Wednesday, March 31, 2010

End of March 2010 Poster

Really? The end of March already? Time seems to be flying by!!! For us anyway. Though Elder Gary does say he can't believe it's been this long already.

Look how full the poster is getting!
Look how close we are to half way!!! Woohoo!
Look what day we're on. So close to one year!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our Adventure---Day 5

Today is Friday. Last day of our adventure. But we're not done yet! Last night we got to Pendleton as I said. Yeah. Not impressed. We were supposed to stay in the Red Lion. Supposed to be a nice hotel. The most we've paid for the whole trip. The most horrible of the whole trip. Yuck. Might as well have stayed at the Motel 6. It was quite unimpressive. Anyway, at least we had a bed to sleep It was supposed to be two. My recommendation is....don't stay at a hotel in Pendleton, Oregon!

I got up early even after having arrived quite late. Went to the fitness room since I figured we wouldn't be doing any hiking today. I know, huh? Kind of unusual for this trip we've had! We got ready and called the Underground Tour, per their recommendation on their site, to see what time they opened so we could get there as early as possible. No answer. So we decide to load up the car and go down there. We drive to the thriving metropolis of downtown. We find the Underground Tour building. The door is locked. We try all of them. Nothing. So we go down the street to a couple of promising looking stores. We get pictures of the Betty Boop statue outside the cafe. Go into the Fudge Shop. Yeah. Don't go there. It was filthy and disgusting. We could hardly breathe everything was so coated with dust. They had stuff in there they must have had since..........the 80's? 90's? We did answer the questions. They were really nice people. We told them about the Tour, and she even called the office. They were there! Then they asked us if we wanted a sample of fudge. Our thought? And how long has that been there. We declined.

We went to the Tour building, went around the corner and down the street and there they were! They were there. Not the address we had, but a door to the gift shop around and down the block. We looked around the gift shop, bought a couple of things. Yes we found a little something for Morgan and Lexie in Seattle yesterday (secret) and a little something today at the gift shop (secret again). We even found something for Wynn we thought he might like. He's hard to buy for. We bought the items, and our tickets for the tour, and waited for others to arrive. They recommend reservations. I guess it actually gets quite busy.

As the tour started, it was a video about the starting of Pendleton. Then they take you on the tour. The history of Pendleton's underground is very different from Seattles. Where Seattle has an underground because they had to build the city up, which happened after a fire, (it needed built up anyway), this was for the chinese to live underground, get there money to bank without a hold-up, etc. It was interesting to walk this tour and see what life must have been like. It also shows the brothels that were here. In a 5 block area there were 18 bars and I can't remember how many brothels, but just about as many as there were bars! And this was clear until 1953 or 57!!! Quite interesting. But the tour guides in Seattle were hands down sooooo much better, and what a hoot. So funny, full of personality, so loved their job! If this one hadn't been so interesting in content, I think I would have fallen asleep. She was a snooze fest. She wouldn't even leave enough time for Drew to take pictures, so we were always lagging behind, which was a BIG NO NO! Whatcha gonna do. I paid for this so......Then we found out that Portland has an Underground Tour as well! Who knew? Tawnya, did you know? Anyway, I guess that will be for another vacation. We might have to look up underground tours for America. That could be interesting.

Then since it was getting late and we had to drive 7 hours home still, we just stopped by the Woolen Mills, got a couple of pictures, walked around the shop, didn't do the tour, (another time) and headed home. We laughed and sang along with her Ipod and drove. We were planning on stopping at the Outlet Stores in Boise, but that didn't happen. We did get off to get some food at the Jack-in-the-Box in Meridian. Yeah. Don't do that either. Even though it has a sign showing it's off this exit, you can't find it unless you ask directions. Not a quick on/off for that one. Wait a couple miles down the road, there's one there! Oh well.

Wynn did remind me that he has ball games in Ogden at 8:00am tomorrow! That means we have to leave before 7:00am. Then nephew Matthew is going through the Mt Timpanogos Temple to prepare for leaving for his mission in 7 1/2 weeks! (That's 11 days before Elder Gary's One Year Mark!!! How'd that happen?!) Figured I'd see what time I get home to see what all I make it to.

Got home late. The wind is blowing and man is it a cold one! Needed to throw some jeans in the washer before going to bed so I have something to wear to the ball game, and since I don't like to put them in the dryer....don't think they're gonna be dry by morning. Don't think the kids are going in the morning. They all stayed up waiting to see me....oh, us. They are tired. So glad to be missed while I'm gone. Gotta love the kiddos! Well, I am tired and have quite a day tomorrow. Better get to bed.

Now, as we were talking on the way home. We hope Drew gets a departure date soon. We need to know how much time we have before she goes so we know how many more adventures we can plan.......and do! Of course, you can always tune in to the daily adventures that always seem to happen.......

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Adventure---Day 4

Today is Thursday. We are in Seattle. Going to spend the day seeing the sights. I got up early, again. Why does my body not understand that I am on vacation? What happened to me sleeping in? No matter. I let Drew sleep, so we got a little later start than we thought we would. We didn't figure the things we were doing today would take a long time, and definitely not all day. So we booked a room last night for tonight in Pendleton, OR. Guess we were wrong!!!

We figured out that if we left the car at the hotel, which they changed our parking pass to last all night tonight!, and took the hotel shuttle to the Light Rail, and then catch the monorail to the Space Needle, we could get on and off all along the way and see everything we wanted to see.

First we caught the shuttle, asked him to drop us off at the Light Rail. Bought round trip tickets and got on the train. We used the map to make sure what stops we needed.......first stop---Pioneer Square and the Underground Tour.

We walked from the train to the Underground Tour and they have amazing old buildings in this section of the city from 1889 (after the big fire). On this tour they tell us all about the history and starting of the city. If you go on this tour, if there are children on the tour, they calm it down a bit. There were children here, their parents letting them climb all over everything. It was disgraceful. There were 3 girls from Arizona that when the kids said, "Look mom this is really old!" told them, "That's exactly why you should get off." The parents just sat there and let them climb. When they split the group in 2, we chose to go without the uncontrolled children! Therefore, we got the real tour with nothing left out about the beginning of this city. All about the sewer system, the fire, how they built the new city on top of the old city (hence the underground tour), and the irreputable things and goings on that happen in the late 1800's in downtown Seattle. So if you are a little not wanting to hear the unedited version of madams, Opium, Sin, Sex and Debauchery, go with group with children!

Then we walked to the EBC (Elliot Bay Cafe) made famous by the show Frasier. Not as cool as I would have thought. It is attached to the EBC Bookstore however. Could have spent ALL DAY in there! But alas, we had booked the hotel in Pendleton and had to keep moving.

We walked back down to the King Street Station to get back on the Light Rail and head on to the stores Tawnya had told us about, didn't buy anything, but did walk around for a while and look at everything. J ohn Fluevlog has the most amazing shoes. As Tawnya said, works of art. Can't afford a shoelace in there, but so worth seeing! Anthropologie had wonderful things as well, but nothing yelled at us that we needed it today. I really think I love this city as well. Big cities just have something about them that speak to my very core!

Then on to Pikes Market Place and the Sound. Got cool pictures. Amazing how many stores and boothes they have there. Amazing place. Then back to the monorail and up to the Space Needle. As we were crossing the street from Pikes Place to go to the Monorail, there was a man coming toward us eating his McDonalds. He dropped his fries on the street in the middle of the crosswalk. He bent down and picked them up, we assumed to throw in the garbage.......we thought. HE PUT THEM IN HIS MOUTH AND ATE THEM!!!! Right off the street, middle of the crosswalk!!! Can you say EEEEEWWWWW! We did. Drew made a sound and I said I was hoping I didn't just see what I thought I saw. She said oh, you did. So you saw it too? Yup. And our gag reflex kicked in. Now we have french fry guy for our memory of today!

We chose to not pay the exorbatant fee to go up. Maybe next time. Got cool pictures of the Space Needle and sculptures in City Center. It was cold today though. They said it was supposed to be about 60*, but the wind had a bite to it straight off an Alaskan iceburg! My hands were freezing and the wind went straight up the sleeves of my jacket!!!

Back to the Monorail, to the Light Rail and back to the hotel. Only thing is, we had to walk back to the hotel as they don't have a return trip from there. It wasn't too far, but what is it with our hiking on this trip....every day? We got to the car, were quite cold, and headed out. Got Drew some Jack-in-the-Box, and me my food from the cooler.

We were now wishing we had stayed one more night at the Double Tree in Seattle and headed out tomorrow morning, but we had reservations. Headed to take pictures of the Temple in Bellevue. So I missed seeing the bridge to get there. Supposedly it floats on the water. Yeah. I was OK not seeing it. The Temple was pretty though. Drew got out and took pictures. It was so pretty all lit up.

Then on the road. It was late, and dark and cold. We only stopped at the rest areas if we absolutely had to. Missed seeing the pass and the view along the way. Finally got to Pendleton, OR and the Red Lion Hotel. For what we paid it should have been nice, but I would have expected what we got if I had paid $30 for a Motel 6. Can you say YUCK! Very disappointed and so wish we had stayed in Seattle one more night.

We'll be heading to the Underground Tour here in the morning and Pendleton Woolen mills and whatever else catches our eye. But we don't want to stay too late as we do need to get home at a decent time tonight.

Why can't vacations last forever? Tune in for the last day of our adventure!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Adventure---Day 3

So it seems I mis-spoke yesterday. The incident with the first bridge crossing happened AFTER the visit to Trader Joe's.......but it DID happen. And Drew says I said, "I just about swore!" I guess fear will affect your memory, huh? So on to today............

We woke bright and early this morning to get ready for the day and pack up to check out. We got that all done and on the road, just to get off the road in a short distance, again in the Hollywood District, to buy me my stash of Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips. Seriously, if you have not had them all I can say is...SHAME ON YOU! Ok, yes I realize I had never had them until yesterday myself. But see, I didn't know about them, and now you do so you have no excuse, right? Then on the road again to the downtown district to Finnegan's toy store that Tawnya told me about. LOVE! I found Tanner the PERFECT gift in this store. Can't tell you what it is though because my kids read this and then it wouldn't be a surprise. The only problem was picking just one thing. Seriously. Could have spent a fortune in this store! Instead, I just spent a small fortune. Then Drew took some pictures at Pioneer Square. Can I just say cutest little place ever? We so understand why Tawnya loves Portland so very much. I think I could live there and be very happy.....I might even get used to the constant crossing of the river! I know, pick yourselves up off the floor people.

Then it was on the road to Seattle......with a few detours along the way of things Drew wanted photos of. It's so nice just being able to go as we please. No real time pressures like vacations usually are. We even had a few more bridges to cross, no, literally. We took pictures of the draw bridge coming into Washington from Oregon, there at Vancouver. It is so pretty there. We just took pictures along the way.

When we got to Olympia, we could see the Capitol building. So we got off the freeway and drove up to take pictures. We found a cute little neighborhood to park in. The houses were sooooo cute! I would love to live in one of them. We even found one that was for sale. Ok, maybe not. It was over $600,000.00!!! Then we walked around the Capitol campus and took pictures. Well Drew did. I left my camera home so they could take pictures of Tanner's pinewood derby last night. (Morgan has seemed to lose her camera. It just disappeared off the kitchen table a week ago!) But it was a nice little walk and stretch of the legs. Then back on the I-5 toward Seattle.

We made it to Seattle and the hotel in good time anyway. Then we spent a little time on the internet looking things up for tomorrow. Then time for dinner. There was a pub, Bull Pen Pub Bar and Grill, just up the street from the hotel, so we walked up there for dinner. Nice thing was, they aren't allowed to smoke in there! Yea! The food was really good, the waitress really...not. We had questions about what was in a few dishes to make sure that we were getting what we wanted (there were no descriptions of any kind on the menu) and she told she didn't have time to stand there and answer our questions. We had to ask for ketchup and mustard for Drew and dressing for me, that had been ordered with the meal. She dropped 1/2 of one guys dinner on the floor. She also told us that she wasn't even supposed to be there tonight. Too bad. She didn't get a tip. Well except the 2 pennies she didn't give me with my change anyway. Even after she said as we were putting my dinner in the box, "Sorry." "The food was good." "Yes, but the service wasn't." We said nothing because she was right. Seriously, what did she want us to say? Then we walked the mile back to the hotel. Seriously. What do have with hiking on this trip? The air has a little bite to it, so my hands were freezing when we got back.

Drew got on the internet to look up some things for tomorrow and I got on the treadmill. I know. More exercise. Drew got us a hotel for Pendelton tomorrow and then went to bed. I got on here. Emailed Elder Gary. Told him of our adventures and asked him about his. Hoping they are a little calm. In his last email I found out that he had caught not one, but 2 viruses that gave him seizures! He has his driving privileges back now though! Things a mom wants to find out AFTER THE FACT, MATT!!! (yes Sandra, tell him I said that!)

Tomorrow we're going to Pikes Market, Puget Sound, some stores Tawnya told us about, and a hike/tour under the city of the hidden underground. Then on to Pendelton.

Now as I sit here, a cute black man just offered to bring me something back from Denny's since he was going for a snack. No worries Wynn. I told him no thank you. After all it is 1:13AM. Then he decided not to get anything either. Talked to me for about 45 seconds about why (no caffiene, suger etc trying to go to sleep. That's why she doesn't want anything!)

So since it is 1:14AM now, I need to head to bed myself. Have a great one and come visit again for the next expounding of our adventures!

Happy St. Patty's birthday!

Today is St. Patricks Day. It is also my Mother-in-Laws birthday. Even though I am spending a few states away from where she is, I just want to say.....Happy St Patricks Day and Happy Birthday Mom Elaine!!!

(I will have to add a pic later since I'm not on my computer)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Adventure---Day 2

Today is Tuesday. We woke up in Portland and at 7:00 am it was already 51*!!! I think I could like this.....except it means that the trees are blooming. And of course Oregon is covered in many various pine trees!!! Those things are death to me. I am so allergic, but yet I suffer the allergies to have a live tree in my house for a month every Christmas. But I digress.

We started off the day going to Trader Joe's to get a supply of yummies for my sister Tawnya. The only problem with this is that we have to cross the Willamette River to get there. We're driving along the river when Drew says, "Look at that cool bridge we get to go across Mom!" I looked up and said,"OH SHHHHHOOT!!!" Then I said, "I can't believe what actually just went through my mind & almost out of my mouth as soon as I saw that! It wasn't 'shoot'." And it's not like I ever say that word, but it just popped right in there. Maybe it was appropriate considering this bridge we had to cross. Have I mentioned that the very thought of having to cross killer bridges can give me hives? Anyway, I wound up getting a few things for myself while there. I got 1 bottle each of lemonade, pink lemonade, french berry lemonade, limeade and pomegranate juice. Then I found a bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips. Since these are allowed for my diet, I bought a bag. Wish I had bought more! I had just been telling Drew this morning on the way to Trader Joe's how I would kill for just one potato chip right now. These took that potato chip craving away and then some! And they are sooooooo much better and better for you! I'm thinking I just might have to go back to TJ's in the morning to get me my own stash to take back with me. I have never seen these at home. Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm. Happy vacation to me!

Then it was off to see the Portland Temple. I forgot to bring a skirt, but we just took pictures out side. Now, I have seen many a picture of this Temple. Can I just say, I have yet to see a picture that does this Temple justice!!! It is absolutely, breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL!!! All this time I thought it was just white marble, which is beautiful in itself, but I didnt' realize the grey streaks through the marble. And that it sits in the middle of these little woods just off the freeway.......Breathtaking! It started to drizzle while we were there and got cold, but soooooo worth it! Can't wait to post those pictures.

Then back to the freeway to head up to The Dalles. We called and found out they don't give dam tours anymore, so that got scratched off the list. We did go to The Dalles though because there was an old Gothic Church Drew wanted to see. It was beautiful. Small, but worth going to see. The lady that was there was this cute, sweet little old lady. She told us about being in the military in WWII. We told her I was Drew's mom. It must have taken a few minutes to register because she followed us up to the front a bit later, looked at me and said, "You look much too young to be the mother!" We informed her we here that a lot. But it never gets old! And what is with the wind there? It was brutal! Drew rolled down her window to take a picture & we were assaulted by gale force winds loaded with dirt and gravel. She yelled OW!!!!!! and instantly rolled the window up!

Then back headed east to Maltnomah Falls. I agreed to this before I really saw what I was getting myself into! It is sooooo beautiful. It had been raining though so it was cold. We walked up to the bridge and took pictures. Drew commented about how beautiful it would be here for bridal pictues...and it would make the most beautiful pictures. Then we started up the trail to the top of the falls. We got to a corner where the mist from the falls absolutely soaks you. My hair was soaked. Then we continued up the trail.......and I mean UP! I am used to walking 5 miles at a time. I am also used to getting on the tread mill at the rec center and do the random where it gets pretty steep. But I guess I am NOT in shape. There is 11 switchbacks (we swear there are more cause they didn't count 2 of them) and they are steep. At least it is a beautiful view while hiking. Then we got to the top of the falls. I was a bit disappointed that we couldn't see the bottom from there, but I don't know that I would have been able to handle that anyway. We could see the parking lot and it looked a looooooooong way away! Oh the hike was sooooo worth it. So very beautiful.

Then we took some pictures of what this all comes from. Then as we could no longer feel our fingers, we figured it was time to hike back down. It was cold. Summer would be a nice temperature to go I would think. We got to the bottom, grabbed some veggie and fruit out of the cooler and headed back to Portland.

Drew wanted more pictures of the Temple at night so we went there. It was beautiful. I stayed in the car though because we were still not warm! Then off to find Drew something to eat and somewhere to heat my food. We swear we drove past the hotel FOREVER, but in reality we got back to the hotel in just a couple minutes!

Then time to hit the hot tub to soak those soar muscles from the hike......and warm up! It felt so good. Much needed and deserved.

Now off to bed. In the morning we will head back to TJ's, downtown Portland to go to a few stores Tawnya told us about, and then on to Seattle. We're planning on eating lunch at an Irish Pub, since it is going to be St. Patty's day and all!

Tune in for more adventures! I promise, I'm going to insert picture posts between the text posts for each day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Adventure---Day 1

Today started out bright and early.......well, for me anyway. I got up right after Wynn left for work (he leaves at 4:30 am thank you very much) and started getting ready to leave. I let Drew sleep for a while longer since Morgan and Lexie both needed showers for school. It always seems to take longer to get out the door than we plan. Especially making sure the kids being 'left behind' have all the instructions they need, etc, etc, etc.......

Anyway, we did get out the door, car loaded, gassed up, ATM, and on the road, and hour or so later than planned. Oh well. Since we had just been this way 3 weeks ago, there were a lot of things that were, 'Let's just get past this part', but many things that were, 'Remember that? We want a picture of that. Where was that?' So we had many laughs and looking for those elusive memories we didn't catch on film before.

We had chosen to have all our snacks and food ready to go so we didn't have to leave the freeway other than for gas.....and the ever needed potty break, which seemed to come every hour, maybe that had to do with the humongous amounts of water we were consuming?

We were having a nice drive and then had to get out for gas and additive since 'Ellie' (Drew's affectionate name for her car) is not running so smoothly as she has before. Man is that wind COLD!!! Couldn't wait to get back in the car! Thank goodness it is state law in Oregon that you can't pump your own gas! We can just sit in the warmth of the car and let the sweet men do that for us. Then it was my turn to drive....

As I am innocently driving down the freeway minding my own business, I'm watching a hawk in the middle bar pit of the road catching something. And while I am still innocently driving on MY SPACE of the road, the hawk decides to fly off with it's catch. I don't know if what it caught was heavy or what, but it didn't lift off very high, and it came straight at the car! It barely got high enough to clear the windsheild! And I mean barely!!! Drew and I both ducked and gasped, but I think I still kept my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road.....I think I did.

We made it to Pasco in plenty of time. Picked up her card, ate dinner and headed on our way. How long do we have to drive along the huge river? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can......

At one of our bathroom stops we were glad to see that the sign said bathrooms inside, you know, as opposed to all those along the way that are just a tree outside! Hahahahaha! So when we got in there, they had toilet paper stuck in the hole where the lock for the stall was supposed to be! Oh yea!

Drew drove along the Columbia River, but as it was getting late and dark it was a bit hard to see much. Hence the no hives ya think? But we decided to stay in Portland Tuesday night as well and go back to the falls, the dam, the river......

So we got to Portland and checked in to the hotel and here we are. Reserved a room at the same place for tomorrow night. I will do a picture post tomorrow after Drew gets them on her laptop. So until tomorrow. G'night!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Adventure Begins Tomorrow

Three weeks ago Drew and I went to Pasco, WA to get her security clearance for her to work on the Cruise ship. It is now done and in, so we need to go back to get it. She has decided that she wants to go on to Portland and Seattle before heading home this time.

So tomorrow the adventure begins. We'll be leaving in the morning, driving to Pasco, pick up her security card (TWIC), then on to Portland. Depending on time will determine what we see along the way.

Drew is taking her laptop, so I will try to keep you all updated with our goings on each day. Since big bridges give me hives, and there are a lot along the way, we'll see how my complexion fairs!

Now to go finish packing and off to bed! See you all as you check in!