Vacation Part 5 - Bellingham, WA cont.

>> November 1, 2010

Before we started our road trip to Washington, we searched for family friendly things to do along the way.

One of the things we came across and put on the possible list of things to do was a hedge maze in Skagit County (where the tulip festival is every April). 
We considered visiting on our way to Bellingham from Medford, but there was a HUGE accident that closed down Interstate 5 in Chehalis and added quite a few hours to our trip. 
Then we considered going on our way back to Seattle from Bellingham but we didn't want to limit our time with our friends so we decided to see if they wanted to join us.
It turns out, it was located right by Tyler's work and we were going to have to go near there to pick him up anyways. The only bummer was that he didn't get off work in time to join us.

We had so much fun. 
And as a bonus, we all got a basket of berries with our admission to the maze.

(I love this picture!)

That evening we had dinner in.
Watched a movie.
And just enjoyed spending time together.

On Sunday, we spent the morning sharing in worship with our friends' new church family.
Came home for lunch and some lazy Sunday afternoon time...

Then we headed back to Fair Haven to experience "the bookstore".
(If you know Tyler and Dusti, you know what I'm talking about.
If you don't - this is one of their favorite place to spend their Sunday afternoons)

My kids LOVE books.
Bookstores are Merritt's favorite kind of store.
And Molly LOVED reading to anyone who would listen.
Really - she didn't even need someone to listen.
(Now I understand how they can spend hours here.)

After the bookstore, we grabbed some dinner before heading to our next destination.
Our friends suggested a family friendly pizza place with DE-LICIOUS food.
And to pass the time while waiting for our food, they bring the kids a ball of pizza dough to play with - or eat - or....

Tyler, Dusti, Micah, Asher, Eden,
We had an amazing time with you.
We miss you immensely and wish we lived close enough to do this more often.



Vacation Part 4 - Bellingham, WA

>> October 31, 2010

I LOVE Bellingham!
While we were there I told our friends that I wish there was a real floo network between Hanford and Fair Haven (If you don't know what the floo network is, that tells me you've never read Harry Potter.)

We specifically went there to visit some friends who moved there last year.
I was so grateful we had a few days to visit with them.
We even got to worship with them on Sunday morning at their new church.
When it was time to get in the car and make our way to our next destination, it was hard to say goodbye.
And tears were shed.
Our kids had so much fun together.

I took A LOT of pictures.
If pictures bore you, it's time for you to say goodbye, because I had a hard time narrowing down what to post here and so there are A LOT of pictures in this post. (I did put them into photo collages to make the post a little smaller.)

On Saturday we went into Fair Haven, walked down the boardwalk, picked flowers, ate berries (that were still a little too sour), drank coffee, played - a lot, caught crabs, climbed trees, had fish & chips and the best soft serve ice cream we've ever eaten...

Mason and Micah had so much fun together...

As did Asher and Molly...

Notice how windy it was?
It actually started raining on us while we were getting lunch.
It was such nice August day for us.

After spending the morning and early afternoon in Fair Haven, we headed off to our next destination - The Berry Farm Hedge Maze and picking up Tyler from work.
I'll post the rest of our adventures in Bellingham tomorrow.


What do you do when it's too hot and humid to step away from the AC?

>> October 4, 2010

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day in Hanford, CA
Especially after the past couple of weeks that made it seem like we lived in Florida instead of CA.

The days have been no fun for anyone.
It's too hot to go out and play and the kids are going stir crazy inside.
My genius husband worked past the heat though and got the kids playing outside.

I was trying to get some work done at the computer and heard LOTS of laughing and screaming coming from the backyard. When I went to check out the fun this is what I found at the back door...

And this is what I found in the backyard...

I actually drove through snow today on my way to Irvine for a workshop that I'm attending tomorrow.
I hope summer is actually done.
I'm grateful it feels like fall today.


Vacation Part 3 - Medford, OR

>> October 1, 2010

I only have a few minutes, but I wanted to share our short stop in Medford, OR.

While searching for a hotel to stay in between Angels Camp, CA and Bellingham, WA, Bruce's cousin suggested we check out the Super 8 Motel in Medford. She said it would be a fun place for the kids to stay. When Bruce mentioned it to me I had flashbacks of my mom looking for a Motel 6 when we traveled, because it was cheap and usually clean. Now Super 8 Motel is not usually the place with the GREAT FUN FOR KIDS reputation. In fact, it usually has the same reputation as the Motel 6 we looked for when I was a kid - CHEAP AND USUALLY CLEAN.
But the suggestion came from a family member who lives somewhat close to Medford, so we checked it out. And the kids are still grateful to Marianne for the suggestion.

Check it out...

Oh yes, and look who learned to swim this year...

We got up early and hit the road, even though the kids begged for the pool "just ONE more time?"
We had to get driving so we could reach Bellingham and these FABULOUS friends...

There's so much more to share, but that's for another post.


Vacation part 2 - Gold Country cont.


There were so many things to do and places to see around Angels Camp.
We gave the kids some options and these are the places we ended up...

Jamestown - Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

I wish we had been here on a weekend so we could've ridden the train.
It would have made the visit more exciting for the kids.
There are definitely some historic trains in Jamestown, but not historic for Gold Rush reasons.
They're historic because of how many movies and TV shows have been filmed here.
This is where the Petticoat Junction was.
This is where the Ingalls family caught the train when they left their little house on the prairie and went to the big city.
Movies such as Unforgiven and Back to the Future III were filmed here.
It was fun to see some of the sets and props that are used.
All that being said, I wish we had gone to Columbia first so we could have spent more time there and less time here.

The same day we visited Jamestown, we went to Columbia to pan for gold.
(Something Merritt REALLY wanted to do.)

What a fun experience that was, but by the time we were done panning for gold, the city was shutting down for the evening. This is a place we will definitely come back to explore more of.
(Hopefully the summer before Mason studies CA history.)
This little city has not burned down or shut down since the gold rush days AND they've worked very hard to preserve it. We missed getting a stagecoach ride but that is something we will definitely do the next time around.

Mercer Caverns
The Gold country is full of different caverns. The Mercer Caverns came highly recommended so we decided to check them out. This was definitely a highlight for the whole family. I was surprised at how well the kids did with listening to the guide (who was GREAT) and not touching (a VERY stressed rule.)

We were all pretty amazed at how they toured these caverns in the late 1800's by candlelight and rope - 16 stories underground.

Tomorrow we'll head to Oregon and Bellingham, WA


Vacation Part 1 - Gold country

>> September 30, 2010

Yes, I am FINALLY getting to share our vacation with you.
This vacation started because my family was having a reunion in Seattle.
Because we had to drive, we took it slow and made it a fun AND learning experience for the kids.
Merritt had just finished studying CA history so we decided to make a few stops in a couple of the historic gold rush cities on the way. And then some GREAT friends offered us their timeshare for a couple of days right in the middle of the historic area - Angels Camp.
So right after our worship gathering on Sunday, we piled in the car and started driving.

Our first stop (only about 3 1/2 hours away) - Angels Camp (the home of Mark Twain's famous Jumping Frog Jubilee)

The kids were excited to be out of the car and officially on vacation.
And they LOVED the time share we stayed in.
Especially the rec room and pool - and the cable TV, which we don't have at home.

And they LOVED the yogurt shop in town...

We need one of these in Hanford!

Tomorrow I'll share about some of the sites we visited in Gold country.


A Month?

>> September 28, 2010

I just looked at my last post and realized it has almost been a whole month since I posted.

At the beginning of this month we had a lot of computer trouble that took me about 2 weeks to get figured out. We are up and running again with a new external hard drive, which I am still organizing.
I feel like I've been cleaning and organizing my computer all month.
And really, I have.

My plan today was to finally get my vacation pictures up here and play a bit of catch up, but alas, the pictures are on Bruce's computer. (See why I've been organizing? I need everything in one place so I can find it when I need it.)
I will get them off of his computer and onto the new hard drive that is now networked
and then onto this blog tomorrow.

I'd do it tonight, but I'm off to worship practice and my prayer meeting.
Hope you have a great evening!!!


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