Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Au Pair is here!

Yes, it's true--the TV is here! Frank masterfully selected and installed a 12V TV/DVD combo flat panel TV. We got it put up after the kids went to bed so tomorrow morning will probably be like Christmas for them. It's still not television in the traditional sense though as we aren't sporting a dish or anything like that so we still have to go to the internet to watch "Lost." So really it's like a fancy DVD player hanging on the wall. Whatever, at least now Trent can't close the movie on his sister (that's his favorite little game when she's really into a movie--slamming the portable DVD player shut). I'll add pics soon!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Box wine, "thumbs up"

Why? The bottle doesn't break, the square box (some brands have a better shape than others) fits nicely on my counter/in my fridge, the package is relatively eco-friendly, it goes nicely with my plastic wine glasses, and 4 BOTTLES IN ONE BOX! What more could you ask for? The wine from your wedding to come in a box??? DONE! I found Powers Winery Cabernet Sauvignon in a box at the local co-op and it is just as good as I remember. Happiness!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bliss...

I'm not sure if we could have had a more perfect weekend. Normally I downplay what a great time we're having out here, but not this time--it was AWESOME! The weather was amazing the entire weekend and we had just enough time to sample a little of the beauty of the San Juan Islands.

We got underway flawlessly Friday and made it up to Utsalady Bay for an easy anchorage and enjoyed some yummy veggie tamales. We got a VERY early start Saturday thanks to the kids, but it put us in perfect position to go through Deception Pass on the 9 a.m. slack tide. The kids didn't appreciate the beauty, but I sure did! Hit a bit of rough water in Rosario Strait, then the psycho power-boater, then a wonderful day of sailing.

Early afternoon we dropped the hook in Massacre Bay. It was time to get the kayaks wet in the San Juan Islands! We paddled over to Skull Island State Park. Despite the morbid names this is an awe-inspiring place, wrought with tidelands full of life. We beached on the SE corner and started to explore. The kids discovered starfish before we took them up to the top of the small island. There was a great view from here and a small memorial plaque to a beloved family member. Instantly Frank started crafting his next EarthCache. A couple joined us and the kids ran up to them and gave them hugs--you'd think we'd had them away from civilization for weeks! We decided to head back to the boat, hitting more tidepools along the way. The number of 12"+ starfish was just mind-numbing, and Katreina got real good at spotting them both below and above the water line. After a dinner of phad thai (did I mention I love food???) we couldn't resist--we had to get back on the water! We all piled back in for a sunset paddle.


Playing around on Skull Island State Park.

Anchored, Massacre Bay

Sunday began with yet another paddle over to Skull Island and more climbing/exploring. Katreina simply loves to climb and despite the fear I have watching her scamper up rock faces, I secretly love it, too! Frank made all the necessary notes for his Geocache and we headed back to the boat. Getting the kayaks onboard was easy with the help of a spare halyard and a winch, and by lunchtime we were back out to sea, headed for Deception Pass and the afternoon slack water. Currents were a little more than we expected in Rosario Strait and we actually missed the slack by about a half hour. Thankfully the transit was still pretty easy. Our "Plan A" moorings at the state parks just east of the pass were already taken (it was about 5 p.m. by this time), but we found great anchorage on the south shore of Hope Island State Park. A group of folks was camping on the shore, but otherwise the spot was ours. Very nice. After another great meal of chicken grilled up by our wonderful Captain, Katreina actually asked if we could paddle! I love her! But is was almost bedtime so we just played on the boat and got rocked to sleep...

Monday greeted us with more fabulous sun and occasionally enough wind to sail! As much as we wanted to play on Hope Island, we decided to save it for another trip and head home to the marina as the kids were anxious to head to a playground. We came in around 3 p.m. with about a dozen or so other boats, but were happy to find the fuel/pumpout dock open. Frank eased us into that dock and we gassed and dumped and were on our way! The kids were being surprisingly good, too! Frank made one pass at our dock, I did a jump that wasn't all that tough, and we were home. It was near perfect! We tied up quickly, chatted briefly with some neighbors, and headed off to the very busy park at the end of Marine View. We were happy. The kids were happy. And I am happy to tell the world I had an AWESOME weekend!!!!