Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Books I read in August 2015



Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple (library audiobook)  Listened to on my way to trailheads for WTA hike-a-thon hikes. I read this one when it first came out and it was a totally different experience listening to it. The memo's and email's format was a little weird to hear instead of read. I enjoyed Bernadette's rants about the things she hates about Seattle, cracked me up.
Zone One by Colson Whitehead (library) another post apocalyptic novel. I liked it  All you Zombie/I am Legend, Walking Dead fans out there, check this one out too.
Think of a Number by John Verdon (library) great mystery/thriller. I enjoyed it
Come Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie Mallowan  A nonfiction account of her days on an archaeological dig in Syria with her husband, renowned archeologist Max Mallowan. I loved it!! Of course I am a HUGE Christie fan and this little book is just a slice of life of what it was like for her to go with him on these digs in the Middle East. Very fascinating considering everything that has gone on there in recent history. The book was published in 1946, so it is very interesting to see her view of the area from that time period.
The Associate by John Grisham (audiobook) I stopped reading Grisham after Street Lawyer...I have never been a huge fan of the legal thriller.  So I don't think I ever read this one prior to listening to it on tape.
Flashback by Nevada Barr I reread this one, the first time I had read it, I had not been to the Dry Tortugas. So after having been to the Fort, it was easier for me to imagine the things that she had going on there
Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly I liked this one. It was not a Hieronymous Bosch one, but was still enjoyable. And the case does tie in with a case that H. Bosch worked in another book.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith I had not read this since I was about 12 or so!
Dark of the Moon by John Sandford  Another Virgil Flowers mystery. Great fun
Cold Company by Sue Henry Murder Mystery set in Alaska
Break Up by Dana Stabenow another Alaska Murder Mystery and for some reason, this one makes me laugh a lot. It has a lot of craziness in it about spring in Alaska. I especially enjoy the parents who come to visit their daughter and all that they experience in a single day.
The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry I enjoyed this one, much more on a second reading. I remember not really liking it that much the first time. And I was never a huge fan of the movie either.
Towards Zero by Agatha Christie These last 8 books are paperbacks that I brought with me on vacation in Eastern Europe. After I finish each book, I am leaving it here at book exchanges in the hostels and inns. This also leaves more room in my luggage to bring home souvenirs! :-) So they are all books that I have read before and they are paperback copies that I got from used bookstores at home specifically to leave here in Europe.
The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth ( library) behind the myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.   Since I have been loving all things Swedish.  I really enjoyed this look at the area and culture of all these countries.  I learned a lot!
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury I could not resist picking this one up at one of our hotels in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is in English, but published by a Russian Company as part of their series of classics. I also enjoyed this one on a second reading. It was never a favorite when I read it as a kid.
Wolf to the Slaughter by Ruth Rendell read these last two on the flight home
Poirot Loses a Client by Agatha Christie I always have time to read another Agatha Christie!!
Inherit The Family by Vello Vikerkaar I found out about this author when I was in Estonia. He is from Canada (and of Estonian descent) he married an Estonian and now lives there.....this is a collection of stories that he wrote about the Expat experience in Tallinn. Very entertaining!
Tantra Man by Vello Vikerkaar Another collection of stories about being an ExPat in Estonia. I really enjoyed these, and because my family has experience with being Expat, and I like to think of myself as a sophisticated and worldly world traveler....I could relate to much of it. :-)


Monday, August 31, 2015

Hike-a-thon derailed this year....

Such a bummer, our hike-a-thon this year was not as successful as in years past. Ryan finished up the Appalachian Trail and then flew off to Switzerland to hike the Tour de Mont Blanc. And I was touring around the Baltic in Estonia and Russia for most of the month. So we did not get to do a lot of campaigning for donations. Ryan got in a lot of miles, but I did not.

Then I twisted my ankle on my last day in Russia and did not get to do any more mileage for hike-a-thon this August.So we are not quite to our goal of $1000 for Washington Trails. But we still have a few more days for fundraising. So for any of you folks who were waiting til the last minute, this is your last chance to help out Washington Trails and contribute to Hike-a-thon 2015!

Click here
This is not how I twisted my ankle, although it could have been!!

Swollen!!

Ryan on top of Katahdin

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: North Carolina


I grew up in North Carolina, so it always holds a special place in my heart.   In 1903 the Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk. The Wright Memorial at Kitty Hawks now commemorates their achievement. The first English colony in America was located on Roanoke Island. Walter Raleigh founded it. The colony mysteriously vanished with no trace except for the word "Croatoan" scrawled on a nearby tree. The first English child born in America was born in Roanoke in 1587. Her name was Virginia Dare. The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama in Albemarle, commemorates the birth of Virginia Dare. Scheduled to run just one year, it proved so successful that it has played for nearly sixty consecutive summers.


A Big Thank You goes out to Barb, Lynda and Gretchen who are the latest to donate to our Hike-a-thon this year! Still looking for my $5 folks to chip in again. You don't need to give big bucks to help make a big difference.
August is Hike-a-thon Month for me! Please donate a little something to help Washington Trails. Click here to go to my fundraising page or Just copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1468&AID=3052&PID=518075

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hiking in Estonia, Helsinki and St. Petersburg


Open Air Museum in Tallinn, nice trails, but no names :-)

Folk Dancing at the Open Air Museum

Along the streets of Tallinn


Well, I am kind of disappointed. I thought I could go on vacation and the pledges for Washington Trails Hike-a-thon would just keep coming in during my absence, but that was not the case. Also, unfortunately, my mileage that I racked up in Eastern Europe did not count towards my hike-a-thon goals because they just don't have many named trails in Estonia, Finland and Russia!
I got this information off of the internet, so you know it must be true....LOL Estonians do not consider walking to be a sport and make fun of it being a part of Olympics.
Wearing reflectors is mandatory in Estonia: please be sure to attach one to your clothing as well as to your backpack.
I bought a snowflake shaped reflector! 

In Finland, there were some "trails" around the city for cross-country skiing, but they were not named, nor were there obvious signposts.



No holding hands in Helsinki!!

Lovely trails at the open air museum in Helsinki

Dinner in the Sky in Helsinki

And in St. Petersburg, Russia, we were in a very urban part of the city. Very manicured and groomed parks and esplanades, but no trails.

A canal at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg

Crowds at the Hermitage

Away from the Crowds at Peterhof, but no name trail



I was on a Rick Steve's Tour of Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg and we did a LOT of walking. I averaged over 10 miles a day. My fitbit was very happy with me!


Click Here to Donate for Ryan and Me!



 August is Hike-a-thon Month for me! Please donate a little something to help Washington Trails. Click here to go to my fundraising page or Just copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1468&AID=3052&PID=518075

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: New York



Dairying is New York's most important farming activity with over 18,000 cattle and or calves farms. And the oldest cattle ranch in the US was started in 1747 at Montauk on Long Island. The first railroad in America ran a distance of 11 miles between Albany and Schenectady. Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic Parks combined.

August is Hike-a-thon Month for me! Please donate a little something to help Washington Trails. Click here to go to my fundraising page or Just copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1468&AID=3052&PID=518075

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: New Mexico


Santa Fe is the highest capital city in the United States at 7,000 feet above sea level. New Mexico is one of the four corner states. Bordering at the same point with Colorado, Utah and Arizona. The world's first Atomic Bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945 on the White Sands Testing Range near Alamogordo. North of the impact point a small placard marks the area known as Trinity Site. The bomb was designed and manufactured in Los Alamos.

August is Hike-a-thon Month for me! Please donate a little something to help Washington Trails. Click here to go to my fundraising page or Just copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://www.gifttool.com/athon/MyFundraisingPage?ID=1468&AID=3052&PID=518075

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Seattle City Hikes

So I had only a few days at home before leaving for my Rick Steves' Tour. And I really did not have the time or inclination to drive out to the mountains. So for the next couple of days, I stuck around Seattle and hiked within the city.
On Wednesday, I got together with my friend Yvette and we hiked around Green Lake on the Green Lake Path. If it is this busy and crowded on a pseudo-crappy Wednesday, I would hate to see the place on a Sunny Weekend!! Boy it was busy!!

Music
And more Music with Dancing!!


On August 6th, I did not venture too far from home. I hiked 5 miles on the Alki Beach Trail in West Seattle. I left my condo and hiked down to the beach and passed by the Jacobson St Goats....




No Goats Today :-(
But alas, no goats to greet me today!!









West Seattle Water Taxi
Thank You Car2Go
 From the Emma Schmitz Viewpoint, I hiked around to Alki Beach and then past Salty's.







Then thank you so much Car2Go....I picked up a Car2go and drove back up the hill to return home!