brawley, ca

We ended up leaving Longview a bit later in the day on Saturday than we planned, but I guess it’s to be expected since it was our first time loading everything into this trailer. Our drive from Washington to California was mostly uneventful, though interesting. Lots of different terrains to see. A nice chunk of our first day was mountainous and winding. We drove by Mount Shasta, which is beautiful, though the top was covered with clouds. Lake Shasta is also very pretty, it would be fun to vacation there someday. We stopped for the night near Redding, and it was tough to find a hotel, most were booked. The one we ended up at was way overpriced for what it was, but at least we had a bed.

The next day we continued driving south. This leg had more flat areas, which helped Dan with pulling the trailer. The highway seemed to be a dividing line for a lower mountain range and fields. It was green on one side and brown on the other. There were lots of signs protesting the government’s use of water, which seemed to be a big issue for this state. In one area you could tell there had been a grass fire, though we weren’t sure if it had been a controlled burn or not. That night we stopped near L.A. in an area called Monrovia, which is close to Pasadena (I’d love to go to the Rose Parade someday).

On Monday we started off for our final leg, which was pretty short. We headed more east towards Palm Springs then south by the Salton Sea. The temperatures finally started getting to the 100’s. Hot. Pumping gas was an exercise in trying not to burn myself on my car. We arrived in Brawley at the apartment complex in the early afternoon. After going to get a money order with our move-in amount, we were able to get into our apartment a day early, which was awesome. Unloading the trailer was a lot less awesome, however. The heat is pretty intense, and trying to move boxes is exhausting because of it.

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized



For real this time. As usual, they changed Dan’s leave date. You’d think we would have saw it coming, but no, we got all excited to leave the end of May. Oh well though, such is life with Interstates. For a few weeks it was back and forth as to when they wanted Dan to leave WA and get to CA, but now we’re locked in to leave the 24th (well, that’s Dan’s last work day here, so probably leave the 25th) and head to California. His first day to work there is supposed to be the 29th, so it’ll be a nice couple days of getting settled. The only thing worrying me right now is the temperature. The forecast this week is over 100 degrees across the board. Whew. Dan and I got warm walking around Portland on Sunday and it was only about 70 degrees. The A/C better be good down there.

A lot of other guys are down there already and found apartments at a place called La Jolla Villas, and we’re attempting to rent there too. So far we’ve submitted an application, though we’re waiting to hear if it’s gone through or not. The place is a 2 bedroom, which will be a nice change, though the rent is a decent bit higher than what we’re used to. Hopefully Dan’s brother, Josh, will be sent out at some point too, so he can room with us and share rent.

I’m not working anymore, so I’ve started in on packing. It’s a little hard, with a whole week and a half left to try to figure out what we’ll need and what I can box up, but I’ve gotten a few totes filled. We’re also trying to get around a bit and say goodbye to people. Dan and I got together with Sue a couple weeks ago for dinner. I went to Kathy’s to pickup my last paycheck today, and tomorrow I’m driving up to Everett to visit Malissa and Chris one more time. Then on Friday we’re planning to have Ty and Juanita over for pizza.

Last Friday I went back to Skamokawa, to the Inn at Crippen Creek for a breadmaking class. It was fun to see Don and Kitty again, and the bread we made was really good. I got to meet a couple other people who were there as well.

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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Uncategorized



Yesterday Dan was finally told that his last work day in Longview would be May 27. Officially I told my work that my last day would be the 28th, back before we really knew one way or another whether we could be leaving in May or not, so I guess we were pretty close. Regardless, things could still change, according to Dan’s supervisor, but we’re going to give notice at our apartment anyhow and hope everything works out.

Again, not official yet, but it looks like we’ll be headed south to the Salton Sea area of California. There’s a new geothermal power plant being built down there that is supposed to be the job site. No one’s told us the exact location yet, but from what I’ve researched, it looks like Niland, CA is the town. I’ll keep everyone posted on what goes down.

Tonight was Cinco de Mayo. It’s kind of strange that this is the second time we’ve celebrated while in Longview, since I’m still not really used to being in one place for such a long period of time. It was fun though. Dan, myself and Will had dinner with some friends we made while out here. Actually, one of them we hung out with last year at the bar we used to go to called Knuckleheads, back before the owner stopped paying bills and it shut down. It’s been cool keeping in touch with Ty, who used to bartend there. Several times lately we’ve had dinner with him and his wife, Juanita and we’ll definitely miss them when we’re elsewhere. Tonight though, we had dinner at a mexican place here and they brought their baby girl along. We’d never met her before, though Ty had shown pictures. She’s only about 6 months old, and hardly has any hair yet, but she was pretty happy to be out and about. I think she had a little crush on Dan, actually and kept staring and smiling at him. LOL.

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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Uncategorized



April was an interesting and quick month. My work schedule was pretty slim, which was good in the fact that I’m ready to be done working for a while, but at the same time, it would be nicer to make money when I can, and with no hours, that’s pretty tough to do.

The weekend of the 16th, Dan and I talked Will and Kevin into going to Seattle, since neither of them had gone before, and Will had been out here for almost two years, so that’s pretty much unacceptable. 🙂  We decided to start off and spend one night in Tacoma, then the next in Seattle.

Tacoma was fun. We used Priceline to book the rooms, and ended up at the Murano again. Will said it was probably the classiest place he’s ever been in, so that was pretty cool. We had dinner at the Harmon Brewery, then went to check out a local college bar, called The Swiss. At first it seemed like it was just a small bar, with some music playing, but as you walked in farther you kept coming to more rooms… one was tables, the next had the actual bar, the next had the band, and another had pool tables. There might have been more, but that was as far as we ventured. The band was really good. Most of the night was spent watching them. We found out that they were called the “Vicci Martinez Band”, with the lead singer being Vicci Martinez herself. She kept plugging a new NBC show called “The Voice”, but couldn’t say anything more than that she had auditioned for it. Come to find out now, that she was actually picked by one of the four teams on the show and now we’re waiting to see how far she gets. She has a great voice and Dan and I are hoping she’ll go far.

Saturday we headed up to Seattle. First we checked into our hotel then headed toward the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is. We had made reservations to eat at the restaurant at 2:30, so we had some time to kill. We wandered around outside in the Seattle Center area. There’s an interesting fountain there, and there was a tent where some guys were hand carving a totem pole. It was a pretty nice day and the trees were blooming. Once it was time to eat, we headed back to the Space Needle and went up to the restaurant. Brunch was really yummy, and we took our time enjoying the view. After finishing up there, we headed to Pike Market and the gum wall. Then we kept exploring for quite a while. Eventually we split up so Will and Kevin could go to one bar while Dan and I went to Pike Brewery for some beer and food.

The next weekend was Easter, so we went up north again to Bellingham so we could spend time with Lora and Jerry. Saturday was super nice out, and after going to a boy scout pancake breakfast, we went to a park  on the bay that had a boardwalk over the water. We hung out there for a while then went to another park in time for the tide to start going out. We wandered the beach looking for tide pools. There were clams all over in the rocks and sand, you could see them squirting water up. One tide pool had a couple tiny crabs and a bunch of anemones. On the way back to the car Lora spotted a starfish, and Jerry picked it up. It was purple, which I wasn’t expecting and not as squishy as you’d think.

On Easter we all went to church, then went to Jerry’s parents’ house for dinner. It was interesting getting to see the same people we had Easter with last year, but yet not really feeling like you knew them. We hung out for a few hours after dinner, then headed back south again because we had made plans to meet up with Malissa and Chris for supper. We stopped to pick up Malissa, then met Chris at P.F. Changs where we ate and talked. It was good to see them again, since it’s likely we won’t get to meet up again while we’re out here.

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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized



Liz and Aaron came out to visit us for a week. It went way too fast. They flew into SeaTac on March 11, then did some sight-seeing in Tacoma and the surrounding areas. They drove down to Longview on the 12th, arriving around 8pm. After they found our apartment, we headed into town and got dinner at JT’s Steakhouse, which is one of our favorite restaurants in town. Following supper, we met up with a bunch of Dan’s coworkers who were out at the bar which is part of the Chinese buffet. They got a little crazy, but overall everyone had a good time.

Sunday we got up a bit late, grabbed coffee and went to see Dan’s jobsite. There was a ton more done than the last time I’ve been by. I think Liz and Aaron found it interesting, and I know Aaron liked the big log piles at the log export place next door. After that we headed down to Portland to check out the Sunday Market. Both Liz and I ended up buying a hanging decoration for outdoors, made of a spiral of metal with a glass orb inside. After wandering Portland for a little while, we got in the car and drove to Cannon Beach. It was super windy there, and there were lots of breakers. The wind was so strong it was a bit hard to walk. It was a pretty cool experience though.

We went to Astoria next, where we went to the Goonie’s House for Aaron and then to see the Astoria Column. Unfortunately the door was locked, so we couldn’t climb to the top. After that we found a hotel and dropped off our stuff. Then we went to the Rogue Public house for beer and supper. It was pretty dead there, so we decided to check out Fort George Brewery as well, since that’s where a lot of the locals go. There was a band playing, and a lot of people there, but we were able to get a table and hung out for a while. Then we went back to the hotel and crashed.

Monday morning we had breakfast at the hotel, then loaded the car up again and drove back to Longview. We stopped in at Kathy’s Flowers so I could show off my work, though most of my coworkers were at lunch at the time. We then went back to our apartment to leave a few things, and move the luggage to our car from the rental. Then we went to get lunch at a local burger place called Nips. After some yummy food, we got back in the cars and drove to SeaTac area to drop off Liz and Aaron’s rental car. Once that was taken care of we all piled into the civic and headed to Seattle to find the Sheraton hotel, which we booked with Priceline (love that site!). After dropping off our stuff we decided to wander the city a bit, then went to check out a place called Pnk, which I guess is an “ultra lounge”. We had a couple drinks then headed toward the water so we could get supper at the Crab Pot, which is pretty touristy, but had really good food. Liz and Aaron shared one pot, and Dan and I shared our own, but when they came the dumped everything in the middle of the table. It was pretty messy, but fun to eat all the crab, clams, mussels, and fish. After that we walked back toward Pike’s Market and stopped in at the Pike Brewery.

Tuesday we got coffee on the way to Pike’s Market from Seattle’s Best, which Aaron wanted to try, then we found breakfast at one of the little shops outside the Market. We walked through Pike’s, and had fun watching the workers throw fish around. Then we walked back uphill to the monorail so we could make it to the Space Needle in time for our lunch reservation. It wasn’t sunny, but thankfully it was clear enough to see most of the city and surrounding from up in the observation area. Lunch was very good…gotta love the more gourmet places. 🙂 After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to get the car and arranged all our stuff and headed north to Birch Bay.

We settled into our condo on Birch Bay, which was nice and clean, but very dated. There was only one actual bed and two different pull out couches. Thankfully, Dan and I got the real bed. 🙂 We drove back south a bit to the next town for dinner, since there wasn’t much around Birch Bay, then came back and just relaxed at the condo for the night.

Wednesday we decided to go wine tasting. However, there was only one tasting room open during the week that we could find (too bad it’s off season), so we made do with that. We picked up Dan’s aunt Lora on the way there and she invited us to come over for dinner that night. So we picked up some food, including live crabs and she took them home while we went into Bellingham to explore. Dinner was fun getting to spend time with his aunt and uncle. Then we headed back to the condo again.

Thursday we decided to explore the beach on the bay. We didn’t time it quite right to see any tide pools, but the weather was pretty nice. You could actually see the mountains in the distance, including Mt. Baker. I found quite a few pieces of beach glass, and Liz found some crab claws, tho we didn’t actually get to see any live crabs or other critters. After getting enough of the beach, we piled back in the car and headed toward Mt. Baker in an attempt to go see a waterfall. There were a lot of curvy roads, and eventually we found the turnoff for the waterfall, though it at first seemed to be partially blocked off. Also, the road was covered in several inches of snow. We decided to risk it, and it was definitely worth it. Liz got her shoes wet because of the snow, but she probably shouldn’t have worn canvas wedges.

That night we went out for St. Patrick’s Day. I stayed away from the green beer, but had a couple of pints of Guinness. Everyone else had the green stuff. We ended the night pretty late, but we all made it up early enough the next morning. We got everything packed, got a quick breakfast at a cafe in town, the got back on the road to drive Liz and Aaron back to SeaTac so they could catch their plane home. The week sure flew by!

After dropping them off, Dan and I decided to wander the mall that was nearby. We eventually got hungry, so we had a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Then we checked the traffic for I-5 on our phones and decided that it was bad enough we should find a hotel for the night. So we used priceline again and got the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. It was awesome. Very modern and full of art. Every floor was devoted to the work of one glass artist.

On Saturday we went over to check out the Tacoma Museum of Glass. There weren’t a ton of exhibits, but the cool thing about that museum was that they have a “Hot Shot” team of glass artists that are creating things in a workshop all day long. There’s a bunch of seating and you can just sit and watch as long as you like. It was really cool. I definitely recommend!

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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized



I went to Sue’s house for dinner tonight and to meet Lassie, another Poufwanian from the forum. We had fun talking and messing around on skype with others afterward, then I came back home with the intent of going to bed at a decent time for work Friday. However… I came across a news update from back home about a big earthquake that happened near Japan while I had been out. Apparently they had a huge 8.4 or so earthquake offshore and various aftershocks which created some nice tsunami waves. At first it was looking like there’s no way we’d be affected, but now Washington and Oregon coastlines are under a watch too. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have anything, but it’s definitely making an interesting evening and I am now up way later than I was planning.

Unrelated side note- while at Sue’s I received a text from Dan reading “no more goatee”. I guess he finally decided to get rid of it, but thought it’d be cool to keep the side beard.  o.O  Wolverine wannabe?

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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


getting ready

Liz and Aaron are coming out to visit us in 3 days. It’s pretty exciting. I find it ironic that it took the farthest work location that we’ve had so far to get any family to visit us while we’ve been living on the road. Now we just need to get his family in on the action. Tonight we hashed out some final plans over the phone for a rental car and our hotel in Seattle.

Then I made brownies. I made them once before using Bell’s Cherry Stout, but today I went with Guinness since that’s what the recipe actually calls for, and we had some in the fridge. Hopefully they’ll last until Liz and Aaron get here. 😛

I told my boss yesterday that my last day of work will be May 28, unless we are moved before then. If we end up staying later, oh well. I just wanted to give them a date to work with, and right now Dan is on the schedule to leave in June. Today they interviewed a girl to be my replacement and it looks like she’s going to work out. They offered her a job and she says she wants it, so now they just have to work with her current schedule while she finishes up her last days at Michael’s where she’s working now (they cut her hours way back). They say they’ll keep me till I plan to leave, so that’s nice. I may work less days, but that will be a nice change from full time.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Uncategorized