Category Archives: Rolland

Goonies Never Say Die!

Astoria CollageSaturday we took a day trip down to Astoria, Oregon. It’s a lovely coastal town that also happens to be the home of the Goonies! If you are unfamiliar with the Goonies you should rectify that immediately.

Astoria Column ViewThe view from the Astoria Column base. Incredibly gorgeous. And pretty much all you need.

Below is the Astoria Column which is an odd column on the top of a hill that offers an amazing view. You pay $2 to park for the year (an excellent value with the picnic tables for lovely seaside views) and then you can climb the tower and hang out at the top, or on the grounds, as much as you’d like. We made it halfway up the unbelievably rickety stairs and bailed. Major anxiety attack. I don’t enjoy heights, and am increasingly disinclined towards tight spaces, this column offers both. Rolland was also carrying the toddler up with super winding stairs and agreed with the decision to abort. Those stairs were crowded and wobbly. I swear, my knees start shaking just thinking about it.

Astoria ColumnOur column tour guide.

Sophy Astoria Column 1Quick snuggle with the tour guide.

Sophy Mommy Astoria ColumnUnrelated to the tower but our primary reason for the visit was a quick house visit. I’ve had a pilgrimage to the Goondocks on my to do list since moving to Seattle. I can now check it off the Seattle list. The house is pretty awesome and lives up to the vision. The experience itself is kind of meh. You just walk up a gravel hill driveway, take a pic and move on. A bit of a let down but I’m not entirely sure what my expectations were for said house.

Goondocks - Goonie HousePrior above house visit.  We ate lunch at the Rogue Public House which was also meh but primarily an awesome experience irrespective of our actual meal. You drive over the rickety pier and eat lunch in the brewery / canning factory. Rolland said the beer was super tasty but the food was just ok.

Rougue Public HouseA big hit at the Public House, untasty food aside, was our lovely lunch companions. The sea lions were cavorting outside our window and offering an awesome show. You could hear them barking through the window. They were adorable and looked like they were having a fantastic time in the water. It was chilly or I would be tempted to join them. Please note I realize this is a total pipe dream as one doesn’t hug a wild animal, particularly a super sized sea lion.

Seals in the harborAstoria was awesome and we want to head back and travel even further down the shore to check out Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Still, a perfect way to spend a Saturday.


Today is my birthday, 41st to be exact, and it’s been fantastic!

It started with a day trip to Portland on Saturday for a visit to Powell’s bookstore, lunch at On the Border, and then quick hops to lots of good places like Cargo and Collage. We made a few more stops at K.Marie and Enchante in Milwaukie, Oregon and Candy Babel in Portland but I’m being lazy about linking. They are pretty awesome though. Collage and Cargo were my very favorites though with tons of stocking up on project life and art goodies.

kokeshi at cargo cargo birthday lunch OTB

Today was an early dismissal at work so Rolland and I could catch a movie without toddler. We saw Captain America: Winter Soldier and I loved it. I miss regular movie goings so we’ll have to work out some more lunch dates for attending. Movie and mall were great for an afternoon date. We picked up the toddler and headed for Uneeda Burger. Sooo yummy! If you’re in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle I highly recommend it. It was 77 degrees and sunny so we sat near the open garage door munching on fried cheese curds, burgers, and fries… not much more I could ask for and 41 has turned out to be lovely. Can’t wait to see what else the year has in store!

B&w family selfie


Lincoln Park is a great little park close to our house. It’s a 5 minute drive and we’re walking through the trees to the shore. The park trail is mostly paved and curves along a small part of the sound with a rocky beach. Perfect for a toddler practicing her rock throwing skills! It’s got an area for picnics and fires with tons of people walking dogs. Sophy’s loves are babies and puppies. Girl after my own heart.

Her most favorite part of the park is the swing set when we first hit the trail. She’s a huge fan and proved how grown up she was by sitting in the big girl swing, swinging her feet and then jumping out – landing on her feet! – and hitting the ground running. Oh my, not ready for this big kid but here she is. She’s pretty fantastic. I think I’ll keep her.

IMG_4022 Sophy swing close up Sophy swing

Discovery Park

Last weekend, before I was hit with the plague (AGAIN), we visited Discovery Park. The park is pretty awesome and offers Puget Sound views and trails through the trees, and wide expanses of grass and blackberries. There are also lots of buildings from when it was an army base. It was gloomy on our visit so it was kinda creepy through that area. I would definitely avoid it at night! Otherwise it was awesome and may be my favorite park yet. I also practiced some camera skills with the camera off auto! Results were mixed.

Me on bluff Rolland on the bluff distance Radar and house - milk and cookies Sophy walking on path Radar and yellow house 2 Sophy pushing stroller Sophy and Mommy funny fce 20140123-094150.jpg 20140123-094136.jpg 20140123-094103.jpg

Mt Rainier

We took a a day trip out to Mt Rainier just to do some reconnaissance for future trips. It was a really lovely drive and the forest was beautiful. No rain and clear skies were amazing. Sophy loved it and wanted to make a snowman and kept yelling “snowman, snowman”. It was crazy cute. Slightly adventurous when visiting the restroom with a sign “flush bathrooms and facilities 3 miles”. I almost backed out but sucked it up and went in. Not too bad but next time, may drive the 3 miles!

We could only go about 6 miles in the park, chains were required to go any further, but definitely paid for the annual pass. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is in the late spring and late fall. Can’t wait to go back when well and plans for hikes.

Mt Rainier Entrance

Mt Rainier on the trail

Sophy and Daddy on bench

Sophy crouched in hat

Sophy in hat - troy radlab

trees with waterM

Side benefit, we found a Dicky’s BBQ on the way and had it for dinner. Insanely good, maybe even better than those in Texas, I’m thinking it’s the new comfort place when we get homesick. Yummy!

Gas Works Park

For New Year’s Day we ventured out in the afternoon for some pics for Project Life and just general exercise. We’d been fairly sedentary with my being sick and the toddler needed to do some running. Gas Works Park is one of the oddest parks in Seattle, if not the world. It was an old gas plant that was converted into a park but signs are posted everywhere for no climbing, no trespassing, etc. Still, we love it. It’s lovely on Lake Union with great city views. We weren’t out too long since it was drizzly and I still have the plague. Ugh.

Gas works works

No Trespassing

Sophy and Daddy in front of gas plant

Sophy and Space Needle

Sophy Gasworks 1

Sophy running towards water

I have gotten a few things printed for Project Life, so far not behind, and should have week 1 done by the weekend. Woo hoo!

New Year

Still trying to get over my never ending cold/respiratory stuff that I’ve had since we moved here. Finally got cough medicine with codeine to help with the nightly coughing and no sleeping but the rest of the consultation was irritating. Even though I’ve been sick for 3 months, the best advice from the physician’s assistant was to use a Neti Pot. I did not find this helpful. Oy. I did feel a little better today, no Neti Pot so I’m going with the narcotic as big help, so we ventured out for some New Year’s pictures. It’s also perfect for Project Life kick off!

The background is a great overlook, that will be prominently featured in family photos from now on, that’s near the house and has a gorgeous view of the city. It was a little overcast but luckily not raining or freezing cold. A few really cute ones but Sophy’s window is pretty narrow for sitting still for photos so the pics with me were a little iffy.

Sophy and Daddy overlook 1-1-14 2 Sophy funny face overlook 1-1-14Sophy Mommy hugs 1-1-14 Sophy rules 1-1-14Free as a bird journal page 12-31-13 Rare Bird 12-31-13

Totally unrelated I need an Mpix promo desperately! I have a million pics I need to order.








Halloween in Seattle was pretty awesome.

The Weds before Halloween Sophy’s school had a full on parade with a tour of the fire station across the street. That crew was super patient with the kids and parents tromping through the station. Our little zebra abandoned the class for her parents early on. She was more interested in Daddy’s phone than the fire truck.

On Halloween day, Rolland brought Sophy to my office for Amazon trick or treating. It’s fantastic since you get books and candy!

The actual trick or treating in our neighborhood was almost nonexistent. We bought candy based on Texas numbers and that was crazy over purchasing. We would get over a hundred and this year we had about ten! I think they do a lot more community activities here rather than house to house? Note for next year!

Also my settling in to Seattle post was eaten by the intranets. I’m really hoping that’s not a theme!

Seattle Visit Part 1

It’s been crazy busy at our house as we try and get everything in order for our big move. Luckily we aren’t moving ourselves! Just a little bit of packing on our part. I did find out that we have so much stuff it will take TWO days to pack and one to load. This is after we’ve done a major purge. Ugh.

Anyway, we left on Friday morning for Seattle with the kiddo. She hasn’t been on a plane since she was 5 months old with our trip to Vegas. She was a trooper. This one, she did pretty well. As long as she had her paci and Peppa Pig no problem. Although no electronics at take off and landing did not seem reasonable to the toddler. Also, this is the cleanest that lamb was for four days. By the time he made it home… ICK!

Sophy AirportLanding at SeaTac she was out. I would’ve been happy to hang out for a nap. Cleaning crew had other plans.

Sophy Mommy planeI have no idea why I can’t get this pic rotated but they are super cute. You can see she’s getting drowsy.

Sophy and DaddyWe stayed at a fantastic hotel in an amazing location Downtown. Starbuck’s was attached and we walked out the door with restaurants and a Whole Foods right there. Even fancy yoga and spabut I did not partake. Boo! Whole Foods was Sophy snack greatness. Will, our front desk check in guy, also gave her a super cute panda when checking in. Panda made several trips out with us and she enjoyed throwing him to throw ground to watch us pick him up. Dance monkeys, dance! Even the valet guys there are awesome. They were super speedy, loaded everything quickly and asked how it went after every outing. Some were better than others. :/

Hotel ViewView from our hotel room. Several buildings on the right are Amazon’s. Woo hoo!

Hotel LobbyCute toddler in the lobby. There are incredible statues in front of the Whole Foods that I LOVE. There are fabric versions of them in the hotel lobby. You can kind of see them behind her. I’m now hooked on most of his pieces. Greatness.

Near where we think we’ll be living, fingers crossed all the paperwork is good!, is Alki Beach. I’ve also referenced it as the “Sleepless in Seattle” beach. This has garnered some odd looks.  Apparently not everyone can remember every random scene from movies they watched years ago. Weirdos.

Alki Beach FerrySophy’s first beach and playing in the water! We bought sturdier shoes that didn’t leave her feet exposed later in the day. There may have been a tide/wet foot incident.

Mommy Sophy beach 2 (2)Tiny sliver of water view in the back. This was the best of the family photo choices. Kind of love her expression.

photoBeach Snuggles!

Mommy Sophy beach 2 (1)

Rental hunting was exhausting. I was kind of prepared for the increased cost of living but not the state of a lot of the places we saw. It was crazy how much people wanted in rent compared to the cleanliness of the house. Ugh. We got really lucky and found some place that was pretty roomy, relatively speaking, in a good neighborhood with kids, in the city and really reasonably priced. I’m hoping we get everything finalized this week. It will be a huge relief to get an actual address where we’ll be for at least a year. I admit to having already started house purchasing looky looing.

Next up is Gas Works park and I figure out how to post larger images.