Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Home Is Where the Heart Is

We made it to our new town and apartment.  It's one of those large complexes with multiple buildings, numbered parking spaces and a swimming pool.  

We're on the third floor of a three-story building.  We live right off of a very busy road, but we don't hear much traffic because we're in the back of the complex.  

It only took us 3 hours to unload the truck.  The kids helped with the lighter stuff, but it wasn't long before they were tuckered out.  It wasn't much longer before James and I were tuckered out, but we still had half a truck to unload. 

 Logan found his robe, his Nexus and a comfortable(?) spot. 

 Unloading stuff into the kitchen.  

From our balcony we have a nice view... of another building in our complex.  In every direction there's another building, except out the back, that's the parking lot. 

We're very much in the city.  The only thing we're missing are the skyscrapers.  James and I are not city folk.  We're very much county folk, but we're trying to enjoy the advantages of city life, like having everything so close.  

Another advantage of city life is...

 the HUGE library, just blocks away...

 with a splash park across the street.  

 First, the library. 

The kids love it, of course.  They went straight to the magazines.  Our last library didn't have any kid's magazines, that we ever saw anyway.    

This library's children's section is about the same size as our last library, the entire library.  

What else was nice, was the fact that this library is in the same county we were in when we lived in the area 3 months ago, so that means that we didn't have to get new library cards.  Our old ones work just fine.  

Now on to the splash park.  It's a place where water squirts out of the ground and kids run and play in it.  There's not much else to tell, so I'll just show you the pictures. 

Then Taylor got too cold and we went home.  It was close enough though, that within a matter of minutes, the kids where home and warm and dry.  

So we're here starting another rotation.  We've survived another move.  Two down, three to go.  It's okay that we're not in Oak Harbor and it's okay that we're in the city because we're together and after all, home is where the heart is and my heart is with my family. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our Last Good-bye to Oak Harbor

We would love to return to Whidbey Island again and explore some more.  There was still so much we didn't get to.  Turns out 3 months just wasn't long enough.  

The day or so before we moved, we went on one last hike.  Just a short, near by one was all we could spare the time for.  

Well, first of we had to get the kids past the playground.  

Then, on to the hike.  

Enjoying the view. 

And this is the view we were all enjoying.


My kids being goofy while hiking is becoming a trend.  (Okay, it's not just while hiking).  

When the hike was over, we headed back to this...  a house half packed.   With each box we loaded our sadness over leaving grew. 

We couldn't help but think about all the fun we've had here, like climbing on driftwood (Logan's absolute favorite thing to do),

and discovering driftwood forts.  

Check out how long this piece of diftwood is.  I'm standing near the top, taking the picture and Logan, at the other end, still isn't to the end yet.  

We also enjoyed observing the change in tides in the harbor.   Here's an example of low tide.

And here's the same view at high tide.  That's a pretty dramatic difference.  

 The rocks in the foreground of this low tide picture...

 are practically covered during high tide.  

The kids also loved to wade at high tide.

And they are really going to miss Windjammer Park. 

Logan asked to go there every. single. time. we left the house. 

 And Taylor made friends with this cement seal. 

The park was only about half a mile down a gravel path.  We went there often.  Very often. 

So we were not in the best of moods when it came time to go pick up the moving truck.  Okay, okay, it was me.  I wasn't in the best of moods.  

We were kept entertained though by this Navy plane that flew over several times, doing take-off and landing practice.  

Speaking of airplanes, that is another unique aspect of Oak Harbor.  

There was the sound of airplanes all the time.  At first, we would always stop whatever we were doing and crane our necks to try to see the plane, but they went by so frequently we stopped doing that, at least when we were indoors. 

The P-3 was kind of slow and quiet.  I happened upon a place where they were flying overhead, getting ready to land.  They were slow enough that I was able to get several close-up shots.  

The Growler jets, on the other hand were very difficult to photograph.  They are so fast.  

They are very loud too.  We would hear their sound and look in front of it to spot the planes or see the planes quietly pass by and then wait for the roar.  

This is the closest shot I could manage of the Navy Growler.  It was flying low to the ground, getting ready to land or just taking off, while we were at Cub Scout Day Camp.  The sound was deafening.  We had to stop kids in the middle of their skits because the noise was too overwhelming.  

And speaking now of noises from above, the seagulls were nearly as loud as the planes.  Well...  maybe not, but they were more numerous, that's for sure.  Those specks in the sky are seagulls!  

It's a miracle that I lived in Oak Harbor for 3 months and never got pooped on!  You kind of learn to stay away from their hangouts, and you can always tell where a seagull hangs out.  

Once, when I was just walking toward the park, minding my own business, I heard a loud splat right next to me and a seagull was flying by!  Whew!  That was a close one.  

It seems like it was just last week we were seeing this Welcome to the City of Oak Harbor sign.  

And this one.  We really did feel welcome in Oak Harbor.  It's a small town and doesn't take long for you to feel at home there, like you belong.  

All too soon, we were seeing this side of the welcome sign, 

and going over Deception Pass Bridge for the last time. 

 Good-bye, Oak Harbor. 

We're leaving our small, scenic town...

for city life.  

But you will always remain in our hearts!