I arrived back home the day before Christmas Eve, and enjoyed Christmas with the family, all my gifts came from my travels, custom made clothes from Hoi An, Vietnam and various other assorted bits and pieces. It was nice to be back in the bosom of my family again. My mom had been doing really well but she was having some back problems and working with her chiropractor to figure them out. She had made an appointment to go get a scan to check if the cancer had re-occurred but we wouldn’t see any results from that until February.I purchased a new camera, the Canon G12, hopefully perfect for traveling and I would soon find out.

In early January 2011 my mom and I headed off on a road trip to Seattle, her belated birthday gift to me for my 39th birthday. We drove down and checked into a lovely hotel with amazing views as we were on the umpteenth floor.

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That afternoon we headed over to the Seattle Public library, I know that doesn’t sound exciting but it’s actually an incredibly interesting building architecturally, if you like that kind of thing and my mom  and I do! We both took tons of pictures and I got vertigo at one point, no straight lines!

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My mom and I all bundled up in our woolies…

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After the library we took a quick walk around and then went back to the hotel to clean up for dinner out at Purple Wine Bar. We both had an amazing meal and I drank the red wine sampler, proof of which is shown here…..

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The next morning my mom wasn’t feeling well, her back was hurting her a lot. With her blessing and a plan to meet up later on I went out for a stroll through the Pike Pace market, so many picture taking opportunities but I will attempt to limit it to just a few…..

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Mom and I met up for lunch and then headed off to the Seattle Art Museum to tour the Picasso exhibit. I’m not so big on Picasso actually so I didn’t find it that inspiring but the other artwork was just incredible. Here is one of my favorites…

I like to call it “Full Metal Jacket” – made entirely out of dog tags…

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After the museum we went back to the hotel and packed up the car before driving to see The Music Experience designed by architect Frank Gehry. Another fantastic building…

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After this photographic extravaganza we got in the car and started for home, driving into the night. A pretty wonderful birthday gift and so lovely to spend time with my dear mama.

Back home in Vancouver again my mom and I discuss the job offer I got while I was in Vietnam. I wanted to do it but was worried about her and had to commit to a minimum of 2 months of work if I was going to go. She wanted me to do it, she thought it was a great opportunity for me, so I spoke with Lex (the owner of the yoga studio) and explained my moms health situation to him. He told me that if I needed to leave earlier to come home for her he would understand completely. Mom and I discussed it some more and with a firm promise from her to let me know the instant she wanted me home I agreed to go. In a whirlwind of activity I left town with a one way ticket to Saigon, Vietnam in the last week of January, I had been home for one month.

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