Archive for the ‘Washington State’ Category

A day in the life of a pink tiger

August 4, 2012

Pink tigers are very proud of their stripes.

We live in bouncy houses.

And drink pink lemonade.  Of course!

Pink tigers travel by choo choo train.

And occasionally by boat. We are not very good swimmers.

Pink tigers aren’t as ferocious as other kinds of tigers.  In fact we’re rather good at making friends.

Shuusshh!  Never wake a sleeping pink tiger!

We were at Papi’s work picnic at Alderbrook Park in WA.

By Ana The Pink Tiger.







Yakima and the agricultural museum

July 22, 2012

Yakima is known for its top notch fruit orchards but other than gorging on cherries and apples there isn’t much to do where we were staying near downtown.  Whilst we were trying to find a spot for a some fresh air and a run around we happily chanced on the Central Washington Agricultural Museum.  A guy in a golf cart appeared as we got out of the car and explained where the registration book was and directed us to the entrance.  “There’s 17 acres of stuff that way” he said, “I hope you enjoy it”.

It was kind of like a graveyard for anything that has been on a farm in the Yakima Valley in the past 150 years.  Some bits were quite organised, others were more of an interesting pile up of stuff.

Papi said he’d used these types of cultivators on his Papi’s farm when he was a kid.  The sign said they were c 1900s so I was trying to do the math on how old that makes Papi.

Papi also explained how to cook up a guiso on this agar that was once used to make meals for all the workers at a sheep station.

Mum liked all the petrol pumps standing in a row. She also found the fruit and vege harvesters interesting. Some of them were experimental one of a kind contraptions.

Rafa spent a lot of time checking out the tractors with Papi.

And I wondered how I would managed to get milk out of the big jug on this wagon and into my cup.

The museum exhibits are outdoors which we really liked as it combined a leg stretch with something a bit different to look around.  It’s free to visit (donations welcome) and run by volunteers.

By Ana.

I didn’t know Bavaria was between Chelan and Yakima!

July 21, 2012

The drive from Chelan to Yakima is only two and a half hours, but somehow we went to Bavaria on the way.

Actually we were still in Washington State in a place called Leavenworth but it’s just like an alpine Bavarian village.

Leavenworth was a bustling logging and sawmill industry town in the early 1900s until the Great Northern Railway re-routed bypassing it resulting in the sawmill shutting down and the town going into decline.  In the 1960s locals decided to turn Leavenworth into a Bavarian style village to attract tourists as a last ditch effort to revive its economy.  The community got 100% behind the idea and turned every single shop, hotel, cafe, street and park in theme.  There were even yodelling buskers in the park when we were there!  They launched Bavarian festivals and invited the world.  Today more than a million tourists a year visit and it’s a thriving holiday spot.

The motifs on the buildings, the fresh flowers along the street and the backdrop of the hills all contribute to the beauty of the town.

Maybe it was because we were on holiday, or maybe it was the romance of the town that bended my parents – but I got to eat a danish! Papi grumbled that he was sure the town had excellent German sausages and he didn’t get any of those to try.

By Ana.



Lake Chelan

July 20, 2012

Lake Chelan provided everything a 2.5 year old could want.  A park just outside our hotel, riverwalk trails, a beach and a huge playground.

We got out on the water again which has become one of my new favourite things to do. (That’s me and Papi in the little yellow boat in the middle of the picture – really it is, look closely!)

We found another beaut picnic spot.

We had home made lemonade and story time at the evening Farmers’ market.

Yep, it’s not a bad life for a 2.5 year old or a .5 year old either for that matter!

By Ana.

Mum’s grandma’s cousin

July 12, 2012

Mum’s grandma’s cousin, Joyce, lives 50 minutes North of Anacortes in Bellingham.  Joyce is 93 and the most energetic and fun person we’ve met all year.  Mum’s grandma (June) was a bridesmaid at her wedding in New Zealand over 70 years ago.  Joyce was married to one of the last US army calvary men and has amazing stories of the three wars he fought from her perspective.  We also learnt all about our distant family here.  She hasn’t seen June in many, many years and had never met us before (or really know anything about us until Mum rang out of the blue a few weeks ago) but we were warmly invited into her home and Mum, Papi and Ana enjoyed a delicious home made lunch whilst I hung out on my mat on the floor examining my hands for the umpteenth time today.

I tried to work out my relationship to Joyce. I think she’s my first cousin three times removed. Ana decided just to call her grandma.

We throughly enjoyed lunch and meeting Joyce.  We feel like we have family in the US now.

Two of her grandchildren also popped by to meet us. Ana was quick to snuggle up to Emily and try on all her jewellery. We also met Peter who is an artist as well as a business owner in town.

By Rafa.

Washington Park

July 11, 2012

More than half of Anacortes is park or forest with over 2,800 acres of community forest preserved from development.  As early as 1913 Anacortes residents began donating land for preservation including the 220 acres to the west of Fidalgo island which makes up Washington Park.  There are camping facilities there for overnight stays but we just went for the day.

The playground there is lots of fun.

The pebble beach provides the perfect vantage point for watching the recreational boats come in and out and the San Juan Ferry dash from island to island in the distance.  I thought that throwing stones in the water was good entertainment too.

We found a great spot to have our picnic.

After lunch we did a 2.5 mile walk on the loop road up to the highest point of the park.

We got to see lots of squirrels and Mum gave me a piggy back ride.

I managed to get a shoulder ride from Papi too.

The views were another high point. Get it? High point?! Ha ha!

By Ana.


July 10, 2012

An hour and a half after we left Seattle we arrived in the seaside town of Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  Anacortes sounds like a Spanish name, but it isn’t.  Amos Bowman made up a Spanish sounding derivative of his wife’s maiden name, Annie Curtis when he opened the first post office here in 1877.

We sat on the rocks up at Cap Sante lookout taking in the views of the San Juan Islands, the fresh ocean air and a good dose of vitamin D.

Anacortes was once known as the salmon canning capital of the world and in the early 1900s there were almost a dozen canneries here processing up to 39 million salmon each year.  When the fish population dwindled in the 1920s and 30s many of the plants closed.  Whilst there are no existing canneries here today there are still salmon processors smoking and freezing fish for local and distant markets and plenty of fresh salmon to eat.  If you really love salmon, there is even an Anacortes salmon museum.

All the rubbish bins in downtown are wrapped in historic salmon can labels.

Many of the labels have a leaping salmon on them. They weren’t as slimy as the ones in the market in Seattle this morning.

Red labels were popular in the English market as this indicated that the salmon was hand packed.

We also enjoyed meeting some of the 120 life-sized historic characters on many of the buildings downtown.  They are part of the Mural Project by Anacortes local, Bill Mitchell.

One of the historic characters looked A LOT like Papi.

Just before heading back to the motel we went to the Causland Memorial park for a run around.

I’m not really sure if this is more for my benefit or for that of Mum and Papi.

I was STARVING by the time we got back to the motel.

Mum ordered grilled spicey pork kebabs and rice and knocked up a seat from the rubbish bin so I could sit up at the coffee table. Dinner was so good I had polished off my entire plate in the time it took Rafa to consume half a little jar of peas.

By Ana.

Around Mt Rainier

July 9, 2012



Once Rafa was up I read him a few stories whilst the car was being packed up.

Then we were off to explore.  We drove up to Mt Rainier National Park enjoying checking out the B&Bs and log cabins nestled in the forest setting and then went back on ourselves through Ashford and on to Elbe.  Just before Elbe we stopped at Dan Klennert’s sculpture park which is a different kind of wildlife park from yesterday.  All his animals are made from metal and wood.

The spider looked very mean!

Then into Elbe for lunch.

We ate on a train! Except this one couldn’t move.  No choo choo only chew chew (blame Grandpa John for that one).

We were given our own cabin and I sat at my own little table. I liked this restaurant!

A closed road meant a detour through Eatonville.  We were rewarded with this view:

Mt Rainier itself.

And then off to our next destination.

Seattle!  It’s hard to believe this place has a reputation for constant rain.

We arrived in plenty of time to still have a stroll along the waterfront and grilled salmon and veges for dinner on the pier before bed time.

By Ana.


Into the forest

July 9, 2012

Our summer road trip began by heading into the forest around Mt Rainier and straight to NW Trek Wildlife Park.

There were eagles and owls but the baby brown bear hiding behind the tree was my favourite.

The tram took us through 435 acres of wetlands, meadows and woods where raindeer, bison, elk, goats, sheep and woodpeckers freely roamed. Apparently there are 3 moose in the park but they are a bit shy and didn’t come out to say hello.

It was a good thing the bison were friendly because they were very big and came very close. We had to keep our hands inside the tram which Papi had to keep reminding me!

There were lots of baby bison too. They are lighter in colour than the adults and 30 pounds when they are born. That’s 1.5 times the size of Rafa now and he’s a chubba bubba!

It was a very hot day and the elk were cooling off in the lake. The raindeer came up to the tram to have a chat though.

Rafa wished he could jump in the lake to cool off too.

Late in the afternoon we arrived at our forest cabin in Ashford. We all liked the outdoor rocking seat. I munched on popcorn and Rafa fell asleep in Papi’s arms.

By Ana.