Monday, August 4


I don't think I have been this lax at blogging since sometime last year. I'm sure a string of successive trips and busy evenings are to blame...

As I mentioned yesterday my family (Mom, Dad, Me, Lisa, Adam, Sheli, and Beth) went down to Seaside, Oregon to spend some quality time together. We had great food, both cooked "in-house" and "out" as well. (The kitchen at the place we staid was fantastic. It was close to my dream kitchen. About 20,000 dollars more and little reorganization and it would be there...) It was a great place to prep food and it was nice to be able to help mom cook and toss out ideas for other flavors and food options.

We also got an "old fashioned" photo taken of everyone. It was a lot of fun to get a "family" portrait done in such a way. (Probably can't post the picture here for copyright reasons) Adam and Dad were taking pictures almost constantly so as soon as Adam posts some pictures I'll provide a link. (They just got back from Europe and they are moving this week so I doubt I'll be seeing those pictures today.)

As you no doubt saw from the picture, Lisa and I also stopped into a hat store and picked up a new hat. (My "cabby hat" is heavy wool, and while it's nice for the winter it will COOK you in the summer.) I think I tried on just about every hat in the store to find the one I finally bought. Kind of like a mini-fedora. (Not as much brim) With my black pea coat on I kind of look like I should be solving crimes or something. (1930's style) Just call me Ben "Noir"orrell. heh... ok, maybe not.

Lots of walks were had on the vacation as well. It really made me wish that the area around where we live was a little more... interesting. The seaside is always changing and the wind makes the waves do various things and the animals (seagulls) are flying around, and there are people out on the Prom, walking, riding bikes, chasing dogs, etc. Here your options are 1. drive somewhere more scenic, or 2. walk among suburbia and enjoy the crash and the roar of the... automobile. Where ever Lisa and I happen to end up next (Lord willing) I think I will attempt to put more thought into where we are in relation to other things around us, and what those things happen to look like. (There are only so many laps we can do around the condo shared greenery before I get bored.) All that to say, wish I was walking more... wish I was motivated by my surroundings to walk more.

Saturday we spent the morning cleaning up the house and then we drove back home. I think if anything this trip has given me a thinking that running my own medium sized Bed and Breakfast might kind of be fun.

This week looks to be pretty "normal" (yay!) but the weekend will be wrapped up by a trip to "the island" to hang out with Lisa's family before her sister goes back to school for the year. (And I have no one to tease for another 4 to 6 months at least (it's just not the same on Facebook))

I'll continue to sort through my pictures and post a few as I find them. I'll entertain any questions you might have though... anyone in the audience?



  1. I dunno - personally, I think it's pretty awesome that in our 'backyard' we have a paved trail system that stretches for 30+ miles. Along that, there are quiet forested areas, farmland, interesting homes, city views, and a miriad of interesting people doing as many different things as you can think of. (Fly fishing, and flame-jugglers are among the things I've seen in the past 2 weeks) On top of that, in Seattle alone, there are 400 parks of all shapes and sizes. Not to mention the hundreds of opportunities to be in nature by driving even 30 min outside of any city around.
    All this to say...we live in a BEAUTIFUL place. Yes, it might not be the view you see outside your window, like at the beach. But don't discount the incredible opportunities you have where you are.

  2. Anonymous10:50 AM

    Oh, I'm not saying we don't live in a beautiful part of the world. I am saying that the spot that I specifically live in requires me to drive somewhere in order for me to enjoy some of that. Smack dab on the border of Redmond and Bellevue right by Microsoft doesn't provide very many parks. (They are within "walking" distance of me, however once I get there I don't feel like walking anymore... and I still have to walk home.)

    I was just saying that walking along busy streets isn't very cool.


  3. As Dad and I walked last night, one thing we talked about was how flat Seaside is. When you walk here, you are going up or down a hill nearly all of the time. I, personally, like that. Dad's knees don't, though. He liked walking in Seaside because it caused less knee strain. I like walking here because there is no beach weather to make my curly hair get wind-blown and frizzy.

    Drive to your walks. It'll be worth it.

  4. Okay I had a question...

    If this is the same place I am thinking of did anybody stay in the tower? That was the one place I never went up an explored (I think because it was getting work done on it).

    My parents were in Oceanside this past weekend. I know it's in another state but by boat it can't be that far away. :)

    Seriously...driving is worth it. I ride my motorcycle out to the Santa Monica Mountains with the intent on hiking and such. Believe me walking along the border of the LA Airport is facinating but I begin to wonder if its totally healthy.

  5. Anonymous1:26 PM

    Different place Dan.

    I seriously feel like driving somewhere to walk somewhere (like simply in the evenings, not as "something to do" on the weekend) kind of defeats the purpose of part of the environmental effects of "walking".


  6. Yes, the place we live has only two smallish boring parks within a 10-minute drive.

    There are more interesting parks a bit outside that range (Marymoor, Bridle Trails) but going to those takes the total "going for a walk" thing to longer than an hour which we really can't do every evening... the length of the drive being the same as the length of the walk also feels a bit ridiculous.

    Whereas in Seaside, a 20-minute walk can take you from the beach to downtown and back home again.

    Ben's not saying that the Seattle area in general has some great walks, but that what is available on our daily route isn't as enticing.

  7. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Exactly. Where we live is a great location, but there really isn't much to see or do on a walk.

    I think perhaps I would prefer a place where the eye is drawn to more than cars and apartment buildings.


  8. True...different place yet I guess I must explain why I walk.

    When I walk alone I walk to explore, to see a street I've never been down to see where a path leads or to find out what really is behind that house.

    When I walk with Jane it doesn't matter how ugly or uniform the environment I am walking as a means to encourage conversation. Much like our drives in High School were encouragements to talk. Did we waste gas? I don't think we did.

    There is something to be said to being in a walking town like Seaside. It is enticing. But I almost think the experience that is gained in a holiday spent there is better than living there for good. I don't know, just my two cents (I guess with inflation that would make it 8 cents).

  9. Wow, Dan. I think that's really well stated!! Walking not as a means to an end (exercise), but with the intent of giving your wife the part of you that she needs. I'm impressed!!

    BTW, Ben & Lisa, Marymoor is minutes (very small minutes) away by car. The dog park is a really fun place to walk--with or without a dog. (Maybe more fun without our dog...neurotic animal...) Yes, parking costs a buck, but well worth it, in my opinion.

    I do understand what you are saying, though. I've lived in an apartment setting similar to yours. It can be depressing walking around it. Acutally, our home in Bothell wasn't great for walking either--only one way in, unless you went through the greenbelt. I love where we live now. There are TONS of great walking places and trails, all in the midst of the city of Bellevue.

  10. So I was slightly off - the King County Parks and Rec page shows 175miles of trails (not sure the paved/unpaved portions though). Whoops ;-)

    I guess for us, moving to a city from suburbia, moving to a very small apartment, etc, we decided that our 'living space' would have to be expanded. We kind of figured this out when we started to realize in OR that a condo/townhouse with no backyard (!) would be more affordable than a house. Kind of the same idea.

    So, that was one of the expectations we had. If that means that I stop in Woodinville on the way home to ride my bike on the Sammamish River/Burke Gilman Trail, or drive with Adam to Sixty Acres Park...that's ok. At least for us. I understand, though, that everyone doesn't want to give 1-2hrs to being away from home multiple times a week.

    If you ever want to join us (course, we're usually riding bikes), we will be going most mondays, some wednesdays, maybe fridays sometimes, and as much as possible on the weekends.

  11. Anonymous2:18 PM

    Thanks everyone for the insights.

    I think Lisa has a bike... somewhere. I don't think I have ridden a bike in... ummm... can you forget HOW to ride a bike?

    I do like the idea of spending more time WITH folks whilest walking.

    When it comes to traveling in a vehicle to get somewhere to walk (BTW: Marymoor until upwards of 7:30 or 8 takes a LONG time to get to from our place. It's because all the MS people in our area make their way home and try to get OUT of the area.) I am fine with the idea, I guess I feel like it would be a lot easier for me if I didn't feel the need to get in the car and drive somewhere in order to wander around outside and see what there is to see.

    I was probably spoiled as a child with being backed up to a green-belt and being able to walk in the woods whenever. (minus the times it was very, very wet)

    I guess the point of my post was more of a despairing about the area right around me (within walking distance) than the options within driving distance.


  12. No sense in beating a dead horse. I hear ya ben. The only thing I'm sad about is I didn't know you when you went into the greenbelt and explored. I'm definitely curious to see what's out back there.

    When i lived in Oklahoma our house was on a hill and the backyard was one "big" slope that leveled off at a storm drainage ditch. You could go through the corrugated metal tunnel under the lawn (really cool!) or follow the trail past all of the houses and into the wilderness of the open prarie. Even though it felt like I was miles from home I could still hear my mom yelling my name when dinner was ready, so I guess I wasn't too far was I.

    Hmm...maybe a segway is the answer for how to get to Marymoor? Oh and for the record you can forget how to ride a bike. College "Geoumai" trip to Bighorn. First time I sat on a bike in years and it wasn't pretty. :-)

  13. Anonymous9:23 PM

    Well, in the vein of all this talk about walking I walked a good amount tonight around the mall.

    I really enjoy the people watching of the mall.

    I think though that we will make more of an effort to get out on weekends and walk/ hike... At least while the weather permits.

    This weekend we'll be on 'the island' which allows for beach walking OR walking in the state park.

    Thanks for the encouragement and support. (Also, Dan, if Motorcycles were safer than they currently are, combined with the area here having nicer weather, I might consider riding... as it is, I could only ride less than 3 months of the year without getting really wet.)



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