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.

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My second birthday

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…”

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Charbonneau Park

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.

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On top of Badger Mountain

Not long ago, I said that the top of Badger Mountain was within reach. Today we reached it. We hiked with Anamika, who is Pradyot’s mother (Pradyot is of one of my friends from the library). The visibility was not extraordinary, we could barely see Mount Rainier in the distance (you may be able to see it at the right in the first two pictures). We could see the Mount Adams peak better, even though most of it was hiding behind a hill. All the pictures below were taken on the top of Badger Mountain.

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Mid-Columbia Gymnastics Academy

It’s been about a week since we tried out All American Gymnastics. Before making up their mind, my parents wanted to check another option: the Mid-Columbia Gymnastics Academy. The latter has been running longer and has more than one session for kids of my age. The classes here are 10 minutes longer than those at All American Gymnastics and we have a few “free time” sessions when we can do whatever we feel like. Coach Kylee is one of the main characters in the pictures below because she helped me a lot with all the routines.

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Top of Badger Mountain within reach

Unlike most other times, today I only hiked on my feet when I specifically requested. That means we stoppped less to pick up stones or dirt from the trail. Because more time was available for actual hiking, we passed the stone marking the Lake Lewis elevation and we made it all the way up to a second bench (made from rocks) on the trail. Close to this point we met mommy and khaleh Ziba, who started hiking at the same time as us and were already coming down from the top of Badger Mountain. We are very close to the top, we just need a final push to make it all the way there.

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All American Gymnastics

Given my past as a gymnast, my parents decided to enroll me in a gymnastics class. Today we checked out the All American Gymnastics and Sports Center. I was not really interested in the gymnastics lesson, but I had a lot of fun with the big blue foam blocks.

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Surrounded by water

One of the gadgets in the water park is composed of consecutive holes in the ground, which throw water at an angle in opposite directions (see the first picture). Two water tunnels form when the water pressure is large enough (one to the left, one to the right). You can teoretically go through the tunnels without getting wet, which is exactly what I demonstrate in the second picture. You can also see daddy cheating his way around the water tunnel. In a different gadget, the water comes out of the ground through several holes distributed in a circle. The third picture shows me and daddy inside the circle (daddy convinced me that this would be fun). But as soon as I got inside the circle daddy got out leaving me there by myself (fourth picture). I found that course of action completely unacceptable, so I also decided to get out of the circle (fifth picture).

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Water Park

Besides a play area and a few sport fields, the Badger Mountain Community Park has a Splash and Play area. We’ve visited this area several times when I was too little to play (I could not even walk), then when the water was not running. Now that the weather outside got really warm, my mommy agreed to let me play with water. I was a little reluctant until daddy took me through a gate spraying very fine water droplets. After I got comfortable going through that gate myself, daddy pushed it even further: he ran with me through several gates (see the first picture below). After a little while, I was running there holding daddy’s hand, then all by myself (see the second picture). Moreover, I wanted mommy to experience the joy of running through fine water droplets, so I insisted that she comes with me (see the third picture). There were quite a few other devices splashing water, some of which were really scary. But I stayed within my comfort level and I had a lot of fun.

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