Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Giant Zucchini

I leave for a couple of days, and this is what I find hiding under some big leaves on one of our zucchini plants!  What should I do with it???

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Parting Shots of Mt. Shasta

We passed by Mt. Shasta again on the way home.  It's summit was
covered by clouds, but it was still beautiful to see! 

The Sound and The Needle

Seattle is a beautiful city.  And it happened to be a beautiful day while we were there.  Puget sound was blue and busy, with ferries and sailboats coming and going.  The mountains on the other side of the sound added another dimension to the water and the sky.  It was fantastic to be there. 
After lunch, the kids and I headed to the Seattle Center with our family to explore.  We landed at the Children's Museum, where we stayed for the rest of the afternoon.  The kids had a blast building, exploring, learning, and hanging out with their super cool cousins.  I may have to blog about the Museum on another day. :)

Of course, we had to get a picture of the Space Needle!  We did not go up to the observation deck. You should have seen the line to do that!  The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair. If you want to know more about it, click Here.

Iconic Ivar's

We met up with some family in downtown Seattle.  They suggested we eat lunch at Ivar's on the Pier.  I'm so glad we did!  The view was beautiful and the boys had a blast.  Though, I wouldn't have called it relaxing.  You see, it's a tradition to feed the seagulls french fries at Ivar's.  There are tons of seagulls...BIG seagulls...hungry seagulls...NOISY seagulls!!  Still, it was a blast!

Big J, trying his hand at feeding a gull a french fry.

Big J, having an absolute blast watching the gulls.  Who knew seagulls could be so entertaining!

M-man did not want to get close to the gulls.  This is about as close as he got.  They were pretty noisy, after all.  And once you fed one, it would scream and squawk until you fed it again.

This is a fire boat in the background.  Awesome!

And one last shot of the boys!  The only thing I forgot to do was take a picture of the world famous clam chowder that I had.  It was delicious!  I had gotten a small bowl as a side to the rest of my lunch.  I should've just gotten a big bowl of chowder and skipped everything else.  It was that good!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sky. Water. Land.

Disclaimer: There are no pics of the boys in this post.  Sorry, grandparents! :)
These pictures were taken from a viewing area just off the highway and from the truck while on the move. They only begin to bring life to what it was like driving through central Washington.  This is Wanapum Lake, and the Columbia River. 

Looking towards Vantage Bridge, which crosses the lake.

These last two were taken from the bridge, while driving.  Though you can probably see the reflection of the window, they are still some of my favorites.  The vista's here were so beautiful!  The impression I was left with the most was how BIG everything was! The sky, water, and land seemed to go on forever, basically uninterrupted!

Friday, July 20, 2012

At Manito Park

The boys and I spent one afternoon at this beautiful park in Spokane.  It was enormous, with playgrounds, ponds, formal gardens, spray parks, baseball fields, hiking trails,a cafe, and much more!

You can barely see him, but Big J is at the top of this rocky hill!

Here are the boys at the rose gardens, which were packed with people, though you wouldn't know it by the picture.  It isn't a great picture, but was the only one I could manage to get without lots of other people in the background. :)

We were walking along, reading the names of the types of roses as we passed them.  I was looking at roses on one side of the path, and Big J on the other.  Then he said the name of this one out loud...Graham Thomas...I stopped dead in my tracks.  This is the type of rose that my dad planted for me years ago at the house I grew up in.  Graham Thomas Yellow Tea Rose.  It smelled fantastic and brought back so many good memories!

Here are the boys at the top to the formal gardens.  They had a blast here, which surprised me.  I let them take pictures with my camera of whatever they liked in the gardens.

Here is a picture that M-Man took of Big J and me. :)
I sure enjoyed the afternoon with my boys, playing and exploring to our hearts content!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scenic Byways

We hit the road for a few days.  Much of what we did was drive...and take in the beautiful scenery.  We took a couple of stretch breaks...one with a view of Mt. Shasta. 
It was hazy...but Shasta is still breathtaking!

Here is a closer view, but from a different angle.  Seeing the snow on top is my favorite part. 

Many hours up the road, we stopped at a Mountain Identifier to stretch once again.  You can't really see it in the picture, but there are multiple markers pointing to several different mountains in the distance...Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, and MANY more.  It was too hazy to see Rainier or Mt. Saint Helens, but we could see several others.  The vista from this point all around was amazing!

Yes, I had to take a picture of this sign...it's not something I see everyday!

 M-Man, with some mountains in the distance, being funny...
...and Big J being a strong man!  Love it!  This has been his pose of choice lately!  It always brings a smile to my face. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beautiful Trees

Here is what the second part of our hike looked like (see last post).  These are redwoods, though not nearly as big as the ones I hope to see in the near future!!  The smell of the forest was invigorating!  The last third of the hike was all uphill, on switchbacks and steep trails.  It didn't seem to phase the boys!  They had a great time, and M-man only struggled at the end when he had a blister on his heel. It turns out, we were also able to hike in Muir Woods.  Part of this trail went into the Muir Woods National Monument, though we didn't get to see the Cathedral Grove or the Bohemian Grove.  We'll have to save that adventure for another day!

Here's one last parting shot from Muir Woods!

On Top of the World

Last weekend, we headed to the Muir Woods/Mt. Tamalpais area to do some exploring!  We ended up at Mt. Tamalpais State Park because Muir Woods was packed.  We'll have to save Muir Woods for another day.  We had a great time hiking at Mt. Tamalpais.  We took a loop trail that brought us out to this ocean viewing spot.  The fog was so thick, though, that we couldn't view the ocean.  But it was still beautiful!  And, it felt like we were on top of the world! 

The Golden Gate Bridge...Almost

We went to the Bay area on Saturday to do some exploring.  We were headed to the Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods area and our route took us over a bridge that runs somewhat parallel to the Golden Gate Bridge.  The fog was so heavy in the Bay that we could only see the very tops of the towers.  You can barely see them in this picture.  But, between the two darker land areas is a white area, which is fog,  and just rising above the fog are the towers.  Crazy! It's a good thing we weren't going to the Bay area just to see the bridge.  We would have been disappointed. :)