As I was trying to get together with my best high school friends in CA, one of them said she couldn't make it because she was going to be in Seattle. That's funny, that's where we are going! Turns out her trip overlapped with our trip by a few days. Hooray!! We met up with Julie at the closest breakfast joint I could find. So glad we could catch up!
We said good-bye to Deanna (for today) in Seattle and drove to Lake Stevens to visit with Granddad Bruce (Clay's dad) & Grandma Kris at their brand-new house. Kris had a great project for the girls to work on -a vertical planter.
This is the LARGEST building in the world. I couldn't even fit it all in the camera view from a mile away. We couldn't take pictures inside, but imagine being inside a building where 747 airplanes are lined up side by side and look small. They told us that Disneyland would fit inside with room to spare.
This new 787 was being taken up for its first flight.
The Dreamlifter is a converted 747 that they use to transport sections of the 787 from the South Carolina factory up to Everett, WA for final assembly.
After the tour, we had dinner with Bruce & Kris and then drove up to Bellingham to hang out with Clay's sister, Kerry, and her family.
This morning we flew up to Seattle, WA. Clay's mom, Deanna, picked us up at the airport. She took us up to Capital Hill and Volunteer Park. The girls loved the chance to run around the playground.
There was this HUGE crazy looking tree.
Just up from the park was the Conservatory. A very cool looking building. Unfortunately, it was closed on Mondays. Maybe next time we visit.
We had lunch at mexican restaurant. We were very surprised when they said Chips & Salsa cost $8. What?? A mexican place that doesn't offer free chips & salsa? Our waitress said that was normal. We most definitely disagree.
After our disappointing lunch we drove down to the harbor. Doesn't that ferris wheel look cool? It looked cool, but the price was too high for all of us. So we watched the jellyfish in the water for free. Then we went inside the fun center to ride the carousel and play games.
The best breakfast food is found at King's Hawaiian Restaurant in Torrance, CA.
I'm sure you've seen those packages of King's Hawaiian sweet rolls at the grocery store. Their bakery is in southern California. And they have just one restaurant, which happens to be walking distance from my parent's house. Now picture that nice round loaf of sweet bread turned into french toast topped with powdered sugar. Serve that up with maple or coconut syrup and sides of eggs, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. Wash it all down with a glass of P.O.G. (passion, orange, guava juice). So good! Well, I didn't say it was good for you, but it's definitely good on the palate.
My family! (missing my brother & family in Shanghai, nephew on a mission, and other brother & wife)
After breakfast we walked to Hickory Park. This awesome playground was just outside my elementary school fence. So much cooler than the playground on campus. The very old rocket ship is still there and still the best feature. We hung out in the shade while the kids played for more than an hour.
After we said goodbye to my sister and her family, we borrowed my parents car to drive down to Orange County to meet some friends from high school. The girls jumped in the back seat. They soon were asking us what that thing on the door was for. Puzzled we turned to look at what they were talking about.
It was the hand crank to roll down the window!
Yes, the girls have grown up in an era of automatic windows.
Emma laughed and laughed as she rolled the window up and down.
We decided to meet up with my friends at a park so that all the kids could play. There were a lot of kids between us! My best friends Rachel and Cathy, and our families.
Clay flew in on Friday to join us for the rest of our family vacation. It was a beautiful day and we decided to go walk around Venice Beach.
Here my sisters and I are having a good laugh trying to be taller than each other.
There was a fun playground that the girls enjoyed.
We walked by Muscle Beach, but there wasn't much going on there at the time.
There was also this really cool skate board park. We stopped and watch some really talented kids.
Walking by the shops in Venice Beach is not for the faint of heart.
There are all sorts of smells and sights that you don't find in quiet suburbia. The girls were a bit dumbstruck. But not so much that they couldn't find voice to a few questions that took quite a bit of care to explain. One of the most numerous shops was the Green Doctors. For just $40 you can get legalized medicinal marijuana. All you have to do is give them an excuse by admitting to any number of maladies. Just for fun, Clay and Layne went over to see what kind of questions they asked to qualify for a medical need. When they came back Clay triumphantly announced, "Heidi you would qualify with just the first few questions!" Nice.
Now, just take a moment to contrast the craziness of the Venice Beach Walk with the beautiful and peaceful scene of the Venice canals just a few blocks away. I didn't even know these existed!
I would love to own one of these homes! But I'm not sure I would want to live so close to the crazy stuff.
Back to walking along the beach.
Apparently this is the World's smallest front yard. I haven't verified it.
We were mesmerised by this bird's nest/treehouse home.
The cousins liked this purple house.
In Venice Beach you can also find mounted police.
Emma loved this pink mustache. Well, except that it was pink. Any other color and she probably would have bought it. We even saw a few cars with giant fuzzy pink mustaches on the front. Turns out it's a ride sharing service. You can request a ride through an app on your phone. www.lyft.me