Lee Falls

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Not from this trip, but I didn’t get a pic of the waterfall this time so I’m using an old picture.  That’s husband jumping off the falls.  We went with some friends of ours this last weekend and they both jumped but it was too cold for me.  I just like being warm too much!

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The little one had a great time.  She didn’t seem to mind the cold at all.

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I thought getting up to my knees was great – that cooled me plenty after our hike.

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Don’t ask, I don’t know.  Wow, I’m a dork.

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How could you not love a face like that?

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A picture up the river from the falls.

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A very tired girl.

April Getaway

We took a semi-civilized camping trip to Emigrant Springs Campground, where we met my parents for the weekend.  Being together was wonderful, as was the rest, the weather, and our surroundings.

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We stayed in cabins.

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There was still snow on the ground but the sun graced us with its face most of the weekend.  It was warm enough to sit out on lawn chairs (in the sun) and read.  When clouds rolled over or when the wind was a little strong, we played games, lounged, or ate in the cabins.

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The cabins were great, much like the yurts we stayed at in Fort Stevens. But these had a fridge, stove, oven, and the heater worked great.

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This is where we ate in my parents’ cabin.  And boy did we eat.

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My dad made most of the meals (my mom had prepared most of them before they came) and they were delicious.  I think I gained 10 pounds.  My mom and I ate almost a whole pan of brownies in one weekend.  This is not right.  Camping, hiking – these things should help me lose weight – not gain it!

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I think even the kiddo gained weight.  She opened her eyes and mouth as wide as can be for the Rice Krispies treats.

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The fridge is in the right corner.

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The baby’s PeaPod (her sleepy tent) covered by a blanket.

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The mattresses were a little hard, but otherwise we were warm and comfy.

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G’ma and sweetie-pie playing in the snow.

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We had snow fun…

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…and reading fun…

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…and hiking fun.

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G’pa and G’ma D…

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…and the dogs.

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Some very pretty flowers we saw on the hike.

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My mom and a giant tree, it just pulled right out of the ground.

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Playing with grandpa’s gloves is fun!

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Playing with the dogs is fun!

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Especially the tails.

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Squishing a pine cone is fun. Well, at least I think it was fun.  She kept doing it.

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Playing at the hot fire was fun.  If you look closely, you can see her blowing with her lips (the sign for hot).

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Walking though the park was fun.

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After we came back from the showers every night she was exhausted.  Too much playing!

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She had such a good weekend.  And so did we.

A Break from Life

Hubby and I were in desperate need of a vacation – FROM LIFE.  We had tons to do, the washer had been broken for weeks, taxes weren’t done (and we didn’t know if we could claim Sunita since she isn’t adopted here in the states yet), we needed to get busy doing the paperwork in the states for her adoption, and more and more.  So we took a break, and on Feb. 27 we went to Fort Stevens and stayed in a yurt for the weekend.

The yurts at Fort Stevens.

Half of the inside.

A view out the door.

It was just what we needed.  Dad and daughter played.  Mom rested.  The peanut enjoyed crawling around on the yurt floor and playing on the top bunk of the bunk beds (with dad of course!).

Saturday we went to the Astoria Coffee House.  We had wonderful Stumptown coffee (which is why I chose the place) and pastries.  The coffee was good but somewhat expensive, and the pastries were good but not knock your socks off.  Still, it was a wonderful morning because baby napped in her car seat while I drank wonderful hot nectar of the gods and enjoyed the atmosphere and the company.

Then we drove around Astoria and just looked around.  It was cold and wet, typical Oregon coast weather.  Astoria was fun to explore, even by car.

The bridge from Astoria to Washington is 4 miles.  It was fun to see all the shorebirds and the bald eagles sitting on the mudflats.

Such a tempting place.

This is NOT a fake.  Right next to the road this deer just stood there and looked at us. At the bottom of the photograph you can see the road barrier. We saw it on our way up to the Astoria Column.

What would a coast trip be without the sea lion show?

We did do some exploring of Fort Stevens itself as well.  This is a barracks/battery/etc. at the fort.  We went and poked all around it.  It would be a great place to play sardines or hide and seek.

Dad and the little “sweetheart” found the fighting spirit.

I think she kind of looks like an owl with a 360 degree view.  Her legs are tucked into the pack and we tried to keep her cozy because it was COLD!

Wait to scroll down if you want to attempt the challenge of “Where’s the Sandpipers”?  10 feet away we stood and didn’t see them at first, but hubby has sharp eyes and caught them moving.

The close up.  Can you see them now?  How many do you count?

There are 7.

Try again?

How about in the close up? The camoflague they have is incredible.

Signs you might be in India

From Jared’s recordings during our stay in India.

You can’t count to 5 without hearing a horn honk.

Your snot turns black, your eyes burn, and you breathe heavy like you recently started smoking a pack a day.

You get a nice hotel room and the bathroom has four floor drains – all with mothballs on them to keep the creepy-crawlies out.

You get a not-so-nice hotel room and the bathroom has a hole in the wall to the outside large enough for any rodent known to man to pass through.

The hole is in the upper left corner, next to the tiny hot water heater that had to be turned on 20 minutes prior to use.

The hole is in the upper left corner next to the tiny hot water heater which had to be turned on 20 minutes before use.

Driving through town you look across the lanes and see: car-motorcycle-car-bicycle-cow-autorickshaw-dog-motorcycle-motorcycle-motorcycle.

Cows on the right.

Cows on the right.

In this case they are water buffalo.

In this case they are water buffalo.

The traffic is always bumper to bumper and door to door.

The traffic is always bumper to bumper and door to door.

You get a “double” hotel room and that just means they pushed together two single beds…and kept them made separately.

You don’t see any women working in clothing stores, but you do see them hauling bricks and digging on construction crews.

A typical sari "counter"

A typical sari “counter”.

The sari shelves.

The sari shelves.

Men selling saris on the street.

Even on the street, men sell saris.

Women working.

Women working.

The women would carry these huge bundles of sticks.  It was incredible.

The women would carry these huge bundle of sticks. It was incredible.

Street signs, except for ads, are non-existent.

The bigger your vehicle, the more right of way you have.  Good luck crossing the street as a pedestrian.

The more people crossing the street, the safer it is for them.  So crowds move across the roads rather then individuals.

The more people crossing the street the safer it is. So crowds move across the roads rather than individuals.

Pickups are nowhere to be found.  Hauling things is a job for bicycles.

The biker/hauler is on the left. You can see his pipes and his tricycle.

Cacti (and others) @ Seattle Conservatory

The Seattle Conservatory was a treat.  Even if plants don’t light your fire, go for no other reason than to stand under the blooming Angel’s Trumpet and breathe deep. The scent is heavenly and unlike most plants, best morning and eve.  The conservatory is nestled in Volunteer Park, and the park itself is a nice place.  My favorite part of that visit was the succulents.

I love cacti and succulents.  They are oddness glorified, and there was a room full of them!

Hen and chicks. Ok, so adorable name, ubiquitous and hardy, charming form – what’s not to love?!?

Jade necklace. I wouldn’t call it pretty exactly, but fascinating would do.

Jade relation. A note about growing jade plants indoors… supposedly these are the EASIEST plants to grow.  Virtually indestructible. So says you…I have managed to exterminate a whole mature pot of it. (Twice, ha)

OUCH! Some seats aren’t worth having regardless of how many gardens I’ve dragged you through!

Wicked!

Thank you Seattle…

…for the introduction to Dark Chocolate Linguine.  Truly amazing (as are the garlic basil penne and Italian mixed pasta).  Walking through Pike Street Market gave me a chance to dream of upcoming summer attractions from the Ocker kitchen.  I’m most excited to try the rose petal jelly – beautiful, overwhelmingly “rosy”, yet lovely.  I might even suck up the courage to try lavender jelly.  It wasn’t as good as the rose petal, but still unique and I have plenty enough lavender I do nothing with.  Then there’s the delicious pepper jelly which I may have to garlic up.  In this household, garlic makes everything better.  It seems jellies were at the top of the list.  And of course, the dark chocolate linguine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberries on top.

We laughed and laughed at these self-cleaning public toilets:

Yep, they are real and many are for sale (you guessed it – on eBay – starting bid $89,000)!  So for all of you who are self-cleaning ignorant (or heaven forbid, jealous), understand that the doors close and OPEN on their own.  After you exit, the doors will close fairly quickly and the toliet lid gets pulled back into the wall and cleaned.  (Ok, so one of the people there peeked in a crack to find this out).  It also alerts, “You have ten minutes until the doors open”.  But no pressure, right?  No hurry, you’re just trapped in a steel contraption that may open at any time while your pants are down.  So, to top off the fact that it was such a novelty to use that a friend of ours HAD to use it, we also got to see a man who really really had to go RIGHT NOW!  He popped in before the cleaning cycle could begin, which means the doors started to close as he entered.  And much like any automatic door, they started opening just as he was dropping drawers.  OOPS!