Sunday, November 22, 2015

Project Life - Week 33

Welcome to Project Life 2015! If you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you will stay a while. I'm Jessica, wife to Juan, mommy to 3 year old Maddie. I am also an electrical engineer by day and I am participating in Project Life, a different way to record our lives by taking one photo a day. This was inspired by the fabulous Becky Higgins.

I am using a digital kit on Shutterfly. This digital version is SUPER easy to use! See my completed pages for 2012 using the Shutterfly - Project Life Turquoise Edition HERE and my 2013 album using the Shutterfly - Project Life Childhood - Mayfield Edition HERE I will hopefully be posting my 2014 pages soon.

And finally, my POTW (pictures of the week) - 

Friday - Maddie and I got hair cuts today at Mrs. Tu's. Maddie does great and is always excited to get a lollipop after her hair cut.

Saturday - Vanessa volunteered her classroom to make paper mache dinosaur eggs for Maddie's birthday party. We did not think about how long it would take them to dry. We did 2-3 coats and they still don't feel real solid. We left them overnight to completely dry. I ran out to grab lunch and Mom and Vanessa had the bright idea to put them outside to dry. They started rolling all over and popping! I think we ended up with 26 eggs. Now all we have to do is cut the flap, spray paint them, and fill them with goodies.

Monday - Day 1 of our Washington Vacation. We flew out of DFW to Portland on American. It was the first flight that Maddie remembers. She was so excited to be on a plane and did fabulous. The rental car place was a nightmare and took almost an hour to get our car. They tried to charge us all sorts of extra charges. We drove to Mount St. Helens, about 2 hours to the Visitors Center (elev. 500'). We had lunch at Fire Mountain Grille overlooking the volcano. We stopped along the way at multiple observation points. We finally reached the Johnston Ridge Observatory (elev. 4200'). The Observatory was pretty neat and even had a seismograph machine that you jumped on and it created a seismic print off for you take home.  After exploring the visitor's center, we started the Boundary Trail hike. We only hiked out about 1/2 mile to the view of the lake and then returned. We promised Maddie if she did good on the hike she could return to the visitor's center and buy a stuffed fox. She did well on the hike, so we returned to get her fox. When we were paying I saw they had a Jr. Ranger program, so Maddie completed it and got a badge for her hiking vest. We drove back down the volcano and then on to the Best Western Plus in Chehalis. We were exhausted so we just ordered Quiznos and had it delivered to our room.   


Tuesday - Day 2 of our Washington vacation. After breakfast at the Best Western, we headed out to Lake Quinault Lodge. The lodge was built in 1926 and is in Olympic National Park. Our check-in time was not until 4pm so we headed out on a couple of hikes. We started with the Big Cedar Tree Tail (1/4 mile). This trail led to the largest Western Red Cedar in the world and is Washington state's largest tree. It is also the largest in the world outside California. It has a 63.5' circumference, a 19.5' diameter, and is 174' tall. We then headed around the North Shore of the lake to the Maple Glade Rain Forest Trail. This was a 1/2 mile trail. The ranger station was closed and the trail was pretty deserted. There were postings about bears and such, so we only hiked about 1/10 mile in and then changed our mind and headed back. Something just told us it was the right decision. The drive around the lake was much farther than we estimated, on a dirt road, often only a single lane. Once we circled the lake we headed to the Rain Forest Nature Trail Loop (1/2 mile). Maddie learned all about how a rain forest grows, sword ferns, and lots of other plants. It was a neat little hike. Then we continued on to the World's largest Sitka Spruce tree. This was only about 1200' but was very cool. The tree is over 1000 years old and is Washington state's 3rd largest tree. It has a 55'-7" circumference, a 17.68' diameter, and 191' tall. It was too tall to even get the entire tree in the photo. Maddie also used this trail to complete her BINGO hike and get her Mt. Ranier Junior Ranger badge. We headed to the lodge, our room was nice and comfy with a sliding door and private balcony overlooking the lake. It was a GORGEOUS view. There were people sunning and swimming - it reminded me of a summer lodge scene from the 60's. Maddie immediately wanted to swim so we changed and headed out. The water was really cold, but Maddie had a BLAST. She used her goggles and swam under water over and over. My underwater camera worked fabulous and she loved swimming towards the camera. After the lake, Daddy wanted to go swim in the heated pool. Maddie jumped in to us over and over. We showered and dressed for dinner at the Roosevelt Dining Room. It was just ok. Our server was pretty lax. Then we were exhausted and headed off to bed.

Wednesday - Day 3 of our Washington vacation. We headed out early and stopped along the coast at Kalaloche Lodge for breakfast. It was DELICIOUS. I had the eggs benedict with crab and Juan had the smoked salmon hash. It was easily the best breakfast of the trip. Then we continued along the coast to Ruby Beach. Maddie was SOOOO excited to see the ocean and play in the sand. She instantly dropped down and stuck her hands in the wet sand. She also immediately began collecting all sorts of shells and rocks. We were examining a gooey substance and I later realized that she was picking up tiny pieces of jelly fish. Daddy immediately took off his shoes, but Maddie and I left ours on since there were so many jelly fish everywhere. Maddie loved digging in the sand. It was time to go all too soon and Maddie did not want to leave. When we returned to the rental car we realized it was completely dead. It wouldn't turn over at all, although Juan swore it was not the battery. We began to call the rental car agency and soon realized there was no service (barely any at all) and both our phones were almost out of power. It took us over an hour to get them to send someone out and then the closest town was over an hour away. When the tow truck finally arrived, they jumped us and everything seemed to be running fine. Almost 3 hours after we realized the battery was dead we were finally on the road. That definitely altered our plans for the day. We headed to Forks and went to the Forks Timber Museum. Then we headed up to Hurricane Ridge visitor center. The hour drive up was beautiful. At the top we hiked part of the Big Meadow Trail, about 1/4 mile and saw a lot of deer grazing in the meadows. We spent the night at a Days Inn in Port Angeles. Good thing it was only for one night, it was not the best place to stay by far.

Thanks for visiting!