Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vacation Life: Week 2 in Ellensburg

As anticipated, we had a wonderful and relaxing week with Kyle's family in Ellensburg. Sora got a lot of grandma and papa time and even got to see her cousins!
 
Helping papa get the golf balls into the hole was more fun than golfing herself.
 
Sora loves to read and will read several books at a time to any willing audiences!

Of course, we spent some time at several playgrounds this week. Sora even got a free lunch at a park which she thoroughly enjoyed.
Sora was very excited to go fishing. She spent more time practicing and playing with her pole than actually fishing I think!
 
 
While Sora was fishing with her dad and papa, Kyle's mom and I were experiencing car troubles (in my car, of course). We called them for help and as they were leaving the fishing hole, they got a flat tire and had to fix their car before being able to come to our rescue. What perfect timing!
 
With a functional car (Kyle even replaced three parts himself while in Ellensburg!), we head off to my parents in the true Northwest to enjoy another fun week.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Road trip: part 1

Our trip to Washington is finally underway! We left early last Thursday morning. We stopped in Chippewa Falls for lunch and to enjoy their free zoo.
Sora loved petting Wilbur.
We stopped for the night at a wooded state park in Minnesota.
Despite some protests, Sora joined us for a short hike to the waterfall.
Friday, we headed to South Dakota. We enjoyed a new park in Sioux Falls before finding our campsite for the night. Our campground included use of a swimming pool which Sora loved.
Saturday included such exciting stops as Wall Drug (complete with donuts).
We also stopped at Storybook Island park in Rapid City (and a firehouse brewery for lunch).
We headed into Wyoming to stay at a natural bridge.
The campground was quiet and on a donation basis which is my favorite kind!
We started having car problems Saturday so we changed our route and headed to Cody rather than Grand Tetons. since everything in the state is closed on Sunday, we spent the day enjoying the town waiting for Monday to fix the car. Unfortunately for Maleah, the nightly shoot out isn't held on Sunday. However, luckily for Sora, a small carnival was in town. She enjoyed ice cream and a few rides (her first roller coaster).
Buffalo Bill is everywhere in town. Sora and Maleah went to the Buffalo Bill museum and learned all about Buffalo Bill and Yellowstone. Luckily, the tickets were good for two days, so we got to enjoy the museum while Kyle took the car to the shop.
Monday, after the car was fixed, we headed to Yellowstone. We saw lots of wildlife and hot water and mud.


We even drove through a thunder and hail storm and were rewarded with a rainbow!
Sadly, after this, our camera stopped working. We stayed at a park in Montana on Tuesday night. We also enjoyed some bakeries and the Lewis and Clark Caverns before reaching Spokane. Sora had a blast playing with the Ring kids and Kyle and I enjoyed the Ring adults. Charlie and Annie read all the books Sora asked them to without complaints. We look forward to camping with them later this summer!
We are now spending some time with Kyle's family and are enjoying a few nights in the same warm bed.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Dells

For Memorial Day weekend, my mom and uncle came to Wisconsin to visit us and to enjoy the self proclaimed Water slide Capital of the US. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate for us to enjoy the largest water slide in the US. Why they put it in WI is beyond me - TX or another warm southern state seems much more worthy!

We didn't take many pictures - we were too busy having fun! We did a lot of things. We spent an afternoon on a boat exploring the natural dells that make the region so beautiful.
 We enjoyed a science museum (more than I thought we would!). It was set up like a space mission and had the only complete Mir Space Station in existence.

 We also watched the Tommy Bartlett Show which was part water ski extravaganza part stage show. My uncle got to volunteer to be on stage which really made his day!

We went out to dinner on my birthday. I chose Chinese food, which Sora loved. We all used chopsticks and Sora impressed us with her knowledge of Chinese culture (according to Sora, they do some pretty bizarre things! She acutally uses this line a lot: "In China they..." or "African people do..." My favorite was the other day when she said, "Americans wipe their hands on their shirts". This was said while eating and wiping her hands on her shirt, making the statement true).
And of course, we spent a lot of time in the water. Sora grew more and more courageous and slid on many "big kid" slides. She preferred going on these medium slides by herself rather than going on larger slides with me. She didn't really like any lazy rivers and preferred splashing in the water rather than getting splashed by those huge buckets that dump every 5 minutes on almost all children's structures.
 Our resort had 4 outdoor and 4 indoor water slides. We enjoyed the indoor ones, but only spent a small amount of time outside. There was a huge loop slide we could see from our hotel room where people would go upside down in the loop. Many people didn't make it all the way through the loop and had to be let out the trap door at the bottom.

Hopefully we'll get a chance to visit the Dells when it's warmer outside before we leave WI in a few more years!