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Birthday Celebration

semi-overcast 74 °F


As mentioned before, we have a small family. There are but 2 blood cousins in the West and 1 in the East still surviving. Many families have dozens of cousins. My girl cousin, Marilee and her brother, boy cousin Tom and I met for lunch in Bothell, WA, a suburb of Seattle where Marilee resides. I jokingly referred to the town as 'Brothel', as in times past there were many along the waterfront. Maybe a few remain? Anyway, we had a grand time 'rattling old skeletons' as we reminisced about our past family visits. We spent about 3 hours at the restaurant then went back to Marilee's apt. for ice tea and cookies and continued the conversation. It was fun for us all for it is years between our visits.

Yesterday, I drove north to Bellingham (2 hrs.) which is located just south of the US/Canadian border. The normally scenic drive was obscured by wild fire smoke so I was unable to see the majestic Mt. Baker or the San Juan Islands just off the coast. Bellingham is a beautiful city of about 90K and a port city for cruise ships to Alaska and ferry boats to Victoria, Canada. There is a restored section of the city called 'Fairhaven' which is near the ferry docks. It has boutiques, restaurants, and small businesses in a beautiful setting over looking the harbor. For lunch I was interested in finding an oyster restaurant. My aunt has been boasting about the wonderful oysters harvested in the Pacific Northwest, better than the Florida crustations which are reputed to be the best. I inquired about a local oyster bar at the Visitor's Center. They recommended 'The Oyster Bar' on Chuckanut Drive which follows the coastline south of Bellingham. Normally, the view would be beautiful, however the smoke in the air obscured the visibility. My oyster dish was very tasty but the jury is still out on which oysters are best, FL or WA!!!

After a leisurely lunch I headed back toward Seattle. I stopped in Everett to visit 2 aircraft museums there before leaving the area. The first was Paul Allen's Museum of Flight & Armament located on Boeing property at Paige Field. Two huge hangers house about 25 airplanes, all flyable, of WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam vintage. In addition, is his collection of heavy weapons; tanks and artillery pieces of American, German, Russian, and Japanese origin, plus a WWII German V-2 rocket. Paul Allen, a Seattle native, and a Microsoft partner of Bill Gates is one of the world's wealthiest men. His philanthropies have made a major impact on the Seattle area and beyond. Aircraft happen to be one of his passions and he shares his collection with the public with this museum. It is world-class of Smithsonian quality and money was not spared in putting it together. The second museum visited was the Aircraft Restoration Museum located within a mile or so of Paul Allen's facility. There, volunteers work on restoration of rare airplanes to bring them back to museum display status, unlike Paul Allen's collection which have been restored to flying condition. A deHaviland Comet of 1950 vintage was being worked on. The Comet was the first commercial jet airliner to enter service and predated Boeing's first, the 707. Another restoration underway is Boeing's ill-fated SST airliner. It was to compete with the joint British-French SST Concorde. Only one prototype of the SST was partially completed before the program was scrapped due budgetary issues & the oil crisis of the late 1960's. Several other planes, less notable were in various stages of reconstruction. The volunteer on duty at the desk was very knowledgable & 'chatty' about each aircraft. It was an interesting stop.

I had a dinner date with my Aunt Sandra. We went to a local establishment for our meal and to say our 'Good-By's'. I will leave Seattle with warm feelings of my visits with relatives here. Tomorrow I will head south toward Portland, Oregon and more adventures.

Posted by dixter 08:39 Archived in USA Tagged wa exploring

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