Friday, August 7, 2015

The Babymoon!

Far away Grandma and Grandpa totally stepped up and gave us a baby moon!  They watched the girls for nearly a week while we went up to Seattle, Bellingham and then Vancouver BC.  

First stop was the US open.  We have seen this tournament on TV but it is pretty crazy to see it in real life.  Summary: it was super hot, really hard to see the players we wanted, but amazing when we did get a glimpse of Tiger, or Phil, or Rory.... Crazy the fan fair that follows those guys!  We stayed for 2 days and were completely exhausted by the end.  That course was super hilly, with a huge distance between holes.  We loved it though, minus the heat stroke! 

BJ met us there and helped score some awesome viewing seats by getting there at 6:30 am.  Yay!!

After the Open we hopped in the car and headed north to Bellingham, WA and stayed at an amazing hotel right on the water called the Chrysalis.   It was pretty spectacular.  Andrew booked us spa packages for the morning, and it was glorious.  After tooling around the cute little town and having lunch we hit the road again.

Hello Vancouver!!  So there were a few things we didn't know about Canada.......Um your cell phone doesn't work there....this means that navigation doesn't work, which means we had to use old fashioned maps on the fly, not the perfect turn by turn directions we were relying on.  Just a little hiccup- Also a ton of places do not take American credit cards, and if they do, great, but watch out because there are hefty transaction fees levied by the credit card company..... other than that- it was smooth sailing :)  

The architecture was amazing!  The multiculturalism was amazing too.  The did not appear to be any minority or majority population- there were different languages all around us.  And the food.  OH MY GOD the food.  it was spectacular.  We had so many amazing meals.  So amazing.  Somehow we had so much fun that we didn't take very many photos :(

On our last full day we decided to go big.  We took on the Grouse Mountain Challenge- the grind.  It is a "leisurely" 2.9 K trail that goes straight joke straight up with no flat break at all for 2800 ft of elevation gain.  I was sucking wind the second half and had to take breaks every 60 seconds on the last quarter as my legs were shaking so badly I literally couldn't take another step.  This was an intense trail.  Not easy at all.  Imagine double height stairs for 2 hours, straight up.  Yeah it was like that.  
 Look I am still smiling! 
 At the top.  Oh my gosh I made it!  It is probably the hardest thing I have ever done.  I mean EVER.  Of course I was 7 months pregnant so there was that.....
 But look how happy we are.  It was totally worth the pain, I was really proud of myself to make it.  Andrew did not have as rough a time as me, but come on- he also wasn't packing a 30 pound weight belt on his abdomen.  He was a good supporter, and kept me going!  Thanks babe!!

 They wouldn't let us climb back down (against the rules- which is probably a very good thing) due to our spent muscles and the teeny narrow trails... so we took the tram back down.  It was really fun!  There were a few drops that made the whole bunch of us scream out loud- Well I did at least and I am sure a few others did too :)  
 The view from the tram:  Amazing!!

 I would go to vancouver again in a second!  Was so so so wonderful and full of culture.  For two people who LOVE food, and love being active it was the perfect place to end our babymoon.  We flew back to Portland just in time to gather the kiddos, pack all of our stuff and fly out the next morning to Denver.  Cyrus and Danica here we come!!

This party isn't over yet!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day trippin'

We spent a good chunk of our trip in Oregon, and looking back on these photos we really did cram every minute full of fun!

One of the days we got a coveted invite to spend the day with Amber and her girls at their friend's stream front house.  They live on the Mill stream outside of town.  Luck had it, the day was a scorcher so being waterfront was just what we needed!  The girls were not shy, the dove right in!

 Another day we went back up to Portland to visit Erin and her adorable little boy (neither of which I remembered to get a photo with-- fail).  We met downtown in the Pearl and played in the fountain for hours.  

 Another trip was to Corvallis for an awesome waterpark!  It was seriously incredible.  Warm water, tons of activities and endless fun!  The grown ups were in the water just as much as the kids, and having just as much fun too! 

 To take a break from the heat we made sure to visit the coast for some family time with the grand parents, Great Grandma, Great Aunt Emily and Great Uncle Steve.  It was not awesome weather, but the girls seemed to feel nothing but sunshine!  We only had to leave the beach because the Mommy was freezing!

 Driftwood jungle gym

 Smores were the perfect bribe to come off the sand and they were not just for the kids!   
 And of course there was another playground there too!  Grandma and Grandpa were on duty!

Great Aunt Emily with the girlies
Great Grandma :)  
 Another fun thing we did down in Oregon was berry picking!  We went to a couple of different, no-spray organic farms and cleaned up with our hauls!  I wish we had places like that in Alaska!  It was amazing.  We had fresh berries by the handful our entire trip!!
 Ah how I miss the awesome friends, family weather (and horticulture) in Oregon!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Next stop, Salem!!

Oh glorious sunshine!!  We basked in the heat every chance we had!  There were water balloons at Baby Isabelle's first birthday...

Slip n Slides at Amber's House

 And a kiddie pool too!!

 There were numerous trips to the fountains at waterfront park!
And to the carousel.  

 We went to Public Works day at the waterfront park- Which was awesome!  The girls got to see all of the different community helpers and try out their trucks, and learn about what they do for the community.  

Oh and they had snow cones too :)
 And when in Oregon it is a MUST to hug at least one tree!!
 We went to Farmers markets
And came home with the most delicious fruit and veggies!
 Lots of alfresco dining!
 Lots of relaxing
and sun bathing between dips in the pool at grandma and grandpas house.
This box, was one of the coveted sun bathing locations.
Most evenings we tried to spend time outside, and these little ladies were lucky enough to get wagon rides to whatever park we decided to go to before bedtime.  
 We visited Deepwood

 And Bush Park
 And another park that I can not remember the name of....  but the girls called it the plum park because of the fruit trees.

 We also played a lot at Faye Wright... my old grade school.  
 Uncle Alex joined in the fun too!
 The girls had a wonderful time at every park, but their favorite thing to do was play Billy Goats Gruff with Grandma.  She really knows how to get into character--- puts me to shame!!

I am pretty sure they will be asking me to play that at every park for the next year!