Well, we finally got to get away from Chiang Mai and took a vacation. Yes, retirees can go on vacation. So we thought, where to go? London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul? We decided to go to our favorite city in the world, Seattle. We’d go see our son Darin, eat lots of Dungeness crabs, check out the Seahawks (The Hawks won two games while we were there), maybe see a whale or two, and visit with old friends.  We’d get back to Chiang Mai for the beautiful cool season.

It’s been a while since we took that 17 hour in-the-air, 24 hour door-to-door flight back to the Great Pacific Northwest, and I soon remembered why we don’t do this more often.  When I first did this trip at age 22 it was more or less fun and exciting. Now it is just long, with no sleep. And jet lag lasted almost the entire trip. Getting old isn’t for sissies, as Bette Davis said.

But we finally made it to the condo where we would be staying. We have a Thai friend who spends half his time in Seattle and the other half in Thailand and when he comes up to Chiang Mai he stays in our guest bungalow. So he let us stay in his condo on Capitol Hill right in the heart of the city.

We visited Darin up on Orcas Island right on the border of Canada, Pikun got to play for a last time with her old Thai classical ensemble, saw close friends, ate some great Dungeness crabs, Taco Bell, Ivar’s creamy clam chowder, and did lots of shopping.

We did learn that although we truly miss our life in Seattle, that is all in the past. We are very happy to be back in Chiang Mai. Instead of writing about the trip here is a pictorial essay.

View from our Thai friend's condo on Capitol Hill, Seattle.

View from our Thai friend’s condo on Capitol Hill, Seattle.

Mother and son reunion going out crabbing.

On Orcas Island, mother and son reunion, going out crabbing.

We catch dinner.

Success! We catch dinner. A Dungeonesse crab like these cost about $25 in the market. We caught 7 in one day.

The Great Pacific Northwest at its best.

The Great Pacific Northwest at its best.

Where we stayed (Darin's house) on Orcas Island.

Where we stayed (Darin’s house) on Orcas Island. Had our son become a forest dwelling hermit?

We thought Darin was living the life of a hermit until we had a dinner for his friends, artists, musicians, carpenters, and builders, all living basically "off the grid".

We thought Darin was living the life of a hermit until we had a dinner for his friends, artists, musicians, carpenters, and builders, all living basically “off the grid”. They think that the only person running for president is Bernie Sanders. The friendliest group of people I have ever met. Good for Darin.

View from the top of Mount Constitution, the highest point on Orcas Island. Reminiscent of the Twilight Saga movies.

View from the top of Mount Constitution, the highest point on Orcas Island. Reminiscent of the Twilight Saga movies.

One of the last things on my "bucket list". We go whale watching and see two humpbacks.

One of the last things on my “bucket list” checked off. We go whale watching and see two humpbacks.

One of the humbacks going deep.

One of the humbacks going deep.

Getting ready to take the 4 passenger sea plane back to Seattle. There were only 2 of us today so it was like having our own private plane and pilots.

Getting ready to take the 4 passenger sea plane back to Seattle. There were only 2 of us today so it was like having our own private plane and pilots.

Marijuana is now legal in Washington with pot stores everywhere.

We had spectacular weather on Orcas but now we were back in rainy Seattle. Marijuana is now legal in Washington with pot stores everywhere.

Dinner with the Three Amigos, old computer geek friends, now called "technologists". Yeh, right.

Dinner with the Three Amigos, old computer geek friends, now called “technologists”. Yeh, right. Notice the size of the food portions, enough to feed a village here. No wonder everyone gets fat in the U.S. I gained 4 kilos on my trip. Back to the old Dr. Hugh’s Miracle Weight Loss Program for me.

It's not only the place we miss. Old friends and neighbors.

It’s not only the place we miss. Old friends and neighbors.

Pikun and the Chao Phraya Ensemble, which plays Thai classical music all over the northwest. Pikun's farewell tour with them. She plays the two-string fiddle.

Pikun and the Chao Phraya Ensemble, which plays Thai classical music all over the northwest. Pikun’s farewell tour with them. She plays the two-string fiddle.

During their gig at the University of Puget Sound.

During their gig at the University of Puget Sound.

A great trip. And as the sun set on rainy Seattle we get ready for 17 more flying hours and another week of jet lag. Our next trip will be the one-hour flight to Luang Prabang.

And to use the typical Seattle form of goodbye, “Go Hawks!”.

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