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  • Paul Shadinger

Vacation Observations

WOW! Here it is the first of August. Where has this year gone?

We went to Amsterdam July 17th and after a few days; we boarded a ship and took a cruise up through southern Norway. The fjords sure look a lot like British Columbia. The hills are more rounded, but the way the rock goes straight down into the water and the cuts into the hills made me homesick. On the ship was a restaurant that served mainly Washington items. The beef was from some ranch over in Eastern Washington and the seafood was Puget Sound and off the coast. Even the spuds were from Eastern Washington. The food was excellent, but made me miss the Puget Sound of my youth. The trip was a lot of fun. Our beds sucked rocks (nothing is as good as your own bed) but everything else was nice.

We walked all over Amsterdam. I’d forgotten what it was like walking over cobblestone streets, (or should I stay stumbling?). When I was in the service we did a lot of parades around Germany and as we walked around on this trip I remembered how much fun it was to try and play an instrument and march while you were tripping over the cobblestones. Couple of nights when we got back to the hotel we had really sore feet and tired legs. A canal tour was most interesting; the way some of the buildings lean against each other is amazing.

There were four stops in southern Norway the last being Oslo. It was the hottest day they’d had in 60 years. It was 96 degrees out, but they acted like it was over 115 and compared to a typical 96 degree with 85% humidity day down here in southern Florida it was really nice. But we kept our opinions to ourselves.

A lot of Norway and Amsterdam was extremely dry. Our guide in Oslo said they’d not had rain for two months. The grass was yellow and there were severe watering restrictions. I don’t know how you feel about global warming, but when you see things like a dry, brown Amsterdam and heat waves like Norway’s never had, you do have to wonder.

I am going to run an “after cruise” special. Watch my Facebook page for the book title and price. The fourth book in the Matt Preston series is now in the hands of my editor and I am shooting for the first of September for availability; keep your fingers crossed.

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer. We will be in Seattle the end of September to attend Ingraham High School’s 55 reunion. I’m really looking forward to that.

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