Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back to Texas

We traveled by train from Sacramento to Denver on the California Zephyr, another route that I highly recommend. Our hotel within a few blocks of the Colorado capitol and we enjoyed a long, leisurely walk around the city center.

A short flight took us right back to San Antonio where we enjoyed several days with family before heading off toward Mexico.Check Spelling

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back to California

Reversing the trip from Anchorage to California was quick enough. Instead of taking the Coast Starlight all the way to Los Angeles, we got off the train in Sacramento for a few days with our most excellent friends, Trish and Don. We went on several wine-hunting trips, ate great food and had wonderful opportunities to catch up with our Sacramento acquaintances. We only see them occasionally, but they seem much more important to us thanCheck Spelling just once-a year friends.

Trish and Don had just had their back yard professionally landscaped and it was beautiful. My photography doesn't do it justice. Use your imagination.

Of course, Stanley and Don had to have a BOY moment. What a pair they are!

As a special treat, we spent a few hours with old friends Cliff and Bobbie in Lodi. It was so good to see them. Since our visit, they have made a trip to Hawaii and I can't wait to hear about it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Blue Poppy Garden

A big chunk of our time in Alaska was dedicated to making pictures of a particular plant in The Blue Poppy Garden. These photos were used in making some very important decision in the world of those who study meconopsis in all it's forms. You can read Chris Grey-Wilson's findings in the Alpine Gardener, the quarterly publication the Alpine Garden Society.

One last look at the roadside garden as we leave Alaska . . .

Thursday, July 2, 2009

North to Alaska AGAIN

The Coast Starlight pulled out of Los Angeles on a gray dreary morning and wound its way up the coast with spectacular scenery on both sides. After wine tasting in the parlor and a delicious dinner, the train rocked us to sleep. We awoke the following morning with Mt. Shasta framed in our sleeping car window against a back drop of dazzling blue skies. In case I haven't told you lately, I highly recommend the trip from LA to Seattle on the Coast Starlight. What a pleasure!

We arrived in Seattle right on schedule in time for a great dinner and a night at the Inn at Queen Anne, our new favorite place to stay in Seattle. The next morning we were off to the airport for an early flight to Anchorage.

Our week in Alaska flew by. Donna Dotson made our visit so pleasant, it was tempting to just stay. Her guest cabin was like a luxury hotel suite and she did everything possible to make us comfortable. It worked! She even provided a garden for us to use as a playground. Donna, you are a dear and we love you!

Another highlight was a trip to Snowfire Garden. As always, Florene and Doug were gracious hosts. I love walking through their paradise.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Off Again . . .

We left San Antonio on our old friend, The Sunset Limited, on June 25th and arrived in Los Angeles the following day. We had a whole day to kill and we decided to make the most of it. What we needed was a city tour. It was like the 7 countries in 5 days - compressed. Venice, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Blvd, Rodeo Drive. We saw it all.

We had heard about Michael Jackson´s death the day before on the train and we were prepared for lots of crowds and intensive news coverage, but we had no idea just how big the crowds could be or the level of intensity of the news coverage.

And, then there was Farrah.