Riding ponies

Today I was invited to a cowboy themed birthday party: Jase (a friend of mine from the co-op class I attend at the Richland Community Center) is turning 2. There were some activities that real cowboys and cowgirls rarely get involved in, like playing in a bouncy house or playing in the sand. These were my favorite activities though and mommy had to convince me to try riding the ponies.

Here are a few pictures of me riding and petting real ponies. Of course, after these rides I happily got back to the sand and the bouncy house.

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The pools

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:

This is part of our trip to Mexico: Welcome to Gran Bahia Principe Coba | The pools | At the beach | Tulum | Chichen Itza | Gran Bahia Principe in the dark | Coba | Kids’ club

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Picking a pumpkin

It has been more than a month now that every Wednesday I go with Parna, mommy, and khaleh Frough at a co-op class held in the Richland Community Center. Today we had a field trip to Country Mercantile. Below are pictures of activities we were involved in (not necessarily comprehensive nor in order). The hay pyramid and the hay maze were a lot of fun.

We also went to the petting zoo, where we saw a moose, cows, goats, sheep, pigs and rabbits.

Here are some more random pictures taken by mommy during the day.

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Fly like an eagle

My parents keep telling me that I would see eagles for a few days now. I was pretty excited because I know what eagles are (I saw a picture of one in my “E” book). Every time I inquired about seeing the eagles, they would tell me “wait until Saturday”. Saturday finally came and we drove all the way to Chamna Natural Preserve, where we saw two falcons, two owls and one hawk (a total of five raptors). No eagles, by the way, but that didn’t seem important at the time. Other people gathered there did not know what the owls say, so I amazed them with my owl noise: “who-who-who”. We heard the story of each bird with the reasons why they could not be released in the wild anymore. The stories were a little too long for a 2 year-old, so no wonder that I lost my patience half-way through.

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Palouse Falls

Today I noticed a change in my daily routine: instead of going to bed after lunch, my parents buckled me in the car seat. I took my nap while they were driving and I woke up only after we made it to the Palouse Falls. We stared at the falls from the view point only for a few minutes, then we started hiking. We went all the way to the left until we could not see the falls anymore. The only significant elevation change during our hike happened at the train tracks: we hiked down into the canyon close to the same level as the water at the top of the falls. It didn’t take long before we reached a big stone, where we rested. There is a trail going down to the base of the falls, but that was outside the scope of this trip. Here are some pictures of us during the hike:

Remember the big stone where we rested in pictures above? Try to find it in the pictures of the waterfall below:

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Vancouver Aquarium

Mommy took me to the Vancouver Aquarium today, where we had a pretty busy schedule:

  • We learned how to take care of dolphins, just in case I get a dolphin-pet. Later in the day we saw a dolphin show and I will never forget how the dolphins were clapping.
  • I sort of didn’t listen to what a guy was talking about penguins. I guess I am not that interested in a penguin-pet.
  • We saw two more shows, one involving a Beluga and the other one with sea lions.
  • I played in the clown fish cove.
  • We learned about Amazon birds.

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I say “bird”

I used to see birds flying all the time. I would point at them and tell my parents “birdies” (sometimes I could spot them even before my parents would notice them). They were just a few during the winter, but I saw more and more as the weather warmed up. Today I saw lots and lots of birds when we went to a park along the Columbia River. I met my friends over there and we quickly figured out that we were too slow to catch any of the birds. Consequently, we kinda ignored the birds after a while and had fun playing in the park.

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Meeting a real ladybug

I have a book with a grouchy ladybug who is constantly looking for a fight. I learned a lot from that book, including the word “ladybug”. Nowadays I like to open the book, find the ladybug and point at it on every page. Today my parents surprised me by enabling an encounter with a real ladybug. It was really exciting to see the real thing and I was very courageous. I got just a little scared when the ladybug climbed on my finger and getting rid of it by shaking my hand took longer than I anticipated. But having a real ladybug on my finger freaked me out only once – I even enjoyed it afterwards.

Disclaimer: no ladybug was hurt before, during, or after this photo session.

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The place where we spent the night was not a bed-and-breakfast because the breakfast was not included. And it was too small to be considered a motel; we are still looking for the proper English word that would describe the Romanian “pensiune”. Anyway: we woke up, we checked out the grounds, we played with puppies, we ate breakfast, we picked some plums, then we took off. Here are a few pictures:

Today we drove on a new highway built along an old Roman route going through a mountain pass. I was asleep most of the time, but everybody seemed to have enjoyed the trip. Here are a few pictures of the nature in the area:

Now a few pictures with the people who joined me in this adventure:

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North Yellowstone

Last time we visited Yellowstone we were short on time and missed the two north districts of the park. Despite my most sincere hopes that they would clear the snow in the Beartooth Pass earlier than usual (Memorial Day), the road was closed, which rendered the original plan of entering the park through its (apparently) the most scenic (north-eastern) entrance completely unfeasible. We entered the park through its Gardiner entrance and saw wildlife immediately. There were herbivores all over the place, even in places with very significant human presence, like the Mammoth Visitor Center.

The first goal was seeing the terraces before lunch. They are some very interesting formations of layered pools displaying intense colors as the hot water trickles down. Unfortunately they become relatively plain when the pools dry out because the hot spring’s decision to flow on an alternative path. We walked the boardwalk among the Lower Terraces enjoying the beauty of the active features. On the other hand, the appearance of the terraces created by dormant springs constantly reminded us how ephemeral this beauty was. The situation of the higher terraces is worse: only Orange Spring Mound seemed to be still active.

After (a late) lunch, we hit the Beaver Ponds trail. The first part was pretty steep, but it soon became an easy walk. We kept looking for those beaver ponds, but instead we saw two black bears foraging too close to the trail. We decided that seeing the beaver ponds was not that important after all: getting back to report the bears sighting at the visitor center suddenly seemed a much better idea. Plus, there were other trails in the park, for example Trout Lake Loop (close to the north-east entrance). Another steep ascend, followed by a relatively easy walk around the thawing lake, complicated only by a few patches of snow.

We saw quite a few more animals between Mammoth and the north-east entrance, especially bison with little calves. A grizzly running very close to the road was extremely entertaining; we first saw it because a large crowd was staring at it. After it got out of our sight, we drove to the next pullout and waited for it to show up again. The trick worked only once, we lost it at the following pullout. However, the bear presence led to a huge bison migration across the road, apparently trying to take their calves to safer grounds.

Photos: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

This is part of our trip to Yellowstone National Park: North Yellowstone | Geysers | Yellowstone Canyon

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