Barra de Navidad

On July 31, 2014, we made the trip to Barra de Navidad, Mexico, in order to house sit.  We got here by flying from Los Angeles to Mexico City, connecting to Manzanillo airport which is about 30 minutes south of Barra.  The homeowner met us at the airport and drove us back to his house.

Barra de Navidad

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Morita Family Fun at the Beach

During the third week of July, all of Valerie’s immediate family packed up and headed to Holden Beach, North Carolina for a week of family fun.  Holden Beach (pics) is a small island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other.  The much more popular and better known Myrtle Beach is about 50 miles south of Holden Beach.

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Pacific Northwest Seafood

One of the things we enjoy about visiting different parts of the United States or different parts of the world, is having the opportunity to sample the many different foods that have become iconic for that particular location.  The Pacific Northwest has established itself as a source for a wide variety of fresh seafood.

Oysters on the half shell, steamed mussels from Penn Cove on Whidbey Island, crab cakes, salmon, steamed clams in roasted garlic pesto, oyster shooters and fish and chips.  All fresh and locally sourced.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

Also known as the Ballard Locks (pics), this complex set of locks just to the north of downtown Seattle was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and was opened on July 4, 1917.  These locks are part of the Lake Washington Ship Channel that connects Lake Washington and Lake Union to the Puget Sound.

Ballard Locks

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View From The Top

We figured the best view of Seattle (pics) and surrounding area would be from the highest point.  The Columbia Center building in downtown Seattle has a Sky View Observatory on its 73rd floor.  The total building height is 943 feet with the height at the observatory being 902 feet.

Looking north; Puget Sound on the left, Lake Union on the right

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