Friday, July 31, 2015

Grand Coulee Dam - Day 2

Hanging out with Taryn in the morning

We made a stop at The Crown Pointe Vista, a viewpoint in which to see the whole area. It was cool because they had designed the lookout to be, and work, as a sundial!

Heading out on our top security tour of the dam. They transported us in special buses and we use carseats that they provide us with. The last time I had visited the dam was before 9/11, so I was completely unprepared for all the security measures they take to protect this massive, electricity- producing dam. 

It was so high security that they wouldn't even let us use the employee bathrooms down inside the dam, on the tour. Well thank goodness I brought a blanket that Taryn could pee into while in the middle of the tour. How ridiculous! The things we do for our kids, and the joys of being a parent. To top off my embarrassment, Ainsley decided to blow out her diaper all over Nate and government car seats.

Cool and scary view from the top of the dam. Yikes, please don't drop the kids while you are showing them the view over the railing...

Trying to stay cool in the 100 degree weather. Thankfully, because of the fridge in the yurt, we were able to bring along some frozen capris and chilled fruit cups for our morning outings.

It was cool to watch some of the movies on how the dam was built. Until last year it was THE largest concrete structure in the world and the largest hydroelectric producing plant in the world - and it was built in the 1930s! How did they do it? It ended up being a life-saver because they finished it just before World War II and because of Grand Coulee, had enough electricity to power factories for airplanes, ammo, and other necessities for the war.

Back to the lake! Nothin' like having nothin' to do but hang out and play.

Apparently we were the first people (since opening their food truck 4 years ago) to order the "Dam Dip" - a 5 scoop pile of ice cream. The girl even asked if she could take a picture of us to send to her boss because she was so excited. haha Seriously, we are the only ones who want this much ice cream, for a steal of a deal!?!  I find that hard to believe. It was SO yummy too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Grand Coulee Dam Family Vacation - Day 1, getting there

 We stopped in Leavenworth (a cool Bavarian-like town) for about 15 minutes and continued on our way. It has lots of cutsy shops to meander through and cool places to enjoy yummy food, but after we visited the Nutcracker Store and almost had to buy a $300 dollar nutcracker of Darth Vader, we were out of there! Maybe another day, when they are all 5 (or 10) years older.

 On our drive through the mountains, to the East side of Washington, we made an unplanned stop at a beautiful waterfall and creek. As you can tell, we enjoyed it so much that we stayed and played around for quite a while.

Climbing, playing, throwing rocks in the water, dipping our feet in the refreshing pools, we just can't help ourselves. There was a super deep pool that we all wanted to jump into on the way back from our trip, but after 4 days of swimming, we ended up too tired to go through with our plans. Maybe we'll have to make a separate trip another time.

Another unplanned, but welcome stop, the 59er Diner. We shared a yummy milkshake and hamburgers and fries! My dad's favorite TV buddies are in a picture behind Sidney: Beaver and Wally Cleaver.

Yeah! We finally arrived at our home away from home, this lovely yurt! We I decided that with a 4 month old baby it probably wasn't a good idea to camp in 100 degree weather. I'm so glad that we had this fun little place to stay in. It gave the pleasure of electricity, a mini fridge/freezer and a place to stay on the lake where we could still put kids down for naps. Granted, there was no A/C in this puppy, so it still got plenty HOT!
We didn't show up until the evening, but even at 5 oclock it was 90 degrees out, so we all rushed out to take a dip.
Oh, and I can't forget to mention that 20 miles from getting there Ainsley was screaming her head off because she was hungry. We saw signs for a State Park and I told Nate to pull over for a minute so I could feed her, while everyone else stretched their legs really quick. That ended up being the biggest mistake ever! No sooner had we gotten out of the van we were attacked by mosquitos. Lots and lots of mosquitos. And those mean and nasty horse flies. I was doing my best to swat them while I fed Ainsley, the kids were practically crying, running around so they wouldn't get bitten. Nate was frantically trying to get an old can of bug spray to work. What a mess! 10 minutes later we were all back in the car, scratching our 30+ bites. I looked at Nate and told him I would rather lose our deposit on the yurt than stay for 4 days and have to deal with that crap. We would never survive. So we drove the 20 miles down the road to our campsite and asked a fellow camper if they had dealt with bad mosquitoes at all. The 3 adults (2 were shirtless men, which I took as a good sign, because if they were dealing with bugs like we had just been, they would NOT have been shirtless) assured us that they had hardly been bothered by any mosquitos at all. Sweet, we get to stay. And stay we did, to soothe our ridiculous number of bug bites in the cool lake for the next 3 days.