Sunday, May 24, 2015

Time To Go

This particular trip to Washington was probably one of my favorites to-date; not only did we get to attend some fun events, but we spent a good portion of our time outside exploring the area and enjoying the weather. I finally feel like I'm getting to know the Douglas County- and I like it better all the time! Alas, it was almost time for Vince and I to head back to work, so it was time to bid WA farewell. We got up that morning, organized our bags, and headed out for a walk with Pat.

We didn't get very far toward the alfalfa fields before we noticed the dogs were looking for something under a storage tank. All three of us had noticed little pygmy rabbits around, so we were worried they might be after one! We ran toward the dogs and got to them just as we heard a little squeal :/ Thankfully, Pat was able to get Roxy to drop the little guy before any harm was done. I scooped him up and Pat took the dogs back to the yard... 


Poor critter was too scared to move, so I set him back under the tank and we left him alone. Vince and I came back after a few minutes and he was gone (whew), so we knew he was going to make it :) Pat joined us back near the field and we continued our walk with no other incidents ;) We headed back to the house from there and made our last meal before heading to the airport: grilled margarita shrimp and veggie kebabs. MMMM. It was the perfect ending to another great visit :D

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fun With Pat

Our trip was getting short, so we spent our last full day in WA visiting Vince's grandparents and hanging out with Pat (Chuck had to back to work). We had fun hearing some priceless stories from his grandpa, showing them pictures from our wedding, and learning about Thailand from Ciata (Vince's step-grandpa who is originally from Thailand) before heading into town to visit the Ohme Gardens and have dinner.

Ohme Gardens map: the original owner started the Gardens with 40 acres in 1929

The entrance to the property (now owned by WA State Parks & Rec)

One of many beautiful waterfalls

Scenic pool


A wishing well was a nice touch :)

The Gardens were truly impressive; we were all glad we went.
It was yet another great way to get outside (and work up an appetite!)

Inspired by our talks with Ciata earlier, we decided on Thai for dinner

Fresh ingredients and some spice were just what the doctor
ordered! We finished our meals, made a quick stop at the grocery 
store to grab some grilling essentials for lunch the next day, and 
headed back to Palisades for our last "card marathon" :D

Vitamin D

What a treat! Vince and I were greeted by another sunny morning following our rodeo night, so we set off to do some more outdoor exploring that afternoon. There is nothing quite like sunshine and fresh air to energize the soul :)

This critter got my heart going on the way past the garage!
Luckily, it was a bull snake...

Vince and I decided to walk the Ancient Lakes trail; this is one of the views

Our first glimpse of one of the lakes

Such a cool spot! I would love to come back here and camp sometime

Happy with our walk (and thirsty!), Vince and I headed back to the farm and set out to find Pat and see if she needed help with anything. After a little prying, the three of us walked down to the new cherry orchard and worked on thinning the upper branches of the young trees... I could get used to that kind of work; it was relaxing!

The top of one of the trees (pre-thinning)

Ladybug on my jeans- cute

Vince working on the branches

Pat enjoying the view

The three of us got through the trees in no time and headed back to the house to turn on the grill, shower up, play some cards, and call it a day :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Family Fun

Our trip to Seattle was fun, but I was happy to get back to the "country" and get outside again after our marathon shopping/driving day. Vince and I got up the next morning, had a light breakfast, and headed down to the stable to help Pat get the horses ready for some riding. Pat finally got her new arena up this spring and was excited to show us the ropes :)

Vince, Pat, and I (right to left)

Good times! I hadn't been on a horse in was fun!

We helped put away our gear and went on a walk around the property before heading back to the house to get cleaned-up for the evening. Vince and I got us all tickets to the "Hell On Hooves" rodeo that evening for Pat's Mother's Day gift, and we decided it would be fun to stop by the Pybus Market and the Apple Blossom fair beforehand...

Ah the market- one of my favorite places to visit in Wenatchee 

On to the fair

There were several craft and food vendors, a music stage,
and a beer garden. We did a thorough sweep, grabbed some dinner,
and headed off to the Toyota Center for some all-American entertainment

The Toyota Center- impressive building!

Some of the cowboys getting ready...

The presentation of the flag and the National Anthem

A little pyro display ensued, and it was time for the main event

Our seats were right down in front, so we had an awesome view!

The bulls and broncs were pretty darn cool

There was only one gal in the show that rode a bronc...

...and she was SERIOUSLY tough!

The kids had their version of the rodeo after the adults,
and this little cowpoke was super cute; he was the star of the show :)

The last part of Hell On Hooves? Bull Poker, aka "chicken"
for crazy people!! 4 people sit at a poker table and the last one
left after a bull gets turned on them wins...holy mackerel!

Needless to say, we all had a great time going to the rodeo. We left the arena with smiles on our faces and headed back to Palisades with some new pictures and fun memories. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Seattle- Day 2

Our "to do" list for our second day in Seattle included: finding me a good hunting pack, finding good hunting boots, checking out tents, looking at sleeping bags, finding comfortable walking shoes for our upcoming trip to Italy, and driving back to Palisades. We knew it would be a busy day, so we started off by getting breakfast.

The Portage Bay Cafe was just a short walk from the hotel

The interior was nice and open and the breakfast bar looked good :p

Both Vince and I had two poached eggs, bacon, and French
toast. The potatoes were a bit too much, but we didn't leave hungry!

Full and caffeinated, we set out to REI, but spotted this place first...

Feathered Friends was a totally unexpected find- and very beneficial! 
tried on several pairs of boots, and we both checked out their sleeping bags
before heading to REI. The staff were really knowledgeable, so we got some
great information to mull over while we checked out the competition

So REI headquarters is impressive... of many beautiful nooks outside the multi-level building

Vince and I spent the next SEVERAL hours testing out packs, shoes, and all sorts of outdoor gear before deciding we needed a break! Breakfast was finally wearing off (as was the coffee), so we headed across the street for a quick iced coffee before making our final gear purchases...

Just so happened that a place we'd been wanting to try was right there :D

We enjoyed our coffee, made a game plan, and headed back to both
stores. Although the shopping process was lengthy, we came away with some 
quality gear and useful info. We packed our goods, headed to Bellsquare Mall to
look for shoes and clothes, and hit the road around 10 pm. It was a long day,
but we went to bed in Palisades that night feeling accomplished :)

Seattle- Day 1

Feeling refreshed from our time outside and good night's rest, Vince and I woke up early the next day ready to make the drive to Seattle. The beautiful weather and good tunes on the radio made the drive go by fast, and we were there in no time. We made a few quick stops, I had my doctor's appointment, and then we were free to check into our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day...

The view from our hotel room in the University District

We decided to go for a nice walk before dinner to stretch
our legs and made it to Fremont to see the Troll :)

Our choice for dinner? Joule (Korean fusion) I usually
shy away from "fusion" cuisine, but the ratings made it hard to resist

I loved the open layout and all the windows!

We learned that the common practice is to try several items to share,
so we started with the white kimchee and some spicy rice cakes...

...which were AWESOME

Our next selections were smoked octopus and a perfectly-
done short rib that was called "That Short Rib" (and rightfully so!)

Happy with our dinner, we spent the next few hours walking around and enjoying the evening before heading back to get some sleep and get ready to do some shopping the next day ;)

Fresh Air

The weather in WA was awesome, so Vince and I were determined to get outside for some fresh air and vitamin D! We enjoyed a leisurely morning, grabbed his mom Pat, and headed to Douglas Creek for a walk...

Heading out!

The creek at the bottom of the ravine was beautiful :)

One of the pools along the creek

Ahh. SUN!!! We explored the area until our hearts were content and headed back to the farm to check on the critters. Vince made beer-can chicken for dinner, we played cards with Chuck and Pat, and fell asleep to the sounds of crickets outside. It was the perfect ending to a fabulous day :)