Last year we went trick or treating at the mall. This year we changed the decor with the Patrick Henry Library. As soon as we entered the door, we were handed a piece of paper with the program for the night. First thing on the menu was a story time with a couple of scary Halloween stories. Then we went around the library to find a few characters: a witch, a mime, a scarecrow, a minion, and a puppeteer. Each of them stuffed my Halloween bag with goodies like stickers, pencils, and bookmarks (no candies, though). At this point the only thing left to do was finding a book about witches, one about large creatures, and one with a spider on the cover. Of course, we did good with this last challenge and we won a free book. From a large pile of books we chose Corduroy’s Halloween (because Corduroy is one of my favorite characters). Here are some pictures:
After having breakfast in a crowded common room at the hotel, we drove to International Rose Test Garden, where we walked the paths surrounded by roses. We took lots of pictures of roses and some of people with roses. Here are some pictures from the first category:
Our next objective was the food truck square at 10th and Alder Street: we bought lunch and we ate it across the street in O’Bryant Square. This is where we met Kai and Maciah (my library friends from Richland Library now living in Vancouver, WA), who also brought their parents, Kristy and Josh. The adults washed down the food with coffee at Peet’s Coffee and Tea. We had a lot of fun there with an older gentleman who drew pictures for us. The last stop was in the Waterfront Park, where everybody played. Half the crew rented a surrey and rode it around the park, while those with little kids took care of their supervising duties.
We got very busy in the Waterfront Park, especially me and Kai. The pictures below show how we took my stroller up the stairs. If you think that’s easy, think again.
We started pretty early today and drove all the way to Columbia Gorge to see a couple of amazing waterfalls. There was a lot of traffic and parking spots were pretty hard to find, but we were lucky every once in a while, especially next to the most beautiful waterfalls. The first waterfall we saw was the Multnomah Falls, where we hiked all the way to the bridge. I wanted to hike more, but daddy was already tired from carrying me all the way. Here are a few pictures:
After this exhausting hike, we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (generously provided by Roslyn) for lunch. Then we moved on to our next objective: Latourell Falls, where we stood so close to the waterfall that we got wet. On our way to Portland we stopped at the Vista House for a few pictures of the Columbia Gorge.
There was no rush to get to the Coba archaeological site because it is larger and less famous than Tulum and Chichen Itza. We still woke up relatively early and left right after breakfast. We hired a guide who was much less informative than the one at Chichen Itza; or we may have had this perception because the site didn’t offer as much as Chichen Itza did. The site is divided into several sections; we started with the Coba group, where I slept through our guide’s explanations. My parents though learned about stelas: sort of bulletin boards carved in rock, seriously tempered by time, now protected by thatched roofs. They also learned about the elevated Mayan roads called sacbe; one of them was approximately 100 km long and almost reached Chichen Itza. We saw a few more structures and a ball court in the Coba section, then we took a pedibike toward Nohoch Mul group.
The only thing better than in Chichen Itza was that visitors can climb Nohoch Mul (the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula; 42 meters). Daddy climbed it while I was waiting with mommy, then mommy climbed it while I was waiting with daddy. Even though I appear in one of the pictures, it should be noted that I didn’t feel like climbing even a few steps at the bottom of the pyramid.
On our way back to the Coba section, we stopped in the Chumuc Mul section to see a few more structures, the most important of which can be seen in the pictures below.
Now just a few more pictures with today’s heroes:
We wanted to get to Chichen Itza before most of the other tourists (and especially before the tour busses), so we woke up at 4:30 AM and started driving at around 5:00 AM. Waking up early is not such a big deal, especially if you can continue sleeping in your mommy’s arms. We made it right after the site opened for the public (8:00 AM), but we had to eat some breakfast before going in.
We hired a guide to learn as much as possible about the place. Did you know that
- the Temple of Kukulkan (El Castillo) is actually a calendar?
- the sunset light and shadows give the illusion of a big feathered serpent descending from El Castillo during the spring and fall equinox?
- if you clap your hands in front of El Castillo stairs, the echo resembles the call of the mayan sacred bird, the quetzal?
- the mayans were playing a ball game? Apparently, the captain of the winning team got the honor of being sacrificed right after the game with the hope of being reborn in a higher social class.
Here are a few pictures of us in front of the most significant buildings:
Now a few more pictures of buildings with the view unobstructed by us:
And a few stone carvings:
Even though daddy wanted to get to the ruins as early in the morning as possible (to avoid the crowds), we made it there only after 10:00 AM. After we got the tickets, daddy and mommy walked along the wall and pushed the stroller where I was sitting comfortably. The most imposing structure of the site is El Castillo, which may be the reason why we got so many pictures of it:
Walking among the other buildings with a stroller was not easy. In many cases (stairs, sandy paths) mommy had to hold me while daddy carried the stroller. But we managed to see the most important structures and even take pictures of them:
Now let’s move on to the fun part. Tulum ruins were built on a bluff ovelooking the Caribbean sea. The visitors can go down some stairs and spend time at the beach. Of course, we did that, too. While we were trying to build a sand castle resembling El Castillo (visible from the beach), the clouds quickly covered the skies and dumped some rain on us. We took cover under some rocks, and the clouds went away pretty much as fast as they came in (the whole episode was less than 30 minutes).
Here are a few more pictures of us throughout the site:
We spent quite a while in the pools, so dedicating one post to them seems appropriate. The resort has two pools: a “quiet” pool and an “activity” pool. We started at the quiet pool because it was closer to our room, but we also spent time in the activity pool. Going up-and-down the stairs is one of my favorite activities, so guess what I did as soon as I discovered stairs going in the pool?
While daddy was taking these pictures, mommy was right next to me making sure that I don’t fall (she even helped me float in the water). Here are some more activities supervised by mommy:
Daddy was more involved in other types of activities, like jumping in the water and taking me to the deeper side of the pools. Here you can see him in action:
Toys were an important part of the pool experience. I made friends who had different (and more interesting) toys than mine and (luckily), they were willing to share. Here I am playing in the quiet pool
Here are a few pictures of me playing with my toys in the activity pool:
And just a few more random pictures:
Daddy took me to Sacajawea State Park this morning to learn something about the native tribes that used to inhabit these land before the arrival of the white man. I visited a few tents, admired lots and lots of beads, beat some drums, touched some fur and took a short tour of a bus / museum. We also witnessed two canoes bringing Lewis and Clark to the shore with their Corps of Discovery. I added gun shots to the list of things I am afraid of along with baloons, thunder, and fireworks.
Daddy was fascinated by the idea of starting fires and took a bunch of pictures of this guy who demonstrated the procedure. Here are the most important steps:
It’s been one year since we partied on my first birthday and two years since I got into this world. This long journey had to be celebrated. I will start by thanking all my guests for coming and making me feel special on my birthday. And – of course – thank you for all the presents! Pictured below are most of the people who came to my birthday – those missing should blame daddy for not keeping up with his photography duties.
My parents decided to celebrate my birthday in Columbia Park in Kennewick. The first picture below shows the picnic tables with the Columbia river in the background. After you see this picture you most definitely realize that the theme of my birthday was the ladybug, which is my favorite bug of them all. There was a playground right next to us, where the kids spent most of their time while the adults had their boring conversations. The adults interrupted our fun to take some formal pictures (like the above ones). They made it up to us by ensuring a session of fun with soap bubbles. After we had cake and ice cream, we opened the presents, then we played some more.
Taking into account that the theme of my birthday was the ladybug, you may have figured out that my cake would also resemble a ladybug. I knew for several days that I would have a cake and I would blow the candle (mommy told me), so I was ready for the challenge. Everytime somebody asked me about my plans for my birthday, I would say something along the lines “… sing Happy Birthday, blow the candles…”
Charbonneau Park was built by US Army Corps of Engineers on the Snake River. More precisely, next to Lake Sacajawea, which was formed behind the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. It is not very close, but not very far either – we drove just a little bit more than 30 minutes right after I woke up from my nap. We got into the lake, then we spent the rest of the day playing with sand: I helped daddy build the biggest sand castle that Lake Sacajawea has ever seen. We got home pretty late and I went to bed more than one hour later than usual.