“SEA-uh-tle”

We had a student from Paris stay with us many years ago and her father called Seattle  “SEA-uh-tle.”  Randy and I have referred to it as SEA-uh-tle ever since.  Seattle is a great place to visit but a hard place to have an RV.  Last time we stayed in an awful KOA and picked up a mouse.

fullsizeoutput_47ccThis time we stayed at Issaquah Village RV park.  It is a nice enough place – nothing special, but pricey at a discounted rate of $55 per night.  But it is Seattle – and, so far, no mouse!

fullsizeoutput_47dbThe downside is the close proximity to I-90.  It is literally 100 yards away and the traffic noise is non-stop.   If you live here it probably becomes white noise.

fullsizeoutput_47d0We had a Handy Randy project right away. Our water heater wasn’t heating well on electric mode.  The T-Stat and connector had melted and needed to be replaced.  It is a common fail and Randy already had a spare from the last time.

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He took the opportunity to play with a new toy – his Borescope camera.  

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He drained the water heater, manipulated the camera inside and looked around.  He found nothing else amiss.   Randy thinks he could use his camera to do his own cystoscopies and send the video to his urologist in Boise.  Engineers….

fullsizeoutput_47d5We were very pleased to reconnect with friends Phil and Shirley.  They lived in Boise many years ago and it was very nice to sit with them and catch up.  It was very comfortable,  like the intervening years never happened.  Thanks Phil and Shirley!

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We always catch a Mariner’s game if we are in Seattle during baseball season.

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We had a nice sunny afternoon game and NO ONE SAT IN THE SEATS IN FRONT OF US!

fullsizeoutput_47dcWe enjoyed lunch at the field, having normal ball park fare – even peanuts later.  Safeco field was recently voted the stadium with the best food in all of baseball and they have an extensive variety.

You can even get chili-lime grasshoppers!  We weren’t tempted, even when a man sitting near us bought some and offered them around.

 

The Mariner’s ended up losing the game to Houston but we did see a triple play!  That is a rare event!

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We went to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour north of Seattle in Everett.

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The entry has flags for the countries that have purchased planes from Boeing.

fullsizeoutput_47f6There are a variety of displays and simulators.  The 787 Dreamliner is the only Boeing plane with a number and name designation.

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Pretend away in a 727 cockpit!

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Plane purchasers choose and install interior seating.  I’d like to see a reclining seat like this on a long flight someday!

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There were displays of Rolls Royce and General Electric engines.  The purchaser chooses which engines they want on their plane. 

fullsizeoutput_4802We saw one of only four Boeing Dream Lifters.   This huge cargo plane gathers parts from all over the world to assemble the 787 Dreamliner in Everett or North Charleston, South Carolina.

fullsizeoutput_4800We stored our cameras and cell phones in provided lockers and loaded onto the bus to access the factory.  The Everett Boeing Factory is the largest building,  by volume, in the world.  It is over 114 feet tall and covers 98.3 acres. All of Disneyland would fit inside and still have 12 acres for a parking garage!

 

P1010174The outside mural is the largest digital graphic in the world. Both the building and mural are recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Brochure photo 

We were able to see 747,  767,  777 and 787 planes on assembly lines.  Unfortunately, we were at the factory during shift change and didn’t see any work being done.  This plant employs 30,000 people and few, if any, robots.

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Brochure photo

fullsizeoutput_47faAlthough we missed seeing active assembly at the factory, we did see inside one of the painting bays – supposedly a rare event.  (This picture is from a viewing area once we got  the camera back.)  A brand new FedEx plane was getting painted in a building specific for that purpose.  It takes five days to paint a plane, adding 1000 pounds of weight in the process.

The completed plane has two test flights by Boeing pilots, each lasting 2-4 hours in length.   When Boeing is satisfied, the purchaser is invited to come to Everett to complete their test flights. Once everyone is happy with the plane’s performance, Boeing gives the purchaser 1/3 of a tank of fuel and a send-off party in thanks for the $200-400 million purchase.   

Randy asked about the Boeing numbering systems for their planes.  He was told that the company began with the lower numbers but as production evolved the engineering department decided to categorize products by design type.  These were done in 100 unit intervals:

200, 300 and 400 series were propeller aircraft

500 series were turbine engine aircraft

600 are rocket and missile products  and

700 are jet transport aircraft

In the 700 series, the second number is the model sequence, 727 before 737 etc.   Newer doesn’t mean bigger as 747 models are still the largest.  The last seven was suggested by the marketing department to sound good and be easy to remember.

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Brochure photo

There was a lot of interesting information on the tour.  Some of it, such as production times,  was only given in generalities due to industrial security.   In addition to not being able to take pictures, we also couldn’t take notes  You may not be missing all the cool facts and figures from the Boeing Factory Tour but I was very frustrated with not being able to bring them to you!

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Family and Chocolate

We knew from years of experience that spring weather in Boise can be highly variable.   We survived a Sunday morning snow in mid March.

While Randy stayed in Boise to finish his treatments, I went to Vancouver to spend time with my mom and brother.  We prepared for Glenn’s Day, a day of remembrance for my dad who passed away in November.  See  When Real Life Happens.   Randy and Elko joined us in time for Glenn’s Day.

Mom did the majority of the work beforehand, but I helped her with displays and slideshows about my dad’s family, military career, and travels.

We had family members come from six states to remember my dad.  He is well loved.

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The weather barely cooperated but we did have a brief time at the cemetery.  My dad’s headstone will be placed soon.  My mom’s information will eventually be on the back.

My dad’s ashes are at Vancouver Barracks Post Cemetery.   It is a historic military cemetery but smaller and more intimate than the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.   Currently, Vancouver Barracks Post Cemetery is available only to retired Army veterans and spouses.

The earliest grave stones we found reflected deaths from the 1850s.  There are very few  from 2000 – 2017.  The majority were for those who had served in the Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish American War, WWI and WWII.

There are four Medal of Honor recipients at Vancouver Barracks Post Cemetery  (Indian Wars, Spanish American War, and Civil War) and over 200 Unknowns.  Mom plans to do research on the Unknowns as part of her volunteer work at the Clark County Historical Museum.

While I stayed in Vancouver with Elko, Randy flew to Texas.   He joined his brother and sister-in-law from Arizona in visiting their Aunt Lahoma.  Lahoma is 95 years young and they spent an enjoyable few days visiting with her, cousin Roy and his wife Janice.

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Randy and his Aunt Lahoma.

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Roy, Janice, Tim and Yvette at the cemetery surrounded by Texas Bluebonnets.

A few months ago we were contacted by a family member we didn’t know we had who lives in Maine.  Araminta had been researching her grandfather’s past and discovered us through Facebook and the blog.   The grandfather she never knew was Randy’s uncle.  Unfortunately, families sometimes have disconnect events and this one happened long ago.   Randy and his brother hadn’t known about extended family in Maine.   We found enough corroboration to believe Araminta was on the right track and it has been delightful to help her learn about the Matthews family in Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona.  

As Aunt Lahoma is the only surviving member of the generation that included Araminta’s grandfather and Randy’s father, there were lots of questions and answers texted back and forth.  They found old pictures showing Araminta’s father and aunts as children.  Araminta and Randy included me in the text conversation and it was fun to watch each new discovery and confirmation.

You may remember that our summer 2016 venture towards Maine was cut short as we returned to care for our grandson. (See Grandparents to the Rescue)   The good part of that is when we venture that way again, we’ll get to meet Araminta and her family.

We have had good and meaningful family experiences during the last month and I am grateful.   Yet….I could feel the call of a museum or tour.   Afterall,  it is a big part of what I do in retirement.

We went for a tour at Creo in Portland.  They are Chocolate Makers,  meaning they work  from “bean to bar” – cacao bean to chocolate bar.  Chocolatiers take someone else’s chocolate and use it to make their chocolate products.

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Eighty percent of cacao pods grow on the tree trunks, only 20 percent in the canopy.   Cacao is only grown within 20 degrees of the equator.  The only US state within that range is Hawaii.  The largest segment of high end cacao is grown in central and south America.   Most cacao, and that  used in mass production, is grown in west Africa.

 

We learned that Creo is a family business.  This is mother and son during their search for a cacao source in central America.  They direct trade with a farmer in Equador, getting a shipment once a year from the winter harvest.  There is also a smaller summer harvest.  The farmer grows the cacao, picks it, takes the cacao beans from the pod and puts them through a fermenting process .  He dries and bags the cacao beans.  The beans are sent on a container ship to Seattle or Tacoma.

 

Once the beans are in residence in Portland they must be stored in a climate controlled room before roasting.  The beans are cracked into nibs of cacao.

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Husband, father, and chocolate maker Tim uses his own palate preferences to formulate their dark, milk and white chocolates.  They then produce a variety of truffles, bars and powders.

Then it was time for us to make our own chocolate bars using 73% dark chocolate!

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I used toasted coconut and dried apricot for a fruity bar.

Randy also used fruit – dried raspberries and blueberries – and added toasted coconut.  Our tour mates made a lot of creative bars!

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While we took turns packaging our bars, Randy and Tim talked more detail about the chocolate making process.

P1010080This was our final haul.  We have two of their’s and two of ours.  Our favorite during sampling was the Coffee and Cream bar.   The Strawberry and Hibiscus bar was also delicious.  We’ll see how Randy and Serene’s handcrafted chocolate bars taste when we try them sometime soon!

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Big Winners!

If only Randy and I had known we were big winners before we left Las Vegas!  No telling what we could have done with that information.  The only clue we had was that Randy won an eBay auction for the first time!

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Those of you who have known Randy a long time may remember that he bought his little yellow car on eBay – but that was after the winner couldn’t get financing and the sellers contacted him after the fact.   It is now my mother’s little yellow car.

This time it was a true eBay win – and it was even a bargain!

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We have enjoyed our new satellite system but finding the satellites has been hit and miss and sometimes quite frustrating.  Randy purchased a cheap satellite finder and found it unsatisfactory.   The BirdDog Ultra is professional equipment.  He saw prices near $600 for a new meter and decided to try eBay.  The winning effort was the third or fourth BirdDog he bid on – and then went for the least amount of money. Whoo-hoo!

The used BirdDog meter was waiting for us when we got to Boise.  Randy has only used it once, but so far so good.

I won too! I won $5 from the Albertsons-Safeway Monopoly Game. There are 900,000 $5 cash prizes and I won one of them.  It is the least valuable prize on the board, but it was a win!

We are winners because we got to celebrate Elko’s 13th birthday!

034 When he came into our family March 20, 2010, he was thought to be between four and seven years old. We and our vet decided to christen him age five. Given that, he just turned 13 – a good long time for a 90 pound lab.

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178At his semi-annual exam last week Dr. Katie asked if we wanted to do the annual blood work.  She suggested that sometimes “ignorance is bliss.” I would have gone with that but Randy thought it was better to know. So now we know – and fortunately we know that he is doing great.

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No significant health concerns for Elko at age thirteen!

We got good news on Randy’s health as well!  We are in Boise this early in the season for Randy’s bladder cancer follow up tests and maintenance treatments.   His scope and chemical exams came back normal. The treatments are painful but seem to be working.

Not only are we big winners, we are blessed.

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Variety in Vegas!

fullsizeoutput_4640We timed our trip through Las Vegas to attend the Mountain West Basketball Tournament. Both Boise State teams were high seeds and we hoped to watch quite a few of their games.

fullsizeoutput_4678We arrived in Las Vegas in time for the BSU women’s semi-final game. They won easily and had a place in the finals.

P1000769The Bronco women won their championship game with a buzzer-beater! It was very exciting and we enjoyed the post-game festivities.

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fullsizeoutput_467aThe BSU men played their quarterfinal game and suffered an upset loss. We were sad but reducing our basketball activity freed us up to do a variety of other things in Las Vegas.

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We went to see Donny and Marie at the Flamingo! (No photographs allowed so this is a picture of a picture…)  It was a very good show.   Even after fifty plus years in show business, they both have strong voices and good engagement with the crowd. When Donny started singing Puppy Love, I was twelve all over again!

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We went to The Neon Museum and Boneyard.

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Parking was a little tight for this beast but Randy is good at it.

The Neon Museum occupies the old LaConcha motel lobby and grounds. It has 200 iconic neon signs in its collection. Eleven are fully restored and lighted.

Nearly all Las Vegas signs are commissioned and the custom design company maintains ownership and does the maintenance.   When a sign is removed, they might canibalize parts from one sign to fix or build another.    The non-profit Neon Museum has eleven signs that are in working order. A few were given to them that way and some they have restored at great expense.

fullsizeoutput_468d.jpegBinion’s Horseshoe was the first casino to comp common gamblers with drinks, rooms and transportation intending to lure them back.  Before Binions, just the high-rollers got that “benefit.”

The original 1950s Moulin Rouge sign is massive.  This is just one part of it.  Moulin Rouge was the first desegregated casino.   Sammy Davis, Lena Horne, and Nat King Cole could perform and gamble with their friends, black and white. At other casinos they might be paid to entertain, but they would have to enter and depart out the side door.

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There were sign subtleties like dollar signs for S at Sassy Sals.

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We learned that the combination of red and yellow work as day time neon. Think McDonalds and In-Out Burger.

fullsizeoutput_4690It isn’t clear in this picture but the word Yucca and the yucca plant are different shades of green.  Using different types of gas in different colors of glass tubing can create a full array of colors. Each sign is individually produced. There are no shortcuts.

fullsizeoutput_4694Steiner Cleaners was Liberace’s choice for dry cleaning his fancy clothes. A seamstress would take a week to remove and then replace the sparkles and sequins when an item was in for cleaning.  This sign was one of the first to show movement.

fullsizeoutput_4696This sign was at McCarron Airport for many years. Las Vegas was, and is, a destination for easy marriage and divorce.  The city itself took hold in 1931 due to Nevada’s easy divorce laws, the end of prohibition and the construction of Hoover Dam.

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The Stardust sign used a space age font designed right after the Russians launched Sputnik.

P1000858Past and current Las Vegas signage is beautiful and mesmerizing in a way.   In a city famous for glitz and glam, we never expected to find natural beauty.

P1000878Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is 20 miles north of Las Vegas. Geologically created by the Keystone Thrust, the landscape is quite varied. Red Rock Canyon is managed by the BLM and Nevada State Parks.  There are many hiking trails and a 13 mile scenic drive.

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Some people were using electric bikes on the scenic drive.  That looked like fun.

P1000925Another option were these Scooter Cars.  That looked like more fun.  We had Elko so we used our truck.  That was less fun, but we were comfortable and his company was outstanding.

There are tortoises, wild burros, wild horses and mountain goats in Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area but we didn’t see any.  Insert sad face….

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We went back to the glitz and glam for our last night in Las Vegas.

We enjoy a variety of shows in Las Vegas.  This time we saw Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson One at Mandalay Bay.   As the poster says it was “a virtual parade of wow moments.”  We saw stunning acrobatics, a life size Michael Jackson hologram singing and dancing with the real person dancers, and even got snowed on inside the theater.

We are hoping that is the last snow we’ll see.   We head north tomorrow and since it is only mid- March, we likely won’t escape it totally.   We like variety – but not in the weather!

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Loving Arizona: The Epilogue

We had a terrific month in Mesa!   There is so much to do in the Valley of the Sun. Even though I wrote about a lot, there was still more.  We enjoyed seeing Randy’s brother and his wife each week and loved having so much to choose from.  Whew!

fullsizeoutput_3a1cYet, it was time to move on. We came to a familiar place, White Tank Mountain Regional Park. We have been here before and liked it so well we came back!  After our very tight site in the Mesa park, we had room to move and breathe!

 

fullsizeoutput_45e3It was so nice to be in the desert again! We spent a lot of time walking, hiking and just enjoying the view. Last year when we were here we had multitudes of wild flowers. No such luck this year, but it is still lovely.

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Since we were at a place with a fire ring, Randy had to do our version of shredding confidential paperwork! 

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We went into town for another Mariner’s game.  After being down 0-7, we won 10-7!

This game was at the Texas Rangers’ stadium.  They share with the Kansas City Royals.

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As we watched the game, the doves watched us.

fullsizeoutput_45f4It was a cold day for Phoenix!   The snow cone vendor was selling hot chocolate!

 

fullsizeoutput_4607Another day we toured Sun City Festival in Goodyear, AZ.   We liked the development and the homes and think a place similar to this is likely in our future.  No timeline.

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Boise friends Mike and Paula, also in Arizona for the winter, came by for a visit.

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A road runner came through our campsite.

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And one of our many hummingbird guests.

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Our own personal wildlife, Elko!

fullsizeoutput_460aFor the third year in a row, we walked the trails in Arizona without ever encountering a snake! Whoo-hoo!     (Looking at you Oregon, land of many snakes.)
We leave Arizona tomorrow and begin the trek north. First stop is Las Vegas for the Mountain West Basketball Tournament!  Go Bronco Women and Men!

 

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Chapter 5: Yours, Mine and Ours

For those who remember the 1968 movie Yours, Mine and Ours, this blog isn’t about kids. We have one “kid” and she is ours. This blog is about three museums, one in Randy’s wheelhouse, one in mine, and one that had something for both of us.

Yours – Commemorative Air Force Museum 

fullsizeoutput_45bcRandy really enjoys airplane museums and we have been to some great ones. (The blog post  Airplane Stories visits one of the best.)  My eyes glaze over after a couple hours but Randy could go on for days. In Mesa, we visited the Commemorative Air Force Museum.

fullsizeoutput_45c2The Commemorative Air Force is an international organization dedicated to preserving combat aviation history.  They focus primarily on World War II aircraft and service.

fullsizeoutput_45dcThe Arizona group’s first vintage aircraft restoration was a donated B-17 named Sentimental Journey.   Although we have been inside a B-17 before, this time we had a docent walking us through every nook and cranny.

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Gary is a retired air force optometrist and licensed pilot – and a great docent!

 

 

P1000674The saying “the full nine yards” came from nine yards of munitions used by the waist- gunners in B-17s.

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It gets cold up there – like 40 below zero at 22,0000 feet.  Each waist gunner station had an outlet for the gunner’s heated long underwear.

Commemorative Air Force pilots (most former military and airline), and crew fly their preserved aircraft to air shows around the country. As a fund raising tool, they sell rides on many of the vintage planes. Waist-gunner area seats are $425 per ride and $850 for the coveted bombardier nose seat.

P1000669We watched an interesting movie about B-17s. They weren’t the fastest or most agile, but they were nearly indestructible.  They often returned to base with significant damage. Some credit the B-17 with winning World War II.

fullsizeoutput_45beGeneral George C. Marshall credited the jeep as America’s Greatest Contribution to Modern Warfare in 1941. WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle said the Jeep and the Coleman GI pocket stove were the “two most important noncombat pieces of equipment ever developed.”

We learned how the Army Air Corps trained pilots in the WWII era.  Potential pilots completed a twelve week module on the first plane and if they passed, went on to the second, third and fourth planes in successive twelve week modules.  Each  plane type was more advanced.  Those that failed in a module might become crew or a gunner.

fullsizeoutput_45c0This plane is a DC-3, also called a C-47 in military vernacular, a transport plane for troops and supplies.  This particular plane was surplussed in 1951, purchased by a company in Bolivia, and used as a transport plane in South America.

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The Hoover Vacuum company purchased this plane (1960s?) and outfitted it as their corporate plane.  A ride on this vintage plane costs $150.

fullsizeoutput_45c4The third plane we were told about was the B-25, Maid in the Shade.  Fund raising seat prices range from $325 – $650.

Sixteen B-25s were used in Colonel Doolittle’s bombing raid over Tokyo memorialized in the movie 30 Seconds Over Tokyo. This was the first retaliatory raid on Japan after Pearl Harbor.  The attack on Tokyo was successful but most pilots ran out of fuel returning and had a variety of experiences in China and Japan.  fullsizeoutput_45c7The Commemorative Air Force invites people who had experience with a plane model to sign it.   Notice Ed Saylor signed as one of the 1942 Tokyo Raiders.

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Notice Betty Hayes was a Rosie the Riveter.

Mine:  The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is the number one rated attraction in Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the country. It is also ranked in the top 20 museums in the United States. We wondered if MIM would live up to those lofty rankings. It did. It was also overwhelming.

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There are displays of musical instruments grouped by continent and country. Each continent collection could take an entire day to explore!

P1000257Most displays also feature video of the instruments being played in a local setting.

There are some interesting instruments out there!

The featured exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum during our visit was Ancient Musical Treasures from China.

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This bone flute was found in 1986 and believed to be 7000 – 9000 years old. Its complexity suggests use in harmonies and in tuning instruments to different scales.

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This Bianzhong chime set is thought to be 2500 – 2800 years old and is one of only ten known surviving instruments.

One of our favorite sections of the museum was the Artist Gallery. There are displays encompassing everything and everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Taylor Swift.

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John Lennon’s piano is here.

P1000150One of the 2008 Chinese drums used in the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics is at MIM.  A link to that performance is here:  2008 Olympic Drummers

P1000140The first guitar John Denver ever owned,  given to him at age 12 by his grandmother, is also at MIM. This guitar was lost for a time and when found was the motivation for his song “This Old Guitar.” He tells the story and sings the song at this link. John Denver – This Old Guitar

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Of course, an Elvis guitar is here!


We could play instruments ourselves in the Experience Gallery!

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One time I went looking for Randy and found him here! Why is that not a surprise?

fullsizeoutput_457aOurs:  Arizona Science Center looked to have exhibits for both of us –  a planetarium, IMAX theater and general science stuff for Randy and a visiting exhibit on Pompeii for me!

fullsizeoutput_45b2We started with the Pompeii exhibit which was fascinating and haunting.  Pompeii was destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.   The eruption destroyed the city but also preserved it. The exhibit holds hundreds of artifacts excavated from Pompeii.

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An upper-crust home in Pompeii had an elaborate courtyard.

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A fresco from the first century.

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Glass blowing developed in the first century.  Glass and pottery were excavated from Pompeii.

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Amphoras held wines and oils.

Jewelry found in Pompeii.

These coins were found in a pouch next to a body.

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A mother and child

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A young boy

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This guard dog never left his post at his home’s gate.

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It was a somber and touching display.

If you found the Pompeii stuff compelling, I send you back to the related Oplontis Project in the blog post from Montana, Fall 2016 Way Above Average!

We also had some fun at the Arizona Science Center.  This Forces of Nature Display allows you to experience representations of tornado force winds and some mild earthquake rocking.

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When we got to hurricane, we even had some light misting rain. That was a surprise!

We spent time figuring out where all the innards fit!

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A retired meteorologist gave us a passionate lesson on climate change.  Preaching to the choir….

And we had some science fun.

We’ve been to many planetarium shows and do not care to go to another on constellations.   This planetarium offered different topics and Randy chose The Solar System.   It wasn’t just a video production.   It was an interactive experience with a gifted teacher.

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I took this one photograph (no flash) before he told me they weren’t allowed.

I know this blog post is way longer than usual.  I apologize!  Each of the  “yours, mine and ours” museums could have been a blog post in itself.  But then I’d have had to come up with a new title!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 4: Gotta Get Those Tickets!

I started looking at the Cubs’ Spring Training ticket site in December.  I knew from experience that Cubs’ spring training games frequently sell out.  Since the Mariners were going to be playing the Cubs just once while we were in Mesa, I was on a mission to get those tickets!   That was accomplished on the very first day tickets were available.

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As it turned out the game wasn’t a sell out but it was plenty full.

Given we don’t live near Seattle, we have been to quite a few Mariners games. We usually go to a game in Seattle each year and we’ve seen them in Minneapolis and Kansas City.   Since we’ve been in Arizona the last few years, spring training games are a given.

P1000502Surprisingly, we’ve never been to a game that King Felix has pitched. Felix Hernandez has been the Seattle pitching icon for a decade. Our game didn’t have many regulars in the line up, but we finally had Felix.   Unfortunately he got hit with a line drive in the second inning and was out. X-rays were negative!

fullsizeoutput_4559The folks behind us were from Chicago and when first baseman Anthony Rizzo came up to bat, they talked about him being a Stoneman-Douglas High school graduate. Rizzo returned to Florida after the school shooting and helped where he could. It was easy to root for him knowing that.

fullsizeoutput_4557Most spring training parks are shared by two teams. For example, Seattle shares their Peoria facility with the San Diego Padres. The Cubs have Sloan Park all to themselves and that allows for some individualization.

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If you wait in line you can get personalized pictures.  We didn’t.

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When we saw the Cubs’ retired numbers, we wondered why there were two 31s. Google says:   Fergie Jenkins wore number 31 in the 1960s and 70s and Greg Maddux was given the same number when he joined the Cubs in the 1980s.  Both had “number retirement” worthy careers.

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Fergie Jenkins was at Sloan park selling autographs and stuff.

And the other numbers:  Number 42 is retired in all of Major League Baseball to honor Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in the league. Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 50s.

The other Cubs players were: 10 Ron Santo, 14 Ernie Banks,  23 Ryne Sandberg and 26 Billy Williams.

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The game was fun but the end was frustrating! The Mariners had a 9-2 lead in the 8th and the Cubs tied it up.  No extra innings in spring training.

fullsizeoutput_451bThe other tickets I decided we had to have were to Hamilton, the traveling Broadway production being performed at ASU. When the tickets went on sale in December, thirty two shows sold out in four hours.   Hamilton is a hot ticket on Broadway and all over the country.   I hadn’t even known to try and get Hamilton tickets in December.

Once we got to Mesa and saw Hamilton was in the valley, I went back and forth about whether we should pay more than twice the regular ticket price on the secondary market.  After going back and forth for a week, I held my breath, clicked the keyboard, and paid for two back row, balcony tickets.   Randy was doubtful, but as I don’t squander money very often, he didn’t grumble.

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He did grumble trying to park our big truck.

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There were no pictures allowed during the production but this was the set.

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See, back row balcony – the cheap seats!

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The show that won 11 Tony Awards really is every bit as good as you’ve heard. We didn’t look at our watches once in three hours. We have no regrets about spending the money  and consider ourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity.

If you have the opportunity to see Hamilton, we suggest you brush up on your Founding Fathers- Alexander Hamilton – Aaron Burr history.  The songs move very quickly and we were glad for a good working knowledge going in.

However, we were not well versed regarding Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.  After Alexander’s death (at the hands of Aaron Burr) she lived another fifty years.   Until age 97, she dedicated herself to telling Alexander’s story and preserving his legacy.   Eliza Hamilton opened the first orphanage in New York City because Alexander had been an orphan. With Dolly Madison, she was instrumental in raising funds for the Washington Monument.   She was a very complex and interesting woman.

Our other tickets haven’t been nearly so precious in dollars or effort, but these two were worth it!

 

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