Friday, September 30, 2016

Project 52 - Yet Another Park Visit - Week 39


Last Saturday started with a visit to the vet for a routine check in for our cat, Lucy. I brought Riley as she has expressed interest in taking care of cats when she's older and it only confirmed that she wants to be a vet when she's an adult (also a singer and an author and possibly a swim teacher). She did clarify that she wants to work with ONLY cats so there's that. Lucy, for the record has gained almost 4 lbs in the last 6 months (and that brought her up to her weight of a few years ago) which can't be good, but she stopped pooping all over the house so we are all ok with the weight gain.

We didn't have anything else planned that day, but Riley and I ended up at the gym (Jesse was working on the truck), stopped at a local park that we hadn't been to before, and had lunch at Jimmy John's together.

The park visit was a last minute stop and one I'm glad we made. My auntie Mugs' used to live across the street so I recall playing at this park as a kid. Of course the playground has been replaced a time or two since I was a kid (I'm pretty sure plastic slides did not exist when I was a kid - metal all the way), but it brought memories back of my visits to my aunt.

We brought Sophie the cat with us on our visit. Riley used her tooth fairy money to help pay for her so she's extra special (plus Riley's obsessed with cats right now), but Sophie already went missing at school (we got her back!) and has ripped in two separate places (she's been sewn up) so I'm not sure how long she'll last.

Rainbow park is such a confusing name for this park since there is another park in our neighborhood that we call the rainbow park because it actually has a metal rainbow above a bench (but has a different name). Certainly, a hard thing for a kid to wrap her head around.

Riley was almost more excited to eat at Jimmy Johns than go to the park. I don't blame her - we were hungry after running around at the gym and the playground.

After a full morning with just us girls, we had some family time with Jesse and went to see Storks. I was a good movie and a nice way to wrap up our day.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Our Pacific Northwest Adventure - Days 7 and 8

Usuallly, around day 7 or 8 of a vacation I am ready to go home, sleep in my own bed... go back to the regular rhythm of our life, but that didn't really happen with this vacation. I laugh now at all the things we originally wanted to do as we barely had time to do what we did. We certainly could have used a couple more (or even more) days on this trip.

Day 7

After a good night sleep, we got up and went to the restaurant next door to get our free breakfast. I was tempted to get the granola and yogurt, but I decided to go big. I'd been dealing with a low level migraine the day before and often find that if I eat more food, especially protein, I end up feeling better. I had a bite of Jesse's yogurt and granola which was fabulous, but I needed my meal of eggs, toast, hash-browns and bacon. 

We went back to the hotel, packed up and left. It would have been nice to stay there a little longer, but we had plans to attend to. Multiple people told us to check out Multnomah Falls so that was on the agenda, but we also wanted to check out a place that Britt mentioned, Oneota Gorge. It wasn't on our original plan, but Jesse was like "if Britt says we should go, we should go". So, we headed down the highway knowing we had to get off at exit 35 when Jesse asked me to scratch his back. Next thing I know, we are driving right past our exit... and there wasn't anywhere to turn around for... well forever. We debated what we were going to do since we really wanted to check out the Oneota Gorge trail, but decided to let it go. The trail is actually the river so you are in ankle deep water at minimum. I read that it's possible to be in up to 3 feet of water (although I don't think that's the norm). Jesse didn't have appropriate shoes for walking through water, it was a chilly morning, and we didn't have any towels so it appeared it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe next time.

We powered on and made it to our next stop, Multnomah Falls. This was off the road we missed, but also had a stop off the main highway that we were on. It was frustrating to be able to walk between the two roads, but not get our car from one to the other at that spot. We took the underground tunnel over to the falls and then hiked up the trail. 

You don't have to hike far to get a good view of the waterfalls, but we knew that we wanted to at least get to the bridge in front of the waterfalls so we kept hiking.

I think I took the above picture from the hip and when Riley saw it she decided she wanted a picture where the waterfall was running into her neck to so I obliged.

Once we made it to the bridge, we determined we would keep going. The next part of the trail was .9 miles which seemed doable except that it was all uphill with a 6 year old. I'm not sure how far we got, but Riley had commented multiple times how her legs hurt and at some point Jesse abruptly turned us around and headed back down to the bottom. My poor hubby just wants to get his hike on, but the reality of a kid hiking long distances makes that hard. It was still nice to get out and experience this highly recommended site.

We were a little torn as to what to do next since we missed the road that took us to other trails. We initially thought we'd head back to Seattle and take the ferry to Vashon island, but when I texted Ryann she also suggested that we could go to her daughter's horse riding lesson. As much as I wanted to do the ferry, the horse riding lesson sounded like it would be fun to check out and it would allow us more time with our friends.

We decided to meet Sophia and Ryann at the horse ranch and overestimated how long it would take us to get there. Since we got there a little early and Riley suddenly had a huge interest in taking pictures with my DSLR, we let her give it a try. I tried to show her how to back button focus, but it was a little hard with her small hands. Even so, I think she did a pretty good job. 

Photo credit: Riley

Photo credit: Riley

Photo credit: Riley

When Ryann and Sophia showed up we got to see Sophia get her horse all set up and ready to ride...

...and then she went out to ride...

Photo credit: Riley

Photo credit: Riley

We got to go back in the barn to see her clean her horse and give her a treat.

It's not an environment we get to hang out in everyday so I'm glad we went and I'm glad to see Riley do so well around a horse.

That evening we went back to Ryann's house and ate dinner in the garage where Ryann, Ben and Jesse then played games and the girls rode their scooters while I watched it all with Pip the cat on my lap.

This cat could jump up to the top of a 6 foot fence, while my cat can barely jump into bed. 

Day 8

When I took my photography class recently there was a photographer from Seattle that mentioned that the dock in Des Moines was worth checking out so we decided to do that as our last activity before heading back to Minnesota. It was a bit of a gloomy morning, but I totally get the appeal of this place. And honestly, practically everywhere we went was beautiful in some way so I totally get why people talk about how awesome the pacific northwest is.

And that was that... we went back to Ryann's, gathered our things and went to the airport. The car rental exchange was far easier than when we arrived and I have to say that over all the travel back to Minnesota went smoothly. Our flight came in a little late and by the time we got home and got Riley in bed it was almost 9:00 pm. I then realized that I didn't have any food for Riley's lunch the next day (her first day of school) so I ran to the grocery store which wasn't really what I wanted to do, but it was bearable.

Riley impressed me with all that she did this trip, staying up later than usual, minimal whining... she was just generally in a good mood. It's over 3 weeks later and she notes that she still wants to move to Washington to be close to Sophia, but otherwise she jumped right back into life here with a great first day of school.

As long as my dad is around I don't plan to move anywhere, but this was the first time I could really see myself living someplace other than Minnesota. Jesse and I both fell in love with Oregon so I'm sure we'll be back one day for at least a visit, if not more.