Two Years with Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

I was wondering how to mark the two year anniversary of Cats and Trails and Garden Tales, but I was feeling tongue-tied until this boy showed up to help.

‘Just do what you’ve been doing,’  he said.   Okay, I thought,  I’ll share a picture of Benji with you and that should take care of Cats.

And then I remembered my walk today at my favorite local park where the skies were blue and the waters shimmered and I thought to myself, that takes care of Trails. 

Finally I thought of last week’s visit to Soos Creek Botanical Garden and thought you might enjoy some photos from there too.   Which should do for Gardens.

But mostly I wanted to thank you again for following along on this journey with me.

We appreciate it.

~ Susanne, Tiger & Benji


I’d Rather be like Benji

I watched the cats in the backyard today.

There was Tiger.

And there was Benji.

I love them both.  But I’d rather be like Benji.

~ Susanne

The Museum of Flight

What do you do on a rainy day in Seattle?  Go see the airplanes at The Museum of Flight.  We did!  They were prolific!

According to their website,  “The Museum of Flight is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world!  With over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, dozens of exhibits and experiences and a world-class library, the Museum and its people bring mankind’s incredible history of flight to life.”

For this week’s photo challenge:  Prolific

~ Susanne

Springtime in Seattle

After bemoaning the weather for the past week, we finally got a reprieve from the rain.  The sky was mostly clear yesterday when I met a friend for lunch at Alki Beach.  Some young ones played in the waves.  Not us.

Along with our fish and chips, we enjoyed fresh air, windswept skies and great views of the Seattle skyline.

The temperature hit 65 on the way home but rain returned with a vengeance last night. For an hour. The moody skies that followed made for a nice sunset.

Today is all promising and sunshine but don’t believe it.  It’s springtime in Seattle and the weather is fickle.

~ Susanne

Dreaming of the Big Island of Hawaii

What do you do when it’s April in Seattle and it’s cold and dark and the rain just won’t stop?   Why not armchair travel to the Big Island of Hawaii?  That’s right, I’m casting off the gray and clouds that threaten my skies and dampen my spirit and dreaming of my favorite Hawaiian Island.  Yes, I’ve decided once and for all that my favorite of all the Islands is the Big Island of Hawaii and here’s why!

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

When I first saw it I swooned. This remote black sand beach is frequented by resting green sea turtles, rimmed by coconut trees and free of crowds. I wish I was there right now!

Akaka Falls  

You walk the easy trail through lush tropical forest and arrive at this beauty. Pinch me again.


I’m not a great swimmer but it was at Kahalu’u Bay, that I was first persuaded to try snorkeling. Easy access, shallow waters, lots of fish. Lifeguards. O the joy!

Hawaii Botanical Tropical Garden

Wander on nature trails through tropical rainforest, enjoying more than 2,000 species of tropical plants from around the world, passing streams and waterfalls on your way to Onomea Bay on the rugged Pacific Coast.  We did that once. Once is not enough.

Kona Coffee Farms

Visit the farms and watch them process coffee beans with a cuppa fresh brew in your hands.  Yes, please!

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau

Don’t try to pronounce it.  Just go.  And see why this ancient walled city on the southern Kona Coast was a Place of Refuge. And you’ll see more turtles too.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Walk the trails, stop by the Visitors Centers, but most of all look for the steam and lava erupting from vents in the Park.

Finally I leave you this parting shot from the top of the island, sunset on Mauna Kea.

I’m feeling better already.  Is it too early to start planning next year’s trip?

~ Susanne

Spokane and Riverfront Park

Spokane lies almost 300 miles east of Seattle making it a 5 hour drive without stops. It seems even farther because the 2 cities are so different from each other: in geography, size, weather, traffic, and even politics. On a recent trip to Montana we decided to spend the night in Spokane and visit Riverfront Park, site of the 1974 World’s Fair, Expo ’74. Better late than never.

The weather had been dreary on the way over but we woke up the next morning to sunshine and blue skies. Spokane is like that, receiving an average 16″ a year of rainfall, compared to Seattle’s 36″. (Though Spokane makes up for it in snow.)

We made the easy drive downtown and found Riverfront Park shrouded in construction as part of a multi-year renovation project. Still much of it was accessible and we started our visit at the 1902 Clock Tower.

And stopped to see the iconic Giant Red Wagon, the world’s largest Radio Flyer.

(Look closely and you will see my traveling companion in the wagon. No, he didn’t take the slide down.)

We walked along the Spokane River, crossing the pedestrian bridges and admiring the Falls below.

We would have braved the Sky Ride had it been running. Maybe next time.

Spokane, like Seattle suffered a major fire in 1889. The foundations of the old water pumping plant can be seen along the river. A plump marmot called it home.

Though I love my hometown of Seattle, I understand the appeal of Spokane. Better weather for one. Less traffic for two. And it maintains a small town atmosphere. It will be worth a return visit to enjoy the Park after construction is complete.

~ Susanne

P.S.  The link below describes the renovation project in more detail.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

I love to walk in the park nearby for exercise and fresh air and I love to take pictures of the trees. Last month they appeared black and craggy, exposed like skeletons against the clouds and sky.

This week you can see fresh green leaves emerging as their covering.

It is a time of awakening.


~ Susanne

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