Saturday, June 24, 2017

notes on adventure: mount rainier national park

my God-sister and her family came to visit this weekend! it was a short trip, but we all had such a great time catching up and watching our sweet kids play together. katie, who is five years older than sailor, treated sailor like a little mama hen protecting her chick. she doted on him all weekend- it was so sweet to watch. 

we decided to head up to mount rainier on friday, to explore the mountain and do a little family friendly hiking! our first stop was paradise, where we got out of the car to enjoy a picnic lunch. we checked out the visitor center, where i must say, our tax dollars at put to great use! the center was big and beautiful, and park rangers were all over ready and willing to give us great hiking advise!

we walked up the mountain a bit, where we got some great pictures in the snow, let the kids get away with tossing a few snowballs our way, and were nearly blinded by the bright sun reflecting off of the snow (it's so obvious in the pictures that we could barley open our eyes up there).

after our quick playtime in the snow, we headed a little ways down the mountain and stopped at Longmire. the adults and kids had an equally amazing time hiking along the "path of shadows," where we were able to identify plants, discover 100+ year old cabins, and play in the bubbling water! the cool springs bubbled and the sulfur smell made us giggle (sailor said it smelled like "poop").

the park ranger gave each of our kiddos a book to fill out during our hike. they had to draw pictures of what they saw, write about their favorite sites at the park, and identify plants and animals. after the book was filled out, they took the Junior Park Ranger Oath, and were sworn in as Junior Park Rangers for Mt. Rainier National Park. (how cool is that?!) ps...look at them all raising their right hands!!!

i bought a little iron on patch for our backpack- we are collecting one from each national and state park (an idea i took from my very cool big sister). we drove to an ice cream shop in a tiny town outside of the park, where the ice cream was AMAZING and the town was so cool. old rainier train cars lined the streets, some were working restaurants and other looked like lodging (i would love to stay there someday). it was such a great day, exploring our mountain and hanging with family whom we love dearly.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

notes on travel: ocean shores, wa

this past memorial day weekend, we took a little drive out to ocean shores. it's a small little beach town on the washington coast where jackets are a requirement and sand dollars are plentiful.

tony's best friend grew up going to ocean shores with his family- so rob jumped at the chance to book (the exact same condo) he went to so many years ago, so that we could experience the washington ocean for the first time together! it was a perfect condo- a loft upstairs for rob and lisa's kids to sleep in, a bedroom downstairs with a king bed for rob and lisa, and our family of four slept in the second bedroom with two full beds (i slept with sailor, tony slept with easton). we cooked pizza, ate cereal in the morning, and made chili and hot dogs for lunch and dinner.

there is an amazing kite store in ocean shores- kites are in high demand out there given the excessive wind (and cold). our two families walked through the kite store and landed on four different kites,  (only one of which being successful once put to the test). sailor's classic green kite flew higher than any kite on the beach- we didn't have to work at it... it just wanted to be up in the heavens. i (of course) couldn't stop singing the mary poppins song, "let's go fly a kite, up to the highest heights, let's go fly a kite, and send it soaring....etc." (my poor friends and family were very kind to listen to my singing all weekend).

on the beach, while collecting a MILLION sand dollars, we came across a live crab- poor guy was just waiting to be picked to pieces by a seagull. we tried to help the little guy back to the ocean, but we were all a little too squeamish to pick the sucker up (it was huge!). i helped hannah find many many shells and sand dollars- and then we were told by all the other adults that we could only pick two of our favorites.(party poopers...hmph).

in two days, the ten of us walked along the beach, found horses to pet, flew kites, swam in the pool, took naps, talked theology, prayed, went for ice cream, and so much more. we packed so so much into such a short weekend- but it was all GOOD stuff.

life right now... life is good. thanks be, to God.
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