Saturday, August 25, 2012

Time for a Holiday- on to Seattle

We drove up to Seattle on Wednesday and headed straight for some of our old haunts. It was lunch time so we went to one of our favorite kid friendly pizzerias. I have been working on my home made pizza and dough but it has not yet rivaled the pizza at Tutta Bella. The wiki sticks are a big hit too. 
We went down the street to our favorite ever cupcake shop. We met one of our good friends, Jessie and got to meet her daughter. She is just now one year old but we moved away before she was born so we haven't gotten to meet her until now. Lily took to the cupcakes like and old pro and Gemma enjoyed her first taste of Trophy. They share well because Lily only eats the frosting and Gemma likes the cake.
We took all the girls to the playground down the street and had a grand time. Sweet Annabel could fit right in with these Davis girls. She has an English daddy too!
 We tried to steel a soccer ball while Gemma bolted off in the other direction. She is pretty good at that.
 It was a lovely summer day to relax and pick the flowers.
Then it was on to the hotel for some R&R. Alex left to meet up with another one of his former co-workers for drinks and us ladies broke in the room. A HUGE bed and cable TV. They could have spent the rest of the time in this room. I even braved taking them both in the hotel pool by myself to wear them out for the night.
Day two we met with Hillary, DB, and little Colbie for breakfast at another one of our fave spots. It was too quick of a visit as they were in town from Madison to visit with family in Lake Chelan. It was just a stroke of luck we were all in town the same time. We shopped around a bit before heading to our old neighborhood. We drove by our old house and nothing had changed. It was a gorgeous day and we had plans to meet up with Ann, Kat, and Natalie at the park. Friends together again!!
The next morning we took in the tourist sights and saw the new ferris wheel. It is a miniature version of the London Eye! We didn't ride it this time though.
 What trip to Seattle would be complete without a stop at Pike's market. Lily picked out this huge bouquet for our friend Clare who was hosting a BBQ that evening for us all.
 In the afternoon we joined up with Ann and the girls at the green lake wading pool. It was one of our favorite old haunts and it couldn't have been a better day. Everyone had a great time and Lily and Kat were back together like two peas in a pod.
Gemma was wondering what happened to the rest of the water in this pool? It was a nice change to not have to keep her from drowning herself every second. 
 Kat didn't mind doing her back floats in one foot of water.
 The two tiny best friends played nicely together as well.
 We picnicked and lazed about and wondered why we ever left our sweet house a block away from here.
 My good friend Annie from back in the travel nurse days came out as well with her adorable little 6 month old Edie. It was her first time in the wading pool and she was a huge fan!! The bigger girls were happy to show her how it was done.
We didn't have time to do the 3 mile walk around the lake but we wished we had. So many good memories of walking around this lake. We used to take Winsty when he was the tiniest puppy and couldn't go ten steps without getting stopped to gawk at our cute puppy. We walked it the night before Lily was born and the morning Gemma was born! Ladies if you want to go into labor just get walking the lake!
 From there we headed over to West Seattle to Clare and Ryans new home for a Hawaiian BBQ. Ann and Clare did an awesome job and we had the best time in the back yard. We ate a ton of good food listening to Hawaiian music while the kids played. Of course I wish I had taken more photos but I was too busy enjoying the company.
 We wished we didn't have to leave early in the morning for the horrid drive home! It was actually not too bad and even though it was a longer drive coming home from Seattle the girls did really well. We decided to put them in their PJ's in the evening and see if they fell asleep and we could press on for home. We made it back home at 2:30AM exhausted but happy to be in our own beds. What a wonderful time even if it was too short!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Time for a holiday-Portland day 3

Our last full day in Portland we went to the children's museum. Aunt Tonya had returned home the evening before so she was able to join in. The museum was great fun and all the kids had a good time. 
There were little rooms made to be different stores or shops. I think Charlie could have spent all day playing in the veterinary clinic. She took the job very seriously. 
There was a room with clay to make into any shape sculpture you want. 
I think Gemma ate more clay than sculpted. Let's hope it was really non toxic. 
 Probably the highlight was the area you could make a craft out of all kinds of recycled materials. All three kids had a great time using their imaginations. Owen made the Portland Timbers stadium, Charlie made a huge castle, and Lily made a house with furniture inside. You even got to take your creation home.
 All this hard work and it was time for lunch and back home to play. It was such nice weather we spent a lot of time in the backyard. Speaking of urban homesteading, guess who got chickens? Look at the coop Joel and Charlie built out of the wood from the old play structure. Wrigley is more interested in the chicken poop than the actual chickens.
 They are so cute and so mellow. Well, unless you are trying to get them back into the coop, then they are pretty clever, sort of.
 Lily spent HOURS playing with her birthday present from cousins. A playmobil swimming pool set. It is pretty awesome really. She likes to set it up like the pictures on the side of the box, placing each guy and accessory just as the picture shows.
 Here are the ladies out for a prance. Alice, Phoebe, and Darlington.
 The "tiny hot pool" was a bunch of fun too.
 Awe super cute little Gemmsy. She was involved in everything whether sister liked it or not.
 I think some serious important conversations were going on here.
We watched some good Olympics, launched a "kid rescue" when Charlie was playing on the neighbors trampoline and Lily thought she was trapped over there. We ended the nights with a gizzum story and two very tired little girls. Best time ever!

Time for a holiday-Portland day 2

Our second full day in Portland was Monday. Joel had some work to do and Aunt Tonya unfortunately had flown down to LA to be with her grandmother so we had the kids to ourselves. We decided to be brave and take them all downtown. Portland has such a cool downtown area and it was a nice day out.

We went to Powell's book store first. It is HUGE! We walked past all the cool sections I could have spent all day perusing, you know cooking, gardening, urban homesteading. Nerdy stuff. Instead it was straight to the kids section of course.  They could have spent all day there too.

Each kid got to choose a book. Lily had to get a chapter book since cousins were getting chapter books. Charlie advised her on the Nancy Clancy series and it was a big hit. She still says the highlight of her vacation was going to the book store and getting her Nancy Clancy book.
While we could have stayed at Powells all day we were HUNGRY. We walked down the street to Deschutes Brewery for lunch. A little local flavor did not disappoint. 

 Then we walked the city some more and spied a man carrying the famous "Voo Doo donut box." The challenge was on, we walked all the way there and the line was 30 minutes long. We waited at the tables while Alex and sleeping GG waited in line.
 The menu is crazy (as are some of the donuts). It was hard to decide. They have ones with rainbow cereal on the top, crushed oreos, and the classic voo doo which looks like a voo doo doll.
 Owen went for the voo doo. A glazed donut shaped like a voo doo doll, chocolate frosting, filled with raspberry jam (the bloooood) and pretzel sticks to jab it with.
 Lily had M&M covered donut, Charlie licked the frosting and M&M's.
 Owen informed us he "usually" gets two donuts so he also devoured the maple bar with bacon on top! It sounds weird but I am sure it tastes good!!!
 It was nice sitting in the shade and people watching too.
 On the way back we found a cool elephant statue that begged to be climbed.
 Owen got it started and Charlie had no trouble either.
 Lily was not so sure so she hung out below.
 We found a playground and ran off the donut high. The kids thought this was the highlight of downtown. They are easily impressed.
The park ranger even came by and gave them tattoos. I think it was a pretty good day for all. Gemma even had a pretty good nap in her stroller. 

 We went home for dinner with Uncle Joel and some time in the jacuzzi!

Time for a holiday - Portland

It has been over a year since we left Seattle and moved south. Alex has been at his new job for one year and FINALLY is able to take some vacation time. So where do we go? Well, Portland and Seattle of course!! We needed to see our family and friends. Too bad airfare and rental cars were outrageous. So, nothing like doing something we swore we would not do again after last year during the move, we drove up to Portland! It wasn't too bad. No moving truck this time after all! We left after work on a Friday hoping to get as far as we could. These girls started off happy and excited. About four hours into it, and a huge traffic delay they were screaming bloody murder. I lost count on the, "are we there yet's?" We only made it to Modesto!! Day two was looooong, but they did better. 
 They even did this, well for an hour anyway. Lily was complaining she was cold but the blankets were in the way back so she covered her feet with hootsie and fell asleep that way. Yes, Gemma still has her paci and we plan to let her keep it until college.
Destination number one.....COUSINS!!!! 
We arrived in Portland around 6pm on day Saturday. We had a great dinner, played, and generally ran off a days worth of energy. The next morning we all loaded into the ol Mazda and headed to the zoo. I had forgotten how beautiful the Portland zoo was. We don't get much scenery like this in LA. 
Joel got the girls "zoo keys". You wear it around your neck and it "unlocks" information about the animals all around the zoo.
 Very cool idea! It was pretty much more fun running from box to box and jamming the key in than actually listening to the info. I wish our zoo had these though! You can bring them every time and learn something new each time you go.
Four cousins!! No, we didn't get a pic of all four where they are all smiling and looking. That would be a small miracle.
The farm animal area is still a hit. I think these kids want to live on a farm.
 They have some pretty cool souvenir shops too. We don't actually buy them, we just try them all on and take pictures. These would make cool Halloween costumes though.
 We were prepping to watch the bird show.
 Two eagle cousins. So cute together.
We sat and watched the bird show while we ate our picnic lunch. 
 The Lion exhibit has great climbing statues. Pretty much the highlight of the zoo is all the structures you can climb on. I don't think they even really need animals. You could just walk between exhibits, play on the structures and never notice there were no animals in the cages. I guess then you would have a park, not a zoo.
 Cute cousins! We love hanging with you guys.