Monday, June 30, 2008

STUNNING Cape Flattery!

When I was researching cool stuff to see on our Olympic Peninsula trip, I came across a place I had never heard of called Cape Flattery. It's the northwesternmost point in the contiguous United States, and the pictures I found looked beautiful. I decided to make it a must-see for our trip, but hoped it would really be worth it, because it was about two hours out of our way. Once we got there, we hiked a muddy trail for about 1/2 mile total. It ended at five different observation points. When we got to the first one, my jaw dropped. This was our view:

Isn't that spectacular!!? I had expected it to be pretty, but it far surpassed my expectations. It was amazing, and I just stood there and stared!

Me with two of my best friends in the world, Jessica and Carrie!

Here's the view from another observation point. Each one was just stunningly gorgeous!

We found someone to take a picture of all of us! I think this is the only picture from the entire trip of all of us together. Kirsten even looked at the camera! There were some other hikers on this trail, and we even met some people from San Diego (they had Padres shirts on) and also some BYU fans from Utah. Small world!

I wonder what lives in that sea cave?

This hike was the first time Kirsten rode in the backpack, and she didn't make a peep the entire time. She was happy to just look around at everything and ride along with Daddy.

More beautiful views!

I really like this picture of our little family.

The cliffs and the coastline here were so rugged, wild, and beautiful. The California beaches that I grew up going to are pretty too, but this is a whole different kind of gorgeous! I've certainly never seen anything remotely like this in California.

I hope everyone enjoys seeing these pictures! I'm SO glad I made it a priority to go see Cape Flattery, because it was well worth the extra driving time!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Baby In A Backpack

For our Olympic Peninsula trip, we bought a baby backpack so we could take Kirsten on hikes with us. She enjoyed riding in it at the store, but I had no idea if she would like it for a long period of time. Here she is, in her new red raincoat, going in the backpack for the first time.We bought the Chicco Smart Support backpack. It was really easy to get her into it and get it adjusted right, and it has a sun roof and also a plastic thing you can zip over the baby if it starts raining. Pretty cool!

She seriously LOVED riding in the backpack! It was amazing to me, because she used to hate both slings and front carriers as a smaller baby. She loved being on Daddy's back, and she held onto the hood of his sweatshirt most of the time and looked around at all the trees.
Kirsten actually had a difficult time during most of this trip. She was fussy in the car, not feeling very well in general, and usually only happy when she was crawling around or riding in the backpack. I wish we could have kept her in the backpack for the ENTIRE trip!
I love hiking in the forest! Especially in cool weather so it doesn't get too hot!

I definitely recommend a baby backpack to any parents who plan to visit National Parks or do any hiking at all. We all like this one!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ridin' the Ferry!

To get to the Olympic Peninsula, we had to take our car onto a ferry! We took the Edmonds-Kingston ferry and it was really cool! We waited in line, drove our car on, and then we went up to the passenger observation deck to sit in the benches and watch out the windows. This one was taken in the parking area. You can either walk on or drive on, and of course we drove. Here's Jessica, Stephen, Carrie, and Kirsten.

Carrie hadn't seen Kirsten since Christmastime, and we were so happy she got to come with us too! Kirsten liked her a lot.

It was a pretty quick ferry ride, only about 15 minutes long, and Kirsten had a great time being out of the car and looking out the giant windows at the view.
We got off the ferry in Kingston. We drove through it, headed over a bridge, and suddenly we were in the Olympic Peninsula! It's so close to us!

Our Trip. . . To 'Twilight' Land!

To all you fans out there of the 'Twilight' books (and I know there are lots of you!), you're going to love this! A couple of weeks ago, we took a road trip to the Olympic Peninsula and explored the land of werewolves and vampires. It was amazing! My cousin Jessica and awesome friend Carrie were BOTH visiting, so they both got to come with us! I was so glad!We did lots of short hikes through dense forests, and drove mostly around the western side of the Peninsula, where First Beach, La Push, and the Hoh Rainforest are all located.

Amazingly, it didn't rain much on our trip! I thought it would be raining on us the entire time. The skies were always cloudy and it was pretty cold, but not much rain! We lucked out!

Lesson #1: Do NOT forget your tennis shoes when you're going to be hiking on muddy trails! In my defense, I DID remember to put my tennis shoes in the car before we packed the car up. I did this so I wouldn't forget them in the rush of getting everything in the car. Unfortunately, Stephen didn't know this and in the process of cleaning out the car for the trip he cleaned my tennis shoes out of it! We didn't figure all this out until we had already been gone for a few hours. So I had no choice but to hike in my flip flops the entire time!

Can't you just see vampires and werewolves lurking in that forest? This was the spookiest picture I took!

I'll be posting LOTS more pictures from this trip very soon, so keep checking back!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The BEST Summer Weather!

Okay, so this is only my second summer in Seattle and I'm already figuring out that Seattle summers are what I ALWAYS thought summers should be like. They are PERFECT here! Most of our days this month have been sunny, clear, and with temperatures in the high 60's and low 70's. It's the best weather to go outside in!I realize that some people love really hot weather, but I am SO not one of those people. The only way I like hot weather is if I can be swimming or at the beach. Other than that, I can't stand it. It zaps all the energy right out of me! When we lived in Utah for a couple of summers, I spent most of my time indoors or in the car, hiding in the AC. When it's too hot, the last thing I want to do is go outside! With temperatures in the 60's and 70's, I feel the lure of the outdoors constantly and love spending time at the park.

Here's Kirsten, staying cool in the shade with some shades! Those sunglasses only stayed on her for about two seconds, and then she took them right off. Whenever I wear sunglasses, she loves to pull them off me and then put them back on me again. I think she thinks I'm playing hide and seek with her, and she loves that.

The hottest weather I've ever been in was in Thailand and Cambodia. The temperatures and humidity combined were SO high that we usually had to take a break at the hotel in the middle of the day to swim and cool off. I normally never sweat at all, but in those countries in June I was literally dripping all the time. They were amazing countries, but I couldn't stand living in that heat and humidity!

I love these pictures of Kirsten and Stephen with the flowers.

So, I hope I'm not bragging too much, but I just had to share how much I am LOVING the Pacific Northwest summers! The days are really long too. The sun rises really early and last night I was driving home at 9 pm and the sun was just starting to set. The sky was lit up with tons of gorgeous colors, and I didn't even need my headlights on yet.

I always knew summers should be like this!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We Love Visitors!

We were SO happy that my cousin Jessica got to come visit us a couple of weeks ago. She flew all the way from Utah to Seattle to stay with us, and we had such a fun time! Kirsten loved her! We went to the Pacific Science Center again and got some more pictures in the butterfly greenhouse, since it was rainy outside for most of the time Jessica was here. We also started watching Kung Fu Panda in the Imax theater since it was only $5 and included in our admission anyway, but Kirsten definitely did not last long in the theater. Bummer!

She was too wiggly to stay long in the movie theater, but she did love playing in the children's area again. It's such a great indoor play area!

We love, love, LOVE to have friends and family come stay with us. Jessica has already visited us twice since moved here and it's always such a great time. We're so glad she came again this year!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Things I Love Right Now

I really like it when I read product reviews on other people's blogs, so I thought I'd do some on mine! Here are some things that I am completely addicted to lately:

#1- The new Coldplay CD. It's awesome! I think their sound has really improved. I like a lot of their older songs too, but the new album has so much more of an edge and just a cooler sound. It reminds me a bit of U2's style, but updated and still unique. My favorite song from the CD is 'Viva La Vida.' Talk about a song that gets in your head!
#2- The chocolate mousse $2 dessert shooter at Applebee's. I could eat one of these every day! It's smooth, creamy, and completely fulfills my chocolate craving without being too much. It's the perfect cute little size.

#3- Hand soaps from Bath and Body Works. They have a 3 for $10 deal right now, and these soaps are so luscious and smell so yummy it makes you WANT to wash your hands all day! I love the lotions too of course. My favorite summery scents for the soaps are Coconut Lime Verbena, Midnight Pomegranate, Cucumber Melon, and Mango Mandarin.

#4- The perfect summer lip gloss- Victoria Secret Bare Bronze Lip Shimmer in the Golden Light shade. It's light, really moisturizing, and smells and tastes so good. It's very sheer, not at all sticky, and glides on really nicely. I keep it in my purse.

#5- Fabric softener! I didn't even discover fabric softener at all until this year, because my mom never used it when I was growing up and I just never thought to try it. I love it! My favorite is the Downy Simple Pleasures in Vanilla & Lavender. I love putting on shirts and just inhaling this fragrance.

I'd love to know what everyone thinks of these! Or any of your favorite things lately too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Too Pretty To Pass Up

I thought I was done posting pictures from our Oregon trip, but I just couldn't leave these ones out! Oregon is such a gorgeous state. These were all taken in the Columbia Gorge Scenic Byway, about an hour outside of Portland and on the way to the Multnomah Falls.

So we had a great little trip! Another fun thing we did there was some outlet mall shopping. There is no sales tax in Oregon, so I tried to take advantage of that by finding Kirsten some new clothes at the Gymboree outlet. I wish Washington had no sales tax too!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good Eats In Portland

Portland has some great restaurants! One of the most fun is Rheinlander, a German restaurant. All meals come with a fondue appetizer, and an accordion-player and singers go through the restaurant singing for the tables. Kirsten enjoyed it! She was fascinated by the music.

The restaurant's decor is SO cute, like it belongs at Disneyland right next to the Matterhorn ride or something. I love themed restaurants like this one.

Another fun place we ate at was Old Town Pizza, in a really old building reputed to be haunted. It was a creepy, cool-looking place, and it was fun to read the story on their menu about the ghosts and look around the restaurant.

This is what Old Town Pizza looks like at the front.

We love going out to eat, especially at unique places like these that we don't get to eat at often. Another favorite of mine, even though it's a chain restaurant and not so unique, is Fuddruckers. They just have the best burgers! They don't actually have any in Washington, but there is one outside of Portland so we ate there and enjoyed it a lot!