Vancouver – British Columbia, Hood Canal & Seattle – Washington (July 2016)

(Day 0) – Culture shift upon arrival was clearly evident.  After traveling 13+ hours from a small cabin in the woods in Polebridge, Montana where locking the door barely seemed necessary after venturing on the dirt/gravel open roads, we were admittedly taken back by excessive traffic delays and notably high security precautions upon hotel arrival in Vancouver, British Columbia.  We were advised to remove all bikes from rack, empty cargo case and to not even leave a pack of gum or a sweatshirt in the car because even with hotel garage security the city was still experiencing notable theft.  Needless to say – when on the road for ~45 days this is no easy feat…but it was accomplished!

(Day 1) – Started our day at “Experience Canada” where the boys absolutely loved “flying” while viewing the highlights of Canada from sports to seasons and landscapes.  Then we rented bikes to check out Stanley Park and the bay.

Great views bayside
Great views bayside
Sweet, silly Samuel on the coast
Sweet, silly Samuel on the coast
Nothing beats a good ole' street vender hot dog!
Nothing beats a good ole’ street vender hot dog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tandem biking - one of Austin's favorite activities
Tandem biking – one of Austin’s favorite activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Day 2) – Beautiful day, headed to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, basically a rope adventure tourist trap, then back to hotel to take advantage of Wi-Fi before heading to more remote housing in Washington.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Age of tree to be as tall as you?!
Age of tree to be as tall as you?!
Evening on the boardwalk
Evening on the boardwalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Day 3) – Both Aaron and I took bike rides along the coast before loading up to head back to the states.  We were ready for some rest and relaxation after the crazy exhausting hikes in Glacier National Park and the weekend of city hustle and bustle in Vancouver.

After hours of extended traffic, we were excited to settle into cute little house with a rocky beach on the Hood Canal.  Boys were quick to grab the fishing rods and start the next adventure!

Arrival in Hood River
Arrival in Hood River
Our new backyard!
Our new backyard!

During sunset on the water we started to notice lots of oysters and a few odd crab legs – mostly shells, but intriguing and headed inside to go learn more.  Before heading to bed realized the house key which we used to let ourselves in was nowhere to be found…thus piling chairs by the door seemed equivalent to locking up…

(Day 4) – Early risers ready to go with dad to grab some bait.  First catch of the day went back in the water but the fun was endless between fishing and rock throwing!

Little one - first catch of the day!
Little one – first catch of the day!
So excited to help out by busting rock like shells open for dinner!
So excited to help out by busting rock like shells open for dinner!
Shucking oysters for dinner!
Shucking oysters for dinner!
Aaron turning backyard dinner finds into deliciousness!
Aaron turning backyard water finds into gourmet feast!

Aaron took a long bike ride before coming home to help boys find dinner – which entailed catching oysters with their nets and shucking them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Day 5) – Aaron went golfing and brought Austin along for the morning – he was ecstatic and did great!  Samuel and I hung out at the house reading some of his favorites (again and again!) and playing games. Grabbed some local favorite oysters, but still no house key…if lost then accountable for locksmith / new keys. I even watched our video from arrival for any clues – identified the key had a blue key chain and when Aaron walked back outside it was no longer in his hand – it had to be in this house…

(Day 6) – Ventured out to Olympic National Park and made the loop around the Olympic Peninsula.  We spent the afternoon at Ruby Beach – which was so much fun, even with cold water!

First time in quicksand!
First time in quicksand!
IMG_5842
“Run! Big waves are coming!!”

 

Watch out - mud pie throwing!
Watch out – mud pie throwing!

 

 

Something about crashing waves – just love it, as do the boys!  Between wave jumping, quick sand hoping and mud pie making we had a great afternoon!  IMG_5823 IMG_5829 IMG_5869

Father-Son Walk on the Beach

 

 

 

 

 

Getting home late and after looking absolutely everywhere Aaron mentioned to the boys we all had to search everywhere to find the key with the blue key chain…..Austin quickly mentions he hid it from us – of which we responded with the are-you-kidding-me look, laughter, and serious discussion on not ever hiding things from mom and dad!

(Day 7) – In route to Seattle, dropped Aaron off to play 18 holes at Chambers Bay Golf Course, Home of the 2015 US Open.

Chambers Bay Golf Course
Chambers Bay Golf Course

Meanwhile the boys and I headed for a way overdue do-it-yourself car wash (i.e., sounds basic – but big fun for 3 and 5 yr olds to get to use huge water guns!) and then checked out local playgrounds before driving to Seattle.

IMG_5888
Mariners Game at Safeco Field

(Day 8) – Seattle is a great city – fantastic coastal views, fresh seafood and love all the beautiful flowers! Enjoyed Mariner’s baseball game and walking through Pike Place Market.

Boys Loved Flying Fish at Pike Place Fish Market!
Boys Loved Flying Fish at Pike Place Fish Market!

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Day 9) – Left Seattle to head to Hood River, Oregon.  The journey continues!

Favorite Kid Quotes:
“Do you see that ship?  It’s Captain Hooks.  He is here since I am his scuba diver for sharks!”
“Do you know which one is our hotel?  I can find it for you – it’s the one that has a room with two beds in it!”
“That’s my boss’s hotel, he works here too and that’s his boat.  He also has a motorcycle here.” (Stuck in highway traffic when Samuel pointed out ‘his boss’ we rolled down the windows to say hi…good thing the guy didn’t notice us crazy’s!)

“Only 3 more hours – that’s it?! Does the next place have electricity?”  (i.e., expectations are well set: if driving less than a full day – dark to dark – it’s not that long and no longer are water and electricity taken for granted!)
“Uh oh – this fish is not very big…are we going to cook it for dinner?  We might still be really hungry.”  (yes, we sometimes task kiddos with catching dinner – we like to set ambitious goals early in the day…builds character!)
“What do you think happened to this crab? I’m guessing he got in a pretty serious fight…a bigger crab with stronger legs probably attacked this one so hard that it’s legs came right off its body!”  (logical assumption when finding random crab legs washing up to shore)
“Oh that key with that little blue key chain – I hid that from you guys!”  What? “No really – you want it, it’s right in here!” (sure enough in the boys’ bedroom hidden under a chair next to the bed was the house key!)

Thank you for sharing in our journey.  Wishing you a wonderful day with lots of moments of love and laughter!

 

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