Showing posts with label field trip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label field trip. Show all posts

Monday, December 9, 2013

DPP // 9

This float is from the little Dutch community of Lynden's Sinterklaas parade. Everything is lit up, and we literally hopped from one free food stand to the next. It was a fun night! Included with freezing temperatures were free: hot chocolate, bowls of soup, popcorn, donuts, sliders, candy canes, and cookies. These small towns know how to celebrate!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

28 Before 29: Fish n' Chips, Ride a Ferry, and crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge

This is just one of the beautiful views you'll take in if you ever find yourself at the Capilano Suspension Bridge park. You'll want to check out that nice website, and see the incredible aerial view atop of the 450 foot- long bridge. Since marrying a Canadian eight years ago, something I've always wanted to see in his home area is the Capilano Bridge. Lucky me, a year or two before, they install two more attractions to the park: the incredible Cliff Walk (what?!) and Treetop Adventure. When my mom and step-dad came up to Washington this summer, she was gung-ho to go to this bridge, which she'd seen in a book some years before. 

I, of course, was game! It was, after all, on my 28 Before 29 list...

As we led up to the day we spent here in North Vancouver, I wondered how this would work. My mom has always been afraid of heights, and this was her idea. I have never been afraid of heights, but I'm no adrenaline junkie, either.

This bridge is huge. It's over 450 feet across, and probably about five feet wide. There are hundreds of people crossing it at once, and it wobbles a lot. The entire time you're on it, it's swaying, rocking, and otherwise moving. I don't know that my pictures can fully give it justice (seriously, check out the site already) but it is just incredible. The first time I went over, I couldn't even look down. I had to completely focus on just getting across. My legs felt like they were going to give out, and looking down was proving to be a little too much for me...and I'm not afraid of heights! 

There were many people who were there who were, I think, trying to get over their fear of heights, because some were grey, moaning or yelling out with each wobble, and going slow enough that a turtle could have beat them across--assuming it didn't lop off the side! My mom, on the other hand--loved it. Go figure. 

There is enough to do, see, and learn to spend an entire day in the park. It's quite an expensive tourist location, so if you shell out the money, you want to plan on being there for at least 4-5 hours. I don't even know which was my favorite thing--the cliff walk or the bridge. Both were pretty incredible. The cliff walk was highly monitored, they'd only let a few people on at one time. A massive anchor has been drilled into the side of the mountain, and you're walking in an arc shape 250 feet above the ground, on glass. It was such a fun experience! 

Don't think too much about what you're seeing. If you're anything like me, this just gives heart palpitations seeing how little the kids are, and how big of a drop is straight underneath!

Here is a side view of the massive anchor that is drilled into the cliff. If you're interested in the engineering feat, watch this video to see how it was done. 

Over this week off, we explored so many different spots and had quite a few adventures. Although I don't have the photographic evidence, I can now cross off "eat fish n'chips" (I hate fish) and "ride a ferry". We took a large ferry (you know, the kind where you and a hundred other people drive their cars onto it...) to Victoria for the weekend. Stefan, the kids, and I ate at Pajo's and I actually liked the fish n'chips. The poutine didn't hurt, either! I'm not buying any canned tuna anytime soon, but I overcame my fear of smelly and gag-inducing fish and I liked it!

Have you ever been to a location where your jaw dropped and you couldn't fathom the workings of it? Where was it? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Catching Up: 28th Birthday Celebration

To celebrate my birthday in our new location, Stefan, the kids, and I had a great day doing things that I loved to do, including a hike at Mount Seymour. We went out for about an hour and a half, I believe, gauging how well the kids would do on their first hike here. It was a beautiful day, and although it's a long drive (about 60 minutes), it was of course worth it. The trails are challenging for the kids' levels, and they loved having to climb over large trees and through little streams that were 'in the way'.  

Sometimes our kids complain about going out for a hike, but Ani is a little worker bee and once we're on the trail there are no complaints coming from her. She is quite focused on her task for her age (4), and we're super proud of her work ethic. I'm not sure why Lukka is so contrary, but apparently he got the best of both of us to form one rebellious child. Every time we go out for a family excursion we always hear "no! I don't want to!" and it takes him awhile to get warmed up. Once we're about 15 minutes in, every time, he is enjoying himself, finding walking sticks for himself and his sister, and doesn't want to leave. 

Since we don't take a trip up to North Van or Vancouver very often, maybe once a month, we want to enjoy it for the full day since it's a lot of driving. The view above and the few pictures below are where we spent the afternoon, at Kitsilano Beach, which is right in the heart of Vancouver. Of course this being March, there were no swimmers, but there were a lot of people at the park and on the beach because it was so nice and sunny. It was really fun to just lay on the sand for an hour while the kids happily played nearby. 

This whole area is so stimulating to me, because there are views here that I've just never been around for any long length of time. There are mountains in one direction, ocean water all around, and huge cities that you jump every time you get back on the freeway. I get confused on which is which, because all the cities are so bunched together up here. It's hard for me to know when one ends and the other begins, but I believe the above picture is a view of North Vancouver. The one below (I think) is Vancouver metro. 

This is a view of Kits beach while we're walking on the nice seawall. Not to be confused with the other Seawall at Stanley Park, it encloses a huge public pool that is open during the summer. I didn't get a picture of that (it was empty and needed cleaning before the season starts up) but it looked like a really fun place to go to someday. The kids could not understand why the pool wasn't open when it was sunny out!

Two other things we had planned for the day were me getting an hour to spend by myself at my favorite store, Anthropologie and spending my generous birthday gift card (thanks, Mom M.!) and also eating at our family's favorite spot, Chipotle. There are only 2 Chipotles remotely close to us, one in Seattle (1.5 hours away) and one in Vancouver. We thought we'd fit it in while we were up here for lunch. Surprise, surprise, the liberal Canadian population were celebrating Good Friday that day by closing up shop! What? We were so bummed, but right next door was an A&W, and after a hike, we were starving. Of course, A&Ws are always a good fix for me because I can get the Canadian savory dish poutine.  My birthday, after all....

We go somewhere fun almost every weekend, and I take tons of pictures. The landscape up here is just unbeatable. It's why people pay so much for gas, groceries, and housing. It's breathtaking to see the mountains and the ocean meet. There are trees all around; it's so lush. 
I'll try to post a lot more in the next week or so, trying to catch up with the picture-sharing of all our little day trips. You don't stay inside for long here on the weekends. There is just too much to see and do!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Ride Around Stanley Park's Seawall

 Every weekend, Stefan and I try to plan one 'outdoor adventure' with the kids, so that we're getting exercise, seeing the local areas, and helping our kids enjoy the same. Last weekend was one of my favorite. We decided to spend the day in Canada, packed a dinner, and headed with the kids, bikes, and water bottles up to Vancouver's Stanley Park. Stanley Park is similar to New York City's Central Park in that in the middle of a huge metropolis, it's a fully green space. It has walking and biking trails, multiple jungle gyms, a swimming pool, multiple large beaches that meet the water, tennis, lawn bowling, and I believe golf areas, too. It's 5.75 miles around the perimeter, and that dual (bikes on 'top', walkers, and runners on 'bottom) route is called the Seawall, because it borders the ocean the whole way around. 

 Here's a view in the shade. This is actual a walking area, where bikers have to dismount and walk their bikes to the next area. There are a few of these around, and it's mostly because they are main entrances, where there could be tons of people exiting or entering the Seawall, and on busy days, it's really smart they have the bikers do this. It avoids a lot of accidents. 

Here is a view of the Lion's Gate bridge, which crosses Vancouver into North Van and West Van, and further north, the mountains. It opened in 1938 and one can tell if you cross it. It's three lanes, for heavy traffic. That's not three lanes per side, that's three lanes, period. One side always gets only one lane determined by traffic flow, accidents, and what not. We've been stuck on that bridge for an hour once, and it wasn't fun. It looks pretty, but it's inefficient and maddening to wait in traffic for over an hour just to cross a bridge. 

Here's a view of one of the beaches where sunbathers and children swimming and kite-flying were enjoying their Saturday morning. The day we went was one of the warmest days of the year so far, and I got a bad sunburn on my back from biking. This beach is not representant of just how many people were in Stanley Park the day we were there. Within the 5.75 miles, we saw over 1,000 people riding, roller blading, running or walking, sunbathing, or long-boarding. It was amazing. Everyone was out enjoying the sunshine. 
My pictures just don't do this park justice, since the views all the way around are just spectacular, especially on a clear day like this. The mountains, the ocean (the sailboats all lined up!), and the sunshine make for a perfect day in my eyes. Lukka even used his tiny little bike to go all the way around along with us, and boy was he tired after that!

This top view is actually outside of the park, as we biked through downtown Vancouver to go to one of our favorite places--Chipotle which is about 2 miles away. Biking is the way to travel through downtown Vancouver, since you don't have to pay for parking and they have amazing, protected bike lanes complete with bike traffic lights. On this site you can see a picture that shows what their protected bike lanes look like, in green. As an aside, everything is more expensive in Canada, even Chipotle, where a burrito set us back $9 instead of the usual $6.75! 

Here's another spot where bikers had to get off (you can see the green sign in the back, showing that this was an entrance to the beach, so bikers dismount) and so we stopped in the shade to cool off and snap a couple of photos. It was such a fun day--probably my favorite so far. We went on to spend the evening eating our packed dinner with some friends at Crescent Beach and walking along the trail there before heading back to Blaine. A perfect day to spend in the sun, with some of the best views around!

Friday, July 27, 2012

{This Moment}

One of my favorite pictures of her, ever. Messy hair, slight stink face, and sunglasses that are just a peek into her personal style. This was on the drive home from camping at Indian Cave State Park. 

  Join others remembering a favorite moment from the week. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prairie Land Dairy Day 2012

 For the last three years our family has loved going out to PrairieLand Dairy's huge carnival in Firth, Nebraska. It always amazes me how much time, money, and energy go into making this day a success. There are volunteers all over the farm either serving food, helping with the petting zoo, leading tours, or helping people with directions. There are 6 buses that run continuously the entire day, shuttling people from a high school to the farm, and back. Literally every 5 minutes a bus leaves! They must have at least a couple thousand people come out, and it seems bigger every year. The food is great (chips, shredded beef burgers, carrots, and ice cold Chocolate, Strawberry, or 2% milk, and then Ice Cream!), there are tons of things for kids to do, and the farm tour is always interesting. 
Here are Ani and Lukka (and dad taking the picture) inside the haybale maze/mountain. Pretty fun!
 Here is a smaller green house of theirs, where they have loads of their own composted soil for kids (of all ages ;) to play in, burying vegetables, and digging them up again. 
 Here is one of the 4 'corn boxes', where instead of a sand box, it's all corn kernals. The kids LOVED this and could have easily stayed all day. Definitely a fun time for any kid who loves putting their hand in the bulk food bins! 
Every year we are prepared. The morning of the Dairy Day, it poured in Lincoln, so I knew it would be muddy out in Firth. And come on! It's a farm! You should always be prepared for mud out on a farm. Here's a shot of my boots that came in handy out there. If you're local and you ever head out--don't wear flip flops or good shoes. They will get ruined, I promise. Mud, straw (itches and can hurt little feet in flip flops), and general farm goo will get all over your feet, or prevent you from getting dirty and having fun. Take your boots!~