If anyone is looking for a Roomba...

Woot (one of my favorite websites for great deals) has a great deal on them for $149. Amazon lists same item for $289. One day only.


Nice weekend getaway

We took a nice trip down to Northwest Oregon for a few days. Despite the dreary Northwest weather, we all had a good time and saw some impressive parts of the country.

Saturday we drove from Portland out to the Pacific Ocean - Seaside and Astoria, to be specific. Drive wasn't very eventful, and it was 90 minutes each way not giving us a lot of time to do much in the area, but Seaside is a very nice coastal town with quite a bit to do. We took in the (small) Aquarium, feeding the sea otters housed there (Garrett got a kick out of that). We also wandered onto the beach, delighted to see sand for the first time since we left Michiana Shores. And after that we took in a little shopping, including Garrett's first Merry-Go-Round ride.

Sunday we seemed to take a lot more in. We started the day at the Oregon Zoo. Certainly not world-class, but a very nice environment - the nicest one I've seen for its size. Even the food there was outstanding. After lunch, we decided to head for a drive along the Columbia River. What a beautiful area of the country with the Cascades on both sides of the river. How cool it must have been for Lewis and Clark to foray down the Columbia prior to the current rail lines, highways, bridges, dams, and power stations. We stopped at "Starvation Creek" and took a nice couple mile hike, stopping at a waterfall (waterfalls seem to be everywhere in that part of the country) before heading back to Vancouver. On the way back we took the Washington side of the river. Great views again, but better yet were the twisty roads... we took my car for the trip and I got to enjoy a rare drive.

And of course we got some good swimming in. Spencer loves pools, and this was Garrett's first real chance to try some things on his own. Before long he had the hang of balancing on his little innertube.

On the drive back we were able to stop at a state park just south of Olympia and let the kids run around a while.

All in all a great weekend, and we plan to go back often to the Columbia River area to continue our exploration.


Spending the weekend in Portland

At the last minute, I decided to take Friday afternoon afternoon off, we booked a hotel in Vancouver, WA for the weekend, and headed to Oregon for the weekend. Not exactly sure what all we will do, but gets us out of Seattle for a couple of days. Today we will head to the ocean, and we hear there's a good Children's Museum here. Hopefully the mountains are close enough that we can get some hiking in as well.

The drive down was pretty uneventful, but we did do a little geocaching, finding one at a rest area while we let the kids stretch their legs. And, since the hotel has a pool, Spencer has already stated he'd rather spend his time here than go anywhere else. He even recommended we sell our house (after all, it doesn't have a pool).


Already been a year in the Pacific Northwest

Hard to believe, but just occurred to me that over a year has past since our family set foot in Seattle. I'm amazed at all the changes and things we've done over the past year, and I'm also amazed at all the things we didn't do over the past year.

We could not be happier with Snoqualmie Ridge and the community. Great neighbors with similar values, great proximity to state parks and mountains for hiking and skiing, close to Seattle. Downside is that the area, already huge (check it out on Google Earth), will be four times as big when its all said and done. That's scary. Already traffic to the Interstate is pretty heavy at rush hour.

My work at Amazon has been interesting. Took over a product in trouble, righted the ship, and working on getting a new version out the door. Getting this version out has had its problems, but looking forward to finally getting it out to market in the next six weeks or so. I'll be changing jobs in Amazon in about the same time frame - I am excited about this new opportunity. More on that later.

Kinda surprised we haven't been to BC, Oregon, or Idaho yet. For that matter haven't even been east of Snoqualmie Pass. Would like to start doing some more travel and see the area. We're going to Hawaii in November, but that doesn't count. We've done a good job exploring the local area (parks, trails, mountains) and that's been a lot of fun for all of us.


Misc. Pictures...

The boys had fun finding Easter Eggs around the house.

We caught a baseball game last week. The good guys lost 5-1, but we had a good time. My friends Joe and Chris joined us, Spencer ate too much cotton candy, and Garrett had a blast eating popcorn.

This was taken at the Fall City Little League Jamboree, where 60 teams including families show up to kick off the little league season. Despite the chaos, Garrett managed to find himself out in the middle of nowhere. I thought it was funny.

G-man making due at the hospital.

Spencer's first T-Ball game

Even though he's still just 4, Spencer fell into a grandfather clause this year and gets to play TBall even though the cutoff is April 30th (last year it was August 31st, and if you're birthday falls between the two days you can play this year).

First game was tonight, and Spencer started off having fun (hitting the ball on his first swing), but did not do so well once he had to take the field. We're working with him on the concept of teamwork and teammates, and he seems really interested in TBall so I expect him to get the hang of it and work himself through the "boring parts" of the game.

Spencer on third base. After this play he actually ran home instead of to the pitcher's mound :)

Spencer wants to play catcher.

Never confuse activity with accomplishment

I believe that was a quote from Vince Lombardi. How apropos. Some of you have no idea what I'm talking about. Some of you are laughing.


Now Garrett has pneumonia

Amy took Garrett into the doc Monday, turns out he has a bout of pneumonia, probably as a complication of the flu he had a week or so ago. Seems like all I've been blogging about is Garrett's health!

Doc said we caught it early, prescribed some anti-biotics, and sent him home. Fever is down and Garrett is more active than he was this weekend, so things are looking good for him. Still, can be quite scary with tikes that age.