Friday, August 24, 2007

chicago spit-n-bean

After our triumphant return from Eastern Washington in mid-July, Tim took a weekend to go watch soccer in Vancouver, mirroring much of my recent trip there, including his accommodations and means of transportation. It was a nice hurrah for him before he plunged headfirst into 40...ouch!

We celebrated that milestone with a family trip to Chicago. Kathleen flew in from San Diego, so we were able to spend some quality time with her, Tim's brother & his sigO, and the dads.

And check out all the wacky art in Chicago! These are all located in the Millennium Park. As if a giant silver bean isn't enough, they have these spitting fountains with giant video closeups of people's faces. Most awesome!

Then there's the Gehry-designed Pavilion where we watched some hip hop and spoken word performances. Fellow Seattleites will see the family resemblance with EMP. I highly recommend a visit to this impressive park next time you're in the Windy City. -k8-

Monday, August 13, 2007


Ok, let's take a few steps back in time and try to relive those glory days of July. They included, but were not limited to, camping on Lake Wenatchee, followed immediately by a further trip east to visit friends in Spokane.

This was probably the first camping trip I really didn't enjoy much, though I'm kind of embarrassed to say why. We're experienced campers, but this particular time and location it was so incredibly dusty and dirty and buggy and HOT, that it was really difficult to be comfortable. And these weren't normal bugs; these bugs were prehistoric. They ALL flew and many had long tentacles, and long pointy teeth, and made ominous clicking noises as they flew, taunting us. Mainly Larkin; she's still traumatized.

Here's one bug who at least had her looks going for her.

You'd think that camping by a lake, even during an intense heat wave, would be ok since one can simply jump in the water regularly to refresh and escape the mosquitadactyls. In case anyone else was not aware of this, I can tell you most assuredly that when the State Park boasts a "glacier fed" lake, they actually do mean that it's melted ice. Very clean, very clear ice water.

The first day none of us could really even get in, not even Rowan, and he'll do just about anything in the quest for adventure. Eventually I developed a technique of entering very slowly, allowing for the pain to dissipate into numbness before submerging a little more. Once my whole body had gone numb, it was possible to stay in. Rowan is still a little blue, though. And we got home over a month ago.

One highlight though was renting a pedal boat and going out for a couple of hours with Tim and the kids. We went ashore little Emerald Island and found a giant eagle's nest and saw all manner of water fowl.
After returning to the boat, things started turning all Gilligan when the rudder intermittently stopped functioning, and the boat started taking on water. We worked so hard to get back to shore, and were so hot and spent, that Tim forgot about the water's temp. In order to pull us in, he leaped out of the boat when it was about chest deep. I thought I was going to have to perform CPR; it was like someone had stomped him hard in the gut. Not pretty.

It was with much relief that we broke camp and descended upon the de.lite.ful home of Mark and Maggie in (who knew?!) Beautiful Spokane, WA. They were gracious hosts, providing us all deluxe accommodations, even Rita Dogg. It was Hot there, too, but the shady patio and icy beverages helped negate the effects. Plus Mark did all the grill slaving.

Oh, and we got to spend the day at a pleasant body of your face, Lake Wenatchee! Fish Lake was definitely not glacier fed, so I was able to get in and out pain-free. But it was still very clean, such that I not only felt but could actually see the little trout nibbling at my toes. There was much frolicking and sand play and relaxed revelry. Here's Tim, hard at work deflating rafts (pre-haircut!).

Having moved there from Seattle a year ago, Mark and Maggie managed to find a home in the loveliest neighborhood near amazing Manito Park. With 90 acres of varietal gardens, a conservatory, fields, and playgrounds, it's a regular destination for their family. I was most captivated by the Japanese gardens, which were so graceful.

My favorite part of the visit were the extensive evening walks we took that meandered through different parts of the park and neighborhoods, somehow always managing to swing by the corner ice cream joint, The Scoop. flavor the first time, then coconut.

I look forward to my next opportunity to see more of Spokane. And it wasn't just the ice cream or the sterling company. Really, I had no idea. For instance, did you know there's a giant waterfall smack dab in the middle of downtown? Yeah, well I didn't. Mark took us on a quick tour of their downtown library and I was able to take this shot from one of the many large windows.

The departure was bittersweet. Sad to say goodbye to our far away friends, but glad to know we were heading home to our own beds and the cool of Seattle. Temperature and otherwise. -k8-

Friday, August 10, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

better than the mr. tea!

Somehow all this free time I have is eating up every spare minute, such that I have become Blog Challenged.

So as not to shock my system by posting too heavily after a month away, I'll start with something light. And what's lighter than cereal? Mmmmm...cereal.

I spied this in the SkyMall catalog that lives in the airplane seat pockets of every flight. It was such an exceptional product that I had to tear it out & scan it into this blog. Otherwise, you might not believe me that for only $79.99 (+ tax and shipping) you can have your very own Breakfix® Cereal Dispenser! That's right, no longer will you be bothered with that pesky opening and closing of the cereal box every morning. Now you can open it just the one time, pour it into the BCD, and away you go! -k8-