Victoria . . . Death Valley . . .

We arrived in Seattle late in the evening, due to delays at the border crossing. I finally met Leslie and Sarah after an almost 3 year hiatus. I handed Leslie my DVD’s, a tribute to his inspiring short films. They graciously hosted me and Appa drove onwards to Pete’s house south of Seattle. That night we saw the Himalayas DVD and I helped Babu (Leslie) fix his computer. Actually I didn’t do anything, I just sat down and the computer came back to life, honest. The next day I talked with Sarah as she made me delicious apple pancakes with cashew butter and Chyavan Prash. She took me on a tour of her Ayurvedic studio where she gave consultations and treatments. Then she dropped me at the Space Needle, built during the1962 World Fair. Here is where I got the stunning views of the Seattle landscape. Using the panoramic feature on my camera I was able to stitch together a few shots.

I met with Leslie on the corner of Denny and we went to Pike’s market a wooden floored shopping mall. We toured the trinket, comic book and magic shops. Outside there was a fresh fish and produce market with numerous eateries and bakeries. Leslie showed me the Lenin statue that had been brought from the Soviet Bloc before Communism fell. Then we drove through Pioneer Square, nothing noteworthy, and finally ended up at home.

Pete had invited us all over for dinner, so Leslie and I drove down to his place, where Pete prepared a sumptuous Indian dinner. I was lagging, but Leslie cut some lewd jokes and Indian commentary and we ate and chatted for a couple of hours.  Then I spent another night with Leslie and Sarah. In the morning Sarah gave me some ayurvedic suggestions for my dry skin and overall fatigue. 

Appa arrived and we left for the Boeing facility tour inside the largest building in the world by volume. Entire 747 and 777 passenger aircrafts are built inside these hangers. I interviewed Appa about his days in the air force, his fascination with planes and his many years in production and design for the 747 and FA/18.

Driving towards Pete’s place we saw Mount Rainier in the distance, like a white monolith. I wished I could have visited the mountain and also Crater Lake in Oregon on the journey home. However, a family emergency hastened our return, and we drove 18 hours straight back to Los Angeles. I remember that drive through twisting lanes, shadowed mountains and lonely back roads. Pete cooked and packed a lot of food for us to eat while on the road. All in all, with the amount of driving and talking I did with Appa, we came out in a sum total of 2 fights. One more serious than the other.

I really appreciated the hospitality Pete, Sarah and Leslie gave me. They are friends well worth remembering and cherishing.

Victoria . . . Death Valley . . .