Showing posts with label Anniversary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anniversary. Show all posts

The Wednesday Five | Vol. 11



Gracious, I've lost my blogging rhythm a bit.  When did I last write about something personal on here?  It's been a while, so I'm going to use The Wednesday Five format to get back into it this week.  You can read other Wednesday Five posts here, and feel free to join in if you want!

A Quote

"We're a violent people, Cal.  Does it seem strange to you that I include myself?  Maybe it's true that we are all descended from the restless, the nervous, the criminals, the arguers and brawlers, but also the brave and independent and generous.  If our ancestors had not been that, they would have stayed in their home plots in that other world, and starved over the squeezed-out soil...that's why I include myself.  We all have that heritage, no matter what land our father's left.  All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies.  It's a breed, selected out by accident.  And so we're over-brave and over-fearful - we're kind, and cruel as children.  We're over-friendly and at the same time frightened of strangers.  We boast and are impressed.  We're over-sentimental and realistic.  We are mundane and materialistic - and do you know what other nation acts for ideals?  We eat too much.  We have no taste, no sense of proportion.  We throw our energy about like waste.  In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture.  Can it be that our critics have not the key or language of our culture?  ...That's what we are, Cal, all of us.  You are not very different."
-East Of Eden, pg 568 (emphasis mine)

For some reason this little monologue in East Of Eden stood out to me when I read it a couple months ago, and I've been mulling it over a bit.  I don't know if I think Steinbeck got Americans exactly right, but in some senses I think he captured some of the spirit of America here.

The part that stands out to me right this minute is where he asks whether critics of our country fail to understand Americans because they don't have the key and language of our culture, and I think he got that right.  Ultimately what has tied us all together as a country, as Americans, for the last 244 years is our ideals - our ideals of freedom, and our efforts to reach toward those ideals even when we may have failed to live up to them.  We are a people tied together by a love of freedom, and a tenacious will to struggle and fight to achieve it, and to defend it whenever it is threatened.  I hope we always keep that.

I saw a random social media comment from a person in a country which shall remain nameless, who criticized Americans for "always thinking someone wants to take your freedom away".  It irked me to no end, just because of the sheer ignorance.  That's an example right there of someone who doesn't understand what America really is, who maybe never will, because she doesn't have "the key or language of our culture".

Okay, sorry for the lengthy aside there - it just happened!  On to the next category...

A Book

I've been reading books on alot of political topics lately, but I don't really want to talk about those, so I'm going to mention that I started Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb.  It's basically a memoir of a therapist who ends up needing therapy after a bad breakup.  I find the little tidbits about psychology interesting, and the author really knows how to tell an interesting story, so I kind of got sucked in.

A Bit Of Nature


This is from our trip to a little mountain stream a couple weeks ago - Clyde pointed out that the light playing on the water looked like a snakeskin - it kind of does, doesn't it?

A Recommendation

I recommend you get yourself over to Target, because they put out the school supplies in the dollar spot this week!  I got a bunch of good stuff that I might show over on Instagram.  I always look forward to raiding the dollar spot for homeschool stuff - all their little knick-knacks spark alot of homeschool ideas for me.

A Moment Of Happiness




Last week was our 12th wedding anniversary, and Derek and I were able to get away to a resort, thanks to my mom!  We had a nice time, and when we came back home the next day, Georgie ran up to me and said in her little baby voice "Mama, you're here!  I wuv you, Mama!  I wuv you so much!"

Oh my goodness, that girl.  I wuv her too.

Ferries And Lakes And Orcas, Oh My! (Seattle Part Two)



Back to our Seattle trip!

Sunday

After finding out our whale-watching tour was cancelled a few days before we were supposed to leave, we scrambled and scheduled a different whale-watching tour for Sunday.  I was glad we could find another one, because whale-watching was an expected highlight for us - we just don't get a chance to see ocean life in our land-locked state, and we didn't want to miss our chance!

When we arrived, we asked the rental car guy if native Seattlans would roll their eyes at the tourists pointing at the whales.  Where we live, the tourists always stop traffic for elk, and it's so annoying because we see them often enough to not stop anymore.  He assured us that seeing a whale was still pretty cool, even for people who live there.







(This was the water in the wake behind out boat - look at that color!)

(I wish I had a better lens - orcas!)

(You can kind of see the baby in this one!)



We loved the whale-watching trip!  We saw 15+ different orcas, all part of an orca family in the Puget Sound.  We learned that different sub-species (ecotypes) of orcas will not breed with each other, because each ecotype has it's own culture and traditions that the mother orcas pass down.  They could identify all the orcas by the white patches on their backs.  The mothers lead the groups, and the male orcas will stay with their moms throughout their life, because the mother orcas have more social connections and can help them find a lady orca (ha!).  We learned so much from the naturalist onboard, and I interrogated her about her career path because I have a certain marine-life-obsessed little boy at home who would love that job.  

We also saw a bunch of seals and young bald eagles, which was cool too!

We went with the Puget Sound Express, and though they were a little pricier, they were one of the only tour companies that left from a suburb of Seattle, and we were only gone a half day.  I was just glad we got to go after our other tour was cancelled!

When we got back we went over to Gas Works, which is a park they made out of an old industrial area.  Why don't they do this in every city?  It was so cool!








We dressed up for dinner, and took a couple pictures together by the lake.  Then we went out to dinner at Five Guys after deciding to skip the fancy restaurant after all.







Monday

On Monday we said goodbye to our great little lake cottage, our spider friend, and the Market (I just had to go back one more time).  




We went by the market one more time and bought some loose-leaf tea, but we got a little lost on our way back to the car and stumbled upon Seattle gum wall!  I may have had hard time finishing my breakfast after that.  Blech!




After our Market stop, we had just enough time to ride the ferry over to Bainbridge Island for a quick lunch and walk, before we rode the ferry back to catch our plane!







I have to tell you, I was really impressed with the ferries.  You could hardly tell you were on a boat unless you went to the passenger decks.  I don't know much about engineering, but I feel like the ferries were a pretty amazing feat!

Overall, I really enjoyed Seattle!  One of the guys working at the Market told us that Seattle and our city feel pretty similar to him, and I could certainly see that.  The mountains and friendliness of the city definitely reminded me of home, but the fish market, whales, campfires all over the place, abundant greenery, and lakes and water everywhere were beautiful and different.  If I couldn't live where I live, Seattle might be my next choice!  I loved it.

Goodbye Seattle!







Permit Me To Gush (Pike Place - Seattle Part One)


Derek and I hit double digits in our marriage this year!  When we were first married, we dreamed of taking a trip to Europe for our tenth anniversary.  I'm not really sure what we were thinking, because even with our original "plan" for kids (the Lord was just laughing at us), we would have been smack dab in the middle of baby years.  And what do you know, despite having more babies faster than we originally thought, the baby years is exactly the stage we are still in!  Sorry, Callie-from-the-past, but there is no way I'm flying off to Europe with five little kids at home, even if we could afford it (which we can't).

So, we improvised, signed up for the Frontier Airlines credit card solely in order to get the two free domestic tickets, and we chose Seattle!  I have a few blogging buddies from Seattle or the Pacific Northwest, so I had a vision of the area in my head already, but I have never been anywhere on the West Coast at all.  I was excited to check it out!

Friday

We flew in on Friday evening, just as it was starting to get dark.  I've always thought my state was one of the prettiest from the air (I still do), but I must say, Washington is definitely in the running now too.  Look!



We picked up our rental car, and the guy talked Derek into splurging for the luxury car (it wasn't hard).  We always regretted that we didn't rent a really cool vintage car to drive away in on our wedding day, so getting the luxury car for our anniversary trip was fun.  I'm not a car person, but all I know is that it smelled good, talked to us when we got lost, and went from zero to sixty pretty darn quick.



We set off in search of our lodgings.  We decided to try something different this time and rent an AirBnB - partly for the experience, partly because the hotels in Seattle were more expensive than we thought they would be.  Derek and I were a little worried as we drove through a not-great part of town, in the dark, looking for our lakeside cottage.  

We finally found it, and the owners stopped by to welcome us!  They showed us around, and we immediately decided the AirBnB was the best idea.  Not only was it adorable (click here for pictures), but outside the owners had a fire pit set up, and they had a dock/shed thing with kayaks and paddle boards to use on the lake.  Derek and I were wishing we had thought to bring out swimsuits so we could have tried it out!  They even left a bottle of wine in the kitchen for us with a note that said "Happy Anniversary!" (we cooked with the wine).  It was great!

Saturday

The next morning we got a better look at the lake and our little cottage, and it was even better than we thought.  It was like a secret garden back there!






The last picture requires explanation.  There were a bunch of these spiders everywhere near the lake.  I have no idea what kind of spider they are, or if they bite (it's better if I don't know), but this particular spider built a web across our walkway every single day we were there.  Derek had to brush it away several times.  I almost felt bad for it by the third time we destroyed it's web.  It's just a little spider trying to get some food!  I called him our little spider friend.  The very last day it finally got the hint and built it's web on a bush instead, and I got to watch it capture a gnat for it's breakfast.  

We started off our trip by checking out Pike Place Market, because I feel like you can't even say you've experienced Seattle without going to the market.  


















All I can say is I love the Market.  If I lived in Seattle, I would be over there all the time! There was so much there, we visited a couple times, and I still feel like we didn't even get to see it all.  A few observations:

-The flowers!  They smelled so good, and it was an interesting counter-point to all the food smells.  Derek bought me this bouquet for $10, and it felt like a steal!  Where we live, a bouquet like that would cost at least double.

-We ate pastries at Piroshky Piroshky, and after trying a cream-cheese pastry called Oscar's Star, and the cardamom cinnamon bread, I think I like their subtle breads better than the super-sweet pastries.  

-We got to see the guys who throw fish around and sing, and while I was highly amused, my introverted side was cringing, because I couldn't imagine working there unless you were a strong extrovert.  It was cool to watch though!

-We bought tea at MarketSpice, and oh my goodness.  I'm drinking it every night at home now, and it is so good.  I got the Spicy Seattle Chai, and the Caramel Rose Rooibus tea.

-I took a picture in front of the original Starbucks, but we did not actually get coffee there.  We got coffee at Storyville, and the view up there is wonderful.

-We ate mac and cheese at Beecher's, and I can see why people say it's the best mac and cheese they've ever had.

-I bought books at one of the several bookstores in the Market (of course).  I snagged two books in "The Railway Series" by Rev. W. Awdry, which is the book series that Thomas the Train was based on.  They are so cute!

-I kept looking at all the buildings, trying to figure out where Frasier Crane's apartment would be.

After the Market, we drove out to Snoqualmie Falls!  We originally thought it was going to be a little hike to reach the falls, but you can walk right up to it.  I wish we could get closer, but I get why they don't let you.  The falls were gorgeous!



I might have brought my tripod so we could get a couple decent pictures together on this trip.



After our adventure in the forest (at home we have woods - this was a forest), we went back to the cottage and Derek cooked me a very delicious dinner and dessert with the chardonnay our hosts gave us!



This post is getting long, so stay tuned for Seattle Part Two - including whale watching!

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