Family Vacation | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Day 4

It was a Sunday, and we were on our way to Vancouver, CA. It was not a bad drive from Seattle - only about 2 1/2 hours. We arrived at the border crossing about lunch time, and stopped shortly after for lunch. We detoured slightly to see the historic fishing village of Steveston located outside Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver. Steveston was a lovely spot - lots of restaurants, shopping, and an open fish market at the pier. People were busy walking between the boats, checking out the fresh seafood, and making their purchases. There was every kind of seafood imaginable.

Our next stop was to check-in at our hotel, River Rock Casino Resort. It was a nice place with the casino on one side and the hotel rooms on the other. We had a small suite which much appreciated after the cozy room we had shared in Bellevue. Our hotel was next to the airport, freeway, and water, a very handy location. A short drive put us in downtown Vancouver. We were most disappointed to find that our GPS system did not work in Canada.

All the side commentary will be me: This is the vehicle we should have road-tripped in, I just love these old school VW vans!

Brittany had us check out Lickerish, a local restaurant/bar. (My friend Danny suggested I stop by here, one of his good friends that used to live in the Dallas area moved home to Vancouver and opened this place. Many thanks to 'G' for being such a great host while we were there!) The open air design was perfect for a cocktail and appetizer, not to mention some interesting people watching. Afterwards, we drove to Chinatown where we browsed through the Night Market, checking out the vendors selling merchandise and food. We found a few bargains and sampled the local cuisine. Finally, we returned to our hotel for some much-needed rest.

This dessert was fantastic!

I really like this photo, why? I have no clue?!?

This is disgusting!
No words for this one.
Check out dads new ride...he won it in the casino!
Yeah right!!!!!


Family Vacation | Seattle, WA | Day 3

Today we decided to stay in the Bellevue area for the greater portion of the day. We drove to the nearby St. Michelle Vineyard to tour the grounds and see the winery. Little did we know there was a concert planned that afternoon. The lovely grounds were covered with hundreds of people sitting/standing on the grass waiting for an afternoon concert. The sidewalks, thankfully, were clear so we were able to tour the plant. We enjoyed the tour - especially the wine tasting! We even purchased four bottles of a special after dinner wine to take home!

I love the Scripture on the window. "Wine maketh glad the heart of man" Psalms

Obviously, it was our day to indulge. Just down the road from the vineyard was a beer distillery, Red Hook. So, of course, that was our next stop. This stop was a little different as Brittany predicted. (How did she know that so well?) There were no lovely lawns, fountains, or flowers. No trellises or outside seating areas. The reserved and quiet winery group was displaced by a rowdy one at the brewery which got a little louder with each additional brew tasted. However, it was a fun group and the "guide" was humorous and witty which made up for the fact that we never left the room - no real tour included at all.

Brittany here: Haha! This was a mirror for sale in the gift shop...I thought this was pretty great!
Now that we were sufficiently relaxed, we headed to downtown Seattle (with extra luggage in hand). We had coffee at one of the many shops (a must) and stopped in H&M, Brittany's favorite European store, and shopped. Then we met my cousin and her husband and walked down toward the waterfront, checked on our "gum" creations, and moved on to the restaurants and shops on the water. Dinner was outside at Ivar's where we fed the seagulls and enjoyed a lovely sunset. We explored the Curiosity Shop and saw the mummy, walked through the arcade with an indoor Merry-go-round, and finally headed to our car. It was time to hand off our extra luggage and say goodbye again.

This photo is for my brother.


Family Vacation | Mt. Rainer National Park | Day 2

Today’s outing was Mount Rainier. My husband and I ate breakfast while the kids slept in, if you can call 10 am sleeping in. Then we left for the day, driving about two hours to Mount Rainier. About the time we stopped for lunch, my husband spotted the mountain in the distance. It looked like an illusion from that distance, but it gave us something to focus on as we drove closer and closer.

At a small scenic stop, we pulled off the road and took a picture of ourselves (don’t you love the automatic option on cameras) in our spiffy convertible with the mountain in the background. When we got to the park, we put the top down (again) so everyone would have a great view of the park. Our first stop inside the park was a waterfall. It was only a short, but steep, walk down the path to get a great view of the waterfall from below with the spray cooling your face while you looked on.

Finally, we arrived at Paradise, where there was a Visitor Center, Hotel and Restaurant. Trails led up the mountain from there. Brittany did not join us (Brittany speak here: I had blood gushing down my leg...it is highly unusual that I decide just to not partake in hiking) due to the pesky and painful flies that attack you every step of the way. (If you keep a brisk pace, you can usually outrun them and they will leave you alone. Just don’t stop!) The three of us started up the trail, enjoying the incredible display of wildflowers that bloomed profusely everywhere within vision. It was a lovely sight and continued as the trail climbed. At some point, our son withdrew and joined his sister in the Visitor Center. My husband and I climbed until we reach the snow and the trail divided going to the summit or a camping area. We were delighted with the view of the valley, the marmots that cavorted over the rocks, and the brown-trampled snow. (I have to admit – without my husband prodding me on, I would have given up and turned back myself.) Finally, we headed down and met the kids. It was time to leave before the sun went down, and it was a long ride back to the hotel. What a wonderful day it had been!
Look in the shadow in the lower left corner. :)
This is most definitely a photograph of my parents walking back down the mountain, see the two little white spots walking through the green trees directly beneath the snow capped mountain's....yea, that's mom and dad!

This was our pleasant run-in with a fox, so cool, never seen one in the wild in person before.