Friday, May 23, 2008


We made it to one of the most beautiful spots on our planet: Bavaria. The first two days of our trip were drizzly and cool, but yesterday the sun came out and the temperatures are expected to soar over the next few days. We have a comfortable and spotless room in a little hotel in the town of Benediktbeuern, right at the foot of the Alps. We have some friends there, and we're using the place as a springboard to visit the surrounding areas. When we picked up our rental car at the airport in Munich, we lucked out and were upgraded from our original VW to something more appropriate...a new black Mercedes! How cool is that?! So, we've been tearing around the countryside checking out various sightseeing spots...

Here's Z with our wheels...

Here's the chapel on the farm where the German side of our family used to live...

Hinges on a barn door...

Typical Bavarian architecture...

Colorful meadow...

The world's most famous castle...Neuschwanstein...

Mad King Ludwig's hangout...Schloss Linderhof...

Sweet baby cows...

Typical village scene...

Painted house in Garmisch...

Another painted house...

The Walchensee...

Visiting with friends...

The view from our hotel balcony...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One more trip

On the 21st we leave on the last leg of our travels. We're heading to Germany, Austria, and Hungary so that Z can meet his relatives and visit the areas where his grandmother grew up and where I spent my teenage years. I'm also looking forward to introducing Z to some of my old friends and letting him feast on the fabulous German cuisine. I'm not sure how our internet access will be where we're going, so I've posted some links of some of the places we'll be visiting. Check them out if you'd like...

Here's where my cousin lives and where Z's grandmother was born:

Penzberg is the town where our family had a farm:

Here's the town where Z's grandmother went to boarding school:

Here's the village I lived in:

Here's where Z's great aunt lives:

Here's the area where Z's great uncle lives:

Here's where some of my cousins live:

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The other day I took a stroll around one of the new parks in our hometown, San Ramon. From the top of the hill you get great views of the surrounding hills and neighborhoods. It's been such a dry winter and spring that the hills are already turning golden brown. Here are a few images...

The new park - it has a ramp going all the way up to the top of the hill - very accessible...

View of south San Ramon

View of our neighborhood...

View looking east towards Mt. Diablo

New trees planted in the park...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fidalgo Island: Four Seasons

One of my favorite destinations in the world is Fidalgo Island. For those of you who haven't heard of it, Fidalgo is one of the islands of the archipelago in the northwestern corner of Washington state. I was hoping to head up there after our travels through Mexico, but unfortunately, that will have to wait until summertime. For the past few years, though, I have been spending a lot of my free time up there, so I have thousands of photographs which I have taken at various times of the year. I thought this blog would be a good place to share them with you. If you like mountains, islands, forests, clean air and water, hiking, kayaking, boating, quaint towns, and friendly people, you might want to consider taking a trip up to this beautiful and relatively undiscovered corner of the US. Fidalgo is only about 30 minutes off of I-5. It's close to Seattle, Mt. Baker, the Olympic Peninsula, Victoria, and Vancouver...not to mention all the other San Juan islands. Check out these links and photos, and hopefully you'll come and visit one day.

Here's a map of Fidalgo Island and surrounding areas:

Here's a link to a webcam overlooking our neighborhood in Skyline:

This link will take you to the webcam of the ferry terminal near our neighborhood:

Here's a link to a site all about Fidalgo Island:

View towards Anacortes from Cap Sante Park

View of Skyline neighborhood from Washington Park

The boat dock at Washington Park

View from Sunset Beach at Washington Park

View from Washington Park

Madrone tree 

Flounder Bay

Bowman Bay

Bowman Bay at sunset

Fresh snow over Skyline (not my photo)


Tulip season

View of Anacortes and Cap Sante Marina

Washington Park boat dock damaged in winter storm

Boats in Cap Sante Marina

My favorite bench in Washington Park

View of Puget Sound from Mount Erie

View from Washington Park


Welcome to Anacortes

Downtown murals (there are 91 of them)

Boat dock at Washington Park...a busy afternoon

View from Cap Sante Park looking toward Mt. Baker

Hanging flower baskets in town

Sunset over the San Juans
A lone sailor in Guemes Channel

Towering trees in Washington Park

View toward Guemes Island

Washington State ferry

Fog bank over Burrows Bay

An overcast day!  

View from Mt. Erie

Deception Pass Bridge

Calm waters off Washington Park

Sunset over San Juans

View of Skyline and San Juans from Mt. Erie

Sunset at Washington Park


Sunset over Flounder Bay

View from Mt. Erie

Deception Pass Bridge

View of Whidbey Island from Deception Pass

New growth in Washington Park