Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last Minute Road Trip

This trip was quite an adventure. Nothing about it was planned, courtesy of Delon, but it really ended up being a good experience for our family...fighting and all. Hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the trip!

Backing out of the driveway. You'll notice I never took any other shots in the car at the end of the would have just seen 5 kids beating the crap out of each other or hanging their heads out the window in case they threw up. :)

Stopped at Big J's in Preston for dinner before we hit the road.

Before we arrived in Mountain Home to sleep for the night.

Stopped in Ontario, OR at a Les Schwab to have new tires put on before our journey. They were pretty bald.

Waiting for new tires...

Another shot of the same area...a lot of farmland...nothing I haven't seen before. After passing through this valley, we hit the wooded area, it's amazing how different looking these areas are even being right next to each other.

In OR at a view point on our first official day of traveling. It was sooo windy and cold.

There were so many low clouds that was a little eerie, reminded me a lot of what we saw in Olympic National Park.

First shot of the city as we drove in. Seattle was a very pretty city.

On our way into the kids are easily excited by tall buildings. And they love the fact that iCarly is also set in Seattle.

Lots of photo ops up top...the kids thought it was pretty amazing.

I believe we were at 520 ft, but overall the Space Needle is 605 ft.

More panoramic views atop the Needle.

City shot

Pretty cool view

Up top the Needle

Cruise liner in the harbor...there are so many cruise ships that come through Seattle now.

Cool shot, got dizzy taking this picture.

Going up...

One of the many sculptures throughout the city...

Ice cream break after the Space Needle.

The twins...well, behaviorally. :)

Our tour guide, Saul T. Dog...he was hilarious! I could hang out with this guy all day...

Enjoying the Ducks tour...even after an hour they were still happy. One of the best things we did there in Seatte. Totally worth the money!

Over 60 pieces of sculpture along the pier in Seattle....this here is the metal tree. Don't want to be here in a lightening storm.

Qwest Field

If you look carefully you'll see the "skylight" in the sidewalk. It's part of the underground city. It's pretty fascinating. We didn't get to go on the underground tour, but apparently in 1889 all the buildings in Seattle were wooden. That year there was a cabinet maker that knocked over a glue pot igniting the buildings and basically destroyed 25 blocks. So to make a long story short they made sure all buildings were built from brick and stone, and they built the new city 1-2 stories higher off the ground to prevent flooding. While this new city was being built, the people had to travel up and down ladders about 12 feet below street level to cross back and forth between streets. After the fire some of the business owners still used the underground city until it was condemned for the pneumonic plague in 1907. The skylights were put in to allow the light for those who still traveled and used the side walks below.

Space Needle shot on tour.

Puget Sound

One of the many bridges we crossed throughout our trip.

A great shot of the city from the water.

The ship shown here called the Horizon has been featured on The Deadliest Catch 2 or 3 times. Our tour guide is an actual fisherman and worked on board several of these boats for years.

Gasworks Park is a 20 acre area that features the old plant ,built in 1906,where coal was turned into gas. In 1962 the city bought the land from the government and turned it into a park where they now have several concerts and celebration every year. Apparently it's the best fireworks show in WA.

Gasworks park...preparing for the fireworks.

Seattle skyline...

This is what we took our tour in...they called them Ducks. It basically looked like an old clunky boat with wheels. The boats were apparently built by women...because they know how to follow directions. :)

Here is the actual "houseboat" they used as Tom Hanks home in Sleepless in Seattle. ( Green with red trim on the left).

In the Duck at the end of the tour.

Shot of the city on our "Ducks" tour.

Waiting for the car after the trip up to the Space Needle.

For those of you Grey's Anatomy is Seattle Grace Hospital...of course it's not really a hospital, but they use it for the outside shots.

A really orange and interesting sculpture in the park, right at the bottom of the Space Needle. The boys were off climbing through it. It kept them occupied for a while.

On the pier at the end of our last day in Seattle. We really enjoyed this day.

Another bridge....loved all the bridges.

There were some amazing homes along these harbors. If it wasn't so wooded, I could have gotten some better pics.

This bridge was pretty cool...and at every point along the way we were somehow always following a Volvo. Maybe it's a prerequisite for living in these areas...:)

This is what most of the trip driving looked like....trees the end the kids were chanting "no more trees!" I loved it though.

We stopped off near an Indian Res in a city called Sequim. It's so pretty there. There were a few lavender farms scattered throughout this area also.

Totem poles with my five little monkeys at the bottom. This place sat right on the water in Sequim Bay.

Sequim Bay.
A pretty cool spot behind all the Reservation's natural resource buildings.

Photo op...

The fam...

Port Angeles was a very welcoming city, especially to Twilight fans.

There is not much to see of Port Angeles in these photos because we literally drove through, but it's a very charming city. Hard to believe there are over 18, 000 people that live here.

Port Angeles was an interesting place and for being so small, it's pretty important. It's the largest city on the Olympic's also the birthplace of Football Hall of Famer, John Elway. They only get about 4 inches of snow a year, but according to residents, it doesn't stick around very long.

This huge ship was called the Polar Endeavor. It transports Alaskan oil and was built with a double-hull. They were hoping to avoid other oil spills with ships like these.

Gotta love the mossy green trees! Unfortunately, these pictures do them NO justice!

We stopped off the side of the road just after passing through Port Angeles, and I spotted a trail through the trees, so Delon pulled over. This tree was amazing, I think my flash ruined some of these pictures. :(

Now I know why my favorite colors are green and blue...they both come from my favorite places to be.

Some of the things I saw were surreal, only things you usually see in pictures. To be there and to be able to "literally" smell the earth and touch the moss covered trees was really cool. I used to spend a lot of time up in the canyons hiking...this made me miss the time I should be spending in places like this. We've been so blessed to live in such a beautiful country.

The boys...there was this massive tree that had fallen across the river. In order to get this pictures I had to do a little climbing and tight-rope walking. In the process I came across ants the were easily 3/4 of an inch long. I wish this picture had turned out better, it was such a great shot.

A little moss canopy under the roots of a tree. Half of the tree roots were completely exposed. You can't really tell, but you could go back underneath 5-6 feet. This is one of my favorite pics.

These little white daisy wildflowers were EVERYWHERE throughout OR and WA. A lot of the time they were mixed with yellow and purple.

Here is where we first climbed under onto the trail. Wish we had had the time to follow the rest of it. It was beautiful! Fallen trees, ferns and moss canopies everywhere. It was absolutely amazing...

My high school was almost this big!

If you can't tell, they're trying to capitalize on the whole "Twilight" thing.

Once again....there were even people trying to sell "Twilight", I'm not kidding. It's a little ridiculous.

The welcome sign...almost as big as the actual city.

Honestly Forks was about three blocks wide and the length of two football fields. Not much there at all. Thanks to Stephanie Meyer, this area of the Continental US now gets about 3 x's as many tourists than they have residents!

Had to get a picture...Delon said so. Was fun to visit though, Stephanie definitely did her research. The people in these places are...well...let's just say "different".

We cross this bridge right after we leave Forks area...I believe it's the Hoh River.

This was so beautiful... one of my favorite places that we stopped. Ruby Beach, just south of La Push and the Quileute Ind. Res. I've used this picture for my wallpaper.

The water was a bluish-gray, the air was very misty and a majority of the beach was covered in twisted pieces of driftwood and smooth round stones.

There was a small hike down to the beach, Haydn spotted several LARGE slugs and I noticed there were a lot of berries that resembled raspberries, but were a bright orange. Love the foliage here...

As you can see, it's not a very "sandy" beach...but beautiful nonetheless.

Sea stacks and high cliffs are what made this beach so interesting.

Trying to skip stones...

Mmmmm....I likey.

My little cheeseball. Jake had so much fun on this trip. He did really well in the car too.

On top of the world!

You can't see them very well, but there were a ton of mussels on this rock. (and no, I'm not talking about Delon's). :)

Bridge of the Gods....the bridge Charlie and Bella traveled, on their way to Forks.

Interstate Bridge...
I don't know why, but I love was kind of fascinating to see all the different colors and structures throughout OR and WA.

View from our room in the Marriott, downtown Portland. I really enjoyed visiting this area. A lot of history and some cool architecture. We ended up being here for the fireworks. Didn't stay to watch it all, but there were so many people there along the waterfront, pretty cool.

Another view...I swear the kids favorite part about traveling is staying in the hotel.

Rose Garden....Trail Blazers baby!

Actual Size... ;)
The boys really liked seeing where some of their favorite teams played.

I love all of the bridges in this city...

This is my idea of a Rest Area...

This is in Pacific City where we stopped after visiting some of the dairies only 8-10 miles from the beach. It's actually a part of Cape Kiwanda State Park. One of the prettier beaches I've been to also.

Gracie and Jake were actually getting along at this moment, so I had to take a picture.

Thank goodness for sand, now I know why I like having it in my backyard. The kids can play in this stuff forever!

Haydn and Riley kept themselves busy wrestling in the sand.

I love being by the makes me smile.

It was a little chilly that day at the beach, but the kids loved seeing the ocean.

The View Point Inn

This place was amazing...the view alone was worth the trip.

Does this place look familiar to any of you?

This Inn was built in 1924. It has celebrated Presidents, Hollywood Stars, European Royalty and is on the National Register of Historical Places.

It is also the location of the famous Twilight Prom scene. They filmed some of the dinner scenes from the movie here also. This photo doesn't even begin to show how breathtaking the scenery is. Definitely something you need to see with your own eyes!

Multnomah Falls

This was one of the last things we saw on our way home, before we hit the uglier and browner areas of Oregon. (Multnomah Falls was the waterfall shown in Twilight during the baseball scene). It was so beautiful here next to the Columbia River. After we passed this area, it became very apparent , quickly, that the lush green areas were behind us.