Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Hike

On our Memorial Day trek to Mt. Rainier we stopped at a campground and did a hike to a waterfall. This was one of Hayes and Madison's first "hikes" and they did really well. The way there was mostly an uphill trek, and the trail was covered in snow or fallen trees in some areas, but the forded it all with enthusiasm. We hiked through a natural hot spring, and traversed Laughing Creek many times. The trees smelled so good, and the sun was setting as we made our way to the falls. The falls themselves were impressive and worth the 2.5 miles we walked over some rather rough terrain! Good work Hayes and Madison!

Japanese Gardens

Joe had to study for finals this last weekend, so I took the kids to check out Seattle's Arboretum by our house. It is pretty vast, so today we elected to tour the Japanese Garden. We actually had a lot of fun. Everything was in bloom, and there was a big pond in the middle in the middle of the garden full of huge fish and turtles sunning themselves. Madison really wanted me to pick a lily pad for her, she did not understand that the foliage was not for the taking. My favorite part was the wisteria arbor on the edge of the pond.

The Snows of Rainier

The road to Mt. Rainier opened up Memorial Day weekend, so we drove up to see the majestic mountain. Joe's mom, "Grandma Kathy," was in town and came a long with us. There was still snow lining the roads despite the sunny day. Needless to say the kids were excited to play in the snow. We walked down and saw the Ohanapecosh river, which was pretty full and moving fast.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Around Twilight...

No trip to the peninsula would be complete without a stop in Forks! Forks was inundated with Twilight memorabilia. We stopped at the Visitor's Center, where Bella's truck was parked. Unfortunately we hit Forks pretty late, and a lot of things were closed, such as the 2 Twilight themed stores ( the town has a population of only 3000). However, the local grocery store still had an entire section devoted to Bella, Edward, and Jacob. The local newspaper even had an article about an Alice Cullen look-a-like that charges you to take a picture with her. Pretty hilarious. Alas, we did not spot any vampires or werewolves.

After Forks we drove through Port Angeles (where there was another Twilight store) trying to make it to Bremerton to catch a ferry back to Seattle. The Hood Canal Bridge is closed in May (the easiest way to go back and forth on the peninsula) and we had to drive all the way down and around the Hood Canal, over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and up through Tacoma. We did not get home until 2:30 in the morning, and drove for almost 11 hours yesterday. This trip obviously was pretty spontaneous, but we still had a great time, and I can check a tour of the ENTIRE Hood Canal off of my list of things to do.

Moving up the Coast

After the beach we started driving north up the Olympic Peninsula and hit the smaller part of the Olympic National Park that covers the coast. There we saw enormous cedar trees and more of the ocean as the sun began to set. I cannot believe how pretty it was there. The trees were so close together in the forest, and then you would get a glimpse of the ocean. We followed a couple of trails to check out various features of the park, and drove some back roads to see some of the rainforests that are in the middle of the peninsula.

Pacific Ocean

Saturday we embarked on a never-ending road encompassing the entire Olympic Peninsula. Our first stop was a view of the "real" ocean for Hayes. A first for him. We went to a state park right on the coast. It was so beautiful. It would have been perfect, but the wind was pretty intense. We had fun wading into the water, which was not as cold as I thought it would be. We also saw people fishing, flying kites, and riding horses on the beach. We still are finding sand everywhere!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Hayes started sleeping in a "big boy bed" when we were at Grandma Kristi's house, so Joe set up our little toddler bed while we were gone, so that Hayes could try it out when we got him. A couple of days later, I was trying to shut the curtains in Hayes' room (they are too high for me), lost my balance, and totally fell onto Hayes' bed, and broke it (insert fat joke here, I can take it).

Monday, Joe got out of school early so we ventured down to Ikea to get Hayes a new bed. We decided bunk beds were a practical choice for our growing family (I mean this in an eventual sense, nothing is happening right now). We picked out our favorite, brought it home, and then chaos set in. Our power drill would not stay charged, so we could do about five minutes of work at a time on the assembly process. We had to take literally everything out of Hayes' room just to have enough space for the assembly. Halfway through we realize that Ikea did not include all of the parts (I have a love/hate relationship with Ikea), so we could not put up the ladder or guard rail on the top bunk (where Madison plans on having occasional slumber parties with Hayes). Finally we got everything put together, all of Hayes' stuff put back, and the kids in bed by 10:30. Kind of a nightmare, but kind of worth it. Hayes was pretty excited about his new bed.