Kayaking in Lithuania – Day Two

After a cold night, we awoke to another beautiful day.  We enjoyed or coffee and tea along with some pasta my brother-in law cooked over the fire. We even filled some of our empty bottles with water from a natural spring close to the lake.  Wow, was that water cold.  After a morning swim, we finally torn down our campsite, put our gear in our kayaks, and off we went for day two of our adventure.

Today was a bit different.  We spent less time on the lakes and more time kayaking in the rivers.  Of course, it was easier to kayak on a river than a lake.  It seems on the lake, when I was oaring, I was using too much power with my right arm and when I was oaring with the left, I was not putting enough strength into it.  Instead of kayaking straight across the lake, we ended up zigzagging across it. 

The river was a whole different story.  Less oaring was required when going down the river.  We just need to compensate more for the bends in the rivers.  The scenery was spectacular going down these rivers.  Looking into the water you see a whole different world than what was above the water.

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We made it to our first stop.  It was a point where we had to take our kayaks across a road. There river did continue under the road to the other side. The other side was a little recreational area where many of the locals enjoyed the water gushing out.  There was a little market and place to grab a bit to eat.  We enjoyed some beer, saltibarsciai (fresh beet soup), and some ice cream.  We picked up a couple of snacks and continue with our journey down the river.

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After a nice time floating down the river, we finally made it to another lake.  We kayaked a little further across the lake to our final stop of the day.  It would be here where we would set up camp for the night.


New Events in 2016 Olympics

Yeah, the 2016 Olympics will have both golf and rugby as events.  I think this is a good idea to add two new events to the Olympic program.  Golf is a huge sport worldwide and I think it is about time that the Olympic Committee brough back this sport as an event.  As for rugby, I have only watched bits and pieces of this game on television but   it would be entertaining as an event in the Olympics. I think the Olympics need to bring back more events to th the Olympic  games. I would like them to bring back the Tug of War event. I sure can’t wait for the 2016 Olympic games

XXX Rootbeer Drive-In — Issaquah, Wa — Must do in Seattle

One of the must do places to stop by in Western Washington is XXX Rootbeer Drive-In in Issaquah, Wa.   It is about 20 minutes east of Seattle and they have the best hamburgers and rootbeer on the West Coast.  Ever since my brother found this place, I have always stopped by when I am in the Seattle area.

Me with my XXX Burger and XXX Super Rootbeer Float

Me with my XXX Burger and XXX Super Rootbeer Float

On my recent visit, I decided to go with the XXX Burger and a XXX Super Float.  When I order this, I was planning to split it with my wife and kids.  On a side note, my daughter slept through the whole experience in the car and my princess really need her beauty sleep that day (long day).  Yes, you must use both hands when eating the burger.  Alright I will include a couple of close-up.



The staff at XXX is very friendly and helping.  They even told me how to properly eat the burger so it would not slide off the bun.  If it is not raining you can eat outside at one of the many tables.  They also have tables inside as well.  The place is also very well decorated.  You feel  like you are at a diner.  This is definitely a place you don’t want to miss.  The root beer is made from a unique recipe from 1930 and it taste great and not too sweet.  The food and the people are great at XXX Root beer and next time you are in the Seattle area, do what you must to stop by.  On the weekends during the summer they will have car shows and it gets packed.

My son

The Dark Knight Movie Review (2008)

Wow, we got out to see a movie.  My wife met another mom in her mom’s group that lives down the street.  I am very grateful to get out, just me and my wife.  I miss the kids but getting out the two of us is great.

I looked over the movies playing this weekend and I did not see a great selection out there.  Fortunately my wife went out with a couple of girlfriends to see Mama Mia. 

It was an easy choice to go see The Dark Knight.  I grew up collecting comic books and I like seeing many of the comic books I collected on the big screen.  I have not been disappointed in any of the Batman movies that have hit the big screen yet.  The only Batman movie, I have not seen, is Batman Returns.

——–My Review of The Dark Knight——-

 Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker.

The movie is quite long at 152 minutes but it flowed very well.  I was never bored with the storyline and I did enjoyed how the story was woven together.  I liked how the role of the Joker was a criminal mastermind and everything was going according to his plan.  This movie is definitely action packed and quite fun.

Warning to parents with kids.  This movie is dark and paints a grime picture.  I don’t recommend it to parents with younger kids.  I think that the Dark Knight has a few scenes that are a very violent for a PG-13 movie.  I  remember the comic book graphic novel was also a  bit violent too.  Don’t expect a happy ending in the Dark Knight either.  The ending does not sit well with me and I will talk about that in the next paragraph if you do not want to read about any spoilers.

Spoiler Alert!!!! I was waiting the entire movie for Two-Face to appear.  When he finally appeared, it was a bit move graphic than I expected.  I could understand what drove Two-Face/Harvey for revenge after the death of .  i was surprised that they killed off Two Face so quickly, I had expected him to return later but in the world of Batman, there are many villains left to return with a sequel.  I hated the fact that instead of letting Harvey/Two-Face take responsibility for his action, Batman and Commissioner Gordon decide to blame everything on Batman. It was Batman’s stupid logic to blame for this.  Actually I blame the writers on this one.    I also wished that Alfred would have given the letter from Racheal to Bruce Wayne/Batman instead of keeping it from him.  I wonder how that could of played out in the end script?   I also hated the fact that Batman uses the sonar technology to pinpoint the Joker.  I felt that the Joker definitely won in this movie.   Batman bent a couple rules instead of using his wits.  Of course, it is OK to bend the rules as long as the intention behind it is good.  What does this movie teach morally? The acting was good. 

I felt that Christian Bale makes a good Batman but still fails at Bruce Wayne.  I am not sure if I should blame the writers for this or not.  I really enjoy watching Christian Bale in the role of Batman.  Heath Ledger did quite a job at playing the Joker but i still think that Jack Nicholson did the best. It is weird watching this movie knowing it was Heath’s last performance.  He did do a good job as the Joker.   Aaron Eckhart did a great job as Harvey Dent/Two-Face.  I felt bad for his character and how he became Two-Face but i knew it was coming.  To be honest, I wished Katie Holmes came back for this movie but instead Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role.  Maggie did a good job playing the role of Rachel but I really missed Katie.    Gary Oldman does a great job as Lt. Gordon.  I was very upset when i thought he was dead but I did not know how they were going to get away with that.  They did get me with faking his death.  I also love the roles of Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Micheal Caine as Alfred.

Overall the movie was not bad.  I enjoyed the action and liked the storyline. I don’t like the direction they took Batman but the title explains it all, The Dark Knight.  I hate the outcome of the movie, Batman is no longer a hero but he is on the run.  The fact is he should be the hero but the two morally sound figures in the world of Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Batman, decide to hide the truth from the people.  Batman’s stupid logic wins over Commissioner Gordon and the public is fooled to believe in a lie.  Good Bye Batman, hello Dark Knight.  I am definitely going to miss my superhero friend, Batman.

Free Kids’ Concert Review – Greg and Steve

We are always looking for activities for the kids.  Last Friday, one of the local parks had a free kids concert. The main entertainment for the evening was Steve and Greg.  Personally, I have never heard of them before that night.  Their music was great and rather fun to listen to.  Sometimes it is hard to find good kids music but this was a good change of pace.

I read on their website that they have sold over 3 million recording and they are the number one selling children’s music duo in the country.   I can see why parents and children enjoy their music.  I liked every song that they performed that evening.  I though of it as Beach Boys type music but for kids.

It may have been a hot evening but it was sure fun for the kids and me.  I did spend some time chasing my kids around but while I was not chasing them, they did have fun dancing and listening to the music.  For my two kids, who are roughly 2 and 4, it was fun.  I did not expect them to sit through the whole thing like little angels since they had a couple friends at the event to play with.  Overall, it was a great experience for a family outing for the evening.  I would highly recommend anyone to go see them perform live or listen to their CD.

Summer is here! What to do?

I can’t believe we are in June and it is already hitting triple digits.  This will be one hot summer and what’s a family to do.  The beach is not far but going to often will eat up the gas quickly.  We have a pool and thankfully we have air conditioning.  

i hope the heat wave ends soon.  The only thing I hate about the heat is it is only a matter of time before we either have a fire or  an earthquake.  It has been awhile since we have had an earthquake and the question is not if but when.   

Finally Sold! Bye-Bye Convertible

I can’t believe it.  My wife finally sold the car.  It is a sad day but we were able to find a buyer for our 2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible.  The car only had a little more than 56,000 miles on it and it was in great shape but we had too many cars.  My wife has her car and I have both an old Honda Civic and  the convertible.  The Civic is a four cylinder car so with gas prices at roughly $4 a gallon, the Civic was the car to keep.  I will miss riding around with the top down, especially now it is summer time, but we really need to get rid of a car.  The only draw back to the Civic is that the air conditioning is not working.  I really hope it is not too hot this summer.