Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seattle or Bust!

I forgot to include these pics in yesterday's entry. We were driving through mid Washington yesterday, had been driving for over an hour through open crop fields and all of a sudden, here was this incredible canyon in the middle of nowhere! It was incredible, we had to get out and take some pictures.

Paul, pondering the meaning of life...

A sunny sky welcomed us last night, it was actually a pretty warm evening. Some pics of us walking around a little bit. You can see the Space Needle in the background. We were very excited to be back in Seattle. When we were here 4 years ago, we fell in love with place. So much so that we actually seriously looked at moving, but it did not work out with transferring law schools at that time, so we didn't pursue it any further. We are very curious to see if we get the same "vibe" we did last time. This time we will be traveling the city with kids, so that could change things tremendously!!!

This morning we awoke to cloud cover, with a temp of 56 degrees outside. Refreshing to say the least! Well, for all of us except Halie who though it was a little too chilly.

Here we are getting our morning coffee from the original Starbucks at Pikes Market.

Halie and I looking at the beautiful flowers at the market.

Halie sitting on the famous pig - not sure what it is famous for though!

We took a ferry ride around Elliot Bay. We ended up down in the cabin because Ms. Chilly was not enjoying the deck view or temperature. She does not like cold, or hot...I think Hawaii would be the perfect place for her.

We had a busy day today! Next we went to the aquarium. Halie got to pet the Star fish and sea anemones.

Here is a blurry pic of Halie next to the octopus. She was amazed by this thing! We probably spent a total of about 10 minutes at this one display.

Daddy and Austin at the fake octopus. Austin was upset to let go of the leg!

Then we took a trek across town to the Space Needle. There were some impressive views from up there - and LOTS of people.

A view of the bay from up top

Then, after dinner we made it to the Science Museum for about an hour before it closed. We could have spent many more hours there, but there are only so many hours in a day! Here is Halie in the butterfly room. She wasn't allowed to touch them like the one we were at before and she could barely contain herself from trying to stick her hand out to them!

They had a great play area for the kiddos. Austin sat in this helicopter for a good 20 minutes, just flying away....

As we were able to sit for a moment and let the kids play in this area, we began to think that our kid friendly coffee shop idea is bound to work. It has to... We would pay a little extra to let our kids run around and be kids while we relaxed and enjoyed a cup of coffee. Wouldn't lots of other parents do the same thing???? Who knows, we'll keep thinking about it.
This trip has been wonderful so far. I have to admit, I have had some homesick moments, wanting to have my own space back. Not so much "personal" space from the family, but our own family space, our house. And, I have missed the routine of daily life and cooking healthy food for my family. BUT, I really don't think I would change anything we have done, or what we will be doing for the next few weeks before we get back home. I am so thankful for this family time we have had. I am thankful that God has a plan for us and that in His time, He will make our path clear. I am thankful He is here with us on this trip.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

As we were on our 3 day travel stint from Michigan to Idaho, we passed through many, many small towns. The selections of restaurants drastically decreases with the size of the town. In this small town, we were able to find a Perkins. This was Paul's and the kids first time to dine at Perkins, so of course, we had to try a few of the desserts they are famous for. Austin thoroughly enjoyed his chocolate cream pie!

In South Dakota, we were able to stop and visit Mt. Rushmore. Here are a few of the pics from the adventure...

Ice cream in South Dakota.

The soon to be added 5th head at Mt. Rushmore.

On our drive to Couer D' Alene, we stopped in Missoula, MT to eat some lunch. What we found was a whole lot more than just a place for lunch! We went to a park to eat our standard SubWay lunch and started walking down the side walk and this is what we found....
A beautiful river with rapids further down the stream...

A nice cool place to put in our feet...

A carousel that the kids loved!!!

And I forgot to get the pics of Halie eating her first fresh cotton candy and petting the ponies. We spent a few hrs there and then hit the road.
We made it to Couer D' Alene, ID about a few hours later. We stayed with a friend, Kim, that we met on our trip to Israel. She invited us to come stay on our way to Seattle, so we took her up on it. We found a whole lot more than we were expecting!!! This is a pic of Paul, myself and the kids on a bike ride. Paul hooked up our new bike trailer and we hit the trails. They were incredible trails, just for biking and running. Place like this actually exist!!!!!
Here is an incredible shot from the top of a small mountain we hiked up. This is the lake that is in the center of this beautiful town.

After our hike, Kim took us for a swim in the crystal clear lake. The water was crisp, but very refreshing!

Look at this place! This is literally in the middle of the town!

That evening we went to the park downtown for dinner. Austin did not appreciate his sister driving the motorcycle. Other than that they had a great time playing. Halie made a new friend pretty quickly and Paul and I talked with some of the locals to get the run down on the place, we heard nothing but good reports.

Here is Kim and Austin with her pet dragon. The kids thought it was the greatest thing in the world!

Our stay in Idaho was brief, but wonderful. Who would have ever thought that Idaho would spark our interest? Not us, it took us by surprise, so we will see....
We stopped in Spokane, WA on the way to Seattle. Here are some pics from the botanical gardens there.

Take time to stop and smell the roses.

We made it to Seattle by dinner time, took a little walk down to the bay and made our plans for our time here. Hopefully we'll enjoy it this time as much as we did 4 yrs ago!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thursday –
After one last day living the slow paced farm life, which we thoroughly enjoyed by the way, we took off from the McGreggor farm and headed back west across the state. We had a ferry to catch at 11pm to take us across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, WI. The ferry ride was going to save us a few hours of driving. As we were moving toward Muskegon, back to Ryan’s house, and the town where the ferry leaves from, a very large thunderstorm was pounding down on Milwaukee and headed strait across the lake to Muskegon. Milwaukee actually got a ton of flooding and record breaking rain fall from the storm. If I were to name a few of my fears in life, being on a boat in the middle of a large body of water during a thunderstorm with tornado warnings would be one of them…..The boat ride ended up being delayed by an hour, so at midnight we drove onto the boat and headed out sea. We were all exhausted, so we slept most of the way, but the ride was anything but smooth. We couldn't’t really see the water because it was so dark, but it had to be pretty rough, because the ferry we were on was very large and it was ROCKING! Amazingly enough, God was able to give me the peace of mind I needed to be a calm mommy to the kids, and what do you know, we made it safely to the other side. Only God could have orchestrated what was waiting for us in Milwaukee. My mom happened to be there for the week visiting her good friend, Nan. Nan lives just 15 minutes away from the port we pulled into. We were able to spend the night at her house and visit with Nana for a few hours in the morning before taking off again. All of this was a surprise to Halie. She was asleep when we arrived at Nan’s house at about 2 am, and Paul got her out of the car, told he we had a surprise for her and handed her over to Nana. She was so excited to see her Nana, she just clung to her neck and actually got a little teary.
A self portrait on the ferry.

A happy Nana and kids!

Friday -
After our visit we loaded up and started our longest trek yet. Milwaukee to Seattle, 28 hrs in total. How fun does that sound???? The good news is that is we broke this stint up into 3 days. Friday was to be the longest of all. We drove through Wisconsin, there were some beautiful stretches of rolling hills with crop fields and trees. The same beautiful scenery continued through Minnesota. Then we entered South Dakota and the stress level rose a little bit. We came up pretty quickly on a nasty thunderstorm with tornado watches out in the middle of nowhere. Paul was a wonderful navigator through the ordeal. We were very relieved to see the storm move to the south of us and continued on in safety. We discovered that the majority of South Dakota (at least the part that we saw) consisted of open fields, open fields and open fields, with the occasional small town off the highway about every 40 miles or so, with more open fields. Then we arrived in the town of Rapid City after about 16 hrs on the road and found our hotel for the night.

Saturday –
The kids slept in great today, we all woke up rested and ready to go! After an oil change in the car, we went to see Mt. Rushmore. It was pretty neat to see and would be a fun area to vacation at someday. And now, here we are diving again…..now through Wyoming. We are sticking with the theme of open fields here as well, but now, out in the horizon is a huge mountain range to look at – very pretty!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lake Huron

This morning we loaded up the cars and headed for a beach on Lake Huron. It was nice to have some calm water for the kids, but this one was a little chillier than the other beaches we have been to! We still had a great time!

Then, of course, we had to get our daily ice cream. If you are what you eat, we will all be ice cream cones by the end of this trip. But Paul is on a mission to find the best ice cream in the country.

Austin didn't enjoy his at all...

Tomorrow is our last day in Michigan. We are headed out toward the West Coast now. We have a pretty fun surprise for Halie tomorrow - she is going to get to see her Nana! I don't think we are going to tell her until she actually sees her, should be great!