Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2500 miles of adventures

We just got back from a great trip to Washington! We drove A LOT and saw everything we wanted to see, at least for one trip. We took 10 days to do it, since the first and last days were all driving. We were worried the boys would go crazy (and make us crazy) being in the car that long, but it really wasn't that bad.  We stopped to eat and let them run around a bit, and they did ok. Of course, they watched movies most of the way, but still. We were impressed -and relieved.

We got in Saturday night, so we grabbed some groceries for Sunday and ordered a pizza. The next morning, we went to church and happened to pick the building right next to the temple, so that was perfect. We walked around it with the boys and it was really pretty. There were lots of statues and a small grove with paths and benches. The boys were really great at posing for pictures... oh wait, no they weren't. They were terrible at it, pretty much the whole trip  :)  But we kept trying, so we do have a few good shots here and there.

Monday morning we went to the space needle. Russell had a really hard time waiting in line, but he loved being at the top. He just ran and ran  :)  Cormac liked the telescopes, but he kept using them the wrong way. Everyone walking by laughed at him  :)  Luckily we were surrounded by other tourists, so they thought our curious kids were cute. I even saw someone snap a picture of Russell.

From there, we went to Pike Place Market. We walked pretty much everywhere, since our hotel was downtown and everything was pretty close, except the zoo. Anyway, we wandered around the market and it was fun, but also pretty chaotic. It didn't seem to be organized into any kind of district-layout or anything, so we had no idea where to go or what to see... we did see the gum wall, which I hadn't heard of but people seemed excited to find it. And we saw huge fish and guys kind of tossing them. We also ate fabulous food at at a place called Lowell's.

After the market, we went to the aquarium. The boys both love aquariums, what kid doesn't? So we tried not to get too annoyed when we had to chase them all over. It was a smaller aquarium than we expected, but pretty good. It had a good touch part, and Cormac finally got brave enough to touch a seastar and a sea urchin. Pictures don't turn out awesome in aquariums, but we still took some, of course.

The tickets we got included two trips to the space needle, since you really should see it both during the day and at night. So after a family nap, we grabbed dinner and then went back up the space needle. It was an awesome view -I liked it better than the day. Worse for pictures though, so we didn't get many. And Russ was mad we wouldn't let him take off alone, so we were mostly too busy wrangling him to take pictures! Oh and the boys liked the interactive photo wall. It had thousands of pictures, from over the years, and you could also "check in" on the big map they had. Then it showed how many people had visited from the same hometown. Pretty fun.

Tuesday we spent most of the day at the zoo. It was pretty big, and we actually didn't even see one little part of it, because we had to get back. The animals were pretty active, which was nice. I think we only saw a couple of spots where we couldn't see the animals. The boys especially liked the otters and the giraffes, because they were the most interested in us  :) We ended up skipping most of the birds, after Cormac informed us "birds aren't cool." Where does he get this stuff?

We had to almost run to catch our harbor cruise, but we made it! It was a pretty clear day for Seattle, and we could even see Mt. Rainier. Russell loved running all over the ship, and made sure we didn't sit still too long  ;)  Cormac was nervous at first, probably because the ship was rocking in the dock and he didn't want to feel that the whole time. But I told him it would stop and then he calmed down, and was really glad we stayed. He talked about going on the boat all night long!

We had dinner out on the pier. Great food, right next to the ferris wheel, and there was even a carousel next to us -so they gave us tickets when we paid for our meal. The boys were wicked excited and wanted to do it again when it ended :)

Wednesday we left Seattle. We took our time getting ready in the morning -got breakfast and walked to the nearby park. After checkout, we drove to Port Angeles, and grabbed lunch on the way. We were planning on going to another park there before going to the hotel, but we were stuck in traffic due to an accident. It was really bad -we saw two helicopters and lots of ambulances/fire trucks/police/incident management. And Cormac took a bathroom break on the side of the road, and brought a big spider back on his pants... which terrified him when it moved later, poor kid (and it was big to me, too!). Anyway, we finally made it there and just settled into the hotel, walked around nearby streets and found some Chinese for dinner.

Thursday morning we drove to Lake Crescent and hiked to Marymere falls. It was a nice, easy hike and the woods are so beautiful there! They are dense and everything is covered with all kinds of moss. We tried hiking with Russ out on his own, instead of in the hiking pack, and it went ok, but we strapped him in next time. He gets a little distracted by all the sticks. And rocks. And everything else.

Cape Flattery was our stop later that afternoon. It is the northwesternmost point of the lower 48, and it was well-worth a hike in the (light) rain. The trail was great, with boardwalks for part of it, thankfully, since it was pretty muddy. And there were lookouts at the end, with amazing views.

Friday we drove to Ocean Shores, our last stop. We stopped a little on the way, but it was hard to pull over when you know it means your drive is going to be longer because of each stop! Still, lots of beautiful scenery.

Ocean shores was great! We heard that Damon Point had the most shells/rocks, so we went there and sure enough, we filled up our bag with great shells. Cormac was VERY excited that he could take them home for his "collection" (which is anything cool, that he likes...).

If you think you're seeing gross stuff running down from Russell's nose, that's because he had a pretty bad cold. We all did, though Scott's wasn't too bad -someone had to hang in there! Anyway, there was also a beach right by our hotel, of course, just a short walk through some weeds. Not many shells but still really pretty, so we walked around it, too. And we drove out to one more part, so we could fly a kite when it got nice and windy. It's a dollar store kite, but it stayed up well enough for the boys to have a good time! We also ate great seafood, again, and strolled around town a bit.

We went to a movie Saturday night, and Cormac loved it (Hotel Transylvania 2). Russell might have, too, but he slept through the whole thing. He was a little behind on naps! Sunday we went to church and walked around town, and the beach a little. We also caught the sunset, which was beautiful over the ocean, of course.

Isn't Scott a great photographer? I wish I could take pictures like that! The boys stayed up a little late our last night, but then we packed everything up and put them to bed, and tried to rest up for the long drive home. No more pictures from that, we just wanted to make time!! But here are a few from my phone, in no particular order, because I'm lazy like that  :)

And here are a couple of Scott's:

We’re going to have to talk about strangers soon with Cormac. He just walks up to everyone and talks to them. He was telling jokes to a couple at breakfast at one of our hotels. They liked it, thankfully. They even offered to babysit for us… you have no idea how tempting that was!

Russell was such a big talker on our trip! I’ve been trying to get him to say “down” for seriously months. He just whines and refuses to try. But he said it a lot on the trip, when he wanted to get down from the table or whatever (“dow”). He also starting saying “sha” for shark, “beh” for bear, and “dah” for done. Oh and he loved saying “go go” and then running off J He mostly doesn’t get his binkie anymore, but we made an exception for the trip. So whenever he was throwing a fit, we could threaten to take away his binkie, and he would usually stop. Such a lifesaver! But he was mad we made him sit in the stroller so much. He never stops running! Oh and he was a pretty good eater, which was a relief. He even dug in when we got Chinese food one night –loved the spring rolls, funny kid.

Such a great trip! We made some great memories and crossed off a couple states on our to-see list. No idea where we'll go next though, so suggestions are welcome  :)