Sunday, July 15, 2018

Allez les bleus!

 Just a glimpse of my trip so far to Europe with Grandma and Grandpa.   I will definitely say that it has been magnificent!  I am well known for my eagerness to try anything and eat copious amounts of fruit.  There have been so many amazing activities from the eye of London, visit to a chocolate factory in Paris, truffle hunting and pottery in Umbria and much much more! 
I will try for a full update when I return but really it has been such a wonderful trip.  Plus we got to be in England and in France during the World Cup.  We were in Paris when France made the semifinals, and France totally won the series Allez les Bleus!

Grace had a most fun week at Trackers with Esme in their secret agent camp.  It is pretty impressive that they spent all week together and this is the best Picture that Mom managed, but really as soon as they got home they would eat a massive snack and then head to Grace's room for some serious one-on-one play time. 
 This weekend we rode some rapid succession beach trips to the max.  We hit the coast last weekend for our fishing trip, Mom took her class to Haystack for a great low (early morning) tide, and we went out to Seaside early Saturday morning for some razor clamming.
It was a gorgeous morning and the beach had more sand dollars that we have ever seen on the shore, probably in part due to the lovely low tide.  

 So it was our first time out looking for razor clams, and voila!  We got a clam!  In our defense it was the last day of the season,there were a ton of people out there (really about as busy as we have ever seen an Oregon beach), and we are noobs. 
 but we didn't come home empty handed and had a fun morning running about the beach.  Because we got such an early start we got to pop around Beaverton hitting all of our favorite places, Uwajamaya (great Japanese grocery store... Mom got a new shave ice machine and is really uncommonly excited), Oyatsupan (nice Japanese bakery) and Hae Rim a really good Korean Restaurant...Grace ate a ton... like a shocking amount, and Mom was pretty excited about finding Beaverton town square which had all sorts of restaurants she wants to try. 
Today Grace had an all day sort of play-date with her ballet buddy... they had a great play date concluding with a swim at a family member's house and some yummy pasta.  There was a swing incident that resulted in some scraped knees, but otherwise she had a wonderful day!  Mom and Dad explored town a bit while G. was playing and had a nice lunch out at either/or and a visit to Woodblock that seems like a fun place to tour M-F when I get back!   
Mom wrapped her evening up with her book club crew.  They read Circe this month and of course, had an abundance of yummy food!  

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Tracking and traveling

I had a pretty great week at Trackers... we learned about fire and knives... a family favorite, which means there are a lot of sharpened sticks and small campfires (safety) set around the yard!

Owen had a week at home in preparation for his big big exciting trip with Grandma and Grandpa. Mom took him to zero degrees to as a special sundae treat.  We dropped him off at the airport to travel on his own to meet with the grandfolks and head off to Europe. 

 We already miss him a ton, and we have heard from him a bit, and Grandma is sharing some pictures.  They arrived in London, have gone on a Harry Potter Tour, seen the Tower of London and beefeaters, and will ride the Eye of London tomorrow.
 We had a fairly mellow fourth with a nice play-date and cookout with our friends.
 they brought the most beautiful rice pudding (and delish).
 We had some burger, hot dogs and had a few driveway fireworks.

 Oh and an entire dance performance to wrap it up at the end of the afternoon!
 I set up a pretty proper camp in the living room and got ready for an awesome weekend with Dad!

 We left Mom to a weekend on her own at home (she filled it with touch up painting the cabinets, cleaning the stove glass, snaking the shower drain, getting a fancy awesome shave ice, cappuccino, thrift store shopping, yoga,  drinks and dinner with friends... so sort of a high and low weekend).
 We left Friday and set up camp.  Saturday early we got on the water for some fishing, though I got seasick after about an hour so had to head back to the beach.
 And playing in the beach in a dry suit is AWESOME, I could roll around anywhere and just rinse off!

 It was still pretty early so we headed over to Hatfield Marine Station to check out the critters.  I was really excited to see all sorts of animals this weekend... a mom and baby deer, an octopus that a fisher caught, a live one at the marine station.
 There was also a cool sand table at the marine station that would map project onto the hills and coastlines that you could create... you could even make it rain!

 Of course after a good afternoon at the research center we headed back to camp and I spent some quality time on my spoon (below with a coal to make the bowl... works well, results in a smokey spoon).  and making my blank look like a real spoon!  We hung out with Dad's fisher friends, which meant a lot of yummy food and staying up a little late.
 This morning we woke up and headed back to visit with Dad's MS adviser, Bob Cowen, who was on a cruise, but his wife Su Sponaugle showed us around their new place... which included their small herd of Yaks (yes Yaks... they were looking for chickens and other farm animals online and someone in the area had yaks instead.... so now they do too!)
They were a little feisty with a new fence and baby in tow but still really fun to see and it was nice for Dad to catch up a bit.  
Although we miss Owen a lot, we are certainly keeping busy having a great time!

Monday, July 02, 2018

Summer time fun!

I had a pretty good week at trackers.  This year, a bit by accident really I ended up in the bow making class for trackers which was pretty cool though way more sanding than I thought was normal for people to do during the week... especially since I made THREE bows this week, the first two snapped as the wood was stored too close to the blacksmithing furnaces.... so that was a bummer, but I still got to come home with a nice new bow that I made! Grace had a great week at Vermont Hills but ended up staying home on Friday with a case of strep throat.  Grace had to give movies a rain check and Mom and I met up with J, E and V to see incredibles 2!  I had a great slumber party with my bud while Grace recovered.  
Mom forgot a picture, but while we were all occupied, she joined her friend from College, Shelly and her kids for a fun breakfast at Pine State!  She was really happy they could take a break from their fun filled vacation to meet with her!  We had a relatively quiet day to get G some antibiotics, Dad and I went berry picking to get out of the house and get started on a batch of blackberry jam (and more blue berries if you can believe it). After a few rounds of antibiotics and another epic nap G started coming around in time for a much anticipated Pickles game!  
 At last she got out of the house and felt much better.  Luckily it is a pretty low-key affair, We got a Jon Ryan bobblehead doll and got to chase him around the field (and to the folk's surprise right off the field), to see if we could tackle him at the 4th inning.  He can run pretty fast and darn Dillon the Pickle was running a bit of interference.  

 Can't exactly say how the game ended but when we left at 9 Pickles were up by one! Goooo Pickles!  You guys have great swag and and a fun grassy knoll!  Plus we had good company of Alice (in the blue above, right in front of Grace, H. and folks as well as our buddies J and E and V.  In some respects the game from the knoll was pretty slow, but it was a beautiful evening, there were good snacks and even better buds to share the evening with, plus we have the pickles in the foreground to cheer on!  
 Today, after making sure that Grace's recovery was legit, we headed to the coast.  It had been waaay to long since a beach trip! 
  First we stopped at the newly renovated Tillamook Cheese factory and stated our afternoon off with giant ice cream cones for a reverse lunch (dessert first)... plus cheese and a nice little self guided tour. 

 The building is beautiful and the food is much more elaborate, though the tour is a little less charming than it was, but yum, cheese and ice cream , it's a pretty awesome stop
Then we headed to Rockaway Beach, which is becoming a favorite.  I busted out my metal detector.  I had saved up for one, and I don't think I mentioned but right after I got it, I found a few nails and odds and ends in our yard... but most exciting a commemerative spoon in our front yard!!  Took it to the beach today but realized that on a relatively chill beach there just aren't a lot of lost items to recover but it was fun to get out!
 HOwever, it was a BEAUTIFUL day for the beach.  Warmish weather, no wind,

 Time to practice our drip castles and trying to land without a splash (a la Leap!)....

 Scooter at our side (only did a little digging this time around... old sweet dog)
 and quite the handful of sand crabs!

 Sooo cool. 
 It was a perfect afternoon. 
We inclded a stop at Pacific Seafood for fish and chips for Dad and Grace and oyster shooters for me and Mom!

It was a great day out.  We came back and Grace was chomping at the bit to see the incredibles 2 that she missed and all the guys were talking about Jurrassic World during trackers so we had a quick turn around to see some movies this evening.  Luckly "dinner" was keeping us going and we all got to enjoy a long movie, a late evening and Mom and Dad even managed to get that jam in jars!  Way to pack a weekend team!  It was pretty awesome, and relaxing all at once.  Man, I love summer!