Monday, May 27, 2013

Birthday Palooza, The Big Peak, and Springtime in Seattle

I hate it when I get behind working on the blog.  I get behind mostly because of work responsibilities taking over and not so much fun stuff, but this time, it's a nice mixture of both.  Since the last blog entry, we had Lorelei's birthday at the Oregon coast, a visit to Mt. Rainier, Mariners baseball game, I went to Dallas twice for work, and a couple of visits from old friends.  It helps that we had a string of 10 days or so where it was 75 degrees and gorgeous.  After the long dark of winter, it was just what the doctor ordered.

That picture above is Lorelei at the Oregon coast again.  We can't seem to stay away from there.  It was amazing as usual.  With that place, I really just have to let the pictures do the talking.  It's too beautiful for words.  We arrived toward evening and had a nice dinner at the pub and then watched the sunset on the beach.

The next day, we climbed this crazy tall dune (maybe a football field high) and the pictures above were the view that we had.  From that vantage point we also watched the morning mist roll in and out from the ocean, and a para-sailor and hang-glider take off from the dunes.  There's nothing quite like it.

We then did some exploring on the far side of the dune that juts out into the ocean.  It was an unusually low tide, so I decided to jump the fence and head into the inlets and cliffs that disappear into the ocean.  It was wonderful.  Beautiful sandstone cliffs and tide pools and being right up next to the wild Pacific.  I can't get enough of it.

That's my happy place.  Shawn's too.  Lorelei also feels the call of the beach.  I imagine we will have to do something more permanent involving the Oregon coast at some point.  My only hesitation is that I can't bear the thought of Lorelei going to Oregon for college and being a Duck.  That's a disgusting notion.  University of Washington is just fine (and an excellent school), but Oregon...uh, not so much.  Maybe it won't matter and my "gentle encouragement" for her to go to The Ohio State University will pay off.

The low tide was great for getting out on the rocks and checking out tide pools, too.  These rocks that we are walking on are usually underwater.

All in all, it was a fabulous birthday weekend for Lorelei.  She even had celebratory rootbeer float (her first rootbeer float!).

I went for a more traditional type of celebration:
Anyway, so in thinking about moving to the Oregon coast, I think I want to learn to surf.  Lorelei would make a great surfer, right?  Check out these high school kids going for an evening surf; we could do that, right?

Birthday palooza fell right between my two Dallas trips.  It was work stuff and entirely boring, but for the part when I got to see Brian, Ted and Megan from MDK.  Nice to see some friendly faces!  Dallas isn't so bad, but I wish I had some time to check out the sites.  Unfortunately, it was all work and no play.  I managed to find Lorelei some bitchin' boots though:
During the stint of glorious spring weather, we decided to take a trip to Mt. Rainier.  It was 80 degrees in Seattle that day and about 50 at Paradise, which is about 5,000 feet up and the highest we could get this time of year.  Mt. Rainier is over 14,000 feet at its highest peak.  Paradise got 723 inches of snow this winter.  It was melting when we were there, but the snow pack must have been pretty high still.  We had a blast having a snowball fight in our shorts.

Those are the tops of trees that Lorelei is playing in.  It has to be a pretty deep snow pack.  There were also some gorgeous shots of Mt. Rainier's peak in the background.  It was nice to be so close for once!

The drive was gorgeous too.  We stopped at one of the viewing sites to observe the glacier run-off.

We'll go back to Mt. Rainier in August when that whole snowbank in Paradise is a meadow full of wildflowers!  That will be cool - seeing it packed with 10 feet of snow and then again with the wildflowers.  I'll take some pictures.

Lorelei found some snow to slide down while we were there, of course.

I had to sneak one in there with Shawn - I have barely posted pictures of us this time!  Mt. Rainier was a great success.  My work and Shawn's school/work will keep us from having too much fun in the coming months, but my work should calm down some by the end of June, and Shawn finishes this semester in August, when we'll have some time off.  Hopefully we won't have to wait that long to have some more fun around town, though.

I just want to preface this next part with the fact that I'm still a Pittsburgh Pirates fan.  They are my sort of hapless baseball team, but I love them all the same.  HOWEVER, I live in a baseball town now, and I can't help but cheer for the Mariners.  They kind of remind me of my hapless Pirates a bit.  We went to a game recently with Lorelei's school, and it was great fun.

Just like last year, Lorelei got cotton candy.
Pretty sure I have an identical photo from last year's Gatewood Elementary Night at Safeco Field.  It was mayhem with all these elementary school kids eating all this cotton candy.  Yikes.

I do love the baseball game though.  Just like hockey, it's a lot better in person.  We hope to make a few more games this year.

In other news, Lorelei is an orange belt now in Tae Kwon Do, and this is Lorelei receiving her belt after the last belt test.

I also got to enjoy some time with Megan and Dan (I worked with Megan at MDK) and Daniel Hammer (my lovely Sarah's husband).  I love that Seattle draws people for vacation and work things. I struggle lately with homesickness because I don't really have the option to go back to Ohio.  Work has been in a bit of a tailspin for the last several months and will remain that way until the end of June at least.  Eventually we'll figure it out, but for now, we just power through and when we have a few free minutes, check out some of the great things to do around here.

Here's some parting words to ponder:  I found out a couple of days ago that the grandson of THE Boeing, the guy who founded Boeing, has put together an Aviation High School.  Right here in Seattle.  I think you can rest assured that if Lorelei is not learning to surf on the Oregon coast during her high school years, she may be spending them at the Aviation High School.  :)

This post is dedicated to Mr. Krueger and Shelly Clay.  The world lost a little of its shine when you moved on.

Love to all,