Monday, March 23, 2009

Hooray Visitors!

Last week was fun for us! Our friends Alyson, Treyton, and Jayci came out from Virginia (via Texas) to visit us in Seattle! We haven't seen the Sharps in almost two years, but Madison and Treyton picked up right where they left off and played with each other the whole time. Jayci and Hayes were probably overshadowed by their more extroverted older siblings, but they did have a great time.

While the Sharps were here we dodged the fickle Seattle weather and went to Woodinville to check out one of Alyson's hometowns and visit fellow SVU alum Mary Rudd. The next day we went to the Woodland Park Zoo, and the kids had a great time. Alyson and I left Joe with all the kids that night (chill out, most of them were already in bed) and went and saw Twilight. On Thursday we headed down to Gig Harbor, just south of Tacoma, and went to Kolpachuk State Park. It was a steep and muddy hike down to the beach, but it was pretty there. The kids found some water to play in and trees to climb on and had a great time. I had a seasonal allergy meltdown while there, and spent most of the time sneezing. It was still fun though. It was so fun to see our friends again, I think Alyson and I both got a lot of reading time because our kids kept each other occupied! It was so nice. Now we just need Nate to get a residency here...

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I recently turned 27. I had a great birthday. My sister Clare came up for a visit, and I got to spend some time with her, Joe, and the kids.

Here we are feeding the birds at Matthew's Beach on Lake Washington. Hayes and Madison ate a lot of the bread themselves, rather than give it all to the birds!

27. I am getting old! I decided to make 27 goals or resolutions for my 27th year. Here they are:

  1. Run a half-marathon (I still totally need to sign up!)
  2. Start really using my reusable grocery bags instead of paper or plastic.
  3. Stick to my budget.
  4. Learn how to do something crafty like sew or knit (this will at least make my mom laugh).
  5. Go to the Lavender Festival in Sequim.
  6. Run a mile in nine minutes at least once (this will actually be hard, because I am incredibly slow).
  7. Go on at least one day hike in Western Washington.
  8. Refinish at least one piece of furniture. All of them do need to be refinished so this will be a good start.
  9. Take the bus somewhere by myself with the kids!
  10. Apply to grad school...and get in!
  11. Go green on my cleaning products, I am actually almost there.
  12. Go to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley.
  13. Read the Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich. This has been on my list forever.
  14. Sign up for a CSA program in Seattle. I always read about it in the Seattle PI.
  15. Save up for my mountain bike.
  16. Get the kids more outside time on the rainy days, and conquer my fear of the cold and rain.
  17. Start lifting weights again for my wimpy arms.
  18. Potty-train Hayes (not looking forward to this one).
  19. Take advantage of more of the great classes and programs for kids through Seattle Parks and Rec.
  20. Go kayaking/canoeing on Lake Washington.
  21. Do some more scrapbooking. I like it, but it has definitely been a long time since I have done it.
  22. Plan a trip to New Mexico and Arizona. I have really wanted to head down there for the last couple of years. I just need to make a plan and do it!
  23. Make some jam when blackberry season starts.
  24. Visit Mt. Rainier. I love Mt. Rainier!
  25. Attend at least one first Thursday at a Seattle museum (free night).
  26. Work harder on all of the tasks I have assigned to myself in the department of emergency preparedness.
  27. Get one of my brothers and sisters a spouse so that I can be an aunt before I am thirty!

I am looking forward to checking some things off the list!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Seattle Bucket List

We have just over a year left in Seattle, so I have been meaning to make a list of the things that I want to do before we move again. I am sitting here with about fifty pamphlets I have collected from our previous tourist activities and I am glancing through them. I am also going to include a list of what we have already done for those who live in Seattle and read my blog and need some ideas!

Already checked off the list:

  • Northwest Trek-Eatonville, WA. This was a great day trip that we took on Labor Day last year. The kids totally loved it, and so did Joe and I. The Trek sits on about 800 acres and is covered in trees and plants. The predatory animals live in their own parts of the park, while you can take a tram ride and see the other animals. We saw buffalo, antelope, moose, eagles, a grizzly bear and more.

  • Port Townsend and Fort Worden-We always love a trip out to the Olympic Peninsula. We rode the Kingston ferry over to the peninsula and drove over to Port Townsend, a great town with Victorian architecture. We stopped at a city park and played on the beach. We walked around the town and visited the shops which was fun. We also visited Fort Worden, an old military barracks turned state park. Fort Worden is right on Puget Sound and has a lighthouse and a nice beach. The whole excursion took a day.

  • Mt. St. Helens-Last major explosion in 1980. Another fun day trip for us. I could not believe how much hadn't changed since the explosion. Nothing had grown back around the mountain, and you could still see where the trees had been knocked over by the pyroclastic cloud. There is a visitors center that walks you through what happened the last time she blew her top. Pretty cool.

  • Sequim and Dungeness-Another day trip out to the peninsula. This time we visited one of the largest sand spits in the world! The kids loved hiking down to the beach, chasing the waves, and collecting shells. The drive out there was beautiful too, great views of the Olympic Mountains.

  • West Seattle and Alki-This is a great local trip, we did it in one afternoon. There are miles of beach where we saw the Seattle skyline from a different perspective. We saw shells, sea glass, and even a sea lion or two(?). We drove around a looked at the amazing houses there. The park that is there now sits where an old park once was from the early twentieth century. There are some signs recalling what buildings used to be there, definitely interesting.

  • Snoqualmie Falls-near North Bend. The falls are impressive, and for some local cuisine try Got Rice.

  • Victoria, BC-Joe and I rode the Victoria Clipper up to Canada for a weekend by ourselves. We got a great deal on the ferry ride up there and the hotel. This trip would probably be fun in better weather than we had, but it was still worth it. There was so much to do there, and it was such a beautiful city!

  • Leavenworth-Joe and I actually made a trip there during our first stint in Washington for a Fall Festival and Parade. There is always something going on in this little Bavarian themed town. The buildings are cool and who doesn't love German food?

  • In Seattle we have tried to do a bunch of things. We have been to the top of the Space Needle, visited Pike Place street market and most of the waterfront, been to the aquarium, returned many times the Children's Museum and Woodland Park Zoo. We have also checked out the giant troll under the Aurora bridge in Fremont, and on the same trip visited the Gas Works Park. I went to the Seattle Art Museum, but I want to go back and see the traveling Yale exhibit. The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks were truly interesting to watch in action. In high school I took a tour of Boeing, seeing multiple planes in one building is does not happen a lot. I would always suggest a Mariner's game in the Summer, it is fun to get the whole experience at Safeco Field. Our favorite park to visit so far has been Magnuson park, we love the sand, and great views of Lake Washington.

Still on the List:

This post is mainly for me, now when I have a free afternoon or weekend, no excuses! I am getting out! So Melissa and Stephanie you had better reciprocate and post your lists too!