Amy Scott's Thoughts

Sharing the thoughts that bounce around in my brain!

Yellowstone Road Trip August 23, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 10:58 am

Back in December, we made plans with my family to go on a road trip to Yellowstone this summer. We had some concern that the pandemic would cancel our plans. This was actually the 4th trip that my family has planned to Yellowstone – the first three were canceled, so it seemed possible that this 4th attempt would also be foiled. Thankfully, we were able to make it and what a trip it was!

Our mornings were early, our days were long, but each day was worth the effort! The boys love nature and trails, so add geothermal sites and it was the perfect park of the kiddos to explore. I loved walking the geyser basins in the cool of the morning with the steam pouring out of the springs and geysers. The sight of steam billowing over the landscape was awe-inspiring and never got old! We also really enjoyed visiting Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. God’s creation is beautiful and powerful! We spotted animals like elk and bison throughout the park. We never saw a bear, but multiple times we were very close and had just missed sightings moments before. Jeremy was praying we would see a bear. I was praying that we wouldn’t. I know the boys were bummed that we had no bear sightings, but I was thankful. Bears that aren’t in a zoo setting scare me. Even the bison and elk caused my adrenaline to rush. We were so close to these wild animals!

Yellowstone was the main event on this road trip, but we also saw a few other sights along the way. On our journey to Yellowstone, we stopped at Craters of the Moon National Park. We have visited lava fields and cinder cones in Bend, OR so we knew that this would be a fun stop for the family. We collected lava rocks, climbed a cinder cone, and admired the vast fields of cooled lava.

One of our days in Wyoming was spent driving through Grand Teton National Park. We drove one route through the park into Jackson, WY and then we drove back to our rental house through another park route. The views of the Tetons were stunning. The mountains views on this day of travel are some of my favorite from our whole trip. One of the mountains in the range is named Mt. Owen so that held special meaning to our Owen. We didn’t spend too much time in Jackson, WY. The city was neat, but busy. On our way home, we stopped by Jenny Lake (where we were 100 yards away from a grizzly bear that Wildlife Management was tracking) and Colter Bay.

Our last special stop on the way home was a visit to the Lewis & Clark Caverns. The tour was brief. Due to COVID-19, the tours are limited to one room in the cavern. We were shown the Paradise Room which is impressive. The only downside was we could see the pathways that lead deeper into the caves and we weren’t able to explore them. I guess that gives our family motivation to visit again in the future.

Signs of a pandemic were seen throughout our travels. Masks were worn indoors – regardless of what state we were in. Outdoors we wore masks when distancing wasn’t possible. Mornings were the calmest in the parks, so we were able to roam without too many people nearby. As more people entered the park midday, the more often we had to wear masks. On the cold chilly mornings, wearing a mask actually helped keep our faces warm. When the day heated up, I will say that wearing a mask became less ideal, but we did it. Hand sanitizer was found throughout the parks. We also had stock piles of sanitizer in our vehicles. Overall between masks, sanitizer, and being able to do laundry at our rental house, I felt like we were safe and cautious while traveling.

With all that has been canceled due to COVID-19, I am thankful that this long awaited family trip was able to happen as planned. We caravaned with my parents to and from the park and we met my sister and brother-in-law there. We haven’t had an all-family vacation since Graham arrived in the family. It was fun to show the boys a Vitzthum-style vacation. My dad always packs way too much food. Snacks abounded and dinner was always tasty with many options for everyone! The house we stayed at was the perfect set-up. My sister and her hubby had the upstairs with their own bedroom, bathroom, and loft for their little dog to hang out in during the day. My parents had the master on the main level. Our family had two downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom. The boys had bunk beds to sleep on which are a special treat!

Okay, I could ramble on about the great memories we made and the fun times we had! There is just so much to share after an adventure to Yellowstone. It was a beautiful trip. From geysers to thermal springs to mountains to lakes to rivers and waterfalls – there is something awe-inspiring around every corner! I’m so glad we got to explore this lovely part of God’s creation. God’s artistry through nature never ceases to astound me!

Here is an itinerary of our daily explorations and photos from our adventures:

Day 1: Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley, Upper & Lower Yellowstone Falls. Day 2: Lower & Midway Geyser Basins, Artist Paint Pots, Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, Roosevelt Arch. Day 3: Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, WY, Jenny Lake, Colter Bay. Day 4: Biscuit Basin, Castle Geyser, West Thumb Geyser Basin, hike to Brink of the Lower Falls.

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Craters of the Moon National Park

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Elk sighting

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Old Faithful

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Bison sighting

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Lower Yellowstone Falls

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Grand Prismatic Spring at the Midway Geyser Basin

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Norris Geyser Basin

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Norris Geyser Basin

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Officially Junior Park Rangers!

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The classic vacation picture!

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Grand Teton National Park

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Such a beautiful drive through the Tetons!

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Visiting Jackson, WY

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Dipping their toes in Jenny Lake

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My hubby walking through the Biscuit Basin on a smokey and steamy morning.

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We were all alone for this walk, but face masks helped keep us warm! 

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Watching Castle Geyser erupt

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Lewis & Clark Caverns 

 

 

A Garage Sale, A Getaway, and Fall Preparations August 9, 2020

Filed under: Coronavirus Chronicles,Travels — Amy Scott @ 5:45 pm

Life at home on the hill has been quiet. Our days have been spent enjoying the down time that a slow summer affords. We did a have a bit of excitement over the weekend in the way of a garage sale and a getaway trip.

Before COVID-19 was ever on our radar, my friend, Maggie, and I had set a weekend aside for a summer getaway. We did this last year and loved it so much that we are trying to make it an annual tradition. Maggie owns a vintage trailer at the coast and we settled in for two nights away. We ate all our meals at the trailer, we took walks, watched movies, read books, picked blackberries, and talked (a whole lot). We are used to seeing each other every other month for lunch dates, but we haven’t been able to get together since January. This time in person felt long overdue. A weekend away to rest and relax with my forever friend was just what I needed. We were walking back from the beach at twilight and we could see families insides houses enjoying their evenings. The smell of barbecue was on the air and I couldn’t help but smile because it felt like a “normal” summer evening. Sometimes between my isolation at home and what I hear on the news, I think the world is ending and everything is falling apart. Walking home from the beach after sunset, seeing families gathered, being in the company of a good friend – these things were so restorative to my soul.

While I was away at the beach, my boys decided to join a family garage sale. Jeremy and I have never participated in a garage sale before, so this was an entirely new experience for our family. I was able to help my family prepare for the garage sale before I left. Jeremy kept me up to date on the sale happenings. The garage sale did much better than I expected! The boys even walked away with some new math flashcards and a set of kids golf clubs. It was a very positive first garage sale experience!

These quiet days have been good for fall preparation (yay online shopping). We’ve kept tabs on the big school situation and we are fairly confident our boys will be home this school year. We haven’t made any official decisions yet. We are waiting for more details before we make the final call. I do know that more time at home is in our future. Back to school shopping this year looks like new sweatpants, socks, and underwear (not our most glamorous year to prep for, but necessary). With school at home being the our next great adventure, I’ve purchased a daily planner to keep us on track. We have curriculum ready in case we decide to do our own form of school and take a year out of the district. It’s been exciting to dream about what homeschooling will offer our family. Thanks to the garage sale and the fall prep, I’ve been sorting through clothes and getting us ready to be slightly more put together at home this fall. I am not ashamed that we spent our spring/summer mostly in pajamas. Now I have hopes of another comfy season at home, but just not spent in sleepwear. Time to raise our standards a little!

Every time I look at the calendar, I’m blown away that even the quiet days seem to disappear quickly. Summer never lasts forever. This fall will certainly bring change and new adventures. We are doing our best to prepare for them, but at the same time, we are savoring the fact that is still summer. There is still plenty of summer fun to be had!

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Prepping for the garage sale! The boys loved putting the little price stickers on all our items!

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First time making monkey bread! I was super nervous, but it turned out so good and yummy!

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We had to postpone a play date with a friend because they had the sniffles. Owen was able to video chat with them instead.

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We’ve never played with Facebook Messenger for video calling. The boys had so much fun with all the filters! Owen is the pizza face on the left!

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This trailer was the perfect spot for a getaway weekend!

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Vacay vibes! I brought cinnamon rolls to share and Maggie brought these awesome s’mores cookies!

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Beach Buddies 

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Such a happy place to be!

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Thankful for our years of friendship and that we were able to make this weekend happen – thanks to the help of our husbands. 

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Documented proof that my kiddos wore something other than play clothes or pajamas this summer! 

 

Life at the Beach July 3, 2018

Filed under: Family Time,Getting Creative,Travels — Amy Scott @ 2:27 pm

We have been incredibly blessed. We started June in Sunriver for the final day of our surprise vacation and we ended June at the beach with the Scott clan. Isn’t that simply amazing?

Before taking off for the beach, we had our first MOPS & MOMSnext summer activity which was an ice cream social at the church playground. It was a great way to kick off our vacation week. We came home dirty and sticky and while Jeremy gave the boys a bath, I packed our suitcase for the ocean.

The week at the beach was spent playing with the cousins and visiting our favorite places. We went to Fort Stevens on a drippy afternoon and explored in the rain. Not my usually MO, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. We went to Seaside and rode the carousal multiple times. I said we wouldn’t go to Tillamook since the Tillamook Creamery (used to be called the cheese factory) just opened a week ago and I didn’t want to deal with the crowds… but… Jeremy offered and I said yes with very little arm twisting. We explored the new creamery and I was relieved to see that the cheese factory viewing portion is the same as before and that brought some comfort to me. It still felt like the cheese factory I grew up visiting, but now it’s bigger and better. And the long drive to Tillamook made for an excellent nap time for two super tired little boys. It was a great week full of family fun and relaxation. Jeremy got to golf one morning and tried clamming for the first time. I read a few books. We ate at our favorite places – Mo’s & Pig’N’Pancake. What’s not to love about a week at the beach?

As you can imagine from my last post, we are still checking off summer family challenges left and right. The beach week allowed us to check off things like fly a kite, visit a state park and build a sand castle. This week we’ve made homemade lemonade and tried a new food (pickle flavored chips and blue corn tortilla chips). We’re also praying for our extended family members all this week and keeping up with the Bible reading challenges. Before we left for the beach, we sat down with a list of local and global missionaries. I took out our children’s atlas and showed the boys where the different missionaries were located around the world. Then as a family we prayed for them. We do bedtime prayers every night, but the summer family challenge as gotten us praying in new ways. We turned in our scorecard for June and I was happy to see that we completed 24 for challenges in June. I have at least 18 on the docket for July. By August, we’ll have almost all the challenges we can do completed. I’ll be real here… one of the challenges is no screen time for a week, another is no sugary snacks or drinks for a week – those challenges will not be completed. I’m afraid I would not survive. While I see the value in them, I need sugar and screen time to make it through the day (in moderation, of course, but let’s face it, a day without sugar is a day not worth living, haha, I’m kind of joking, but also not really).

I’m excited to see our July adventures unfold! See you all after the 4th of July! Enjoy the fireworks and family time!

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First craft completed from our Pinterest board! Painting fireworks with toilet paper tubes. 

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Enjoying a Star Wars themed birthday party 

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Summer Family Challenge – Water Balloon Fight

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Summer Family Challenge – Kids Make Dinner 

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For safety, the boys made PB & J sandwiches and toaster waffles for this challenge. They have no culinary skills yet. 

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Park Play Date with Auntie 

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MOPS & MOMSnext Ice Cream Social – love seeing families gathered to play and eat! :) 

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Praying for our missionaries around the world 

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The first day at the beach was windy… 

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It was also beautiful! 

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Visiting Fort Stevens – which is a state park. Check that off the summer family challenge! 

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Fort Stevens

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Sitting on the jetty watching the big waves come in

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Sitting on the jetty watching the big waves come in

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Graham really likes bacon these days… 

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Carousal Ride 

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Clamming for the first time. Jeremy is always game to try something new! 

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Trying to get a picture of all the grandkids with Nana & Papa is always an adventure. Poor Graham wasn’t feeling it. 

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Winning prizes at the arcade in Seaside (well, Jeremy won this, but don’t tell Owen. He thinks he did). 

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The Tillamook Creamery

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Owen woke up grumpy after a hard car nap. 

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Checking out new stuff in Tillamook 

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The power struggle for the cheese bus

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And the reason we came – ICE CREAM! 

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Jeremy came home from vacation and instantly started to assemble our new play set that was delivered on Saturday! He is so awesome! 

 

So Many Things August 22, 2017

I was just welcoming you to August. Now it’s almost over. Yikes. So this blogging thing. It’s getting harder. I’ve added a lot to my plate the last few months. It makes me sad that my blog isn’t as frequent as before. I love writing. It’s not even an option to give this up. For the few of you that read this blog, I’ll keep at it. I apologize for the gaps and delays.

Our week in Bend with the Scott Clan was fun. The kids had a great time playing together and all being under one roof. My kid didn’t sleep so awesome the first two nights, but the last night was amazing! Graham slept on the air mattress the whole night and didn’t end up in bed with us! Praise the Lord!!! Graham really enjoyed sharing a bed with his brother on this trip and when we came home he kept trying to go down for naps in Owen’s room. It was funny and sweet! The guys got a chance to go golfing together. The girls got a chance to get pedicures, do some window shopping and get lunch on the river. It was a refreshing time!

I’ve been working away on MOPS stuff. I’m feeling good about things. The ducks seem to be coming into a row. nicely I’m praising Jesus and believing for good things. We have one more MOPS summer park play date left. We already have ladies registering for the fall. YAY!

Books have been slower for me this month. When I took the first two weeks of August off, I knew it would mean a slower month. Truthfully, I’ve loved the lacked back pace. I’ve had two parties and did two shifts at a book booth at the SWW Fair. I’ve spent a lot of time building up my September, October, November calendar. It hasn’t been a wasted month by any means.

With less parties to prepare for I’ve been able to focus on other projects. I’ve been slowly collecting items to redecorate the boys’ bedrooms. I’ve happily snagged some great deals over the last few weeks and I feel like a complete plan is coming together for the bedrooms. Now to daydream about bathrooms and the master bedroom. We are supposed to see some action up at the property toward the end of this week or beginning of next week. I’m am anxiously awaiting the foundation being poured. I would do it myself if I could. I want to get going!!! Jeremy and I fully painted the well house and it looks awesome! Jeremy filled in all of the ditches we had dug for water and power. Here’s hoping my next update has pictures of the foundation! Let it be so, Jesus!

We’re also less than two months away from the boys’ birthdays, so I’ve been working on getting party invitations ordered and birthday details nailed down. I’m a planner. Don’t judge. I also started the boys’ yearly photo books last week. I have them up to date through August and formulated so I can easily add the last few pictures needed to complete the year. The books always end with the great birthday celebrations, so I’ll be able to print them soon enough. Just like blogging, making photo books makes my heart happy. Last year I did a little bit each month so it wasn’t too much work. This year I just did it all at one time. I had the time then and there so I thought why not get it done.

And that is about it… We watched the solar eclipse at Bethel with the staff. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t darker because the sun was 96% covered in Chehalis. On the flip side, I’m totally amazed that 4% of the sun could provide so much light. The temperature did drop. Owen got cold and asked for a coat. It was a neat experience, but not as strange as I thought it was going to be. I’m not a huge fan of crowds, but if I ever get a chance to see a total eclipse in the future, I might take it…

Oh and the Lucy Maud Montgomery summer continues! I read the Pat of Silver Bush series this month. I liked Pat more than I liked Emily Starr. I’ve enjoyed re-reading some of my favorite books, but also reading new ones this summer. I’m trying to decided if I will re-read A Tangled Web next or read for the first time Magic for Marigold. Or I might break from my Canadian friends and go down south with Jen Hatmaker to read her new release, Of Mess and Moxie. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I think that about sums up life. Vacation. MOPS. UBAM. House. Party Prep. Photo Books. Eclipse. Summer of LM Montgomery. Yep. Keeping the kids alive. Keeping up with my hubby. That’s my life! God is good and we keep moving forward and looking ahead!

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Bend 2017

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Painting the well house

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Checking in on Domino!

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Spray Park

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Playing the piano with Nana

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Brownie bakers!

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Visiting the fair. Graham was too short for the rides. Poor kiddo.

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Working up at the property!

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Backyard BBQ with the young families

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Watching the eclipse with Bethel Staff!

 

South Dakota Adventures April 7, 2016

Filed under: Family Time,Simply Me,Travels — Amy Scott @ 10:13 am

Last week our family took off for our first official road trip with the boys. Graham and Owen can now add Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota to the list of states they have visited. It was an eventful trip. Traveling 36 hours total with a two year old and a 5 month old is an adventure. Graham was a great traveler and slept a good portion of our time in the car. Owen gave us a dramatic start by throwing up twice on our way out of Ellensburg. Only 4 hours into our travels, we had to decide whether to take Owen home or keep going. Thankfully, Owen perked up and we were able to move forward. Our van smelled awesome though… For the first time ever we did laundry at a hotel. The car seat, puke clothes and Owen’s sleeping buddy, Lamby, all needed a good wash. We traveled with Jeremy’s brother and his family on the way to South Dakota, so while the laundry was going, we all went swimming. The best part of this trip for Owen was having cousins along for the ride. He enjoyed being a part of the kid pack. Graham got lots of love from the cousins as well. Our boys enjoyed the time with family.

Arriving at Grandma’s house in South Dakota felt strange. The siblings had gone through the house and cleared it out. The walls were bare of photos and knickknacks. In a way, it didn’t feel like Grandma’s house anymore… Grandma was the one person I knew that would greet you with kisses on the cheek. It was odd to not have her there to give us hugs and kisses upon arrival.We were only in South Dakota two full days. Friday had a early but quiet start. Graham got a 3 hour nap in the morning and then Owen got a nap in the afternoon. Jeremy took the boys and I out to lunch at Texas Roadhouse. We don’t have that restaurant in our area and they have yummy rolls! Bread is one of my love languages. Owen loved dancing to the loud country music they play. Friday night was a prayer service and Saturday was mass and the graveside burial. I’m honestly lacking words when it comes to describing all the emotions surrounding our time in South Dakota. We were blessed to spend time with family. It was special to take Owen and Graham to the place where Jeremy was born and spent his early childhood. There was exhaustion from messed up sleep schedules and sharing a bed with a toddler. There was the tension of keeping the kids quiet and happy during the services. Owen was a chatterbox during most of the services. It’s hard to focus on your kids and grieving at the same time. I was glad that we could make the trip. So often I try to label things as fun. I try to do fun outings with the kids, have fun family time. But this wasn’t a super fun trip. We had good moments and the kids did have fun. The weight of saying good-bye to Grandma always there. Also, road tripping as a parent of two little ones added a new dynamic. Last time we visited South Dakota, we didn’t have kids yet. This was a totally different experience.

Our plan was take the trip home in three days. We wanted to make the days in the car shorter. However, Owen, Graham and Jeremy all came down with a cough that was going around during our travels. Sunday night into Monday, Owen developed a fever. We woke up early on Monday and decided it was time to be home in our own beds. This lead to a 12+ hour day of the road. It was a bit crazy, but since the whole family was getting sick, it was the best choice. Now rest of the week as been spent with coughs and fevers. I am the only one who hasn’t gone down. I am either immune or I will be the last to go. I don’t feel awesome, but at least I am fever free and not hacking up a lung.

This trip was bittersweet and full of mixed emotions. I am glad we were able to go and I will remember this epic adventure for the rest of my life. Now we have another service this weekend for Jeremy’s Uncle Dan. I never expected that my first two weekends of April would be spent remembering passed loved ones. It’s an intense season. God is here and he is in each of these moments. Even though we are sad, we have peace, hope and joy in knowing that we will see these loved ones again.

 

 

 

Life at the Beach August 25, 2015

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood,Travels — Amy Scott @ 9:10 pm

We got back on Saturday from a beach vacation. It was the longest I’ve ever stayed at the beach. It was nice to have a slow pace. We had time to do everything we wanted and then some… sometimes multiple times! We ate way too much food and enjoyed some of our favorite things. There are so many highlights from our trip. It’s hard to figure out what to share without making this blog massive in length! The highlights for me included in eating at some of my favorite places like the Cannon Beach Bakery, Pig’N’Pancake and Mo’s. I enjoyed reading before bed every night and started/finished a book. We took multiple trips to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Owen got so familiar with the cheese factory that he actually directed us around to what he wanted to do while there because he knew where everything was. He developed a deep and passionate love for their Baby Loaf bus. If only we could install one in our backyard. We visited some historical sites like Fort Stevens and Fort Clatsop. We went to the beach multiple times. We did a drive out to Cape Meares Lighthouse and spent a lot of time throwing rocks in the water at Cape Lookout. Jeremy flew his kite and made a great fire on the beach for s’mores. Jeremy also got his shellfish license and went crabbing for the first time. Owen loved having Grandma & Grandma and Auntie & Uncle around to play with at all hours. Owen’s vocabulary expanded and he said many words over the course of the trip that I had never heard before. It was fun to see his mind keep up with his expanding circumstances. There was lots of talk about “wa-wa” and “ba boats”. It was a fantastic trip. Owen loved it and so did we. It’s been quite the adventure keeping up with Owen and seeing the world through his eyes. I’m sure vacations will only get more exciting as he explores the world and experiences things for the first time. I love being along for the ride!

First walk on the beach

First walk on the beach

Flying a kite

Flying a kite

Building a sand castle

Building a sand castle

Enjoying a windy night on the beach while making s'mores

Enjoying a windy night on the beach while making s’mores

Fort Stevens

Fort Stevens

Attempting to take a nap at Fort Clatsop

Attempting to take a nap at Fort Clatsop

Owen and Lamby at the Tillamook Cheese Factory

Owen and Lamby at the Tillamook Cheese Factory

Early morning beach walk with Daddy

Early morning beach walk with Daddy

Enjoying the view at Cape Meares

Enjoying the view at Cape Meares

Spending a day down south at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and shopping at the Lincoln City Outlets

Spending a day down south at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and shopping at the Lincoln City Outlets

Tide pools at Haystack Rock

Tide pools at Haystack Rock

Date Night

Date Night

Carousal ride in Seaside

Carousal ride in Seaside

Every trip to Tillamook wouldn't be complete with a ride in Owen's favorite "ba bus". He loves this bus deeply and with his whole heart.

Every trip to Tillamook wouldn’t be complete with a ride in Owen’s favorite “ba bus”. He loves this bus deeply and with his whole heart.

Crabbing with Daddy sure is exciting

Crabbing with Daddy sure is exciting

 

Owen’s First Camping Trip August 1, 2015

Filed under: Family Time,Parenthood,Travels — Amy Scott @ 6:05 pm
Loaded and ready to go! We packed the car to the brim, but Owen didn't seem to mind.

Loaded and ready to go! We packed the car to the brim, but Owen didn’t seem to mind.

Early Wednesday morning, we set off an adventure. Our destination was Crater Lake National Park. Jeremy and I had been planning a camping trip for this summer and up until a few days before we left, we assumed that we would go to our “usual” spots. Jeremy started to do a little research and got all excited about the possibility of going to Crater Lake. He had never been there and I remember it being a fun stop in my childhood. I was game to change the plan and explore a new campground. On the way down, we realized that was the farthest away from home both Owen and Toby have ever been. They handled the car time like champs and I was grateful.

Exploring our campsite

Exploring our campsite

There are so many details about this trip that I would love to share with you! I don’t want this to be a lengthy blog, so I will do my best to pare down the moments. First off, Owen loved looking at the lake. He kept calling it “ba boat”. There were a few boats in the water, but it didn’t matter if a boat was in sight or not, the lake was called “ba boat”. Owen loved the camping experience. He was a dirt ball the whole time and it was quite humorous. I knew he was going to be a mess, so I didn’t even let it phase me. Setting up the tent was a hot experience and not one that I enjoyed. Owen loved it when I inflated the air mattresses. He loved hanging in the tent. This was our first time using this tent even though we bought it last summer. It had plenty of space for the twin and queen air mattresses we brought and it had plenty of room for another family member in the future. We made a smart move when we got this tent.

Loving the tent and air mattresses

Loving the tent and air mattresses

One of the best parts of camping is the food. Owen enjoyed watching Jeremy make Jiffy Pop on the camp stove. He also loved the special treats we packed like Doritos, chocolate pudding cups, veggie straws and mini-donuts. I had a chance to make my favorite campfire pizza pockets and s’mores.

I was a little concerned about how Owen and Toby would do out camping together. Toby can be a cranky dog and I try to keep distance between the two. Toby did great with Owen. Toby hates camping and turned into a pathetic pile of a dog while we were out in the woods. He didn’t seem to have any interest into doing anything but looking sad. While I felt for him, I was glad to see that it made him very docile.

Owen looking at ba boat aka Crater Lake

Owen looking at ba boat aka Crater Lake

The real adventure came at bedtime. When we first got into the tent, I noticed that queen air mattress had deflated quite a bit over the afternoon. We added more air to it and then started a game of musical sleeping bags. Ideally, Jeremy and I would have slept on the queen together and Owen would have slept on the twin. This will be a goal for future trips as Owen gets older. The final arrangement ended up being Owen, Toby and I all on the queen air mattress with Jeremy on the twin. Getting Owen to sleep took some time, but around 11:00pm the tent was finally down for the night. Or so I thought… I woke up around 1:00am and realized that I was laying on the ground. Our air mattress was leaking air somewhere. I told Jeremy, who was also awake. Owen was sleeping through it all so I thought I would hold out. However, I couldn’t fall back asleep. Being pregnant and all, I get up and use the restroom a couple times a night. I was really trying not to do that while out camping, but after a couple hours of being awake in the middle of the night, I decided I had to go. This meant it was a family outing since Owen woke up when I tried to get up. Toby and Jeremy went and used the men’s room and Owen and I went into the ladies room… at 3:00am. Good times. We added more air to the mattress and got Owen settled back down. I think I was asleep sometime after 4:00am and woke up on the ground again around 6:00am. That put me at a grand total of 4ish hours of sleep… with my toddler plastered to me all night, sleeping on the ground and 27 weeks pregnant. Not the best sleep I’ve ever had. I was sore and tired the next morning.

Happily munching on camp food

Happily munching on camp food

Since the air mattress turned into such a giant pickle, we decided to pack up camp on Thursday morning. I was bummed, but I didn’t want to do another repeat night of sleeping on the ground. Owen slept so much better than I expected out camping. He didn’t mind at all that the air mattress deflated. Probably because he was sleeping more on me than the mattress itself. Hopefully next time will go better and we’ll be able to give him two nights out in nature.

Our plan for the day already included in a drive around the lake to the various lookout spots. After we got packed up, we did our drive and then left the park. It was a HOT day and we were amazed at the temperatures our car thermometer were showing. Since it was a 6 hour drive home, we had to make a couple stops for Owen and Toby to stretch their legs. However, the heat made these stops quick. Also, we couldn’t do anything indoors since we had the dog to think about. There was no way we could leave him in the car. Once we got just outside of Portland, we decided to skip the rush hour traffic and find a park to relax in for a while. We got some dinner, ate outside in the shade and then played in the spray park. Owen enjoyed the time out of the car and splashed away while we waited for traffic to clear. It was a nice way to break up the time in the car. Also, I think the water at the spray park did a good job of getting the layer of dirt off of Owen that he had developed while camping.

Overall, it was a good trip full of fun family memories. Even though we left early, we packed two days with tons of activity. I slept so hard Thursday night once we got home. It felt so good to sleep in my own bed. Friday, we went to breakfast together as a family and then went and returned our faulty air mattress since it was a brand new and recent purchase. Despite being home a day early, we still enjoyed our family time together, so it really felt like Friday was still an extension of our camping adventures. And that my friends is Owen’s first camping trip in a nutshell.

Owen loves popcorn so Jiffy Pop was a fun treat!

Owen loves popcorn so Jiffy Pop was a fun treat!

Love this boy!

Love this boy!

Dirty feet

Dirty feet

Just chilling

Just chilling

Getting in some snuggles with Toby

Getting in some snuggles with Toby

What a unique night we survived!

What a unique night we survived!

Hanging in the tent while we pack things up

Hanging in the tent while we pack things up

Loving the view of Crater Lake

Loving the view of Crater Lake

A very hot ride home! So glad for AC in the car!

A very hot ride home! So glad for AC in the car!

Dinner in the park

Dinner in the park

What a fun to stretch our legs and break up the long ride home

What a fun way to stretch our legs and break up the long ride home

 

Logging the Miles July 13, 2015

Filed under: Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 9:15 pm

In the last week, I’ve been all over the PNW. I didn’t really plan for that it happen. While I was putting all these events on the calender, I didn’t really pay attention to how close they would be. The week turned into a bunch of adventures. Life is never dull and traveling the countryside sure makes the days full (and fun).

Thursday, I went up to Tacoma to have Chick-fil-A with my friend, Jessica. She has come back from a year on the east coast where Chick-fil-A was a staple in her diet. It was interesting to explore a new venue since I hadn’t been to the Tacoma store yet. My meal was very tasty and I almost cried when I reached my last waffle fry. Note to self – upgrade to a larger fry next time! It was great to have some girl time with Jess and chat about life.

Tacoma Adventures with Jessica for some Chick-fil-A

Tacoma Adventures with Jessica for some Chick-fil-A

Friday, our little family took off to Portland for the Oregon Zoo. Our plan had been to do that earlier in the week, but the hot weather kept us from going. I’m glad we waited since our morning at the zoo was a mixture of clouds and sun. The animals were out enjoying the lower temperatures. We got to see a lot of them out and about which is always a treat. Owen loved the zoo this summer! He liked it last year, but it was exciting to see how much his enthusiasm has grown. We didn’t take a stroller in. Owen walked/ran through the whole park on his own two feet. I was surprised/impressed with how many animal names he could say and the sounds that accompanied them. He is a sponge right now for information and it’s neat to see him learning and making sense of this crazy world.

Loving our family time at the Oregon Zoo

Loving our family time at the Oregon Zoo

IMG_4263Sunday, Owen and I went up north of Seattle to celebrate the birthday of my best friend’s daughter. It was a long drive there and back, but totally worth it. I was glad that we got to celebrate Summer’s milestone birthday with her family. It was cute to see Owen and Summer interact. They hit it all right off the bat. Maggie and I joke about doing some matchmaking with those two and it seems like they are off to a promising start!

Maggie threw an adorble Pink Lemonade themed party for Summer's first birthday! What a special little lady!

Maggie threw an adorble Pink Lemonade themed party for Summer’s first birthday! What a special little lady!

Today, Owen and I went down south to visit Aunt Beckie and the cousins. With Nolan and Owen only being 5 weeks apart, it’s great to have built in buddies when it comes to cousins. The boys played hard. It was adorable to see them mimic each other and run around keeping up with one another. I got to have some snuggle time with my littlest nephew, Bennett, who woke up just before we left. Being an auntie is such a joy. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Play date with Nolan & Bennett

Play date with Nolan & Bennett

 

Off to Canada – Our Home Away from Home! March 16, 2015

Filed under: Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 12:43 pm

It’s crazy the amount of times that we’ve been to Canada. In a little over a year, we’ve been to the Vancouver BC area three times! Owen has been quite the international traveler. Now, I realized that we are half way through March and I haven’t posted any thing until now. Today’s update will be about our weekend up north and then hopefully my next post will be everything between now and my last February post.

I guess I should start of by saying that this trip was sort of a business trip for Jeremy. It developed very quickly. Jeremy came home from work on Wednesday at 5:00pm and asked if I would like to go to Vancouver to purchase an inflatable for our church the next day. Of course, it was Wednesday so we had church that night, but it was also the Pinewood Derby, so it was a big night, full of lots of action. It also meant a slightly later night for Jeremy since after the races he would stay to take the track apart and load it up into the van for return. I agreed to this crazy adventure. Before church, I got Owen packed and booked our hotel. After church, Jeremy and I packed for ourselves. We decided that since we would be up in the area, we would stay two nights to get the most out of the trip.

Thursday morning, we loaded up and took off up north. On the way, we stopped by the church that lent us their Pinewood Derby track and returned it. After that quick stop, I met up with my forever friend, Maggie, to have lunch with her and her daughter, Summer. Lunch turned into a bit of drama when Summer got freaked out by the people seated next to us and our waiter. We ended up leaving the restaurant and taking our food to go into the mall food court near by. Jeremy and Owen were eating lunch there so we joined them. I joked with Maggie that Summer and Owen were having a lunch date. We walked the mall and let Owen run out some energy before loading up and finishing the rest of the venture up north. I always get a little nervous at the border. It seems like the border patrol are trained in integration. However, our lady cracked a smile when we told her the grocery products we had the car where cheerios and graham crackers. Gotta love snacks for a one year old! We made good time into the country and met up with the inflatable guy. He pulled it out and Jeremy and Owen gave it good test. We were able to purchase to it and load it up. Oh, I should mention that yes, we drove around in a 15 passenger van for this whole trip! How else do you transport a derby track and an inflatable? Thursday night, we checked into our hotel room and then took off for Steveston Village for dinner. Steveston is one of my favorite places in the world and the location where they film my favorite show Once Upon A Time. As we drove into town we noticed a sign about filming happening and how there might be delays. The town as completely decked out as Storybrooke. All the signs and storefronts were set up. It turns out that OUAT had been filming there that afternoon and we missed them by just a few hours. Even though the cast wasn’t there, it was still cool to see the town all set up. We enjoyed dinner and walk on the boardwalk before heading back to the hotel. Bed time with Owen was a bit crazy. Owen isn’t fond of the Pack’n’Play, so we got a king bed knowing that he would bunk with us. He did this on our last vacation and it worked okay. This time, Owen was more mobile in the bed and treated me like a giant stuff animal. Sleeping with a hot, sweaty one year old breathing on you isn’t the best sleep, let me tell you.

Friday morning we took back off to Steveston to see if they might come back for more filming. Sadly, when we arrived, they were taking the signs down. We grabbed some breakfast and made a quick stop by Waves Coffee House. This was our favorite coffee place when we last visited and it didn’t disappoint this time as well. After Waves, we drove out to Fort Langley to check out another OUAT filming spot. From there, we drove into downtown to have lunch at Go Fish and enjoyed their yummy fish and chips. Then we wondered the children’s area of Granville Island and fed the birds by the pond. Owen was only getting short naps here and there, so his mood was a bit precarious and he wasn’t super interested in all the car time. We stopped by Costco and then back to our hotel to make a plan for the evening. We walked around a local mall and then took off looking for dinner. We ended up going through the A&W drive thru because Owen finally fell into a deep sleep and we didn’t want to wake him up. Once Owen woke up, we went to Safeway to get dessert as well as we stocked up on some our favorite Canadian foods.

Saturday morning, we made a breakfast stop at Waves and took off for the USA border. Jeremy was worried about getting stopped at the border because of the inflatable. The man who chatted with us at the border thought it was such a great idea for us to buy an inflatable and how practical it was since churches like ours use them at so many events. The border patrol thought that the inflatable was super cool and we had no hassle getting across the border! By far, we had the friendliest border patrol experiences on this trip. Once we were back in the states, we stopped at the Seattle Premium Outlets and had lunch at Olive Garden. From there it was back to the church to drop of our new investment and then head home! It was a great trip and a lot of fun. I love the Vancouver BC area and each time I visit I really enjoy my time there. It was a random, spur of the moment trip, but I’m glad we went. It was a blast!

Lunch with Maggie

Lunch with Maggie

Testing the bounce house

Testing the bounce house

Enjoying Steveston being set up like Storybrooke

Enjoying Steveston being set up like Storybrooke

Leading the way on the board walk

Leading the way on the board walk

Hanging at Waves

Hanging at Waves

Fish & Chips at Go Fish - Owen loved their french fries and the dog that sat near us.

Fish & Chips at Go Fish – Owen loved their french fries and the dog that sat near us.

Feeding the birds at Granville Island

Feeding the birds at Granville Island

Saying "Later Gator" to Canada

Saying “Later Gator” to Canada

Coloring fun at Olive Garden

Coloring fun at Olive Garden

 

12 Days Away – Part 3 September 23, 2014

Filed under: Family Time,Travels — Amy Scott @ 1:09 pm
On the ferry, heading to Nanaimo

On the ferry, heading to Nanaimo

Tuesday morning, we packed up our townhouse house and said good-bye to Steveston Village. It had been a great location, but we were off to see new territory! We were headed to Victoria! Because trips like this don’t come around everyday, my dad suggested that we see some of the Canadian countryside before we reached Victoria. We took a ferry to Nanaimo, which is north of Victoria, so we could spend some extra time exploring Vancouver Island. In Nanaimo, we had lunch at Tim Hortons where the guy at the counter asked Jeremy and I if we were from out of town. We replied yes, that we were from Washington State. He told he thought so because of our accents! Our accents! It was crazy to think that we had accents and we weren’t really all that far from home. That is one of the fun sides of visiting Canada. There are some many different languages and a diverse culture. It’s close to home, but it is different. After lunch, we went in search of some world famous Nanaimo bars. I had never heard of them before this trip, but my dad educated me on what Nanaimo bars are. They are a dessert treat with three layers. The bottom layer is like a brownie crust with coconut and nuts. The second layer in a coconut cream and the top layer is a fudge like chocolate. They are very rich and very tasty! We went to a couple different shops so we could compare and contrast Nanaimo bar recipes. These goodies are one of the highlights of Vancouver Island for me. I downloaded the recipe of the City of Nanaimo website. I plan on tackling my own version of Nanaimo bars in the near future!

Playing at Chapters with Grandma

Playing at Chapters with Grandma

We enjoyed the drive down to Vancouver. Part of the drive was along the water and very scenic. The trees were changing and it felt very much like autumn was at our doorstep. It was also interesting to drive through a few more towns we wouldn’t have had a chance to visit if we had gone straight to Victoria. We always point out the things are distinctly Canadian and then the things that remind us of home. We got into Victoria and I realized that the second half of our trip was going to be more of a downtown vibe. We got into our condo and settled in. We took off for a walk downtown for dinner and ended up The Cactus Club. Again, this a Canadian restaurant chain, so we had to try something new. The atmosphere wasn’t super baby friendly, but they ended up putting us really out of the way so we wouldn’t bother the other customers. Our waitress really took to Owen. At one point, my mom was walking with Owen around our table and the manager came up and asked if Owen would like a tour of the kitchen. Jeremy took Owen and they went off to explore behind the scenes with the manager. How cool is that? Once we finished dinner we explored a Chapters which is a bookstore much like Barnes and Noble. They have a great kids section and Owen discovered a love for Thomas the Tank Engine toys while we were there.

Trying to get a family photo at Butchart Gardens

Trying to get a family photo at Butchart Gardens

Wednesday, was one of my favorite days for outings! We spend the morning at Butchart Gardens. I’ve always wanted to go there so it was a bucket list type day. The gardens were beautiful! I would love to go back and see them in the different seasons. We saw pictures of the different seasons and I’m sure they are always gorgeous no matter what day of the year. I went into the gardens with the hope of getting a real good family shot of Owen, Jeremy and I. I figured this beautiful place was Christmas card worthy. Well… the best laid plans… Owen wasn’t too interested in smiling for the camera, so my ideal picture never happened. Oh well. It was a lovely place to look around. I hope to visit it again. It was definitely worth it! Oh, it’s also worth mentioning that Owen got his first carousel ride at the gardens. I can’t say he loved it. It got turning really fast and it freaked him out… But it was a noteworthy first. Jeremy, grandma and I all rode the carousel with Owen. It’s been probably a decade plus since I’ve been one. Next time I think I’ll just take pictures like my dad!

Touring the Parliament Building

Touring the Parliament Building

We got some lunch and made a quick trip to Costco to get dinner supplies before heading back to the condo. From the condo we walked downtown and took a tour of the Parliament Building. Since I’m not too familiar with the Canadian government, it was a very educational tour and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The fun part of the tour was Jeremy was able to get Owen to fall asleep in the baby carrier. Everyone thought it was so adorable to see this passed out little guy on the tour. I think it was the first time the tour guide had put anyone to sleep while talking! We enjoyed dinner back at the condo before we set off again to check out some Canadian stores we were curious about – Canadian Tire (which sells way more than just tires) and Home Sense (a Canadian version of Home Goods).

Date night in Victoria

Date night in Victoria

Thursday was our last full day in Victoria. We visited a local coffee chain called Serious Coffee. Over the course of the trip, we visited three Canadian coffee chains – Waves, Blenz and Serious Coffee. I think Waves won for as the favorite. They had the best hot chocolate and the best atmosphere of the three. Serious Coffee was my runner up. Jeremy got a maple latte or a maple macchiato every where we went! Very Canadian! Once we had our warm beverages, we were off to Craigdarroch Castle. It’s a huge mansion that looks out over Victoria. It was certainly interesting to learn about the Dunsmuir family that live there originally. The castle has been used for may purposes like a military hospital, a college and a music conservatory. The rooms are filled with period pieces and lots of history. The lighting is super dim throughout the castle, so it made it feel a bit eery! We left the castle in search of a nap for Owen and lunch. We decided on a place called The Noodle Box which gave huge servings of noodles. The afternoon was spent looking around Chinatown and few more downtown locations. Thursday night, my parent’s watched Owen so that Jeremy and I could go out to dinner just the two of us. After many meals of trying to balance Owen on our laps and his happiness in restaurants, it was nice to eat a meal without worrying about him. Jeremy and I walked down to the wharf and enjoyed dinner a place called Red Fish Blue Fish. I was very similar to Go Fish in Vancouver. It was a great outdoor eating spot and I didn’t mind that we got sprinkled on by a light rain. We went souvenir shopping after we finished our meal. Then it was time to head back to the condo and pack up for home!

Friday, we loaded up, hit Serious Coffee and went to the ferry terminal. It was interesting to see that if you take a ferry back into the US, they check your information at departure and arrival. We were grateful to back on Washington soil. The drive home went quicker than I expected and Owen slept almost the entire way. It was a great trip full of fun memories and family moments. It was great to get to spend more time exploring the Vancouver area and Victoria has long been on my list of places to visit. I am, however, grateful to sleeping in my own bed again and getting Owen back to some form of routine! Plus, our little bed bug is back in his room and sleeping a lot better now that we’re home. A sleeping baby is a baby is a happy baby in my book and happy baby equals a happy mommy. We love being international travelers, but we love being homebodies just as much!

Nanaimo bars!

Nanaimo bars!

Visiting new places!

Visiting new places!

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

2 Story Walmart! It was huge!

2 Story Walmart! It was huge!

Craigdorroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle

Watching a highlight video of our trip

Watching a highlight video of our trip

On the ferry, heading home!

On the ferry, heading home!