Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Part 6 Vacation 2017

On July 3, in Vancouver, we boarded a Norwegian cruise ship bound for Alaska! Mia met Olivia within the first hour and they were fast friends for the entire trip.

They swam on this first day and that was it. Some people were brave enough to swim on other days but we don't do that when it's in the 60's, except in La Quinta when we heat the pool to 90!

We also did a little line dancing.

The next day was our  first full dyad it was a day at sea so we took a balloon making class.

We also watched the professional ice carver make the head of the Statue of Liberty! After all, it was July 4th! We were a little disappointed that there weren't many activities going on to celebrate but I would say less than 50% of the passengers were American.

The girls loved the buffet. After a few days, we developed a routine. We would take them to the buffet when the kids club was closed. Then when it opened back up we would check them in and meet Olivia's parents for a nice sit down meal at the restaurant. Afterwards, we would head to the bar for an after dinner drink and then pick up the girls and go to bed. We have had some really good times with people we have met on cruises!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Part 5 Vacation 2017

After we left Grass Valley we made the last leg of our road trip. We drove to Ashland, Oregon and spent the night in a very mid-century modern hotel which had been kept up so well. No pictures, you will have to use your imagination. In the morning we headed for Great Wolf Lodge in Tacoma, Washington. If you ask Mia, this was the highlight of the trip.

Just a couple of wolves...

We thought this would be a fun place because of the water park, but the Magiquest game, which is like a scavenger hunt, stole the show! Mia played and played and played it, with Dan racking up 27,000 steps on his Apple watch helping her out. We had to force her to go to the water park the next day!

Mike and Donna joined us for dinner the first night.

More wolves...can you tell they like this place?

We were there too.

Greg and Beth joined us the next day and we spent it at the water park. I have no pictures because I didn't bring my phone with me. It was fun to see Paige having so much fun! They spent the night too. The next day we stopped by to see the house they just moved into (and to do some laundry).

Paige's room is hilarious. These shells and starfish are actually glued to the walls.

The pink blow up dolphin adds a special touch. Obviously, they will be renovating the house some day!

They now have a yard big and safe enough for the kids to play in.

Built in garden beds!

Anna and Chase having some quiet time together. The crazy ones were running around the house.

Paige got this book to help her reach things on the refrigerator. Hahaha....

We so loved seeing them and their new house! 

We spent that night in Bellingham and then the next night in Vancouver to get ready to board our cruise! We missed the 150th birthday of Canada by one day (of course, we had no idea about this) and we were staying where all the festivities were (the day before). No wonder our hotel in Vancouver was ridiculously expensive!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Part 4 Vacation 2017

We left Sequoia National Forest and went to Grass Valley to visit Aunt Helen and Uncle Bob. The girls had never been there and Dan hadn't been there for 17 years!

They first moved there in 1975 so I went several times during high school. We also took our older children there many times growing up.  The tractor ride was always a hit.

The next day Mia was allowed to drive the tractor. I got video of that, but not a still picture.

The pond is always a favorite. We saw some fish and frogs. The girls spent a lot time playing there. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of their lab puppy, Sheba! Mia played with her for hours!

On the second day we went mini golfing and go cart racing. It was super fun!

We had the track pretty much to ourselves!

It was a great visit with some delicious dinners and conversations. The weather was beautiful the whole time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Aunt Helen's 80th Birthday!

Another post which I will move later.

After I left Beth's house I took a little detour before going home to stop at Aunt Helen's house in Grass Valley for her surprise 80th birthday party.

Dar and Sean picked me up at the airport and we got there early to help with the set-up. So we had plenty of time to goof around with these picture frames.

Aunt Helen's house is a place we have all gone on vacations to since 1975 when they first moved there. I remember my cousins swimming in this pond back then. I wouldn't go in because it had snakes.

Aunt Helen knew something was going on but she was pretty surprised at the amount of people that were there! All her children, grandchildren and the five of us nieces and nephews were there and that truly surprised her as we had all called that morning to wish her a happy birthday from our "homes".

After most of the people had gone home, she opened this gift from the five of us. We wanted to do something special for her as she has always been like a second mother to us. Now she really is our mom!

Eighty things we love about you Aunt Helen!

And there was still enough light for a family picture!

Roland and his kids on the left, us on the right. Dan would have liked to come but someone had to watch the kiddos!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chase is Born!

Yikes!  This is what happens when you don't blog regularly! And when blogger stops linking all your pictures! I missed three weeks of pictures that did not show up in the blogger link, Aunt Helen's 80th, Chases' "birth"day, two hikes and fun in the kitchen with Maks and Anna. I will have to post now and move these to the right dates later.

On April 8, little Chase came into the world! It was a much better labor and delivery for Beth. Is full name is Chase Kenneth Martin. Again, both families have the same family name.  He has been a very easy baby!

Three weeks later I got to visit him and his big sister! I had fun playing with Paige!

My favorite pictures are always those taken from behind children. I don't know why!

With a park across the street, it was easy to get some outdoor time in!

This guy pretty much did this the whole time.

One last pic of Paige on my way out in the morning! Proof that she does sleep!

So happy I got to help just a little bit.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Part 3 Vacation 2017

We only had one full day in Sequoia National Forest so we decided to make the most of it. Early in the morning we drove to Moro Rock. We stopped and took a few pictures of the giant trees on the way.

They truly are magnificent!

Moro rock is a huge granite formation. We hiked up to the summit. It was another height challenge for me! 

But the view was amazing!

Neither Mia, Anna or Dan have any fear of heights.

Next we went to the fallen tree you can drive through, but not in the summer. Too many tourists! But we walked through it.

And Mia climbed up on top. She is standing on the roots here!

Then she helped Anna up.

Our next stop was crescent meadow which we took a nice hike around. It was gorgeous.

We did all that in the morning! In the afternoon, we decided to spend the afternoon swimming at Sandy Cove, Hume Lake. Dan and I didn't go swimming, but the girls had fun.

Especially when they invited themselves onto someone else's boat!

Let's just say we all slept well that night!