Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Fun!

Well we finally have gotten the summer heat that we wanted. Sora has been having a great few days playing with poppa and grandma McPherson. 
 Chasing bubbles in the backyard. She actually caught a bunch of them.
 Crazy sprinkler fun. In true Sora fashion she was constantly running to mommy to give her wet hugs.
 Sora is still officially addicted to swings. We went to a few playgrounds that had no swings and paid the price so here she is at Kiwanis park living it up.

So far the Ellensburg leg of the trip is going pretty well. Sora is dealing with the constant change in beds and houses fairly calmly. She has been a bit extra cranky but we think she may be growing and needing more food than normal because everytime she eats she is happy. That is also true for me and her mom and most people I suppose.

Take it easy


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ellensburg Adventures

Sora has been having a great time seeing grandparents and friends and neighbors and all kinds of people.   My aunt Sherry built this little toddler sized picnic table for Sora and her cousin Dylan. Sora loves it. 

 Sora had fun meeting her great grandma Marry. She had more fun than this picture shows.
 The most amazing part of the entire summer so far was the fact that Sora sat still for this face painting. She was fascinated by looking at herself in the mirror before this picture.

We are headed to the beautiful city of Wenatchee today and then back to Ellensburg for 4 more days.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day in Spokane

We decided to crash the Ring family's Father's Day celebrations on our way through Spokane. There is an excellent synopsis with some great pictures on the Ring's blog

Sora has been faring pretty well overall considering she's devoid of any routine or stability for the past week, but she's definitely had some less than happy moments. 

She wasn't too impressed with the Spokane Falls...

She was too small to ride on the kiddie rides, but took that pretty well. And although she looks like she had fun on the slide, she also fell off pretty hard.
 She cheered up a little for dinner, just after I took her on the world's fastest carousel which they stopped mid-ride to let Sora off of.
 Her favorite part of Spokane was Annie and Charlie. She loved holding their hands, even when Annie wasn't really that excited about it. Thanks Ring kids for letting Sora get her way sometimes!
 We spent Saturday and Sunday in Kellogg, ID with the Rings at a waterslide resort. Sora liked this a lot and so did everyone else.
 Sora spent the huge majority of the time on this slide. It was perfect for her - she could easily climb up and slide down all by herself.
 After a long weekend of watersliding. One tired but mostly happy little girl.
 Sora with her new best friend Charlie. While both Ring kids were great with Sora, she LOVED Charlie. He is an amazing little kid who actually read Sora 4 books to help her fall asleep and didn't complain when she poked him in the ear for 30 minutes afterwards even though he was crazy tired.
Thanks Rings! We're excited to go camping later this summer with them as well. We're expecting a marriage proposal by the end of the summer.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Big Trip: Part 4 (Cold Hands = Long Car Rides)

After a very cold night, and a cold morning, Sora was ready to leave Yellowstone for good. We did get her to explore some animal scat.
And enjoy some pretty flowers on a short walk.

And explore the visitor's center.
And no trip to Yellowstone would be complete without seeing Old Faithful.

After a very cold morning though, Sora was ready to get back into the car and make the last leg of the journey to Washington. On our drive through Yellowstone, Sora got to see a coyote before falling asleep. We also ran into (not literally, but almost) some sheep outside of the park.
From Yellowstone, we drove to Spokane, only stopping for gas and a few coffees. This was by far the longest drive we had on our trip, and Sora was totally happy most of the time. She got to do "projects" with mom, watch a video with dad, finger paint, read stories, and do a lot of playing. We are now in Spokane for a few days with the Rings and have a lot of fun ahead of us watching Sora keep up with Charlie and Annie.

The Big Trip: Part 3 (From Dinos to Bison)

After leaving Wall, we headed for Rapid City, South Dakota. I think this was one of my favorite stops. We had coffee at a great little shop downtown before heading up to the Dinosaur Park. Sora was much more excited about the idea of this park than the actual park, but it was located at the top of a big hill and had a great view of the area, in addition to massive dinosaurs.

Rapid City is also home to Storybrook Island (not an actual island of course). This park has a playground mixed in with 144 scenes from different stories. Here Sora is driving Engine 9.
And here she is talking to the three little pigs. Maybe she's telling them that brick is really the way to go and not to waste their time with sticks and straw.

The Cat in the Hat is very appropriate for this trip, since we have listened to several Dr. Seuss audiobooks on the drive. Sora's favorite is Green Eggs and Ham and quotes it often.

We spent the night in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Not much to see or do, but we did stay in a campground located right by the rodeo grounds. There was a group of girls on horses taking some type of horse riding class and Sora was fascinated. She has decided that she wants to ride one of her Papa D's horses, but when given the chance to pet a horse, she declined, so I'm not sure that her dream will come to fruition on this trip.

The next day, we headed to Yellowstone. It was sunny and windy, with a lot of bison and hot water involved.

We were lucky enough to get a campsite in the first campground we tried, which was first come first serve and filled up in the early afternoon. Sora enjoyed her first ranger program, a campfire sans fire due to wind, that focused on some lesser known animals of Yellowstone. She was transfixed with the pictures he showed and was fascinated by his stories. After all that excitement, we were all ready for a good night sleep in our tent (which of course didn't happen since it was in the 30's at night).

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Big Trip: Part 2 (tourist traps)

Today we spent our day driving across South Dakota. It is a sparsely populated state which needs to erect ridiculous attractions to get motorists passing through to stop. Luckily for them, we are such motorists.
I hear no trip to South Dakota is complete without a trip to the World's Only Corn Palace. Sora chased around the poor girl dressed as a corn for a while and we marveled that someone would waste $130,000 annually to cover a building in corn. Yes tat is correct almost all of the front of the building in the picture above is corn of one type or another. Crazy!

South Dakota definitely caters to the motorist. Here is an elaborate rest stop on I-90.

We drove through the Badlands National Park. Sora slept most of the way, but it was beautiful and the first interesting landscape we've seen so far on the trip.

 Our final destination for the day was Wall, SD. World famous for Wall Drug - the world's largest tourist trap.

 Yes - that was all pictures from Wall Drug. Apparently in the 30's some guy had a great idea to offer free ice water to tourists and this is what came of it 80 years later.

We had planned on camping near Wall in the national grasslands, but with high chance of thunderstorms for a second night in a row, we treated ourselves to a hotel room. This freed up our evening to go swimming at the Wall city pool and play in the playground.