May 27th, 2015 / posted by paularath
Photos by Jerry Mayfield

Photos by Jerry Mayfield

Everyone we spoke to prior to our Alaska cruise said we must take the train in Skagway and they were so right. It was a terrific excursion and we loved every minute of it.

Skagway was incorporated in 1900 when the population was 3,117. Thanks to the Gold Rush, it was the second largest settlement in Alaska. When the Gold Rush ended, Skagway would have become a ghost town if it wasn’t for the White Pass & Yukon Railroad, which was constructed in 1898. The first railroad in Alaska, it served the Anvil Gold Mines in the Yukon. The mines closed in 1982.

Skagway Sawtooth mountains

The views at every juncture are phenomenal. The train climbs from sea level to 3,000 feet in just 20 miles. It’s astounding to think how this railway was built! The northernmost railway in the Western hemisphere, there are 110 miles of track.

Skgway Old Rail Bridge

Above is a photo of the old rail bridge. Scary, isn’t it?

We were really fortunate to see a big brown bear trundling off into the forest as we rode past. Sorry I didn’t get a photo in time. He was so beautiful!

Bottom line: If you ever go an Alaska cruise, do not miss this train ride out of Skagway.

- Paula Rath

May 26th, 2015 / posted by paularath
Mendenhall Glacier. Photo by Jerry Mayfield

Mendenhall Glacier. Photo by Jerry Mayfield

I just returned from a cruise to the Inside Passage of Alaska with my family. We sailed out of Seattle and out first port was Juneau, Alaska.

We took a bus to the National Forest to see the Mendenhall Glacier. Michael Modzelewski, the naturalist on board the Crown Princess, said this has been a terrible year for snow in Alaska. While they usually have 40 feet of snow, this year they had only 16.

For years I have heard of the glories of Mendenhall Glacier, and we could not have come to it on a more beautiful day. The sky was absolutely clear and the temperature was warm enough to remove jackets and sweaters.

My sister, Berta, and her husband, Jim Cullen, have done the Alaska cruise many times before, and they said the weather has never been this beautiful. They were great guides and helped us get around, often avoiding the biggest crowds.

Nuggett Falls, near Mendenhall Glacier

Nuggett Falls, near Mendenhall Glacier

 

We walked along the beach to Nuggett Falls, where we appreciated the cool spray from the enormous falls as it embraced us.

In the evening we had wine and pupus on my sister-in-law’s (Ginger Waters) veranda and saw three bald eagles circling the mountain! Ginger’s daughter, Lisa Hodges, was taking fabulous photos with their fancy camera and she will be sending them to me soon, so keep an eye out for them on this blog. She even got amazing photos of the eagles.

- Paula Rath

May 16th, 2015 / posted by paularath

 

Jerry painting a watercolor in our room at Waterfront Inn, Gig Harbor, Washington.

Jerry painting a watercolor in our room at Waterfront Inn, Gig Harbor, Washington.

Jerry and I are in Gig Harbor, Washington for a few days, prior to joining my sister, Berta, brother-in-law, Jim, sister-in-law, Ginger and her daughter, Lisa, for a cruise through Alaska’s Inland Passage.

We had stayed at this lovely little Waterfront Inn once before and decided to stay again. There are only six rooms and we have been the only guests here until last night, when a few weekenders checked in.

The view of Gig Harbor from our room on a misty morning.

The view of Gig Harbor from our room on a misty morning.

We are just steps from the water and it is so calm and lovely. There are ducks and geese and some crows, who love to argue with the other birds. There’s a beautiful pier where we can sit and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee and watch the sailboats go by.

"Our" deck where we have coffee, wine and even dinner one evening. So relaxing!

“Our” deck where we have coffee, wine and even dinner one evening. So relaxing!

 

Why Gig Harbor instead of Seattle? Well, Jerry’s childhood friend from New Mexico, Jack Cragin, lives in Gig Harbor and his youngest daughter, Lani, lives near Tacoma, so……

Lani has become a horse rescuer and she is caring for two horses. I have never really known a horse before and it was so nice to get to know her horses, Sailor and Misty, a little bit. She is totally devoted to them!

Lani and Jerry with Misty.

Lani and Jerry with Misty.

 

That's me getting a little friendly with Lani's horse, Sailor.

That’s me getting a little friendly with Lani’s horse, Sailor.

Gig Harbor has wonderful restaurants and three of them are within easy walking distance. We totally pigged out on our favorite: HALIBUT! We could eat halibut every night and we’re hoping to have some on the ship.

It can be challenging to try to blog from a cruise ship or brief port stop, but I will try. Here’s hoping I can share some photos of glaciers with you soon!

- Paula Rath

Our room at the Waterfront Inn.

Our room at the Waterfront Inn.

May 16th, 2015 / posted by paularath

Doug Jago Art Wall 1

As you can imagine, the passing of Doug Jago has been a tremendous blow to everyone at Neiman Marcus. The sadness and sense of loss are palpable.

Doug Jago NM Jackets

In inimitable good taste and Neiman Marcus style, the managers and employees have installed a beautiful display of some of Doug’s art, both paintings and fashions.

The work will be on display through May 31, so please go and see it whenever you can. The clothing and fashions can best be seen from the escalator between the first and second levels. Look to both the left and right as you are going up and down. The paintings can be seen in the area where Fine Associates always has a rotating gallery for its artists: Enter through the main entrance from the parking lot, turn right and you will be heading straight into a an alcove which is a treasure trove of Doug’s work.

Doug Jago wall 2

Doug was one of the most kind, gentle and generous people I have ever known. Please enjoy his lasting legacy, his fine art and fashions.

- Paula Rath

 

May 9th, 2015 / posted by paularath

Garden Show best 1

There is just one weekend every three years when Honolulu folks can share in the beauty and elegance of the work of the Garden Club of Honolulu. And it’s this weekend at The Honolulu Museum of Art.

Inspiration for the entire show came from Shangri-La, Doris Duke’s glorious home on Diamond Head.

The Garden Club is home to an amazing array of talented people, mainly women, who have not only green thumbs, but great taste and enormous energy.

The is floral arrangement perfectly complements the lines, colors, shapes and textures of the interior design.

This floral arrangement perfectly complements the lines, colors, shapes and textures of the interior design.

Garden show necklace

A necklace fashioned with “stuff” straight from nature.

The members give themselves some very challenging assignments indeed. For example, in one room were arrangements that had all been done during the morning hours prior to opening the show. Each participant was given a bucket with flowers and asked to create an artistic  arrangement between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Garden show butterfyl

A butterfly brooch fashioned from nature.

A tiara fit fro a queen.

A tiara fit for a queen.

Another room was filled with arrangements featuring unusual ways with rocks.

Another room was filled with arrangements featuring unusual ways to incorporate  rocks into a floral arrangement.

An owl scepter in teh jewelry section.

A pueo (owl) owl scepter in the jewelry section of the show.

On a side note, the Garden Club also does a great deal of charitable work throughout the community. They created a lovely garden adjacent to the pool at Palama Settlement for which we will be forever grateful. What a difference it has made for us! And they didn’t just design it and have gardeners come in to install it. They were there, day after day, hands in the dirt and hoes at the ready.

The show will be up today (Saturday, May 9) and tomorrow (Sunday, May 10). Wouldn’t it be lovely to visit it with your mother or children on Mother’s Day?

- Paula Rath