We went whitewater rafting in Pennsylvania in 2000, sea-kayaking in North Carolina in 2001, and death-marching (er… hiking) in the Grand Canyon in 2002. This year, we chose kayaking and hiking in Seattle.
We went kayaking near the San Juan Islands on Thursday. It was a great upper body workout and our guide Martine was a fountain of information. We saw some harbor seals close up and a bald eagle from afar. We (well some of us) were really hoping to see whales, but unfortunately, they didn’t cooperate.
On Friday, we drove south to Mt. Rainier. The skies were overcast in Seattle but they conveniently cleared up just as we neared the park. The views were breath-taking (or was that the hiking?). We trekked around Paradise (yup that’s what it’s called) along a path that Manu picked out. It was challenging, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. One of the climbs took us to the top of the cliff where Manu warned Noel, “If you fall, Anita won’t let you join us next year!” After a quick well-deserved soak in the hotel’s outdoor jacuzzi, we finished the night with some amazing sushi at Shiro. Everything was great but I could’ve done without the Uni (sea urchin) - those who didn’t eat it seemed to enjoy it the most.
On Saturday morning, we played our annual basketball game. Because of some logistical details, I had the fortune of playing on the young-guys team in game 1 and the old-guys team in game 2. My team lost both games, thus graciously providing both the oldies and the kiddies with bragging rights. I took a few movies - Harish making a shot, Girish with a tough shot, and Dilu with some fancy dribbling.
After basketball, we ate brunch at the Space Needle and took in the great views of Seattle and Mt. Rainier in the background. Saturday was a day to relax and take in the city without exercising too many muscles.
I’m skipping over a lot of details, but the bottom line is that I had an amazing time. It’s always more fun than I imagine it could ever be. I can’t wait til next year.
See Manu’s site for some more pictures.