Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Other May happenings

Dirt is good entertainment

Elevated Sportz

The peacock at the zoo decided to show off for us.

Trying out my $20 Goodwill find

Monday, May 30, 2016

Claire's 3rd Birthday

About to decorate her cake from Aunt Lois

Claire's 3rd Birthday Interview

Here is a link to last year's interview if you want to compare.
  1. What is your name? Claire
  2. What is your favorite color? red
  3. What is your favorite toy? my balloon
  4. What is your favorite fruit? vitamins
  5. What is your favorite TV show? My Little Pony
  6. What is your favorite food? toast
  7. What is your favorite thing to wear? clothes
  8. What is your favorite game? Tumble
  9. What is your favorite snack? animal crackers
  10. What is your favorite animal? zebra 
  11. What is your favorite book? Each Peach Pear Plum
  12. Who is your best friend? Emi
  13. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride my new bike I got for my birthday
  14. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? my teddy bear
  15. What do you want to be when you grow up? cook and play
  16. Where do you want to go on vacation? Mexico
  17. What is your favorite movie? Totoro
  18. Who do you love? DAAAAAD
  19. What's your favorite drink? water
  20. What's your favorite song? Love is Spoken Here

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Lacey Kids' Fair

Claire had a blast going down this big slide at the kids fair in Lacey, despite the rain.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Downtown outing

Liz braved the bus with Claire and Greta. We got some ice cream, visited the waterfront, and went to the Olympic sculpture park. We decided to stay downtown until Dad got off work so he could help us on the bus on the way back.

This is how Greta enjoyed her time at the sculpture park.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mark's Birthday

We went out for Mexican tortas and then came home for cake. Tomoya got Mark the Mariners jersey he is wearing and it is even customized with his name on the back!

Claire was a good candle-blowing helper.

Greta was a good cake-eating helper.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

5th Anniversary Adventure to British Columbia

Liz had been planning a surprise trip for our anniversary and successfully kept it a secret from me. When the day finally arrived, we took the girls to my mom and dad's house to be watched while we were gone (thanks, mom and dad!) and then returned home to make our final arrangements and depart. Our friend Jeanette picked us up and began taking us to our destination, the airport.

OR SO I THOUGHT! She actually turned right on Ballinger Way, catching me off guard. Liz continued to attempt misdirection by saying "Is this usually how you get to I-5?" but there was no fooling me at this point. She dropped us off at a hotel in Edmonds. In the morning, we caught our actual form of transportation: the Amtrak Cascades, bound for Vancouver

We had a nice, pleasant ride, enjoying the scenery (in spite of the gray weather) and playing cards. Just across the border near White Rock, we saw hordes of bald eagles hanging out on the beaches. I had never seen so many in one place. The train ride was great, the only difficulty was it took forever for us to disembark once we got to Vancouver.

We took a small bus to our bed and breakfast, located in the West End. We had some time before our dinner, so we took a bus to Stanley Park and went to the aquarium. I hadn't been here since I was a little boy, and Liz hadn't been here at all, so we had fun looking at all the displays and experiencing everything. They had a cool touch pool with stingrays floating around, which were fun to touch. We also liked the jellyfish tanks.

There was also a "4D" movie experience.

Dinner was an unusual experience: It was at a place called Dark Table, near Broadway, south of downtown. It's a blind dining experience: you dine in total darkness and all servers are blind. You have to use your other senses to eat. I never imagined I would experience so much disappointment at lifting a fork full of food to my mouth, only to discover it was not full of food. The appetizer was stuffed mushrooms. My main course was Wienerschnitzel, Liz got the (fill in blank). Dessert was some kind of chocolate mousse cake. For obvious reasons, we did not get photos of this place.

We enjoyed a pleasant sleep and went for a jog in the morning. I hate jogging. It makes me itch when I haven't done it in a while. I resolved to never jog again. We did enjoy a delicious breakfast afterward. Other guests in the B&B were from the Carolinas and a family from the West Midlands, England.

We made our way up to the cruise ship terminal to enjoy a brief trip down the Salish Sea aboard Holland America's Westerdam. We got situated, ate some food, and looked around the ship. Nice place.

Given the short distance, we weren't going to be in motion very much. The ship started moving after dark. We went out to the deck to look at the city as we left.

We got into Victoria and discovered that the cruise ship terminal is further away from the city than we anticipated. But we enjoyed a nice walk into the city and stopped first at Miniature World. Not as awe-inspiring as Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, but still quite cool.

Right next to that sight was a bicycle rental place. We got some bikes there and enjoyed a circular route along the coast, and then back to town via Oak Bay Ave. We took a couple of wrong turns, but otherwise did fine.

After our ride, we went to Government Street to go to the Christmas Store. Much to our dismay, we saw that they are retiring soon and closing the store. We browsed for a while and finally concluded that we needed to buy a beautiful olive wood nativity. We picked up some ice cream - well, I got ice cream. Liz got frozen cheesecake on a stick. We enjoyed our treats very much before returning to the ship.

We returned to the ship and enjoyed some time in sun - it was a nice, warm day and we even got a little sunburned. We spent a good deal of the afternoon at the pool. We went to one trivia event (we attempted another one, but it just didn't take place) and did a lot of walking around the lower deck.

We were back in Seattle the next morning, and were among the few to simply walk away from the ship rather than get picked up by a taxi. We took a bus downtown, and then another bus home. It was a short but fun 5th anniversary trip. Thanks for planning it, Liz!