Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekend in Seattle

Elizabeth and I headed to Seattle last weekend for a "girls" weekend.  My brother and dad were far out numbered and wished Jan and Andrew could have come along.  Jan and my Goddaughter, Avery, was having her 1st Holy Communion and what a beautiful occasion to celebrate with family.  We had such a wonderful time and can't wait to get back again soon!

The weather was absolutely amazing the entire time we were in Seattle.  I've visited four or five times now (I think) and I've never once seen the mountains that I've been told surround the city.  I've now seen them with my own eyes!  I can now understand fully why my brother and Courtney love it there so much.  What an amazing place.

The first day that we were there, mom, dad, Avery, Madeline, Elizabeth and I walked downtown to West Seattle.  After an amazing coffee and croissant break at the best French bakery I've ever been to in my life, we took a bus to the water taxi which takes you downtown.  We then walked the piers, rode the carousel and headed up to Pikes Place Market for lunch and shopping.

If I had my way in life, I would literally eat fish every day.  Problem is that I live in a land locked state and fish does not seem as appetizing in Colorado (and Jan is a catch and release fisherman . . . for example we "caught and released" four huge trout today).  Such is life.  So when I go to Seattle, all I really want to eat is fish.  However, we were walking along the Pikes Place Market and came across an outdoor restaurant on the second floor of a building with a beautiful view.  We all agreed that the search for lunch was quickly over, no matter what kind of food the restaurant served.  We had PB&M (that's marshmallow for you jelly folk) for the kids anyway.  It turned out to be a Bolivian restaurant so we had steamed clams and oysters, paella, sangria and could have stayed all afternoon.  But by that time, we had some pretty tired kiddos on our hands and some shopping to still do so we headed back to the market for flowers for Avery's communion and of course a lucky pig ride.  

One of the many highlights of the weekend for Elizabeth was Lincoln Park.  The park overlooks the water and is pretty amazing.  I've gotten to go to many parks over the past 4.5 years and that one is at the top of the list.  What really puts it over the edge (besides the beach, beautiful water views, dense forest) is the zip line.  Yes, they have a zip line swing for kids, young and old alike.  Needless to say, Madeline, Elizabeth and I must have rode the zip line 100 times until I was so exhausted from pushing the girls back up.  So then we went on a nature hunt, looking for bugs.  It's amazing what you can find by turning over a log.  Elizabeth has the exact count but it was something like 6 worms, 2 centipedes, 2 snails, and 5 of the biggest rollie pollies you've ever seen!  Those things were huge.  

 And Madeline is a little monkey on the monkey bars.  I got tired just watching her!

So after Lincoln Park, we were off to the Pacific Science Center.  Michael has been talking about bringing Elizabeth there since he first discovered the bug room and butterfly pavilion a few years ago.  The bugs did not disappoint and Elizabeth is still talking about the Madagascar Cockroach (yes, that is her holding it) and the butterflies.  She absolutely was in heaven!  It was so precious as she did not want to leave the butterfly pavilion and could have stayed there sitting with grandma all day, just waiting for a butterfly to land on her shoulder.  Elizabeth is the greatest little girl.  There is no more talk about wanting a bunny in our house.  No, she wants a Madagascar Cockroach as a pet!  That's my girl!

What's on the menu?  This was of great interest to Elizabeth.  I think if she had the opportunity, she probably would have tried a little grasshopper scampi.

 For some reason, probably because of her book "Larry Get's Lost in Seattle," the main event of the trip was visiting the Fredmont Troll.  Elizabeth talks about the troll all the time and really wanted to go visit him so of course Uncle Michael and Aunt Courtney brought us out of the way to check him out.

One of the highlights for me was getting to play with the girls. Regan is such a little angel and has such a wonderful personality.  I just loved holding her . . . she is so light and cuddly compared to my Captain Density Andrew!

 Avery looked so beautiful for her First Communion.  It was so wonderful to be able to share that day with her.

We miss you all already and can't wait to see you in July!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Catch of the Day

This year's inaugural fly fishing trip was a little later than past years due to hectic work schedules, a house that for some reason doesn't want to sell, and lots of fun things going on with the kids.

I had the day off and headed out to the stream - only today, of all days, I didn't have a proper camera - long story but i knew this was going to happen...  fortunately I had the blackberry to save the day!

This time of year the big rainbows and cutts from the lake make their way into the river to spawn providing a great opportunity to hook into a hawg on the fly rod.  This one took a big articulating egg sucking leech, a little home brew concoction I made up, giving me a little more confidence that I might actually land him (2 big hooks and a stronger leader).  When I set the hook I knew immediately that this was a big boy!

I also had a great time catching a bunch of 12 inch-ers - so many I lost count - fun day!