Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wrapping up our Northwest Expedition

We wanted to show the kids Seattle, but we were running out of time in WA.  So we decided to make it a quick pit stop on our way home from Canada, instead of it's own day trip. 

But first, we had to stop at Camping World.  When we first starting going to Camping World at the beginning of our trip, the kids loved it.  They'd look around at all the cool RV gadgets and gizmos.  However...this is their opinion of Camping World stops now:

They make a beeline to the comfy recliners with their DS systems :)
They are good sports though...they let us take care of business as long as we need to and don't complain.

Seattle from the north...

It's been a long day after our trip to Canada, but we took a quick truck tour of some of the most famous landmarks in Seattle.

The Space Needle...
just happened to be celebrating her 50th birthday while we there.
This was really a quick photo...we pulled up in a bus zone, the kids and I jumped out,
I snapped this one photo and we all jumped back in----or so I thought.
As we were pulling away we heard someone yell, "Hey, wait, wait!"
All of us in the truck started looking around for the voice.  Then, I looked onto the sidewalk
and discovered Daniel running down the sidewalk waving his arms yelling at us!!
Oooooops!  Jon and I thought everyone jumped in and we were in such a hurry to get out of the
no parking zone.
So glad that we looked for the voice before we drove off completely!
(This incident led to a great discussion about what to do in an emergency if stranded, etc.)

Very cool art:
an umbrella turned inside out :)
Classic Seattle!

We saw funny road signs...
Actually, I think this was for real....but considering "west of here" was the Puget Sound...

Pike Place Market
Unfortunately, we got there too late for the fish throwing, but just
in time to see them cleaning up the store :)
So, we watched the fish throwing on YouTube...

The Original Starbucks!

We had a very quick trip in Seattle, but we had fun. :)  Jon scared the kids on the steep hills by "rolling" backwards at the stop signs.  They were all screaming :)
(Remember, we have Florida kids...they aren't used to HILLS.)

Back at the campsite, we had more good times.  We had a couple of BBQ dinners on the picnic table (yay, for nice weather.)
Faith and I teamed up against Jolie and DT in a rousing game of keep away. 

Daddy took the kids fishing...

Using the watershed management skills he got while at
OMSI:  Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

School is still in session, too:  

We took the kids on one more adventure in the great northwest:
Northwest Trek
A Wilderness Park and Nature Preserve

The first stop at the park was to take an hour long tram ride through the free roaming area of the park.
Jon and I kept expecting a dinosaur to jump out from the trees ala Jurassic Park :)
We saw every large animal that they have in this area:  bison, big horn sheep, black tail deer, elk, trumpeter swans, mountain goats, and the best one... a moose!
The animals love the cooler weather so they were very active.  Unlike people :)  We had the place to was awesome!

Jolie's favorite...the bison herd

They were on either side of our tram!
Big horn sheep and black tail deer
Roosevelt Elk herd
A mountain goat just chillaxin' by the road!
This was the best find of the day... a moose!
Apparently, they are very elusive to the tram tour.
After our tram tour, we toured the rest of the park.  We went on a nature trail that had a quest challenge for the kids.
They conquered the quest and found the treasure!

We learned so much from three different animal presentations.
Since we were practically the only people there, the kids had their 1,000 questions answered.  The staff was so patient, kind, and very engaging with the kids.
We got to learn in depth about the Red Tail Hawk, two different owls, and a bat!
The bat was actually very cute!
During one of the owl presentations, a hawk flew overhead and the owl spotted it and puffed up to twice it's normal size.
That was the coolest thing we've seen! 
There were also a couple of animal pelt carts along the path.  They also answered tons of questions :)
This pelt...any guesses?
We saw it live next...

A cougar!
Although this one looks like a pelt all cozy in its den :)
We loved seeing the cougar...since we've been living in one for 8 months!
The cute bat is on the left....
 The NW Trek is also an outdoor zoo to critters native to the area.
(It's very much like the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ
We saw bald and golden eagles, many owls, otters, wolves, coyotes, wolverines, grizzly bears, and more.
These two raccoons were so funny to watch.  The one in front kept picking up items and "hand washing" them.
There was only 25 feet and that tiny fence between this black bear and us!

We had a great day at the Northwest Trek.  The kids said the tram ride through the animals was one of their favorite things so far.  They LOVED seeing the wild animals up close in their habitats.
Hm...I wonder if Yellowstone NP will beat this?

We spent our last day in Washington attending church at our old home church, shopping at the commissary, and doing laundry.  We're spiritually fired up, were fueled up, and all cleaned up....and ready for our trip east!

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