Friday, May 31, 2013

Fragrance Lake Hike

Saturday, after standing around watching the Memorial Day Parade, our legs were itching for activity.  So we went on a hike as a family. 

We hiked to Fragrance Lake, which is in the Larrabee State Park, which is between Burlington & Bellingham, which is in the Northwest corner of Washington State.  We drove on a road with the coolest name ever... Chuckanut Drive.  Say it out loud.  It's fun! Chuckanut!  

Okay, back to the hike.  It was steep in the beginning, but then got a little less steep toward the end.  The kids did great though.  

We discovered that Taylor is a great hike leader.  She set a nice pace and stuck to it.  She never once complained of being tired, as long as she was the leader.  Everybody was happy while she was leading...

except Logan, who wanted to lead.  We liked Logan being in the middle though.  He has a tendency to run ahead when he's leading.  

 Once we figured out this system of hiking, things went smoothly.  

 We took a short spur to the summit.  It was absolutely beautiful.  

Looking out over Bellingham Bay.  I think those peaks are Lummi Island, with the smaller, darker, Eliza Island in front of it. 

 The kids at the summit.

Taylor at the summit.

Fragrance Lake!  We made it!  Yay!  After the kids threw some rocks in the water, (and acted like they were going to fall in) and James & I rested for a few minutes on a bench, we were off again.  

We still had a 2 mile hike back down to the car.  

At the end the hike, looking extremely happy...

and energetic!  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!  It's raining here. It's supposed to rain all day.  Don't worry if you missed your Memorial Day parade though, we gotcha covered. 

We went to Coupville, Saturday for their parade.  It's only about a 15 minute drive south of Oak Harbor. 

Pearl Harbor survivors rode in these great old cars, escorted by current members of the military.  

 There were only a few military vehicles.

A few more antique cars...

and this is the only car about which James said, "Oh, get a picture of that one."  It's a Lotus.  

We hope you enjoyed our Memorial Day parade.  The kids sure did.  They saw cool vehicles, tractors, horses and got candy thrown at them.  They loved every minute of it. 

Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bike ride & the Goose

Going on a bike ride.  

There's a gravel path 50 yards from our backdoor.  It eventually turns into a nice bike path along Crescent Harbor.  

 A little boardwalk section.  Fun to ride on.  

All smiles.

Our turn-around spot at mile 1.5, so this makes a perfect 3-mile out & back. 

It was a very low tide that afternoon.

On our bike route, there's a park that we pass right by.  So, of course we had to stop and play, on the way back.

Those specks in the sky are seagulls.  They are everywhere along this shore.  The screeching & cawing is pretty constant.  We hear them from our apartment sometimes.  I think it's cool, helps us remember how close we are to the shore. 

My view... as I sit on a park bench, while the kids play!  It's WAY pretty here!  We are all loving this rotation.

We hiked Goose Rock again.  It's a nice, easy hike that is close by and has beautiful views.  It's quickly becoming a favorite hike.  

A naval airplane coming in, getting ready to land at the Naval Air Station.  

View of Oak Harbor, the Naval Air Station, the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the background.  

Like I said, It's so pretty here. It feels like we're living in a forest as much as an island.  Wish you could come & visit us!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First Day

James had his "First Day on the Job".  Here he is leaving for work. 

It went very well.  They love him already... of course.  He said everyone was very nice.  

He works at the Naval Air Station Hosptial, so they are very serious about security and such.  He had to drive to the entrance gate and wait for someone to come and allow him onto the base.  

It's been 2 days now and he's finally done with all the footwork to allow him to see patients at that hospital.  So tomorrow he'll be seeing patients for the first time... in a couple of weeks.  Yay!

Our new library. 

 It's small, but nice.  It's actually only part of this building.  The rest of the building belongs to the Whidbey Island Campus of Skagit Valley College.  

There are several libraries that ours can pull from, which is nice because, like I said, it's small.  There are four other libraries on Whidbey Island.  It would be fun to visit them all.

The library has self check-out computers, they even have one in the kids area.  They also have shelves for finding our own holds.  The only problem is that "SHAR" lands on the top shelf.  Logan just pulled over a chair to help Taylor get her books. 

And Taylor was so excited to get her Lego Friends books.  The kids love their new library.  We're discovering lots of new books too, as well as some old favorites.  

It's supposed to rain all this week, so we may be spending lots of time in the library & reading our books.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fort Casey

Day 4

It didn't rain on Day 4, even though it looked threatening all day.  So we went to a place called Fort Casey State Park. 

On the way there, we came across this "Blockhouse" on the side of the road.  Blockhouses were used in the 1800's as a defense against Indian attacks.  This particular one was built by Colonel Walter Crockett in 1857.  Most of these blockhouses have been well preserved because they were viewed by descendants as important family history relics. 

 Hole cut out for shooting. 

Pretty view from the Blockhouse yard. 

Now, on to Fort Casey.  It's on Admiralty Head, south of Oak Harbor.  

It's an old military armory, first built in the late 1800's & early 1900's.  It was operational during WWI & WWII to help protect the entrance to the Puget Sound and mainland America. 

The kids were able to see these 10-inch guns.  I believe the 10-inches refers to the barrel diameter, because these guns were enormous.  They had the ability (when operational) to be lowered down and hide out of sight.  

Lookout towers were needed because the fort was mostly underground, so as not to be seen from the water.  Check out that bird, flying right in front of Logan.  None of us realized it had even been there until I went to crop this picture.  Pretty cool, huh!

From down here, you don't realize how close you are to the water.  But we were able to walk on the roof of these buildings.  

And this is the view from up there.  That's where the Strait of Juan de Fuca becomes the Puget Sound.  That's also a tug boat out there.

 The ferry to Port Townsend leaves from this area also. 

 As you can see the kids were able to run around to their heart's content.  

This would make an awesome place to take pictures of the kids or  family pictures.  It wasn't the best lighting on Saturday though, bright and overcast at the same time.  

 In the late 1800's, when the military came in, they displaced the lighthouse that was already there.  So a new lighthouse was built, just up the hill, in 1903.  

 Admirality Head Lighthouse.  

We were able to go into the 1st floor of the lightkeeper's house.  I took this picture of the pantry just for my mom.  She loves quilts.  The one on the left is called, "Bow Tie" and it was made around 1890.  The one on the right is called, "Grandmother's Flower Garden" and it was made in about 1920.  

I always love it when we're allowed to go up into the lantern rooms in lighthouses.  This one had your typical spiral staircase and great views.  

After all this adventure, we were starving, so we went home to have a late lunch.  

 After lunch, we follow a gravel path by our house.  It led us to the harbor... Oak Harbor.  

 There's a ton of driftwood to climb on and a park the kids were able to play at for awhile, called "Windjammer Park."  

 None of the pictures I took of the kids at the park turned out very well.  But here's Taylor chillin' on the back of a dolphin.  

 View from the park area, looking out on the water.

Similar view, but looking more to the left, toward the boats at the harbor.  

After this we went home, the kids bathed and we all crashed.   

Day 5

7am came early the next day.  We were all anxious and excited to attend our new ward.  Turns out everyone was very nice and welcoming.  I guess we'll go back, (Just kidding!  Of course, we'll go back!).

The kids enjoyed primary.  They like their teachers and they made new friends.  Neither one of them could remember the names of any of their teachers or new friends though.  I guess, we'll really have to go back now.  ;)

After church and lunch, (we're home by 12:30pm now), we went to walk on North Beach.   

 It's the rocky beach with views of Deception Pass.  Logan calls it, "Decepticon Pass" and is convinced it's a Decepticon in disguise.

More exploring, rock hunting, rock throwing, driftwood climbing, rock climbing & holding up boulders.  Just the usual stuff.  

The kids came home with pockets full of rocks.  

If it's Decepticon Pass, then that must be Decepticon Island out there, right?

Today is Day 6, James' first day at "work."  Can't wait to hear from him to know how it's going.  I'll keep you posted.