Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 4th weekend!  Woohoo!!!!! Scanning over my journey on the road since last August, there have been numerous places I've loved visiting.  Amongst my favorites is Ojai in southern CA and on up the central coast from San Luis Obispo to Santa Cruz.

As of this weekend, I am majorly smitten with Port Townsend, Washington, one of only three victorian seaports in the nation, located on the northeast tip of the  Olympic Peninsula. 
"A beautiful city of authentic charm with maritime heritage and a touch of urban chic."  
"Dubbed the Paris of the Pacific Northwest."
"Named one of the Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America." 

Growing up on the east coast in a sea village town, I feel most at home when breathing sea-scented air,  nurtured and nourished by flora and fauna. This place rocks my soul!

 In Port Townsend, many Victorian buildings remain from its late 19th-century heyday, numerous annual cultural events abound and it is a maritime center and mecca for independent boat builders and enthusiasts.  Arts and cultural centers and numerous organic food options, a great food coop and cafes are dotted about town. A high percentage of the folks that flock to PT are my age. This quaint town is laid back and friendly. It's all about loving and caring for this amazing gift called earth, resonant kinship and outdoor adventure here.... riding bikes, sailboats, hiking and more.

~ When you're in the right place at the right time, 
opportunity opens up like magic ~

Walking the streets of Port Townsend calls to mind the line in a familiar song..
"row, row, row, your boat gently down the stream, 
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream."

My deep connection with mermaids and seaweed blended with Ran's connection with sailing has landed us in seafaring paradise.  We're walking about Port Townsend in total bliss. Spotted a bike shop and test mounted some Townees. That was only the beginning as we continued to connect with local resident business owners and establishments that intuitively called our attention .... referring to that magic again. We found the best pizza ever and our favorite cafes serving the best coffee, the 'biggest' and  'bestest' homemade pies and the best salmon chowder anywhere! 

 A few blocks away, came upon a store window that had my name written all over it:  The Writers' Workshoppe.  Owner, Anna, & I had a wonderful exchange around the subject of writing and publishing.


 A couple doors down the way was a music shop that's making a big resurgence in selling albums.  Not a CD in the store.  What do you think of that?  A couple stores down for that a Native American craft shop owned by a Lakota brother.  He shared some of his family stories about growing up in South Dakota with Ran & I.  What a blessing.  A few streets over, we discovered another cafe (a multitude to chose from) and it turns out that the woman working there moved from Alaska the very same day Ran did after a record snowfall when they both hit the wall after many years of living there and said..... That's it! We're out of here!  Some say it's a small world... I say its a connected world.  I suppose that's one of the reasons why I refer to myself  as Rainbow Connector.

All of these connections were totally amazing, and I've shared this for last. Judy Courtwright, Artist of Watercolor & Clay. Of all visual art mediums, it just so happens that these two visual art mediums attract me the strongest. This is how I met Judy.  Only 15 minutes before I passed by a window displaying a few of her framed watercolors, it was her bio page in a notebook next to them that caught my eye.  Her bio showed a photo of her joy-filled face and words that explained briefly her passion of painting.  I was immediately drawn like a hummingbird to sweet nectar and proceeded to descend the stairs to her studio.  There is much I could say, although the essence of our meeting was purely delightful. Oh yes, I must mentioned that during my conversation with Judy, she mentioned that she had put her bio that I was attracted to in the storefront window just 15 minutes before I passed by.  I love how life's moments evolve and unfold in perfect divine timing.  

Judy, thank you again for the inspiration, encouragement, and complimentary mini introduction into the world of watercolor.  

Check out Judy's paintings at:

****What a glorious introduction to Port Townsend!*** 
Resonant connection after resonant connection welcomed us
A purely spectacular 4th of July!
Here's to celebrating the independence of
following one glorious moment to the next!    

Late afternoon had arrived, and it was time for Ran & I to move on.  Next September we intend to come back to Port Townsend for the annual Wooden Boat Festival.  CANT' WAIT!!!! 

Back in Ran's White Rhino, we headed to the nearby town of Poulsbo to join Jim (Ran's climbing partner from year's back), wife Mary and son Cam for dinner.  What a perfect closure to a magnificent day.

 What an INCREDIBLE dinner visit ~ thank YOU again!

                                                            So much my heart is grateful for ~~~~~

July 2, 2013 - Happy Birthday to me  - My 59th birthday arrived splendidly!  Journey Partner Ran knows that I'm a mermaid somewhat disguised and how much I adore the sea..... so...... a grand birthday surprise was heading to Seattle for a day of fun and exploration.

No time for a leisurely wakeup, dressed quickly and dashed, grabbing 2 apples and 4 health bars to go, we walked vigorously to the nearest bus stop, arriving the same time we did.  The short bus ride transferred us to another short bus ride, which then unloaded us at Puget Sound Ferry. Thoroughly enjoyed the ferry ride and the day of browsing and doddling about downtown Seattle.   

We visited the ever popular Pike Place Market - waterfront farmer's market. I adore open air markets filled with foods, flowers, crafts and more. Ran told me ahead that the fish market was in and of itself an amazing experience. WOW ~ was he ever right! At the fish market there's a staff worker behind the fish counter and a few others in front of the counter, all waiting on consistent lines of customers. If you want to buy a fish, this is how it works:  As customers call out their orders, the staff workers (working the floor) throw the designated fish through the air to the worker behind the counter to weigh and package the fish to go.  The customer then hands their payment to the same front counter staff worker who stuffs the payment into a slit into a green fuzzy ball that gets thrown to the worker behind the counter who handles the cash register... any change due comes back the same way with your packaged fish. Fascinating entertainment! and truly fishy! (heehee). Wish I could have gotten a pic, but couldn't orchestrate a good view through the crowds of people. 

 Went to legendary Ivar's for Alaskan Cod fish and chips. I'm a MAJOR FAN OF NORTHWEST SEAFOOD!!! Seagulls upon seagulls were hanging out and being hand fed dockside.  I love seagulls, all winged ones for that matter. Took lots of awesome seagull pics. Many more are posted in my facebook album called: Washington State.

Enjoyed a mid-day fresh juiced watermelon mango drink at a street side stand.  Most yummy!

Discovered the Sea Shepherd Gallery and Education Center whose mission is  fighting for whales, sharks, seals and fish. This passionate group of people are making a big difference in saving these magnificent creatures from diminishing.  I am so grateful to learn of their work. If you would like to learn more about these sea voices creating sea change: check out:   

 Upon awakening and greeting my birthday morning, I spoke aloud a desire to see a totem pole.  I've always been amazing by them and being in the pacific northwest is my chance to have a totem pole experience. My birthday prayer was answered.  Not only did I see totem poles in front of a few shops in downtown Seattle, I got to meet a master totem carver.  

Rick Lone Wolf has been carving totems for 54 years. He carves like his father and grandfather before him.  As Ran & I were sightseeing about, we spotted Rick sitting on a bench intricately carving. For 48 years, Rick has been sitting on the same bench in the same waterfront park carving totem poles everyday, all day, 7 days a week.  I live for spontaneous moments such as this.... sharing the  power of personal story.  It is the inspiration of why I travel.

 By early evening, Ran & I met up with friends of Ran's from Alaska, Dan & Sue who run a cruise company.  "Un-Cruise Adventures - Unrushed! Uncrowded! Unbelievable!"  - The BEST way to travel!  Check them out at: 

            Dan, Ren, Ran and Sue ~ Great visit!!!
 Enjoyed a lovely birthday dinner of yet more salmon!!!  I've eaten more salmon in 2 weeks of visiting the Salmon nation of Seattle than I've had in my entire 58 years!  (Yes!) I am one very happy mermaid!   

 After dinner, we all drove over to the Ballard Locks at the west end of Salmon Bay, which is part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal to watch salmon migrate up the fish ladder at Ballard's Chittenden Locks.  

 The locks are a critical link for salmon and steelhead heading upstream to spawn.

What an AWESOME Birth*day!  
It's time to catch the ferry back to Bremerton, where our camper awaits us. 
Purrfect timing once again - a sunset cruise on the ferry. 

 Thank you *Ran* & Thank you Seattle ~
A fabulous beginning to my 59th year!

 Dismounting the ferry, we were prepared to foot it to our camper 2-1/2 miles under the barely visible moon at 10 pm, one lone taxi awaited outside the ferry terminal at 10:pm.  Acknowledging perfect timing once again, we hopped in and was back to the camper in a flash.

Wait.. Wait... There's more!

Awaiting  on the bumper of the Ren & Ran camper - a beautiful vase of flowers and a cute card that reads: "Remember, age is all in your mind.  The trick is to keep it from creeping down into your body!."  From the wisdom of turtle.  -Thank you so much ~ Justin, Lacey, Kya & Fred

 It's been an amazing day.... and... it's not over yet.  Ran & I are feasting on special dessert in our camper.  Tomorrow night, I am looking forward to a 2nd dessert I love.. Pineapple & Coconut ice cream.

Thank you to all who sent birthday wishes my way.
My heart is savoring each one.

*Additional pics are posted on my FB page
Washington State photo album.