander. A good time was had!

Topgolf is a lot more fun than we expected, since it’s set up more like a bowling alley. It’s a mash-up of golf, bowling, and darts.

Cycling again

I did a brave and joined a women’s cycling group! Today was my first ride with them and my friend Barbra decided to be brave with me.

Maybe someday I’ll show you the photo of me pretending to stretch next to my bike. Barbra and I always know how to find laughter!

Train travel with Lotus

Last winter I discovered a (recently deceased) British author named Jenny Diski, and gobbled up all of her works.

Her book Stranger on a Train details a train trip she took around the US. Her descriptions of life in the sleeper car, dining and smoking cars, and all of the people and scenery made me want to take a trip!

Lotus and I booked a sleeper car from Portland to Minneapolis and enjoyed two glorious nights on the train. The scenery was beatiful, the meals in the dining car were fun, and the chugga-chugga-choo-choo that lulled us to sleep in our bunks was a fabulous experience!

Our first evening out, watching the sunset, Lotus said contentedly, “This was a good idea.”

We spent four wonderful days with my childhood friend and her two daughters- playing, cooking, catching up, and seeing the local sights. Then we flew home on Monday morning. Lotus and I are on cloud nine after such a beautiful experience!

Galactic Disco bike ride 2018

We dragged the teens to Portland for an organized bike ride, with my friends. Jason had to bail pretty early on with a flat tire on our funky semi-recumbent with special tires.

It was a lot of fun and hopefully all of the bikes will be in better shape for the next one.

 

Xander

Xander got a haircut and is feeling light and fresh. My teens will not have a photo taken unless they are holding a dog. I approve.

Lotus and I head to the beach

Lotus has been eager to go on our special trip, to make up for missing out on Europe. Well, it won’t make up for EUROPE but her current stamina is great for short trips.

After listening to her consider trip ideas for the umpteenth day in a row, I asked her if she wanted to pack up right then and there and head to the beach for a couple nights. We did just that and had a great girls-only trip.

I also got to try out my crazy sweater I recently finished knitting. It has lumpy, bumpy sleeves and got quite a few looks. Good or bad, I am not sure.

My mom trying on the sweater…

Feeding the seals…

Next, Lotus and I want to take an overnight train trip together.

Isaac turns 17

Donuts, hanging at home and then movies with his friends, Isaac had a nice birthday!

My Isaac sure was a sweet baby, and always a great son. I don’t know how I got so lucky!

Last days in Paris

We ventured out to see the Eiffel Tower at night, and took a macaron baking class. We had a wonderful trip and are excited to fly back home and reunite with the rest of our family!

Travel is wonderful and there is no place like home.

Musée Louvre

Walking around Montmartre district of Paris

Montmartre district has been a great place to stay in Paris.

We did some more walking today and passed through the red light district (ooh la la!) and Moulin Rouge, then through the gorgeous Montmartre cemetary. My friend told me a bunch of cats live in the cemetary and locals keep them fed. The cats were elusive but we had fun looking and spotted several. We also spotted them being fed in a hidden corner.

Next we strolled past Van Gogh’s home.

Then lunch and up through the artist’s corner next to Sacre Cœur.