We live in such a wonderful community with so many great family friendly and budget friendly things to do. One of the activities that we are fortunate to have is the mini train rides from the Kitsap Live Steamers. Our mother in-law has been asking us for years to take her to check it out and this weekend was the perfect weekend to do it. She loved it so much they let her ride twice in a row. It was definitely an activity enjoyed by all!
The Kitsap Live Steamers is a non-profit organization and provides mini train rides for donations. The mini trains are located right in the South Kitsap Regional Park (Port Orchard, WA.) It is a beautiful park with walking trails, a large grassy field, a picnic shelter and a huge playground for young children to play on.
Our second day in Portland was quite rainy but full. We began with a complementary breakfast in the dining hall of our hotel (Embassy Suites Downtown Portland.) It was very convenient with a good selection of food. This is perfect for families with picky eaters.
We chose to try out the light rail (Trimet) to Washington Park for a visit to the Oregon Zoo. We only had to walk a few blocks to get to the nearest station but it was easy to purchase our tickets and hop on. It was a very short wait to get on light rail for the 15 minute ride to Washington Park. It was so nice not having pack everyone into a car to drive over. Plus it was neat being able to show our teenager another form of transportation.
When you exit the light rail at the zoo you are several hundred feet underground. There is an example on the tunnel wall showing how deep you are with an arrow of where that falls on a cross-section of a core sample performed at the site. A timeline describes how the area (Washington Park) was formed over millions of years as a result of sedimentary buildup as well as very early volcanic flows. We had walked on around the corner to the elevator only to realize that my geeky husband was still transfixed on the wall’s data, slowly making his way through the years.
Up on the surface we were back in the present, and the elements. Since it was pouring rain we opted to start indoors with the World Forestry Center. It was neat for our kids to see how important it is to replenish our forests and keep them alive and healthy. The kids seemed to really enjoyed seeing and visiting the hands-on exhibits. Our toddler’s favorite part of the visit was pretending drive the all terrain vehicle. She was generous enough to take turns with her big brother – after gentle prompting.
After a nice visit at the center we headed over to the Oregon Zoo just down the road. Most of the exhibits as are central to the light rail and a central parking lot, which makes it very convenient. The city really did a great job when they planned out Washington Park as there is much to see and so much to do.
The Zoo was a hit! The kids were absolute troopers and while the rain kept coming down we didn’t let it stop us from seeing all the sweet, and not so sweet, animals.
While on our trip to Oregon we visited the Oregon Zoo. It was a rainy day but our children were troopers. One of our favorite animal to see was the giraffe. There were two of them and they were the cutest. Big smiles all around.
A smile is a light in the window of the soul indicating that the heart is at home.
Today my son and I went to the closest city park and hid our painted rocks for others to find. My son, of course, couldn’t help but check out the playground. I found it odd that there were no other children there. It is a Saturday and it was just after lunch. He had the playground all to himself for about 15 minutes.
The heat may have been a bit unbearable for some but not for my child. My crazy son had on a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. He claimed he was fine. What is it with kids using shorts in the cold winter and long-sleeved shirts in the heat of summer?
We also took a little walk to the community garden portion of the park. I love being able to see all of the fruits, vegetables, and flowers popping up everywhere. Here are a few of the photos from today.
Do you have any beautiful flower or garden pictures you’d like to share with everyone? Please feel free to share your pictures in the comments below.
One of the things on our Family Summer Check-List was to paint a canvas and paint a few rocks to hide in our local parks. My son and I were finally able to sit down and get some painting done. He’s still working on his canvas but here is my final product.
I followed the step-by-step instructions from the following Youtube.com video. Great tutorial! I didn’t have have the same paints and tools but I used what I had. I’m quite happy with how it turned out considering.
Our community has a rock painting group. Lots of great artists (professional and amateur) participate. Painted rocks can be hidden in various parks for others to find. The lucky persons can either keep the rocks for their own garden or re-hide them for others to find. This is such a fun thing to do with kids. Tomorrow we will be hiding the following rocks that my son and I have painted at a nearby city park.
Does your community have any fun art things that you and your family can participate in?
The summer has been great for us and it was a beautiful day for a visit with friends at the beach. It’s always nice to get the kids together. Our daughter enjoyed being doted on by our friends’ daughter and my son was excited to be with friends his age. I, of course, was super happy to be able to talk with other adult moms. We sometimes forget how important it is to nurture friendships at our adult ages too.
My goal is to start planning ahead for activities during Fall and Winter before our beautiful summer goes away. Nurturing friendships old and new. What are some of your favorite activities?
Here’s my daughter enjoying the wonderful breeze, ocean and sand.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage
Here are a few photos from our recent trip to the International Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The roses were spectacular!!! Even our little one enjoyed taking the time to smell a few roses here and there
A lovely quiet spot on Bainbridge Island, WA that we have come to love is the Bloedel Reserve. It is a serene and tranquil property that is perfect for a stress-relieving stroll, a place to gather your thoughts or time and place to simply admire nature’s beauty.
Our two year old loves trekking along with us on the trails. At yesterday’s visit we were blessed to see ducks in the pond, geese on the lawn, a deer and her doe in the forest and a little squirrel scurrying across one of the trails. Our daughter enjoys the beautiful flowers and never fails to try and skirt away to the water’s edge. So we always have to keep her close. I just hope she never tires of being around nature’s wonders.
Visit Bloedel Reserve. http://bloedelreserve.org/