Friday, August 29, 2008

At the Zoo

We took Jaxon to the Zoo today, since Tim got the day off from work for a four day Labour Day Long weekend. We got the zoo early (right when it opened) so we could see all the animals before it got too crowded. The Calgary Zoo also has a prehistoric park, which we went to first. Here is Jaxon and Tim posing in front of the Anklyosaurus.Jaxon was a big boy and walked the majority of the way around the prehistoric park. He only got freaked out a couple of times by the dinosaurs.

Here is Jaxon outside the elephant house. The baby elephant was being bottle fed while we were inside. Jaxon enjoyed all the animals and would point and squeal whenever he saw something new.
Eventually Jaxon got tired and wanted to go in his stroller. But he was still excited to be at the zoo, as you can see by his excited grin.
Jaxon holds his breath so as not to wake the tigers who were sleeping in their cage. It was a good day at the zoo. The weather was nice and Jaxon was a good boy most of the time. We threatened to throw him in with the bears if he didn't behave.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Eric's Wedding

The whole reason for us to go to Washington was for my Roommate Eric's wedding... we just decided to go early and get some good vacation in while we were at it. Eventually after we left Long Beach, we headed up through Seattle to Brian and Britni's place in Everett. Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures in between the beach and the wedding. We hung out overnight at the Hansen's, playing Brian's favorite game of Carcazonne, and the next day (Thursday) was Eric's bachelor party.

While Amanda, Britni and the babies went to Mat's house to visit with Bri, Brian and I went to downtown Seattle to meet up with the rest of the guys at the Cheesecake Factory. Wells flew in from Salt Lake City just in time for the bachelor party. When Eric finally showed up at the restaurant, we had 5/6ths of our apartment (Cottonwood 18) back together again, with Aaron Smith being the only one not present. After the dinner we went across the street to the arcade and played a couple hours of arcade games for the low price of $12.

The next day (Friday) was Eric's wedding, we all drove down to Portland and had lunch at the Olive Garden before the sealing was set to take place. The wedding was really good, and then we took some pictures of the happy couple. Here is Eric with his new family, his wife Amy and her daughter Carlee.

Here is Mat and Bri and their daughter Olivia. The last time we were in Portland was for their wedding (and our first anniversary) almost 3 years ago.

Since everyone was taking pictures, we decided to get our pictures taken too.

The wedding was on Friday, but the reception was on Saturday, so we decided, along with the Hansens, McInellys, Rizz and Wells, to stay overnight in Portland. We swam in the hotel pool and hung out watching the Olympics. The next day we eventually made it back to Seattle, after spending far too much time in the Portland mall waiting for Mat to buy a new Mac. We made sure to make a stop off at the dollar store to get some stuff to decorate Eric's car with. Lots of toilet paper, feminine products, soap, etc.

Rizz even picked up some baby dolls to tie to the bumper instead of cans.

Amanda and Jaxon having fun at the reception while the boys were decorating the car.

After the decorations were all done, we went inside to enjoy the rest of the reception, and get some food. Here is Jaxon dancing with Britni. He loved dancing with her, and followed her around for quite a while afterwards to try and dance some more with her.

Eric and Amy, getting ready to leave on the honeymoon.

After the reception, we stayed overnight at Mat's brother's place in Auburn, Washington. The next morning, Sunday, we got up early and drove all day back to Cranbrook. It was a long drive, and a lot of driving over the course of the whole trip. I calculated it out to be over 36 hours of total driving over the last 10 days. We finally made it home back to Calgary today, and tomorrow I have to go back to work. But it was a fun time. It was good to see all the old roommates again and catch up with what everyone has been up to. And it was good to see Eric finally get married. It's been a long time coming for that guy and I'm glad he found a great girl to spend eternity with.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Long Beach, Washington

After the tour of Mt. St. Helens, we drove through Oregon, across the 4 mile bridge at Astoria and up to the Long Beach Peninsula in southern Washington on the Pacific Ocean. It was a little but chilly this afternoon, we we weren't really sure if we wanted to go to the beach or not today. But we decided we would go check it out. Here is one of the signs on the way to the beach.
There was also this big sign letting you know that you were heading to the world's longest beach.
I don't know if the claim of world's longest beach is the truth or not, but there certainly was a lot of sand there.
The beach seemed to go on forever, and we were there at high tide.
Jaxon was super excited to play in the sand. It was like one giant sandbox for him. He had his shovel and pail to dig with. The air temperature wasn't that warm, but the sand was really nice and warm.
Jaxon standing in front of the ocean
Jaxon venturing out into the ocean.
Tim following Jaxon out into the ocean. The water was really quite chilly, but it wasn't deep at all. You could venture out 100m and the water would still only be waist deep.
A shot of all of us standing in the Pacific Ocean. Jaxon wasn't too keen on the ocean water. I think it was a little too cold for him.
Tim and Jaxon running down the beach. Jaxon liked having the wide open space to run around as much as he wanted. We liked it too.
Amanda grinning in front of the ocean.
Tim and Jaxon's footprints in the sand. I think this was a really great picture.
Jaxon helping his daddy build a sand castle. Tim would fill up the bucket with sand, pack it down and tip it over.
And then Jaxon would proceed to tear down the castle as soon as it was up.
As we were getting ready to leave, Tim decided to see how far he could go out into the ocean. He made it out pretty far, but the waves were getting too big for his liking.
It was a really fun day at the beach. After the beach we went back to the hotel to change and found a really nice restaurant for dinner that overlooks the beach. Tomorrow we're planning on driving up to Everett to see Brian and Britni.

Mt St Helens

Today we went to see the sights of Mt. St. Helens. It's pretty exciting so see the awesome wonders that nature has to offer. I was only a toddler when MT. St. Helens erupted back in 1980 and Amanda wasn't even born yet, but it's still an awesome sight to see even after 28 years have passed. A lot of the devastation can still be seen. Anyway, we started off the day by doing a bit of shopping at Wal-mart, but since that's not really exciting, we didn't take any pictures. We then drove a few miles to the Mt. St. Helens visitor center. It was a pretty neat little place. We watched a video about the eruption where we both learned some pretty interesting things.
After the visitor center, we decieded to take a drive up to get a closer look at the mountain. The US government has designated the Mount as a national historic monument, so you can't drive on it, but you can drive to the peak right to the north of it (where the majority of the force of the eruption blew) and see the big crater that resulted from the eruption. Here is a shot from one of the many lookout points on the drive up.
The amazing thing was how little certain things seemed to have changed after so many years. This picture is a look into the valley where the majority of the mud and ash flowed after the eruption. It's pretty hard to see (there was a lot of dust / smoke in the air all around the area) but you can see where the rivers have cut new paths into the layers of dirt and debris and ash
We finally made it to the top, and Jaxon was really excited to get out of the car. He was even more excited when we changed his diaper.

Here is a view across from Mt. St. Helens. This area would have been right in the path of the eruption. All along the side of road on the drive up, you could see the stumps of what used to be massive trees that were blown over by the force of the eruption.
Jaxon and his dad posing in front of the big crater.

The whole Pisko clan posing in front of the Mountain.

After we visited Mt. St. Helens, we drove out to the Washington coast to see the beach, but I'll write more about that in another post.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Drive to Kelso

After leaving Cranbrook this morning at about 6 am, we started out on our long journey to get to Kelso, Washington. Kelso is located on the I-5 about an hour north of the Oregon border. We're stopping here for the night and then our plan is to go see Mt. St. Helens tomorrow. Along the drive, we stopped in Yakima for a picnic lunch. You can see from the picture below that Jaxon was really happy to be out of the car after 6 hours.
We had packed up a picnic lunch of sandwiches to eat and found a nice park in Yakima with picnic tables and a playground for Jaxon to play at. We made sure to pack some cheese for Jaxon to snack on. He loves cheese.
After a bite to eat, we took Jaxon to the park to let him play around and expend some energy in the hopes that he would tire himself out for the 3 hour drive that was ahead. He had a good time on the swings pretending to kick daddy int the face.
He also liked the slide. There was another metal slide at the part that Jaxon wanted to go down, but the temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius and Jax's flesh probably would have melted to the slide, so we didn't let him go down that one.
After a grueling 10 hour drive (including all the stops along the way) we finally made it to Kelso. The hotel has a pool that we took Jaxon to tonight. Except the pool temperature was freezing cold, and Jax didn't want to stay long. But he did enjoy drying off in his monkey towel.

The plan for tomorrow is to drive and see the sights of Mt. St Helens. It should be exciting.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekend in Cranbrook

We're in Cranbrook for the weekend visiting with Amanda's grandparents. Tomorrow we'll be taking off for a long drive to Washington State for a vacation. One of Tim's old University roommates, Eric, is getting married next Saturday, so we're going take the long drive down to see him. We're leaving a but early to take a but of a family vacation on the way. The plan is to visit Mt. St. Helens and then take a trip to the coast before we head up to Seattle to see Brian and Britni Hansen. The wedding is in Portland, and then the reception the next day is in Seattle again. It will be a lot of driving. Hopefully Jaxon will behave in the car

Here are some pictures from this weekend in Cranbrook. Jaxon made a new best friend in the Seguin's dog Sadie. He loves following the dog around and petting it.
Jaxon just chilling on the couch. Beside him is the Thomas the Tank Engine book that we got from Charlene. That thing entertained Jaxon almost the whole way down from Calgary to Cranbrook. Hopefully it comes in handy tomorrow during th 10 hour drive to Kelso, Washington.
Jaxon found a recumbent exercise bike in the basement of the house and liked to sit on it with his stuffed monkey named Trevor.
Jaxon also learned how to help with the dishes. He would act as the middle man passing the dished from Amanda who was washing to Tim (or Shelva) who was drying.
Jaxon having fun with Sadie. He would throw the ball and she would go catch it.
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