Gracing us with her presence…

August 26, 2014 Tuesday

My sister Pauline is in town for the week. She arrived today and brought with her plenty of California sun.  After picking her up from the airport, we went straight to business. We walked all over downtown Seattle.

Enjoying a ride on The Great Wheel on Pier 57.
Can you spot the Space Needle? This is the view from inside the Great Wheel.



Sisterly love. Just what I needed!

While the boys are on Pier 57, Pauline and I get lost (in purpose) at Pikes Place Chowder on Post Alley. We had clam chowder, sourdough bread and crab roll. It was really fun just hanging out with my little sister before she gets married in December.



August 28, 2014 Thursday

Today, Richard and I are on an overnight date. We bought burritos from a food truck, stuffed them in my purse and had lunch at the movies! Shhhh, don’t tell them. We saw “Lucy” (Scarlett Johansson) and was blown away. We had a lot to discuss the moment it ended!

Afterwards, we checked into Swantown Inn Bed & Breakfast.


This beautiful Victorian house is very elegant inside and out.
This beautiful Victorian house is very elegant inside and out.

The house has a lot of character and is very still and silent. The owners have homemade cookies for guests. We took a few to take home  to Owen and to pay our babysitter…

While away, my sister babysat Owen. Here’s what she did for him:

Eating s'mores while reading a good book.
She made him s’mores.
She built him a campfire.
She built him a campfire.


She & Owen went on the roof of our trailer. I just about had a heart attack whenI saw the picture. Look at him, all smiles and unattended.
She & Owen went on the roof of our trailer. I just about had a heart attack whenI saw the picture. Look at him, all smiles and unattended.
Thumbs up, no one is hurt, having a blast...
Thumbs up, no one is hurt, having a blast…


She roasted vegetarian sausages.
She roasted vegetarian sausages.
Owen loves Aunt Pauline.
Owen loves Aunt Pauline.

Bicycling & Blackberries

We went on a 1-hour bike ride just 5 minutes away from the campground. This paved trail was beautiful. We went under canopies of trees and saw many shades of green.image










The the next day, as we rode our bike around the campground, we discovered black berry bushes. We picked to our heart’s content and nibbled on them. I made blackberry jam and the boys enjoyed it on their toast.












Charming Towns

Carla from American Heritage Campground gave us a list of neighboring towns, highlighting shops, restaurants and fun things to do. We 86’d our hiking plans and explored instead.

STOP 1: Mima Mounds, Little Rock.

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These unusual and mysterious mounds are covered by beautiful prairie grassland with native wildflowers and bunch grasses.
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As we walked around the loop trails, we learned about prairie ecology. We ventured out a little bit and discovered they felt spongy and (a bit strange). It felt as if we were disturbing whoever was sleeping under it.
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We found these berries along the trail. My Jr. Ranger had his gear with him and we were able to pick up samples. We didn’t want to eat it without knowing what it is.


STOP 2: Rock Quarry Pool, Tenino. There’s a serene wading fresh-water pool with a waterfall for Owen to play in but we got sidetracked. There’s more to this gem we still have yet to discover and share with everyone.

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The moment Owen saw these rocks, he didn’t want to do anything else but climb it. He said it was like climbing giant lego pieces.
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While he played Indiana Jones, Richard explored on his own while I had “alone time” with my phone. Happy hour.


STOP 3: Lattin’s Country Cider Mill, Olympia. This wonderful discovery led us to this charming farm-store with free petting zoo. It reminded us of Riley’s Farm back home. We look forward to returning in the fall.


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They made fresh donuts. Our snack: custard-filled donut and cider. Upon walking in, we saw locals carrying strawberry cider by the gallon. We took the hint and picked up a quart. Smart move.

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Owen wanted to play with the mountain goats in their climbing gym.
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These furry cuteys followed Owen left and right. See video on facebook.

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Abandoned structures interest me. Can you imagine my surprise finding this abandoned barn?
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Houses along the road had these little covered-porches up close to the road. We later figured out it’s where children wait for the bus to take them to school. Like in Forest Gump without the stump to sit on.

Winter Plans

We have revised our winter plans. Originally, we were going to make our way down to New Mexico and stay there during winter; however, we’ve grown to love Washington and don’t want to leave yet.

We decided to hibernate for the time being. We want to see how the rain will affect us should we decide to make this our semi-permanent home state.


On that note: we found a house for rent here at Olympia, WA. It’s fully-furnished, 2 bdrm, 1 ba, 2-car garage and a backyard for Owen. There’s also a parking space for our travel trailer, in which Richard is very happy about.

There’s a biking trail nearby and this area we found is nothing but green. Our landlady is very kind and pleasant. We connected immediately upon meeting her. Marilynn Stephens from owns other properties in the downtown Olympia area. She has tenants like a legislator renting out her homes within walking distance from the Capitol.


We are confident our stay here in Olympia is a good move. We look forward to settling in for winter. It’s even better that we’re close to our friends in Tukwila and new friends we made here at our campsite.We check out of American Heritage Campground September 9 and we move into our rental the following day.  I’ll be posting our mailing address on our facebook page for friends and family. We love keeping in touch with all our friends, by the way. It truly makes a difference in our days.

Owen says he’s excited to: have a new room, explore the neighborhood, play in the rain in the backyard that has trees.

I’m looking forward to being in an open indoor space where I can stretch out my arms when I sleep; watch TV and home-educate Owen for longer sessions. But mostly, I am looking forward to having kitchen space where I can cook and bake like a top chef. Blueberry muffins, roasted root vegetables and pumpkin pies are on my top list.

It’ll also be great to have family/friends over from California. If you’re looking to experience Washington during winter and spring, let us know! We’ll welcome you with open arms, hot chai tea and fresh-baked goodies.

Our Last Day in Alaska



What we did on our last day…

1. We learned about the history of Anchorage.
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The Oscar Anderson House Museum is a historical museum. The structure was built in 1915 by early Anchorage resident Oscar Anderson. Anderson claimed to be the 18th person to set foot on what is now Anchorage. The structure was the first wood-frame house in Anchorage.


2. Went on a walk along the coast.

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Owen is a fan of Survivor. We bought him this buff and he’s been wearing it since.
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I packed two things: workout clothes and clean underwear. That’s all you need.

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Owen & Richard spot a bald eagle.
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I don’t see anything… Where’s Waldo?
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I did spot the bunk where Desmond from LOST was hiding in. He was the man who had to push a button every X-minutes.

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3. Eat at our favorite restaurant in Alaska!

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Owned and operated by a Hawaiian Family. Affordable and yummy food!
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Brunch- veggie skillet with home fries and hollandaise sauce.


4. Drove around neighborhoods to see what houses looked like. (I like houses.)

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5. Last minute-souvenir shopping at Downtown Anchorage.

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Guess what everyone is in line for? Reindeer Hotdogs.

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We get to the airport early so Owen can read…
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Waiting for our plane to pull up.