Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WE SAW A WHALE

I know we did a lot of others things this past week, but the most exciting part for me was when we saw a humpback whale breaching. We were on a ferry. Yeah, a ferry. Take THAT expensive whale watching boats who chase the whales and I probably won't go on them anymore anyway. Wait, where was I?

Oh, yeah...a visit from Brent's mom, sisters - Julie and Jess - and our niece Tayler. And a running of the Rock and Roll Marathon in Seattle. Well, not me. I was a cheerer. But others ran it.

Last Monday, Brent's mom flew in for a week long visit. We were happy to see her and happy to see the beautiful weather that coincided with her visit. Well, at least part of her visit.

We played with Reyes and Camilla.
This is just Reyes here. Cami was asleep. But she was fun when she woke up!

We went on a walk in Manchester State Park on the first day of summer. Which was GLORIOUS here in Western Washington!
This isn't a great scrunch picture, sorry. I was trying to get The Mountain (aka Mt Rainier) in the background but I failed miserably.
A ferry AND The Mountain in one picture - how much more Northwest-y can you get?

And we ate good food and sat on the deck in the beautiful weather.

Then Julie, Jessica and Tayler got here and even more fun started!

Four of the contingent - Brent, me, Julie, Mom - drove up to Vancouver, Canada to get a little wicked. Or to see Wicked, I forget which. The drive was WROUGHT with traffic, but we had a good time at Wicked.
But, did I mention that we saw a whale while we were on the ferry. I didn't? WE SAW A WHALE! We were sitting there in the ferry watching the water because, really, what else do you do on a ferry? And Julie said she saw a splash. Then all of a sudden, Mom screams - quite literally, it was kind of funny - and I look out in time to see some sort of marine going animal splashing back down in the water. Then it breaches again and I see that it's a young humpback whale. It breached about 4 or 5 times in total. None of them when I had my camera out, but we did see it. So cool. Although, I'm a little bit worried about it. We were on the Kingston ferry which is still in Puget Sound - no where near the ocean where the humpback should be making it's way to Alaska. I hope it finds it's way out.

Since I couldn't get a picture of the whale, I took a picture of us instead.

The really sad part was that Tayler REALLY wanted to see a whale - or a shark - from the ferry. And we saw it without her. Sorry Tay!

Then the real craziness started.

We met Jess, Tayler, Ryan, Marcela and the girls at their hotel in Seattle to "exchange prisoners." They were getting Julie and we were getting Tayler. Why? So that Julie, Jess and Marcela could run the Rock and Roll Marathon in Seattle. Jess and Marcela ran the half marathon and Julie ran the full.


The next morning we had to get up at zero-dark-thirty to catch the 7:20 am ferry to Seattle. Yep, I said 7:20 am. It was an early morning.
This picture was taken when I dropped my camera at the ferry terminal at 7 am. I think the early morning had something to do with my clumsiness. It's not like I'm clumsy all the the time.

See, it still works. Phew!

When we got to Seattle, we found the perfect place to watch the runners go by. It was right when the marathoners and half marathoners split so we knew we would see everyone if we just stayed in this one spot.

First to pass us was Marcela. There was a tall person in between her and us, so we didn't see her soon enough to get a really good picture, but...


Then Julie ran by.

We were on the right side to get a good picture of Julie. And her bright yellow shirt helped quite a bit too.

Then Jess came by. Sorry about the bad picture, Jess. I'm blaming it on the fact that I had dropped it not long before.


After that, we headed to the finish line. Marcela finished in 1 hour and 59 minutes. Jess finished in 2 hours and 31 minutes (that while she was really sick, on antibiotics and hadn't trained in two weeks). Then Julie came in...
at 3 hours and 52 minutes - we're guessing. Unfortunately Julie had a run in with a know-it-all runner who broke her transmitter so we don't know for sure. But it was under 4 hours. And that was her goal.

And this is what she looked like a few minutes after finding us:

She wasn't dead though...

Just VERY tired and sore.

Here a few other pictures I took as we were waiting...


After some time, they all rallied for a picture with their medals.

We are SUPER proud of them. They all did great!

After that, we all relaxed for a couple of days, had dinner at Uncle Gary's and enjoyed each other's company, but then Monday came around and it was time for everyone to go home. After I dropped Mom and Julie off at the shuttle, I met Jess, Tay, Ryan, Marcela and the girls for lunch at Red Robin in Seattle and a quick trip to the Market.


It was sad to see them all go, but it was great to get a chance to spend some time together. There is a crazy rumor that I'm going to walk the half marathon next year. (This rumor was not started by me.) I have to say, that is a crazy rumor and I do like cheering much better. I guess we'll see. That's all I'm going to say.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Did you see this???

We saw this video on the news tonight and it just made us laugh. Good thing the glass is thick!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Wild Kingdom!

Have I ever mentioned that I love where I live? Well, I do. I love living in the trees. Except for the spiders. I don't like spiders. But I like that Daisy eats spiders.

Anyway, I have seen a bunch of animals in and around my yard. LOTS of hummingbirds, racoons, coyotes, snakes, voles, mole holes, but never a mole, I've heard an owl, but never seen it, other types of birds, slugs, Brent, etc, etc. But today I saw something that I had never seen in my yard before.

I saw a hawk swoop down and grab a snake and fly off. It was kind of cool to watch.

Next think I know, Wild Kingdom will be filming in my backyard!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Having Fun With the Family

Ok, I'm back to the world of the almost living. I hurt my back - I have no idea how - and I've been down for a few days. But I'm back to being semi vertical.

But the sad part was that I had to miss the U2 concert over the weekend. I surprised Brent with tickets to the concert for his birthday (well, it was suppose to be a surprise at least, I spilled the beans because I was so excited that I had gotten tickets). But, Brent took another date - ok, Brad - and met Ryan and his date - ok a guy named Leo. It was a boys night out. But they had a blast! So that's good.

The date thing reminds me of a story. One time Court and I went to the Flower and Garden show over in Seattle. So Brent went over to their house to have dinner. Kyle prayed. He said, "Please bless Mommy and Ashley on their date..." Hee hee.

Do you think the boys will be mad I said date? Oh well.

Now onto what I was really going to talk about...the rest of our weekend in Denver.

We played a lot of games and played outside and ate some good bbq and bbq'd some good burgers. And now onto the pictures.

We went to a fun park and had a picnic and played and played and played.
See, I really was there! And so was Katie.





What is Cayden looking at, you ask...

His silly Daddy, of course.





Then we spent time in Jared and Katie's newly grassed backyard. Unfortunately, I think Cayden may have inherited Brent's aversion to cameras, so it was mostly just silly.

Ok, so these aren't in their backyard...but near their house. On Monday, it was suppose to be really windy so we tried to fly a kite...it wasn't that windy but windy enough to be kind of annoying.



Houdini




And so ends our fun trip to Denver. Thank, guys, for making our stay so much fun! Even if getting there was annoying!

Oh, and, we went and saw Brent's Aunt Annie and Uncle Steve too plus some of their kids but I didn't take any pictures. Sorry. It was fun though!

Now I'm just looking forward to my back feeling better so I can get back out and weed. Not that I like weeding, but I REALLY don't like all the weeds.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Now On To Happier Times

Ok, I'm feeling better now. A little less shell shocked and annoyed at our crazy travel day. And extremely thankful that we came out of it with just annoyance and no lasting injuries!

And, to answer Jenny's question, no we didn't get the extra insurance. So we'll see how it works out and I'll let you know!

And now onto happier times. After a slow morning, we met up with Katie and the boys to head to the zoo.

Jacob was asleep when we got in the car, but Cayden had a lot to say. He had to tell his mom first what he wanted to tell me, but then it always got to me. It was cute.

When we got to the zoo, we ate some lunch - we had very nice sandwiches from the food court. I was surprised...zoo meals are not normally that good. Anyway, Jacob hadn't really said anything since we had gotten there, but about half way through lunch, he looked up and me with this face that said, "Wait a second, who are you?" After that, we were friends.

Here are the highlights:
I just love watching kids watch the animals.


This gorilla even interacted with them.

Thanks for trekking up the big hill with us Katie!

Cayden got some cotton candy and shared it with his little brother. Jacob definitely looked like he had fun!

My camera is just not fast enough for pictures of kids, but I think this one turned out pretty good even if he's not looking at the camera.


Julie wanted to show how far she could jump. It was about 6 feet - like a Jack Rabbit.

Then Brent jumped - he's also a jack rabbit.

And Cayden was the smartest - he just ran. Made it all the way to fox!

Giraffe's are Julie's favorite animal.
Oh, yeah, Julie met us at the zoo after her three hour run. Yep, she ran for three hours straight. She's getting ready to run the Rock and Roll Marathon in Seattle this month. Go Julie!



Brent's favorite animal is a polar bear. Kind of fits, doesn't it?

I forgot to take a picture of Katie with her favorite animal - a zebra. My favorite animal is an okapi and Cayden's is a frog - also not pictured.

There were a lot of cute baby animals and not many people - once the 42 buses of school kids left. But a great day at the zoo.

The rest of our trip was mostly just playing around. More on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Our Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and We are NOT Moving to Denver!

So, last Thursday, we flew to Denver to visit Julie, Jared, Katie and kids. It was not the funnest travel day that we have ever had. And we travel quite a little bit! Even in the last month!

We get to the airport in plenty of time and go to check in at the kiosk. It says that it can't check us in and we have to talk to an agent. We stand in line FOREVER - amid all the agents going on break, crazy. Anyway, we finally get to an agent and we're telling her what it said. She asks for our paperwork and as I'm handing it to her, I notice that it says Wednesday on the top. Not Thursday. You know, Thursday, when we were at the airport. But Wednesday, when we weren't at the airport.

Yep, turns out, somehow I either made the reservations for the wrong day or remembered wrong or something but we missed our flight. **Sigh**

She starts looking to see if we can get on another flight because the 1p, which we were suppose to be on, was full. She couldn't find anything until the next day at 1p. **Another sigh**

Then she says that since we missed our first flight, it automatically canceled our return flight so she had to see if she could get us back.

She's on the phone talking to someone and keeps making faces and saying things like, "A 100 dollar change fee, uh huh, and different in the ticket, uh huh." I can see the amount going up and up. Brent and I agreed that if it was too much, we were just not going to go. Sad, but true.

Then the manager came over.

After a little bit of teasing, you know, about missing our flight because it was on Wednesday and we were there on Thursday, he found us two seats - together even - on the 7p flight to Denver. And he found us two seats - not together but on the same flight - coming back on Tuesday. Woho. Then he looks at the agent and says, "What do you think is fair, $25?" I didn't realize what he was talking about until he walked away and she charged us $25 to change our flight. That's it. It was amazing!

(He did says, "Bet they'll fly Alaska again after this." He's right. They were awesome!)

So, it's now noon and we're already at the airport for our 7 pm flight. We went to lunch at Anthony's and walked around the WHOLE airport and still had time to sit and wait for a while.

The flight was bumpy but fine and we got in 1/2 hour early. Woho!

We get our rental car and start driving to Julie's. Then as a car is cutting us off to fly across three lanes of traffic, they hit a piece of semi truck tire on the road, rocketing it into the air and it smashes our windshield.
Notice how happy I am as I'm on the phone with the roadside assistance for 40 minutes.

It was scary! Brent had little pieces of windshield all over him but luckily it didn't implode.

So, we had to wait at the side of the road for about an hour for them to bring us another car. After getting to the airport at 11 am, we finally got to Julie's at 1:30 am. It was the absolute worse travel day we have EVER had.

But, here are a few things I'm thankful for - because I'm still kind of annoyed and am trying to look on the bright side of things.

  • We did get there. Eventually. And only had to pay $25 for my brain fart.
  • The Seattle Airport is HUGE and had a lot to keep you busy for 7 hours.
  • The windshield didn't totally break. I mean, Brent could have been hit by the actual tire. (On a side note, our insurance says that since it was airborne, it is technically classified as a missile so we were hit by a missile.)
  • Brent didn't lose control of the car and crash.
  • We had a great time with the Denver contingent of the family.
  • And, we ended up being able to sit by each other on the flight home anyway. Because a guy switched seats with Brent. He didn't seem like he wanted to, but he did, so I'm thankful for that!
I think I'll wait until tomorrow to post all the good things that we did in Denver. Because the bad things were kind of bad.

But, another positive, our flight home was completely uneventful!