My parents arranged for us to join them this fall in Leavenworth since we missed their first visit there. However, we visited Leavenworth in July for Jenni’s birthday, so it became our second voyage to the Bavarian town in Washington.
Unfortunately, a weather storm came through and shortened our trip. The rain prevented us from admiring the scenery we enjoyed on our drive there, and it made for wet walks into town. Then the temperature dropped and we almost got snowed in.
We only stayed one night but we managed to visit the reindeer farm. Jenni thought it would be an unique experience and it definitely was something my parents wouldn’t normally do. The reindeers happily ate snacks from our hands but we had to be wary of their grown antlers.
Before we drove home, we stopped by their Christmas shop and it was four floors stocked with all manners of ornaments, decorations, and gifts.
Despite a trip that was disappointingly short, we were thankful to revisit the town of Leavenworth, share memories with my parents, and got a glimpse of what Christmas would be like there.
This fall has been unusually warm, so the leaves at Costco didn’t change as early as we’re used to. Then the wildfire smoke smothered the day we would’ve tried and the leaves were cleaned up the next day.
So we moved our tradition to the leaves in front of Beaver Acres Elementary. There’s an extended sidewalk along the main street that provided us the colorful leaves for our tradition.
As big fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I grew up reading Spider-Man comics, we took our first opportunity to see OMSI’s latest featured exhibit. It covered a lot of the history of Marvel as a comic book company before becoming the movie and television juggernaut that it is now.
After we got the Quest 2 VR headset and started playing Beat Saber, I found YouTube videos of gamers who not only played it like a dance, but inserted themselves into the virtual reality game. What amazed me more was the software required to do so was available for free.
My dad has volunteered at the Lan Su Chinese Garden for many years during his retirement. He loves sharing Chinese art with visitors in the form of calligraphy, painting, and music.
As Jack continued to train for a marathon, we invited Jake to ride along behind him as we made a goat-shaped loop around East Portland.
After my first sabbatical, Vernier changed the benefit so that employees receive a four-week sabbatical after seven years of employment. The timing was advantageous since my second sabbatical came sooner than the first, which came after ten years.
I was eligible for my second sabbatical last year, but since we were navigating a global pandemic, I deferred it for a year. I’m still amazed at how fast time went by from my first sabbatical that I arrived at my second sabbatical; and now, at the end of my second sabbatical.
So, what did I do for six weeks?