Todd and Sharon's Vacation Page

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Sharon's sister, Diana, introduced us to Cannon Beach.  Diana and her boyfriend Brian had been going there for several years.  It's on the Oregon coast, just about due West of Portland.  The beach is about 9 miles long, and it's dominated by Haystack Rock; at 250 feet high, it's the "3rd largest coastal monolith in the world".  (Whatever, it's impressive, and it's in the background in the photo at left.)

Diana suggested the Hallmark Resort as well.  It's sited on the bluff above the beach with a fabulous view of Haystack Rock.  Our first visit, we stayed in 133, and we managed to get that room every other time we've returned (about twice a year), including our honeymoon.  All streaks have to come to an end, and this last March, 133 was unavailable, so we were put in 333.  It was um, higher.  

A funny thing about Cannon Beach is the weather.  We're rarely there in the Summer, we prefer to go in the Fall and Winter when the rates are better.  The rooms at the Hallmark have a fireplace, a Jacuzzi, VCR, refrigerator, microwave and a balcony for taking in the view.  We come prepared with food, movies, books & magazines, and tunes.  We'd really like to see a Winter storm, but the weather never cooperates.  We always get the same thing from the locals, "You should have been here last week, the wind was blowing 50 knots.  Isn't it nice now?"  We think the chamber of commerce should be paying us to visit; we bring the nice weather with us.  This is the weather (photo, right) we endured last March.

The best thing for us about Cannon Beach is the art.  There are a number of cool places to shop for art in Cannon Beach.  Our consistent favorites are the Bronze Coast Gallery downtown, and the Icefire glass works, easy walking distance from the Hallmark.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Sharon's paternal grandparents have a cabin on this lake in the far North of Idaho.  They built it about 60 years ago, so it's kind of a family legend.  The photo at left is a view from the beach in front of the cabin across the channel to the island that lies just within swimming distance.  

It's a primitive cabin with no electricity and no running water.  Access is either by boat or a 2 mile hike from a primitive road.  It's on U.S. Forest Service land with a long-term lease.  When it was originally built, the materials were brought in over the ice during the winter.  

Sharon's brother, Paul, and his wife Robin rebuilt the porch a few years ago.  They tell some interesting tales about the logistics of bringing in a relatively small amount of lumber by ski boat.  Then of course they actually had to do the work by hand (it seems to go against the spirit of the cabin to bring in a generator, even for a short construction project).

It all serves to put things in perspective about how far civilization has come.  We really enjoy our times at Priest Lake; but at the same time, we really appreciate electricity and running water when we return.

Mr. Peach Goes to Washington

One of the things that Todd does for Boeing is "Mergers and Acquistions".  OK, that sounded really pretentious.  The reality is that Todd has been swept up in the coordination effort that occured when Boeing acquired the former North American Rockwell assets and merged with McDonnell-Douglas.  Todd's assignment in the Lab Test organization of Boeing includes a fairly broad view of what's happening in all the labs.  Therefore, when the number of labs increases, Todd gets to go around and "kick the tires" of all the new labs.

What does all of this have to do with Washington, D.C.?  Well, when Boeing merged with McDonnell-Douglas, there was cause for celebration.  Specifically, there were press conferences and "visibility events" scheduled for August 1, 1997, to commemorate the signing of this historic agreement.  The PR folks at Boeing decided that they would fly in 150 employees (and a guest of their choice) to participate in the celebration.  

There were criteria for selecting these employees like "Embodies the highest standards of the new Boeing company", "represents the cultural and geographic diversity of the company", "has never been caught in a compromising position with a farm animal", etc.  One of the more notable criteria was, "has been involved with the merger."  Bingo!  Since Todd met all of those criteria (especially that last one), he was selected to attend to represent the Validation organization (Flight and Lab Test).  As his guest, he took his daughter, Sarah. (Sharon was a sport and stepped aside to make room).  Sarah lives with her mother in Tucson, and happened to be visiting in the timeframe that this event occurred (I love it when a plan comes together).

The photo was taken in front of the Lincoln Memorial, with the Reflecting Pool as a backdrop (anyone remember Forrest Gump?).  Todd takes narcissistic self-portraits from time to time with a 24mm lens and the aid of unnaturally long arms.

Todd and Sarah had a grand old time, with Boeing picking up the tab.  There were subway passes, tourbus passes, private openings of the Air and Space Smithsonian Museum, and just enough free time to really have a ball.

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