A Travellerspoint blog


all seasons in one day 12 °C

Anacortes is a quiet boring happy city north of Seattle, close to the Canadian border, mainly known for its ferry to the San Juan Islands that tout for tourists on the local TV with an intensity that smells like desperation. It was a father daughter bonding day and the scenery was more of a distraction at some points in time. However, as the contents of our long talks are not meant for publication I will happily share the amazing views and our best sunset so far. We climbed Mount Erie and Sugar Loaf Hill and wandered a couple of hours along the rocky shores of the Puget Sound in search of the official track and chocolate lillies. We saw a seal and as we left at dusk we found many deer grazing in the gardens of the neat villa’s that overlook the clear waters. The barbeques on the beach were in full swing and nobody seemed to care about the escalating tensions between the US and North Korea, or the lack of acoustic insulation of our Airbnb that allows us to follow the phone conversations of our neighbour in embarrassing detail.

Posted by jefvincent 22:28 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Reflecting on 100 blog entries

Since I started the blog I have uploaded more than 800 pictures and entered 100 small and larger texts.

I sent the link to the blog to about 60 people – merely people who were recipients of my newsletter, a few who responded to a Facebook posting, and a handful of friends whom we met during the trip itself. From the statistics that I get from the blog site I achieve between 60 and 80 viewings per entry – difficult to be more precise, because when you open the blog you can read 4 to 5 entries on the same page and it is only the latest one that will be credited for it. In short: not bad However, I have no idea who reads it. There have been very few comments, on site and through separate mail. That is a bit disappointing but not abnormal, I had the same experience with my newsletters. I find solace in the thought that I’m writing the blog in the first place for myself and in the second place for my grandchildren, since the plan is to convert the whole thing into a book once we’re back in Nairobi.

Overall I like the Travellerspoint website but the pictures have been a frustrating experience. I don’t’ necessarily build my stories chronologically, and when I introduce a theme I may add pictures that were taken on different moments. However the blog shows them to you in a strict chronological order, so that the pictures don’t reflect the text. Ideally I should be able to link pictures to one specific entry and have the 2 clearly linked and displayed together. For example over the last 10 days we visited a number of pubs and breweries and I would like to write about the experience as one, but if I upload the pictures they will disappear and be mixed with my other uploads.

The other dilemma is how personal I want to be and in the end I am keeping you at arm’s length. There are several entries about my more personal experiences, feelings and moral judgements that I didn’t publish or that I watered down significantly. That makes the reading more dry, for sure. Tsss.

I’m lagging behind. The workload is significant. Not so much the writing, but on a good day I take between 300 and 400 pictures, and sieving them, improving where needed, selecting, and eventually compressing the happy few, adding a title… takes time. Tomorrow we fly to new York and I hope to catch up.

Posted by jefvincent 23:04 Archived in USA Comments (1)


sunny 12 °C

The Seattle Art Museum is a very decent modern museum, not comparable to the Metropolitan in New York but still. It hosts an African art collection that I wanted to see at any price, because of one particular mask. The round Luba Kifwebe masks are relatively rare and the Seattle specimen is the absolute reference. I have one as well (and a second,miniature mask) and I was curious to see how it stood up against the competition. Well, there is a difference between a masterpiece and a good mask, but I was not devastated. The rest of the collection was also nice.

After a week in Seattle I start to feel like a local. I took the bus, walked the streets downtown, enjoyed the spring that was in the air, watched the people, added a few street views, appreciated the transvestite on the bus beamed up from the Aalst carnival, and returned to our apartment, content.

Posted by jefvincent 09:20 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Walking Phinney

all seasons in one day 12 °C

Phinney is the official name of our neighbourhood. As I’m recovering from something bad – stomach, fever, aching body – that cut me off the world for 1.5 days, we made a walk through our neighbourhood and then went down to the Green lake. The cherry blossoms are gone, but many other trees and shrubs have taken over. Our Airbnb is in a typical upper middle class zone (moving down to middle middle class and below as we get closer to the lake, ending with a few tents on the shore). The gardens are manicured, the wooden houses are very well maintained, the designs are typically American, unity in diversity. The bedrooms are typically on the lower level in order to get more light in the living rooms, why don't we do that in Europe? Shin thinks that she walks in a movie. Compared to African and European standards quite a number of houses vent the political opinions of its inhabitants, and with no exception the tenor is “blue”, i.e. democrat and liberal. No surprise. Everything self-explanatory, except the POW-MIA flag that stands for Prisoners Of War – Missing In Action and dates back to the Vietnam war.

Posted by jefvincent 06:51 Archived in USA Comments (0)


all seasons in one day 10 °C

Driftwood can be found all around the world, and when the sea has polished the wood into a pebble it can be beautiful and elegant. At Quileute driftwood has other dimensions. Hundreds of trees have landed at the beach and in some places they stack up in huge piles. We were wondering where they came from. Looking at the scenery, most likely they are all the result of natural erosion. As we walk the beaches we see everywhere trees on the verge of falling from the cliff. How much time will it take for a huge tree like these to decay and disappear? I suppose that the salt prevents insects, worms, mushrooms and any other log-eaters to be active here. Some of the logs still have the small roots and some soil that show that they are a recent arrival, others are incredibly polished.
Above all: they are huge, with diameters up to 2 meters. I add some pictures with average humans to give a better idea. Everything is big in America.

Posted by jefvincent 23:42 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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