Monday, August 26, 2019

PL2019 - Week 28

Oopsie, I let time get away from me the past few weeks. I have some catching up to do. 

This was the week before we left for our road trip. [I'm not totally sure how I'm going to add that in my project life album... I have so many photos... I need to think about that for a bit.]

For now, here's a look at week 28.

  • A visit with Grandma & Grandpa before we go away.
  • Sort of a 'catch' of the impressive sheet lightning we had one night. 
  • Morning coffee at a fav spot. 
  • Little dog who doesn't realize we're about to leave her behind. 
  • Last frisbee before we leave. 
  • Our first destination selfie in Couer d'Alene, Idaho. 

The following Shalin Studio products were used:

Saturday, August 17, 2019

PL2019 - Week 27

Going back to week 27 means going back to the beginning of summer!

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over already. Only a few more weeks before the kids head back to school. I'm not sure where the time goes. And now that they're older, it's so much easier.

Going to enjoy the last couple of weeks to the fullest.

Here is a look at week 27:

  • We went downtown to watch Canada Day fireworks. It was chilly, a storm blew in that afternoon, but the fireworks were really good. 
  • I thought I'd try a puzzle this summer, my attempt to keep the kids off devices. 
  • Madelyn playing a game with our neighbour in the back yard. 
  • Ultimate frisbee started up this week, runs once a week through August. 
  • A visit with dear friends. Miss these guys so much, and so thankful to get to see them. 
The following Sahlin Studio products were used:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Epic Road Trip - Part 2

We left Newport, in the glorious sunshine, heading south down highway 101 towards San Francisco. This was one of those times, we wished we were staying in a place a bit longer. Not only did we wake up to sunshine, but we woke up to no wind... I have to tell you, no wind was a treat. 

The highway from Newport south was scenic in spots, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the vistas. We were inland a lot more than I had expected to be. 

But when there was a view, there was a view...

We stopped at Driftwood Beach, parked in the lot and walked down. There wasn't any driftwood to be found, which is so, so different from our experience with our own west coast in Canada, where driftwood literally covers the beaches. 

What I can't get over is the miles and miles of sandy beaches. I came to the conclusion that Oregon is just one big sandy beach, and I love it. 

The towns we passed along the way, seem to suddenly crop up from nowhere. We drove past the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, and then into the tunnel we'd been told to look for. 

We knew once we passed Florence that we were in Sand dune territory. We stopped at a couple of lots, but they all seemed to be 'hike in' spots to get to the dunes. We realized we should have done a bit more research on the sand dunes of Oregon. I assumed you'd be able to see them from the highway, and that was definitely not the case.

We finally found one spot, where we could get a pretty good look. We did have to hike up the sand, the very hot sand. I'm not going to lie, that just about killed me... We checked out the views and took a selfie [we happened to be in a dune recreation area, there were tons of ATV's] But we didn't spend much time here. I think Mason was a bit disappointed. If we come back this way, we definitely need to have more information.

We did make a detour to check out Bandon Golf course, it ended up not being very far off the highway. The course itself looked beautiful, the area was neat with cottages and condos all around, but I couldn't imagine golfing in the wind. And it was windy there. I'm glad Barry got to at least see it. He has a friend who really loves to golf and spend time there, so he's heard a lot about it.

We had to go through a Border Inspection Station as we crossed from Oregon into California. We didn't have to actually stop, but had to slow down and were waved through. We were quite surprised. I guess when you have as much produce as there is, in California, you take bringing things into the state pretty seriously.

From there, we made our way to Crescent City, OR, where once again it was crazy windy. [We just couldn't seem to get away from the wind] We found our hotel, which ended up being the most questionable place we stayed in during our whole trip. I compared it to stepping back into a motel of the 1980's. We had some time to kill, and didn't necessarily want to hang out in our motel room.

Driving into town, Madelyn had noticed a sign that said 'Pet a Shark', so of course we made our way to Ocean World. I'm not going to lie... I was skeptical about Ocean World. I think we paid $50 to get in, as a family of 4. But we had the best time there. You went from area to area, and learned about the ocean life. Everything they have there, are creatures/animals that have been rescued and can't be released back into the wild. The kids got to each pick up starfish. Touch sea anemones. See tide pool critters.

Barry got to have his photo taken with a pirate.

And as the sign promised, we all got to pet a shark. This is a leopard shark.

This is the face of a girl living her best life...

Take a photo in the mouth of a great white shark.

They got to both see how they 'Measured up'

Watch sealions and seals do tricks. [The trainers here are absolutely animal lovers and it was obvious in how they informed us about the animals, and how they treated the animals]

The gift shop of this place was amazing, the most amazing of any we saw on our entire trip. And I would be lying if I said I didn't regret not picking up something I saw here.
Lesson learned. If you want it, buy it. 

The next morning we were up early, and on the road shortly after 8 am. We got to start our drive through the Redwood Forest.

It is amazing. How lush and green and just exactly how big the trees are. The road was quite quiet because it was so early. We stopped at the Prairie Creek Visitor Centre and did a 1.2 mile hike walk up to see Big Tree. Again, we were so early, we literally had the park to ourselves. It was serene, and the light was absolutely gorgeous.  There was the creepy guy we came across too, that scared the life out of me... 

 At the trailhead, with no one ahead, and no one behind.

Can't get over the width of the trunks of these trees.

Such a perfect morning to be here. No wind [that would have been alarming to hear the trees creak and groan]

We made it to big tree and laughed because we could have just parked the car here [we passed it along the way!] But so glad we got to spend some time in the forest just the four of us.

Trees that have fallen across the paths, simply get openings cut through them.

After leaving the forest, and running into another couple from Alberta, we made our way towards San Francisco.

Our plan was to hit an observation area, so we could see the Golden Gate bridge as we headed into the city.  Google maps is good, but sometimes not always totally accurate. We turned but then couldn't turn, as there was one way traffic only... We went the opposite direction and basically ended
up driving down into Saulsilito, with streets that seemed that they were intended for one car width traffic, yet two lanes of traffic were going up and down them. And there may or may not have been 3000 people on bikes on these streets as well. We only got a little bit lost. We righted ourselves, and then went into a parking lot we had no business being in. We got out to have a look, but it wasn't great view.

When we left there, we followed the sign that said Golden Gate Views. We followed a huge string of cars, very slowly up to the vista. At that point we didn't even plan to get out, there was no where to park, we  thought we would just drive by and see the bridge. As we got to the very front, where we could easily access and walk up, a car pulled out and left. So we pulled in and had front row parking! It was so awesome, we got to get out and check to the bridge after all.

The next morning we made our way downtown for our Alcatraz tour.
It was chilly and foggy, and the bridge was covered with fog. We felt lucky we'd gotten a good look at it the day before.
Pulling up and docking at Alcatraz.

We all got off the boat and had to listen to a mandatory spiel. We did that and then we ate the sandwiches we'd brought. It definitely helped to thin the crowd out a little bit. We all had to get our audio devices and headphones. Since we'd stopped for a bite to eat, there wasn't much of a line at all when we rounded the corner of the 'communal shower' room.

Imagine showering in here...

The audio tour was amazing. Such a unique experience. We all had our audio devices on, and listened to the presentation, called the Cellhouse Audio Tour. It prompted you where to go and what to look for. We all listened to the same information, but none of us really spoke to one another during this time.

This was one of the solitary confinement cells, which would have been, without a doubt, awful. One inmate described how he would get a button off his clothing, flick it and then get down on his hands and knees to search the cell for it. In the pitch black. Find the button and then throw it away again and search for it. Again and again...

The cells were 9 feet in length, by 5 feet wide.

We stepped out into the recreation courtyard. Someone may, or may not have been pooped on by a sea gull... [She was pretty good sport about it]

 And there were SO many seagulls. It was rather alarming. And stinky.

 Listening to the audio tour in the canteen. Picturing what it must have been like.

 When visitors came, this is what they saw.

 When the prisoners got a visitor, this is what they saw.

It was well lit in the prison, but not much opportunity for the inmates to see outside. This was one tiny window that looked out.

Sky lights did make the prison seem well lit in the daytime. Though there definitely was a draft in the prison, it would have been chilly and unpleasant, especially in the winter.

 Obligatory cell photos.

Alcatraz selfie with my sweetie.

We found this lefty store on one of shops on Pier 39. It was so busy... So many people. We did pop into the Hard Rock cafe for a drink and some nachos. It didn't quite live up to it's name, as they played nothing but hip hop while we were there.

 Mason on Mason Street.

Heading back to the hotel on the subway. The subway system was pretty impressive. The majority of our train ride was actually underground.

We actually stayed in Millbrae, which was about a 45 minute subway ride from downtown. We found our way both to downtown and then back to our hotel. Mission accomplished. We walked over 23,000 steps today. Up hills, down hills, both on Alcatraz and the mainland. We were all ready for an early night.

We played this new game of Mason's quite a bit. 

Our plan for the next day, was to be leaving the hotel by 5 am. This was our longest scheduled drive, San Francisco to Las Vegas. 

If you missed Part 1 of our Epic Road Trip, click here to read it. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

August Template Freebie

After our road trip, I was super excited to begin documenting our trip.

The Sahlin Studio August template was exactly what I needed to get started. [click here to follow link to download template]

For a change, I didn't alter anything about this layout, though I like will likely shrink it down to print it off at 8x8 size. 

Love getting to use multiple photos. That is totally my jam. 

Here's my version: 

We arrived at the beach and it was overcast, but nothing could diminish how excited we were to be there. 

Within moments of arriving, we found our first sand dollar. The tide was out and we soon realized that the beach was littered with remnants of sand dollars. There were easily hundreds of them, but finding a whole sand dollar proved to be quite tricky. We also found a starfish, that Madelyn quickly picked up and rescued by taking it out into deeper water. We're hopeful we saved a life that afternoon.

I could have easily spent much more time here in Seaside. It was cool and cloudy when we arrived,  we left the next day in the pouring mist. But there was something about this place... It was charming and quaint. I loved the vibe it offered. Barry laughed and said, 'Don't fall in love with this place too fast, we have lots of other places to discover on this trip.' But it was already too late then, I was smitten.

Seaside, we will be back. 

I used the following Sahlin Studio product: 

Summer Stories Kit:
Summer Stories J. Cards:

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

PL2019 - Week 26

Here is week 26 of my project life album.

Week 26 actually marks the middle of the year.  Mason's birthday continually falls on the half way point. The halfway point could quite possibly be, my favourite time of year. 

  • Miss Libby, loves to sit in the front yard and protect her territory. We also love the long days of June. 
  • I didn't give Mason an opportunity to say no, when I told him I wanted a birthday photo with him. 
  • Birthday morning tradition, birthday donuts. 
  • Out for dinner with the family, birthday boy's choice. 
  • We had cake a few days later, because of schedules and working.
  • This sky has been familiar again so far this spring.
The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Summer Stories Kit:
Summer Stories J. Cards:

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Epic Road Trip - Part 1

So, we're back from our epic adventure.

Mason was actually the inspiration  behind this trip. Last year he mentioned he'd like to do a road trip. Last year however, when he first talked about it, it was a little too late to begin booking things. So we weren't able to do it. Plus, we had to really think about it, where we wanted to go. What we wanted to do and see. We had to save for it, and prepare our hearts a little bit for it. 

This winter, after the new year, we began to brainstorm and talk about possible destinations. We talked about when and where we'd like to go and be. What we'd like to do and see. We scribbled down a wish list, and from there, had to cull days [our original plan had us gone just over 3 weeks] Barry thought 2 weeks was more reasonable, and affordable. 

We saw so much. I'm so glad I have photos, and I did a journal each and every day. Because now, a week later, things are seriously all melded together.

We started out on our adventure on July 14th. It was a Sunday, our destination was Coeur d'Alene, ID. This post is photo heavy, and includes the first 5 days of our adventure. 

Made our way to dinner,  and passed by this guy. He would be our first family selfie of the trip. There were many, many more to follow.

We woke up to an overcast cooler day. It was our Silverwood day. We hit the water park as soon as it opened. The cooler temps meant it wasn't as busy as I'm sure it can be. We spent a few hours on the waterpark side, then made our way to the other side. I would go back again, for the waterpark alone. It was so much fun. Too bad we didn't have a waterproof camera we could have brought.

Ready to board the first of two big wooden roller coasters. Mad wasn't exactly thrilled...

She did it though!

This first roller coaster was so clacky... I was sure I was going to have a concussion at the end of the ride! 

So far so good, these two have been so good to one another.

All the big rollercoasters were tackled. Mad opted out of the second big roller coaster, which wasn't as clacky, but was way more intense. I thing she made the right decision.

Barry accompanied the kids on the spinning rides and the backwards rides. I know my limits...

These two got FRONT ROW!! I would have had an upset stomach for the remainder of the day had I gone on this one.

A highlight of the trip to Silverwood, was a photo with Garfield.

Arrived in Seaside, OR and immediately made our way to the water.

Our happy place.

She rescued this star fish, put it back into deeper water. So thrilled to find starfish, sand dollars and the sand fleas. This girl was in her element.

Our trip to Cannon Beach, sadly it was POURING rain and so windy. We only did a quick photo here and then carried on.
Made our way to Pacific City, Pelican Pier Brewing. The drive to here was foggy and rainy. We didn't see anything. We had a bite to eat here [it was on our bucket list] It stopped raining for a short time, but as we went outside to walk on the beach and take photos, the rain started up again.

We arrived in the rain in Newport, OR 
We were absolutely soaked. But so happy. 

So thankful to wake up the next morning to a clear sunny day. The wind was howling, and there were wind warnings for this area showing up on our phones. At least the rain stopped.

We went to the Yaquina Light house and were thrilled that we were able to get on a light house tour. They offer a limited amount, and only 15-16 people at a time can go it. Felt very lucky we got to see inside.

114 stairs to the top of the light house. So, so neat to hear all about the duties and responsibilities that light keepers had.

Of course she'd find the skull and vertebrae of a sea gull...

We went down to the beach to watch the sunset, but it was SO windy and cold. The sand was blowing like crazy, so we basically got to the waters edge, and turned around and headed back to the hotel. [For hot chocolate thank you very much!]

Sunset from our balcony. [You can see the light house on the right side of the photo, when it's dark, you can see the light going on and off]

Well, that's a lot of photos, so there's part 1 of our adventure. 

More to follow.