Monday, April 30, 2018

Our Day Out Together

Sara loves getting out of the house on the weekends, and I love spending time with her out and about, so this past Sunday, I took her to one of her favorite places, Seattle Aquarium! She's been a few times. She went to a Christmas Party there, and also met a seal face to face there last spring when she went!

She's big enough now to walk around on her own, so I figured I'd let her lead the way in exploring all of the undersea wonders. She loves the floor to ceiling tank in the lobby, as that is the first thing you see when you come in.

From there, we headed back to the touch tanks and rock pools, which surprisingly, she wasn't interested in. I held her up to touch the starfish and and coral, but she didn't want any part of it! Next, we checked out the octopus and jellyfish, which she throughly enjoyed! Especially the jellyfish. She likes the glass walk-thorough tunnel!

We then wandered to the Tropical Reef, which she got a big kick out of running through again and again! This is my favorite exhibit too. I just love the beautiful, colorful tropical fish, and I could spend hours watching them!

After looking at the "pretty fishies," Sara discovered a quiet corner set up with brightly colored chairs and illustrated children's books, and she climbed into one of the chairs to check them out. I let her chill here for awhile before we went to see the rest of the animals, which  included birds, seals, and otters.

The seals were happily swimming around, but today they weren't on the rock ledge in their enclosure, where Sara got up close and personal last year, when one jumped up there to check her out. But still, she enjoyed watching them!

Sara sitting and watching the seals swim

After going through the rest of the aquarium, we still had some time, and the weather was warming up, so I took Sara for a little walk along the waterfront. One of the cruise ships was docked, so I took her to see it. Those ships are so big, it's like standing next to a high rise! They really are cool to see!

We went back towards Miner's Landing to admire the Great Wheel, which I totally plan on riding this Summer with Sara! I also let her watch the Carousel, which I think she was pretty amazed by!

We checked out a few of the shops inside, had some fish and chips and ice cream, and took in the beautiful downtown cityscape before heading home. It was late afternoon by then, and I think Sara really enjoyed herself because she napped hard on the drive back!

I'm really looking forward to this Summer, because we will have many more adventures together!

I made a little music video recapping our Aquarium Date together. Please check it out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Music Video Vlog 1: Emerald Downs

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This past Sunday was beautiful, so we decided to head out to our local horse racing track for the 2018 racing season opening day. Sara had a blast! I'm not sure if she remembers the last time she was there last May, but she sure enjoyed seeing all of the horses! I took my new GoPro Hero 5 to test it out for the first time, and I made a little music video on iMovie. Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Throwback Travel: California

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I've lived on the west coast for awhile now, and during that time, one of the places I've been happy to visit several times is California! So far, I've been all over the state, from Redding in the north to Los Angeles in the south. California is a diverse state with each region having it's own vibe.

One of my favorite trips was to the LA area for work a few years ago. It was in the Summer, and since the price for flying back on a Friday or a Saturday was the same, I chose to stay an extra day and do some sightseeing. I visited Rodeo Dr. which was fun, but I have access to most of the brands and stores up here in Seattle, so I just kind of perused through a few shops before checking out Hollywood and the beach.

Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

Lifeguard Station on Venice Beach

Warner Bros. Watertower

In Hollywood, I parked and walked up and down Hollywood Blvd., checking out the stars on the sidewalk. I also drove around, and found myself right at Warner Brother's Studios. I didn't go in, because although they do offer tours, I didn't have the time that day in my schedule. It sure is an exciting neighborhood, though!
Walk of Fame
I next visited Venice Beach, which I just loved! I had always wanted to visit an LA area beach, and this one is quintessential! It's kind of grimy, and a little sketchy in a good way! People set up booths to sell arts and crafts, which are so much fun to walk around and look at! The beach is super popular and gets really crowded, but that's what makes it so great! And of course, this is also the famous "Muscle Beach," where the weight lifting area is, and people gather to watch others use the equipment to work out. I had so much fun at this beach, and I definitely want to go back again someday!
The famous "Muscle Beach"

Overlooking the Beach
Redding, in the north, is another little town I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. I was again there for work for a week, and I found the area very laid back and chill. People there were so friendly and helpful, and were more than happy to suggest places for me to visit during my down time. One of the places was the Sundial Park. This was a park that had a bridge with a huge sundial at one end, which was very cool to see. There were also gardens and a wildlife center. I wandered through both, and spent quite a lot of time there. Another fun thing about this trip was that the hotel I stayed in offered a free wine happy hour and dinner each evening, which is popular with locals, and gives everyone a chance to socialize. It really helped my budget too!
Sundial Bridge in Redding

I've also visited San Francisco, which is unlike any other place in the state. The Bay Area is gorgeous, and full of so much unique sights and history! Not to mention, its the future home to Starfleet, which was pointed out on the tour! I went for a getaway with some friends for a few days. We stayed on Knob Hill, which had great views of the city. We visited all kinds of cool places, like Chinatown, where we had some delicious meals, and the waterfront, where we saw the sea lions basking in the sun. We went on a tour that took us across the Golden Gate bridge, and then we walked back across. I'll have to say though, even if you go in the middle of Summer, make sure to take a jacket! It was freezing at times!

The "Painted Ladies"

Golden Gate in the Fog

Fisherman's Warf

Going into Chinatown

While on the San Fran trip, we also drove to Santa Cruz, where we checked out the boardwalk, rode a roller coaster several times, and went through a haunted house. We also checked out the beach before heading to the Mystery Spot, a little place in the woods that seems to defy gravity itself! Its definitely a fun place to see if you're in the area!
Santa Cruz Boardwalk
California sure is a great place to visit, whether you're there for work or for fun! Like the commercials say, there's something for everyone there! Every time I go, I have a great time, and I can't wait to go back!
Arial L.A.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Dino Roars

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This past rainy weekend, I really wanted to get out of the house and do something fun, just Sara and I. I had been checking around on Facebook events, and found something that looked really interesting! It was called Jurassic Tour, and it was at a fairground near our house!

Jurassic Tour is a traveling exhibit with life sized animatronic dinosaurs, games, rides, and a bouncy castle. It was perfect for an afternoon outing, so on Saturday afternoon, I packed up Sara and we set off for Monroe and the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.

When we got there, I didn't expect it to be as busy as it was. There was a long line of cars waiting to get in, so it took a bit of time to find a parking space. Also, when we left home, which was just 15 minutes away, the sun had come out, and it had warmed up a little, so I decided not to take a jacket. Big Mistake! As soon as I got in line to buy tickets, the sky darkened up, and it suddenly began to pour out! And then hail! Hard! And here I was in my short sleeved shirt getting soaked. Luckily Sara's stroller has a nice cover on it, and I dressed her warmly, so she was fine.  But since I was in the cash only line, it went fast and I was able to get our tickets before I drowned!

Once we were inside, they had the front part of the building set up with all of the coolest looking moving dinosaurs! Sara was completely enthralled, and just loved looking at them! She particularly loved the Duckbills and their babies!

We eventually made our way all around the front of the exhibit looking at all of the different kinds of dinosaurs, but Sara loved the Duckbills so much, she kept asking to go back to them, so we did. After watching them for awhile, I took Sara to the back side of the hall where the games and rides were. 

They had a cool virtual reality ride, and dinosaur rides on some big animatronic dinos, but Sara was too small for that. Instead, I found something that was more her size, riding baby dinosaurs! She really had fun doing that, and we went back several more times while we were there. Another fun attraction for tots was digging for fossils. I sat Sara down in the sand pit, gave her a brush, and let her have at it! She absolutely loved it! 

Next, we walked through the gift shop, watched the Dino Band, and watched some of the bigger kids playing the big kid games and jumping in the bouncy house. We also stopped to take a look at a full sized Triceratops skull, which was huge! And very cool!

Before leaving, we went back out to the front to take a look at Sara's favorite Duckbill and the others again. She just loved watching them move around. They must have looked absolutely gigantic to her!

We headed home after that, and we definitely had a fun afternoon! The Jurassic Tour exhibit is traveling all over the country, and is usually in multiple locations in a particular area at once (The same exhibit was in Puyallup too.) If you happen to see it in your area, I'd definitely recommend it! Its fun for little and big kids, and for the grown ups too! 

How To Book a Disney Cruise

Well, we did it again! Cruise life has been calling, and we listened! We've just booked another cruise on Disney Cruise Line for Summer ...