Friday, July 17, 2015

west coast trip: benicia/san francisco

the third stop on our west coast trip was to see phil's brother, chris, and his wife, myleka. we spent a day in san francisco and driving through napa, and it was beautiful.
^^ we stopped at the tartine bakery in san francisco, and the croissants and pain au chocolat and the cream pies were délicieux!

^^ we walked through golden gate park and this little man pondered the wonders of nature from his comfy stroller OR he was just zoning out because we were out past his nap time.
^^ yeah, this city has the worst views. I mean, c'mon san fran. 

^^ we drove to through wine country and enjoyed the views of the immaculate vineyards. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

west coast trip: oregon

to break up the distances we were driving during our road trip, we scheduled in stops for days that had over six or seven hours in the car. since the distance from seattle to our next visit in the san francisco area was about twelve hours, we decided to stay the night midway in oregon. a few months ago, when we were planning hotels/motels stays and the like, I noticed that a quick detour down highway 58 just south of eugene wouldn't add much overall drive time and we would be able to visit crater lake national park.

^^ the roads along the 58 were bordered by these vast, green, oregonian forests and some beautiful lakes peeking out to the roadside.

though I have no photo for it, our motel that night was a small one-bedroom-side-of-the-highway-right-next-to-the-gas-station place that provided us a semi-comfy bed and a small fan to ward off the heat. but, really, it was all we needed. from the stoop outside of our door, simon watched the semi trucks drive by and we relished in the peace of not driving.

^^ the next morning, we woke up early and drove up this long, straight road leading to the national park entrance. as we ventured into the forests and hills that led up to the ledge of the caldera lake, our anticipation grew. 

^^I'll never quite be able to express it well in words, but it was a moment of true awe when we parked the car near the ridge, hiked up the hillside, and beheld this blue, serene place. it was silent and still and felt like a sacred place. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

west coast trip: washington

we decided a few months ago that before moving out east we wanted to drive out and visit our family who span the west coast. we planned a trip that included stays in washington, oregon, northern california, central california, and our final destination (before coming home to utah) would be at a reunion of my immediate family in southern california. over the course of these past two weeks we've driven nearly 3000 miles, passed through 7 states, found 39 state plates, consumed copious amounts of gum/pringles/lemon drops/nature valley bars, saw hundreds of fireworks, and seen 30 family members. at times the trip was laborious: all three of us had some cranky, cramped-in-the-car moments which included occasional impatient rib kicks from the 7 month old hanging out in my belly). more often than not though, we thanked our eyes and God for all the beauty we were able to see and the experiences we shared.

the first stop on our trip was just outside of seattle, washington to visit phil's sister emily, her husband bryan, and their three little girls. we must have arrived at a very particular part of the year because it did not rain once in the four or so days that we were there. just as we left sunday morning did the skies cloud over and pour down. there is so much I could say about the lushness and beauty of our surroundings during that part of our voyage -- washington is everything lovely and gorgeous -- but I'll leave it to the pictures. all in all, phil and I decided that we could very easily (and willingly and happily) settle down in this area in the future.

hopefully, you won't mind a bit of travel-logging that goes along with each of the below pictures.


^^ we didn't plan on driving all the way to washington in one fell swoop, but due to some unsavory circumstances at our mid-way motel in oregon (!) we decided to push it all the way to seattle. oh my, the drive that first day was full of surprises and drama: calling the police on reckless drivers, our motel check-in and then almost immediate check-out, nearly (in my opinion) running out of gas in after passing through yakima, an emergency bathroom experience at 1 am and only 2 miles from our destination (oh, and it's a funny one if you'd ever like to ask), and a very tired baby simon. however, after our early morning arrival and some sleep, we woke up so glad to be there. that morning, spunky little isla (above) took simon and me on a walk on a path through their backyard full of so much green and flowers of all colors.

^^ simon and cousin imogen are just one day apart in age! it was fun to watch them interact. simon would often try to go in for some open-mouthed kisses. he's still lacking a little in finesse, but his effort gets top points.

^^ before going to the farmer's market in the afternoon, I volunteered to do this little lady's hair. she wanted it just like "bubbles from powerpuff girls." I thought we should match, although my pigtails only lasted one hot second because I cannot (and, really, should not even try to) pull them off quite as cutely.

^^ rainer cherries! what have I been eating all my life?!? for me, these were cherries par excellence. I doubt I'll ever find better.

^^ after the market, emily took us all to a local park and splash pad. the two babies especially loved the water feature. imogen had no qualms about getting full-on sprayed while simon was probably equal parts thrilled and terrified at the beginning but soon was squealing and stamping about with excitement. 

^^ day 2 took us into seattle. after some interesting parking lot situations (city parking is never much of a dream) and a short walk, we arrived at pike place market and walked around the busy streets. there was so much to take in.

^^ mmmm. my kind of wall. love me a big, fat piece of abc gum.
^^ as we walked by the french bakery, le panier, I couldn't resist going inside. I mean, the place SMELLED LIKE FRANCE! as soon as we entered in, there was this space-time continuum that sent me back to this bakery in lille I used to frequent, and it was crazy and wonderful and proustian.

^^ on a fine recommendation, we went to this biscuit/breakfast restaurant whose name is perhaps not the most proper and whose food was just as inappropriately delicious. this biscuit/eggs/bacon/gravy/cheese delight was something I could/would like to eat every day for the rest of my life. we also tried the beecher's mac n' cheese further down by the fish market as well as rachel's ginger beer.

^^ and, just for fun, a little sign indicating the loo that looked a little off. kidnapping?? oppression of the disabled?? they don't look like bathrooms I'd like to enter...


^^ our grand troop visited bryan at work and had lunch with him at one of the restaurants on microsoft campus. the free drinks and subsidized food alone would have me working there in a heartbeat.

^^ that afternoon (after naps for all), we visited the lake house and dock of some kind, local friends. lake sammamish reminded me so much of home in lake arrowhead, and the water really took the edge off the warm day. also, how sweet are these little swim babies? 

^^ after the lake outing, a babysitter watched our four and we went into bellevue on a thai food date with this fine couple. so grateful that we have good family to love on, and we could not have asked for better hosts. they were so good to us. 


^^ on our final full day, we took a ferry trip out to the olympic pennisula. as you can tell, simon was really digging the wind on the top of the ferry... 
^^ once across the puget sound, we drove to port townsend where we played at a beautiful park, walked along the shoreline, and dined in a funky, delicious restaurant called "owl spirit."

^^ recently, simon has been taking to practicing his open-mouthed "kissing" in the mirror. as we waited for the ferry in kingston to take us back over, we asked simon to give a "bisous" and he turned to the car window and did this. looks like french kissing is his technique of choice.