Showing posts with label Washington apples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington apples. Show all posts

Monday, July 30, 2018

Moving from ‘The Morgue’ to Manson

‘Change is the only constant in life.’
-- Heraclitus

Was it only last July that we turned our lives upside down by deciding to sell our U.S. home and live full-time in Greece?

Was it only last year that I showed you photos of our ‘summer of slogging’ and made jokes about living out of that corrugated metal storage unit we’d rented in the Seattle suburb?

Filling up the Storage Unit - July 2017

One Year Later. . .

The Stone House on the Hill - far right
Settled in to our Stone House on the Hill in Greece’s Peloponnese, we are comfortably adjusting to and enjoying expat life. That is, with the one exception I told you about last week:
being homeless’ in America.

Having no address to call our own, coupled with ‘living out of the storage’ unit (as I had quipped last summer) wasn’t working. That fact became real clear after our visit in the Northwest last January.

We got rid of one temporary address during that visit. Our friend's graciously loaned us another. Our visits to the storage unit were bleak. Seeing our life’s accumulations – the stuff special enough to have kept -- stuffed into stack and piles, boxes and bags was nothing short of depressing.  We began calling it ‘the morgue’. It made us feel dead. We knew it was time to regroup.

Time for change -

‘And suddenly you know;
It’s time to start something new
and trust in the magic of beginnings.
  -- Meister Eckhart

So for the past few months, while I’ve been telling you of the wonders of Greece, we have been conducting a long distance search for a ‘seasonal home’ back in the States. (We would have once called it a ‘second home’ or ‘vacation home’ but the industry jargon has changed over the years.)

With no immediate plans to give up full-time residency in Greece, we needed a place for our belongings and a place to stay when we go back to visit. Someday perhaps it would serve as a full-time home when health, age, or immigration rules (or a combination of them) prompts us to leave Greece.

In keeping with our downsizing philosophy, we set out to buy a condo in the same Seattle suburb we’d left last year. Unfortunately for us, it is the suburb that continues to make headlines as being one of the hottest (high prices and selling quickly) housing markets in the nation.

With condo’s selling within five days of listing, we picked up our pace. If a ‘possible place’ came across the screen, we’d contact good friends back there, asking them to drop what they were doing to race out and see it. They’d report back and with the time differences, we’d have about 48 hours in which to make an offer. We went for two and lost out. The market was limited and the list prices the baseline for a bidding war.

The process got real tedious. It was time to expand the search:

Our old home was Kirkland, just north of Bellevue, a Seattle suburb
We opted to stay within Washington State boundaries. And in a quirky turn of events we came across a place we’d looked at and liked last summer. Back then the owner wasn’t ready to sell and we weren’t ready to buy.

Now she wanted to sell. We were ready to buy.

New adventures. . .of sorts!

We're heading to Manson, Washington, an unincorporated town in Central Washington nestled on the shores of Lake Chelan.

Manson and Wapato Point on Washington's Lake Chelan
The 55-mile long, glacier-fed lake has long been a popular tourist destination and the photo above shows the portion of Lake Chelan where Manson is located. For those who know the area, that is Wapato Point jutting down (towards the bottom of the photo).

A portion of Lake Chelan from the town of Chelan - Cascade Mountain range
The house will be new beginning for The Scribe and a return to his roots for The Scout (after a many-decades absence), as Manson is eight miles from Chelan where he was born and raised.

A portion of Lake Chelan from The Butte
The hillsides surrounding the lake were once carpeted with apple orchards, however, as the Washington State wine industry has exploded, many of those orchards have been replaced with vineyards – acres and acres of vineyards.

PicMonkey Collage
Manson Washington - apple orchards and vineyards

The vineyards have given rise to wineries, and the wineries have opened tasting rooms. New seasonal festivals related to the wine industry now fill tourism event calendars for this part of Central Washington.

Benson Vineyards - Chelan Washington
Our new U.S. base will be about four hours drive from our former home in the Seattle suburbs.

The similarities are many between our Greek and new U.S. home. In many ways it will be village life, as it is village life here. The main thoroughfares are two-lane roads. Agriculture and tourism blend to keep the areas vibrant. Much like our Agios Nikolaos, Manson village has a few restaurants, a grocery store, and bars. It does have a post office.

Wenatchee, like Kalamata is here, will be the hub for major shopping, health care and each city has a regional airport. Both are about an hour's drive away.

Our new U.S. home, is walking distance to the village and to the lake. We’ll be surrounded by vineyards and wineries.How much better a location could we have found?!

Surrounded by wineries - a perfect location
Thanks to the internet and Skype, the purchase process, completed during the month of July, was carried out quite easily despite being 8,000 miles and 10-hours time difference away.

Our airline tickets back have been purchased, a moving company has been hired, we are synchronized to move ourselves out of ‘the morgue’ and to Manson this fall.  It took three months last summer to get us moved out of our old life and we’ve scheduled three weeks this fall to get us moved into the new.  I’m certain with all the offers of help we’ve received from friends and with a bit of that Chelan area wine – we’ll be able to pull it off.

Oh. . .did you want to see the house? Well, here it is:
Our new home in Manson
It’s one level (like they recommend for boomers) and its in a gated community – so will be a secure place to leave our belongings. Unlike our Stone House on the Hill in Greece, we have no water views, but we will be able to see a portion of the Washington Cascade Mountain range from our front deck:

Our front porch
So with the purchase ‘done and dusted’ last Wednesday evening (as our British friends would say), we toasted the fact that we have a US address again and that we can now get back to the business of enjoying Greece.

A toast to a new address
The Scout has been busy planning a Greek road trip for us, that involves some more Greek island hopping!  And they might be some islands that many of you’ve never heard of. . . I’ll tell you about them soon!

Thanks for being with us as we travel this ex pat world! Safe travels to you and yours ~

Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Best of Weekend

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Washington Weekend ~ Apples Found Round-the-World

For the next few weeks our seasonal “Washington Weekend” posts return to TravelnWrite. In them we’ll take you along with us on road trips and ‘staycations’ in the Pacific Northwest’s, Evergreen State. The series begins, however, on the other side of the world. . .

We’d flown to the other side of the world – 11,149 air miles or 17,942 air kilometers – in April to board Oceania’s Nautica in Bangkok, Thailand for a cruise to Istanbul, Turkey.

PicMonkey Collage
Back-of-the-seat monitors let you track your travel on Emirates Airlines

By whatever measurement, miles or kilometers, we were a long way from anything Washington State. . .or so we thought, until. . .

. . . we went into a grocery store just down the road from The Peninsula Hotel where we were staying in Bangkok. Grocery stores are among our favorite places to ‘tour’ when traveling because we find local foods interesting.  And sometimes the food isn’t always local, as we found out when we found ourselves standing before a display of Washington State apples.

PicMonkey Collage
Apple display - Bangkok, Thailand
Pretty cool, we thought. (If you are new to the blog, you may not know that our childhood and early adult roots are in Washington State apple country; in fact, The Scout’s family were apple orchardists in Chelan. Therefore, the apple holds a special place in our hearts.)

The following week, in Phuket, Thailand, our third port of call, we’d sought shelter from the heat in a large retail complex which housed a large, very modern grocery store. Once again, we happened upon Washington State apples. Quite a selection as a matter of fact:

Washington Apples - Phuket, Thailand
(Although larger, Washington apple display didn’t quite compare with the ‘gift-wrapped’ Asian-grown variety next to them. Of course, by then we were taking ‘ownership’ in these Washington grown fruits and predicted that ‘ours’ probably tasted far better):

Asian apple display - Phuket, Thailand
It wasn’t until we reached India that we really were reminded of the far reaching impact of our state’s apple industry. I have to admit the salesmen at the Mumbai fruit and vegetable market couldn’t get over my fascination with the apples we found for sale. But it seemed there was a Washington State apple box at every turn.

PicMonkey Collage
Washington apples were everywhere in the Mumbai market
India, we’ve since learned, was the fifth largest importer of Washington apples in 2013/14 with some 2.3 million boxes shipped there, according to the Washington State Apple Commission. (For those who like stats, Mexico was the largest importer at 10.5 million, followed by Canada, UAE (Dubai) and Taiwan).

The Commission reports that about 30% of the state’s apples are exported to 60 countries in the world!.  We probably could have found them everywhere we stopped, had we taken the time to look!

Apple Country travel is close to Home

ChelanToppPort2010 044
Apple orchard above Manson at Lake Chelan

The good news for those of us living in – or those visiting – Washington State is that apple country is easily reached within a few hours drive – no need to fly half-way around the world to find a great apple. Since wine country has co-mingled itself in the state’s orchard country, it is easy to follow Washington’s wine roads and find yourself in the midst of apple country as well. 

Apple orchard Yakima with Mount Adams in background
There are still 175,000 acres of apples grown here, primarily in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Apple harvest begins in mid-August and generally ends in early November.
Notice the similarities between the wine region and apple land maps below.

We’ll pay more attention to those apple trees the next time we take a Washington road trip – no telling where in the world we might find ourselves and those apples being harvested the next time!

IMG_5100Again thanks so much for the time you spent with us today.

Have you found a taste of home on your travels? If so, please share the story in the comments below.

Our Magic Carpet lands in Myanmar in our next post. Hope you’ll be here when it does.  We are linking with Mosaic Monday so stop by there if you get a chance!

Until then, thanks to the Washington State Apple Commission for letting us reprint these fun facts about Washington’s apple crop:



Apple Crop Fun Facts

  • 10 - 12 billion apples are handpicked in Washington State each year.
  • Each Washington apple is picked by hand. There are no harvest machines to pick apples.
  • If you put all of the Washington State apples picked in a year side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times.
  • About 2,500 known varieties of apples are grown in the United States. More than 7,500 are grown worldwide.
  • Last year, the average U.S. consumer ate 19 pounds of fresh apples.
  • Red Delicious is the apple variety named as favorite by most consumers.
  • Apples are the largest agricultural product grown in Washington State.
  • Apples originated in Kazakhstan and were carried east by traders on the Silk Road.
  • The only apple native to North America is the crabapple.
  • Apple seeds are like people; you will never get the exact same type of apple from a planted seed.
  • The Red Delicious apple began life as a chance seedling on an Iowa farm. A chance seedling is a viable apple variety that grows from a seed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...