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family fun

Yesterday found us driving an hour and a half north of Seattle into Skagit County for the Skagit Tulip Festival. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate completely, it was cloudy and on and off rainy all day, we just had to head up north to check out what all the fuss was about. We were not disappointed.

Every year, during the month of April, the small town of Mount Vernon puts on this festival. The town is surrounded by fields filled with daffodils and tulips. Little activities and art shows are set up throughout the town. The big draw, of course, is the acres upon acres of tulips. It really was quite a sight. Anna kept saying “Wow, wowwers!” (her adorable word for flowers).

It was so breathtakingly beautiful. I can’t wait for next year’s festival! Maya and I are inspired to plant a ton more tulip bulbs this fall so that my front and back yards look like our own little tulip festival :)

We are at that point here in the Pacific Northwest where spring has sprung, the trees are getting their leaves back and flowers are blossoming every where, but winter isn’t quite ready to completely let go of us. A couple of weeks ago we had a glorious peek at spring with lots of sunshine, warm temperatures and days spent outdoors. Since then the temperatures of cooled off again and we’ve had lots of rain, boo.

This weekend was crazy weather-wise around here. Saturday was very rainy and cold. A cold front moved through that dumped a ton of snow in the mountains and left us grabbing our warm rain coats as we headed out the door. But then yesterday happened, talk about crazy weather. The sun managed to break through the clouds and warm things up a bit. Most of the day was gorgeous and we spent a bit of time at the park in the afternoon. Soaking up the sunshine and enjoying some time outside since we’ve been trapped inside quite a bit lately. It was really lovely.

The sun continued to shine into the evening hours as I began preparing dinner. Lorne headed out with one of our neighbors to do a little mountain biking so it was just the girls and I for dinner. The girls played out back while I grilled some hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner. The sky was clear, the sun was shining and it almost felt like spring again. But then, as I was taking the burgers off the grill and turning it off, I heard a strange sound. It almost sounded like rain hitting the leaves but I didn’t feel any drops and I didn’t see any clouds in the sky. As I stepped inside and closed the patio door it became obvious what the sound was, it was hail and lots of it. For close to 30 minutes small hail poured from the sky. For much of that time the sun continued to shine. It was seriously the craziest thing I have ever seen. The girls stood at the window completely awe-struck. Anna just kept shouting “LOOK LOOK LOOK”.

After about 30 minutes of the hailing craziness my backyard looked like it had just snowed. It was insane!

Last weekend we made our first trip to the Woodland Park Zoo. It was a chilly, kind of drizzly day, but we figured the zoo would be fun anyway.

The zoo was a frequent weekday and weekend jaunt for us when we lived in St. Louis. We love the St. Louis Zoo and as a result had pretty high expectation for the Woodland Park Zoo. Though it was no St. Louis Zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo was fun and we all had a great time. Especially Anna who adores all animals right now.

Due to the fairly chilly weather many of the animals were not out on display and those that were tended to be huddled together snoozing but we got to see several of Anna’s favorites and we are looking forward to heading back on a warmer day to see those we missed. The girls had fun playing on the many animal statues around the zoo grounds. Those are often Maya’s favorites these days anyway. I mean who needs to see a really gorilla when you can climb on a fake one 😉

A big hit was, of course, the carousel. I’m glad they had one since that was always Maya’s favorite thing to do at the St. Louis Zoo and she probably would have been highly disappointed with a trip to a zoo that did not include a spin on the carousel.

Overall we really enjoyed the zoo and decided to purchase memberships so we can head back for several more visits. Though it was certainly no St. Louis Zoo it certainly was a nice zoo.

Visiting the Fremont Troll wasn’t the only thing we crossed off Maya’s Seattle bucket list this weekend. We also paid a visit to a very famous Seattle attraction, the Space Needle.

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We woke Sunday to gorgeous sunshine and decided it would be a great day to head up the Space Needle and check out Seattle from 600 feet in the air.

Since it was a beautiful day many other people had the same idea we did so we had a bit of a wait before it was our turn to board the elevator and head on up to the observation deck. Luckily the wait wasn’t too long and the girls did very well being patient. Once we reached the top we enjoyed 360 degree views of Seattle.

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It is fun playing the tourist every now and then :) we had a great time enjoying a bird’s eye view of the city.

We followed up our high in the sky morning with a picnic lunch at Gasworks Park which is a park on Lake Union that used to be an old gas factory.

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It was another great weekend.

Maya made a new friend this weekend. A large, concrete, kind of creeping looking friend. The Fremont Troll.

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A visit to the troll under a bridge in Fremont was at the top of Maya’s list of things she wanted to do when we got to Seattle. When we decided to make the move Lorne bought Maya a pictorial guide to Seattle during on of his many trips out here. She loved looking at all the pictures and telling us which places she wanted to visit. Her top two were the gum wall near Pike Place Market and the Fremont Troll.

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I know you are all wonder what the story behind the troll under the bridge is. The troll is located in Fremont, an area of Seattle know for being hip and artsy. In 1990 the Fremont Arts Council commissioned this piece. The troll is located under the Aurora Bridge and was sculpted by 4 artists using rebar and concrete. The troll has a real VW Beetle in its grasp. He really is a sight to behold. He is creepy and cool all at once.

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