We drove from Cleveland to Niagara Falls and spent the rest of the day touring around Niagara Falls. We meant to see the falls from the Canada side, but by the time we were done touring around the American side it was pretty late so we didn’t venture across the border. The section of the falls you see in this picture is the American side of the falls. The entire Niagara Falls is in a horse shoe shape, and it is difficult to see the whole thing from the American side. So, in most of our pictures you can only see the American side. The Niagara Falls are a lot bigger than you’ll see in our pictures. If you look very closely in this picture you can see a very small part of the Canada side to the right of Chris’s head.

We first went on the Maid of the Mist tour that takes you closer to the falls so you can see all of it. Over the loud speaker they also tell more about the history of the falls, and some of the incredible stories associated with it (like the people who have gone over the falls in a barrel and survived!).

Chris is modeling the awesome ponchos they give you for the Maid of the Mist tours. Because you get fairly close to the falls you can get a lot of mist on you so they give you these souvenir ponchos to keep you dry 🙂

This is an awesome view of the falls as we rode by on the Maid of the Mist tour. I love the rainbow in this picture.

This part of the falls is called Bridal Veil Falls. They have a Cave of the Winds tour that takes you right underneath the falls. We thought it looked sooo fun….

That we decided to do it too!

As we walked to the Cave of the Winds tour we got an awesome view of the falls from up above.

For this tour, they also give you a thin poncho to keep you dry as well as “special shoes” to keep you from slipping as you walk near the falls. These shoes are merely cheap sandals. I think our Dozers would have been way better for the job, but to go on the tour you have to wear these shoes. The ponchos are not any better than the ones they give you for the Maid of the Mist, so I had very little faith that they would actually keep my dry. I put on my rain jacket underneath in hopes that at least my shirt would stay dry.

This part is called the Hurricane Deck. You are directly under the waterfall. You can see why I had little faith that the thin poncho would keep me dry. We had so much fun playing in the water and trying to take pictures. It was difficult to see because the mist was so thick you could hardly open your eyes without getting water in them. We never walked directly toward the waterfall, we always walked in backwards because that was the only way to keep your eyes open. We had so much fun and got nearly drenched (except most of my shirt, yay!). We totally recommend this tour to anyone who is going to Niagara Falls. We had a blast… haha.

Our next stop was Cleveland, Ohio and surrounding areas. We were there for three days . My good friend Mollie has been living in Cleveland for the past year, and it was sooo fun to see her again.

Kirtland, Ohio

The first day there we visited the church history sites in the area. We took a tour of the old homes including the Newel K. Whitney store.

Woohoo, we’re both in the picture! Mollie was kind enough to take our picture. These types of photos are few, so I thought I’d include it 🙂 We’re inside the Whitney store.

We were also able to tour the Kirtland Temple. The early church members sacrificed so much to build this temple. Our tour group sang The Spirit of God at the end of the tour in the temple. There is such a wonderful spirit there.

Cedar Point – “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World”

We spent a full day at Cedar Point Amusement Park. It has more rides than any other amusement park, and the most number of roller coasters over 200 feet tall. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun. Here I am getting onto the second ride of the day… smiling, but really nervous.

This roller coaster is called The Dragster, and you can see 95% of the roller coaster in this picture. It is a pretty short ride, a total of 17 seconds long. On this ride you reach 120mph in less than 4 seconds. You climb 420 feet to the top of the roller coaster you see behind Chris then drop back down.

This roller coaster is Magnum-XL 200. The tallest and fastest roller coaster when it opened in 1989, a mere 72mph reaching 205 feet into the air.

Chris is in the front seat of this water ride. We had already gone on a water ride, but there was a very short wait and he was eager to get soaked again.

This ride, Raptor, was really fun, especially because we waited to sit in the front row so it really felt like we were flying. We found out the hard way that at night the bugs come out and they aren’t very good at dodging the roller coasters. I think I ate at least one bug. After this ride I didn’t open my mouth or smile anymore.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

We don’t really have any pictures of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because they don’t allow pictures inside the museum. Outside the museum they had Johnny Cash’s tour bus. Neither of us knew very much about the development of rock and roll and the early musicians/bands, but after spending some time in the museum we had learned a lot.

We decided to make it a complete rock and roll day, so we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner.

We spent some time just wandering around the Hard Rock Cafe looking at all the rock and roll memorabilia on the walls.

I learned about this piece of modern art in my art history class. So of course we had to go find it and take some pictures of this awesome, giant stamp. This artist has made several large sculptures of ordinary objects and placed them in the downtown areas of major cities.

We found a lot of guitars placed throughout the city.

We went with Mollie to her friend’s house to play cards (a different version of King, Queen, Peasant, Scum). They had this silly hat that the king could decide who had to wear it. Chris lovingly decided that when he was king, I had to wear it. Thanks honey 🙂

Breakfast with Mollie

The end of our stay in Ohio came all too quickly. We all went out for breakfast before we had to leave for our next destination. We miss you Mollie!

We had a few days of rest in Utah before we headed out again. Rested and repacked we drove 14 hours to Lincoln, Nebraska to stay the night with our couchsurfing host Colby Thomson. We had a great time talking with him and getting to know him. We got up early the next morning to drive to Chicago, Illinois.

Art Institute of Chicago

On Thursdays the Art Institute of Chicago is free after 4pm. I really wanted to get there in time to go through the museum, so we had to get an early start. Eight hours later we arrived in Chicago, and we had and hour and a half before the museum closed.

We hurried through trying to see everything. Here are a few of my favorites:

Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

Wood, American Gothic

Hopper, Nighthawks

Millennium Park

Millenium Park has a lot of interesting and fun things to see. In this section of the park there are two huge pillars. The pillars sit in a very shallow wading pool (only an inch or two of water) and they also have water running down the sides of the pillars. On the side that faces the other pillar they have tons of tv screens that display faces (like in the picture below). The real surprise is that every 5 or 10 minutes these faces spit water out of the mouth! It was a nice way to cool off after walking around in the heat.

Adler Planetarium

We spent several hours at the Adler Planetarium. There were a lot of cool exhibits and interactive displays.

They had a few costumes to try on. This is what a student would have worn hundreds of years ago.

Chris – the next astronaut! Ironically, article actually mentions a Mr. Jones.

Giordano’s Stuffed Pizza

Since we were in Chicago, we had to try Chicago style pizza (stuffed pizza as they call it). We went to the highly rated Giordano’s, and it was really delicious and super cheesy. We definitely ate more than we should have.

Hancock Tower

Since “The Tower Formerly Known as Sears” (Willis Tower) is no longer “The Sears Tower” it lost a little of the magic, and we didn’t feel obligated to ride the elevator to the top of that particular building. Instead, we went to the John Hancock Tower. While The Hancock also charges money to ride the elevator to the observatory, we chose to go with the free elevator ride to the lounge (two floors down from the top). The only catch is that there is a one drink per person minimum. So, we chose from the four non-alcoholic drink options and enjoyed a Pina Colada while looking out at the city.

While we were enjoying our view of the city, we realized why everyone was gathered near one particular window… an air show was going on! We got a really good view of the air show from the top of The Hancock.

You can see the pilot was doing some crazy stunts.

Delightful Pastries

I had read a review that mentioned an amazing pastry shop. So we had to go and make sure it really was as amazing as they said. Yes, yes it was.

Movie In The Park: Where The Wild Things Are

We decided to go and relax at a movie in the park. While we were there waiting for the movie to start the air show was still going on and the Blue Angels flew really close overhead a couple of times. It was really cool to see them so close. As everyone was setting up their blankets for the movie we noticed that everyone was putting on tons of bug spray… we hadn’t noticed any mosquitos. About an hour later we were really wishing we had bug spray! I’m sure that every mosquito within a ten mile radius was there ready to feast on our blood. We put a blanket on over us, but it was so warm outside we were sweating. We finally asked to borrow some bug spray. We enjoyed the movie, but it definitely was not one of our favorites.

Kingston Mines

Our couchsurfing hosts, Rob and Ginny, took us to Kingston Mines to hear local blues. We had never heard live blues, and it was pretty cool. There are some very, very talented people in this world.

We had a wonderful time with our hosts Rob and Ginny. They are really fun, awesome people, and we had a great time getting to know them.

Wrigley Field

We weren’t able to go to a game here, but it was fun to come and see the historic Wrigley Field.

Tribune Tower

This is a building that (somehow) got stone or brick from famous buildings all over the world and built those pieces into their facade.

These two pieces are from Roman Ruins and the Arc de Triumph in Paris.

Street Performers

In any big city, you will find street performers. We showed up right as this group got going. I snapped a really good picture right in the middle of their stunt. Two guys set up the stunt, the one in the black shirt bending over and the one doing the hand stand. Then the third guy ran and jumped hands and head first through the arms of the man doing the hand stand. So this picture was taken right in the middle of the stunt as his feet go through. It happened so fast I nearly missed the whole thing.

Art in the City

Ah, you gotta love these random, giant pieces of art scattered throughout the city.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

They have a free museum at the Federal Reserve, and we spent a little time in there learning about money and banking.

This cube holds one million, one dollar bills.

Buckingham Fountain

We wandered into a park and found this wonderful fountain. We happen to arrive just a few minutes before 9pm, and we discovered that at 9pm music plays over hidden speakers and there is a fountain show. It was really pretty, but we didn’t have our camera with us. I snapped this photo of the fountain later as we drove by.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Robie House

We drove by the Robie House designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright on our way out of town.

And that’s Chicago!

From Bowron we headed back toward Utah through three very beautiful national parks: Jasper, Banff, and Glacier. We didn’t have a ton of time so we just stopped at a few places.

Jasper National Park

As we drove into Jasper, we decided to take a scenic detour and stopped at Athabasca Falls. It was a pretty big waterfall, and we had fun walking around and reading nearly all of the posted signs.

Our major stop was the Columbia Ice Fields. These buses are specially made for driving onto the ice field. It’s top speed is 12 mph.

Chris is drinking glacier water! It was very cold and quite delicious.

You can see the whole glacier in this picture.

Banff National Park

This is Lake Louise. Many people told us we had to stop at Lake Louise, so here we are! It is a beautiful lake. It gets its beautiful blue color because of rock flour. As the glacier moves it grinds the rocks into a very fine powder and when that mixes with the water it makes the lake a very pretty blue. It has to be the right concentration of rock flour, because if there is too much in the lake it looks like a dingy gray color. But for this lake, it has the perfect concentration of rock flour.

We loved the drive through the parks. It was all very beautiful.

Lake Louise was very pretty, but we also think Lake Moraine is gorgeous. The water was more vibrant than I’ve ever seen. Lake Moraine was just a short drive from Lake Louise. There is only a tiny parking lot next to Lake Moraine, and I think the only reason we got a parking spot was because it started to rain. The rain seemed persistent so people started to leave and we got a parking spot! Lucky for us, the rain stopped soon after we got out of the car.

Glacier National Park

We arrived at the gates of Glacier National Park on a Saturday morning and found a huge line of cars trying to get into the park. We inched forward and when it finally got to us we found out that they were just letting people in the park for free to try and get the lines shorter. Woohoo! It was our lucky day. We made a lot more scenic stops along the road as we drove through Glacier. Here is our first stop: Lake McDonald Falls.

After that, we went on a 3 mile hike up to Avalanche Lake. I’m sure there is a story behind the name Avalanche Lake, but I don’t know what it is. Maybe avalanches are involved.

The view is stunning as you drive along the main road through the park called the Going-to-the-Sun road. Pictures just can’t capture what you see as you drive along, but here is an idea of what it looked like.

Also, within the park is the continental divide.

Day 7: Una Lake to Pat’s Point

We like to take it easy in the mornings. Mid-morning naps in the hammock are wonderful.

We were paddling and paddling down a shallow stream when I realized that we could probably walk faster than we could paddle and it took way less effort. So, I jumped out of the canoe and pulled it along as I walked through the stream. It was also nice to cool off a little.

Here is Chris in front of Babcock Creek. They no longer allow you to line your canoe through the creek. You now have to portage around it. Woohoo 🙂

When we finally made it to Pat’s Point we found the shelter where Chris and his family have written their names.

Chris looked and looked but couldn’t find where he had written his name the last time he was here.

Another beautiful lake!

His & Hers. We bought these his and hers Teva Dozers right before leaving for our trip. We really like our shoes… even if they gave us blisters (our fault for not wearing them before the trip).

Day 8: Pat’s Point to Bowron Lake!

It was our last day, so of course we had to spend some time in the hammock that morning.

Navigating the Bowron River is more difficult when you don’t know where you are on the map. The posted signs weren’t extremely helpful either.

When we got close to the shore we paddled as hard as we could. We had a great time, but we wanted to get off the lake and get to a shower and food!

Celebratory cupcakes 🙂

I may have gotten a bit of a tan while we were there.

We asked a lady who was sitting nearby if she would take our picture…

After we posed for the picture she asked, “Were you the ones taking all the muscle shots at Una Lake?” No, no…. that wasn’t us…

Day 4: The Chute to Lanezi Lake

Navigating the Chute and the Cariboo River was the part I was dreading the most. The guide books we briefly looked at warned the novice canoeists that trying to navigate the chute was very difficult and gave several stories where things went wrong. One story went something like this, “The father and son tipped their canoe while trying to navigate the chute. Both were upset and the father couldn’t understand what had gone wrong. He had been around the circuit several times with no problem.” The book went on to say that the father was an inexperienced canoeist who had merely been lucky on his previous three trips and that his luck had finally run out. He also said that the boy and father were shaken and had now lost all confidence. What a story to tell in a guide book! Before reading this story I had thought that we’d be fine because Chris had been down the chute before without a problem, but now I was really worried.

Luckily we were able to watch two groups go through the chute before we went through ourselves. They went through without any problems and it didn’t look that difficult so we went for it! This picture is of the group who went before us. We later camped with this group several times and got to know them better. Jim, Diane, Carol, and Randy were all very nice, fun people, and we had a great time camping with them.

The broken canoe parts make you wonder if anyone has ever accidentally gone over the waterfall or if they just put them there for dramatic effect. As we paddled through the Cariboo River we saw several more broken canoes, and it was rather eerie. They were warning signs that you have to stay alert as you paddle through the river otherwise you’ll end up like those canoes.

This is Isaac River Falls (the waterfall the sign warns you about). It was just a very short hike from the trail, but easy to miss.

McCleary Lake. Apparently everyone else who paddled on this lake that day saw a moose off to the left. We completely missed it.

Day 5: Lanezi Lake to Una Lake

Packing up the tent! Another skill we had perfected by the end of the trip.

Lanezi Lake. Another beautiful morning without a cloud in the sky!

This pit toilet was a little less… private than the rest.

While paddling on Lanezi Lake we noticed that the water was very calm and we got a few great pictures with the reflection of the mountains on the lake.

We arrived at Una Lake and underneath the sign it had a “Bear in area” warning sign. Luckily, by this point I was less afraid of the bears and this didn’t bother me too much.

Shortly after we arrived at Una Lake we had a short rain shower (2 mins 🙂 and then there was a lot of thunder and lightning. We saw the lightning strike on the mountain to our right. Soon after we saw flames and smoke on the mountain side as you can see in the picture. This fire didn’t last too long and burned out about a few hours later.

Here is the campsite we shared with our friends at Una Lake. We’re the tent on the far right!

Here we are playing Bug Your Neighbor with (in order) Jim, Diane, Carol, and Randy.

Day 6: Una Lake!

We stayed an extra day at Una Lake, and we were sad to see Jim, Diane, Carol, and Randy leave, but they had to press on. We did make a new friend though… a squirrel! The squirrel would drop the pine cones from the trees with the intent to come down and eat them later. Chris thought it would be fun to gather them all up and put them on this tree stump. The squirrel really got upset at Chris for moving its pine cones, but we came back later and the squirrel had eaten them all.

We hiked to the Cariboo Falls. Here is the view of the falls at the top.

Rainbow over Cariboo Falls.

Though we couldn’t have a fire, we still had our brand new, ordered-specifically-for-the-Bowron-trip ax. So Chris chopped wood sometimes, just for fun.

This smoky cloud is from the second strike of lightning that we saw the first night on Una Lake. We couldn’t see the fire or the smoke on the first night, so we assumed it had also died. Apparently the fire was going pretty strong. At the end of the circuit we talked to the ranger and discovered that they had actually closed part of the circuit because of the fire. They weren’t allowing people go past the end of Isaac Lake and they weren’t allowing people go down the west side past Pat’s Point. Also, we didn’t know it at the time, but the rangers were also hurrying people along the circuit where they had closed it. We were one day ahead of the closure and so we still went at our own pace.

We had a little bit of fun while swimming in Una Lake. Woohoo for a day with no paddling!

To view Bowron Lakes Part 3 click here.

The Bowron Lakes Circuit is a Provincial Park located in British Columbia, Canada. It is a circuit of 10 lakes, about half of them connected with water and the other half have a portage from one lake to the next. The round trip was 72 miles, and we spent 8 days on the circuit. This may make some of the Jones family very jealous, but I have to report that we had a total of only 10 minutes of rain the entire trip. It was a beautiful 75 degrees the whole time we were there. Every day we, and all the other campers, were astonished that it still hadn’t rained. We had a wonderful time on our trip and only got minor scrapes and blisters 🙂

Day 1: Ranger Station to Indian Point Lake

The first morning we had a big breakfast at the Bear River Mercantile Restaurant before our 9 am orientation meeting.

We got out canoe gear weighed (couldn’t put more than 60lbs in the canoe) and somehow got the rest of our gear strapped onto our packs. Chris is a stud because he carried this huge pack nearly the whole trip because his pansy wife just couldn’t carry that much on her pack. For those unfamiliar with the canoe circuit, to portage from one lake to the next we put our canoe on the wheels, like in the picture, and we push/pull the canoe and haul our packs anywhere from 100 yards to 2 miles from one lake to the next. It didn’t sound too hard, but the terrain is not all that flat or smooth. Portaging was not my favorite part of the trip.

The circuit starts with a long portage and then you finally arrive at Kibee Lake! The first time we tried to fit all of the gear into the canoe it took awhile, but by the end of 8 days… we had it down pretty quick. We finally got all the gear in and Chris tied everything down pretty good – just in case.

We set up camp and it was such a beautiful afternoon we pulled out the hammocks and took a nice nap.

We were only able to have a campfire the first night because of a campfire ban. So we took full advantage of the campfire and had lots of smores! It was delicious. (We’re not going to mention the fact that my thumb accidentally touched a piping hot marshmallow and got badly burned.)

Day 2: Indian Point to Isaac Lake

Ah, more portaging. My favorite.

Bowron Lakes is very beautiful, and it is so hard to capture it in a picture. I kept trying though. Here we are paddling on Isaac Lake. Our second day was a very looong day by accident. We decided to go just a little bit farther and then we found that the next 5 campsites were full so we paddled a lot farther than we intended to trying to find a campsite.

As we were paddling we saw this brown thing in the lake then suddenly it disappeared. After about 30 seconds it popped up again. We were so far away we had no idea what it could be. After awhile we determined it had to be an animal of some sort.

As we got closer I got really nervous… it could be a bear! Then it would pursue us, pull us out of the canoe, and tear us apart!! Ok, so my imagination went wild for a second. I was still terrified of bears at this point. We reasoned that it couldn’t be a bear because just the head was above water and it didn’t seem like a bear was likely to do that. We got even closer and we realized it was a moose. We also noticed that on the shore was a calf.

Day 3: Isaac Lake

Still trying to capture what we saw and experienced on the lakes. So pretty! We took it easy the third day because we went so far the second day and my arms sure loved the rest.

So comfy in his cocoon. Great way to keep bugs off of you. These parachute camping hammocks are fabulous.

Can’t go anywhere without popcorn! My favorite treat.

To view Bowron Lakes Part 2 click here.

After Seattle, we made our way to Canada for the Bowron Lakes Circuit. We stopped at Hell’s Gate on our way to Wells. Before the starting the circuit we spent a day at Barkerville, an old restored mining town.

Hell’s Gate

This Hell’s Gate is the only tram that goes down to reach the destination. Every other tram goes up first. This whole trip it has been difficult to dress for the weather. In Seattle I needed a jacket, and I thought I would definitely need one here, but as we got out of the car and started walking… sheesh, it was hot outside!

This is the view as you ride the tram down to the river. I’m a little afraid of heights, so Chris was in charge of taking these pictures.

Here we are on the bridge that crosses the river. It is a very narrow swift river at this point. This area got its name from the explorer, Simon Fraser, who came through here and wrote in his journal, “We had to travel where no human being should venture, for surely we have encountered the gates of hell.”

Both Chris and I tried our hand at panning for gold, but all we found was ordinary rocks. I think we would have been one of the many hundreds of people who never struck it rich in the gold rush.

The Best of Wells, B.C.

We stayed in Wells for a night before seeing Barkerville. We came in fairly late after driving all day and stayed at the Hubs Motel. The owner of the motel makes these delicious cookies everyday from her secret recipe (the most I could get out of her was a confirmation that there was cinnamon in the cookies). She was very friendly and even though we only stayed one night she gave us cookies at least three different times 🙂

Another of our favorites in Wells is the Bear Paw Cafe. The night that we drove in late we found ourselves very hungry in a small town that shuts down fairly early. The only thing open was the Bear Paw Cafe. When we went in, the owner gave us the menu and told us there were three things she could make for us. None of them struck our fancy, but she had mentioned the Thai dish was good. Skeptically, we ordered the Thai dish. Turns out it was amazing! We dreamed about this food while we were on Bowron. After we got off the circuit we wanted to eat there one last time before we hit the road again. To our dismay the Bear Paw Cafe was closed because of a huge festival that had gone on while we were on the circuit. It was sooo busy that they closed the cafe to give everyone a day off and some time to recuperate. We sadly had to leave Wells without our Thai food.


This is a picture of Barkerville. I found it a little humorous to learn that many of these buildings were originally located a mile or so away… but they brought them all here for our walking convenience. So, the original town didn’t look quite like this 🙂

We had fun going around to all the “shows” put on by actors that represented and explained the people and lifestyle at the time Barkerville was a lively mining town.

At Barkerville they have a real blacksmith there working. You can buy some of the things he makes. It was fun to watch.

We have spent two and a half days enjoying Seattle. In that short amount of time we’ve been able to do a lot of sight-seeing. We’ve done the tourtist-y things and some that were a little off the beaten path: Space Needle, Seattle Underground Tour, Pike’s Market, Chittenden Locks, Olympic Sculpture Park, Theo Chocolate Factory Tour, Klondike Gold Rush Museum, Seattle Museum of Mysteries, Fremont Troll, The Center of the Universe, Gas Works Park, and the Sound Garden (Magnuson Park). We’ve also had a great time with our Couch Surfing host Kaifu. He was kind enough to take us to places where you can see a picturesque view of Seattle.

To help me keep up on the blog and to spare you some of the boring details/pictures I’ve posted only a few of the best pictures. If you want to know more about these places, The Fremont Troll, Seattle Underground Tour, Museum of Mysteries, and more can be found in this book, “Seattle Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff.

The Fremont Troll

This is the troll that lives under a bridge in Seattle. As we were searching to find it, Chris decided to ask someone for directions as we were walking by. He said, “Excuse me, is there a troll under that bridge?” In any other city or circumstance that would be a really ridiculous question, but not in Seattle. If you want to see something else that is ridiculous, click here! I always thought those were silly, but that may be the silliest yet.

Seattle Underground Tour

Before this tour, the only reason we knew that Seattle had some sort of underground was because there was a tour of it. We took this tour and really learned a lot about the history of Seattle. I’ll give the condensed version: Seattle burned down sometime in the 1800s (I learned a lot, but that doesn’t mean I remember everything I heard on the tour). As they planned how to rebuild the city, they decided to re-grade the city to lift it up off of the tide flat. This process was going to take way too long, so they rebuilt stores and such right away. Then the city came along and built a retaining wall 8 – 32 feet high next to the sidewalk and built the road up above the first floor and sidewalk. They used ladders temporarily to get from sidewalk to road but eventually built a sidewalk above at the new street level. The second floor of the building was now ground level. That leaves the original sidewalk and first floor store entrances under the sidewalk. In the picture Chris is going down the stairs under the sidewalk. We had a great time on the tour.

Pike’s Market

It was fun to walk around Pike’s Market and see all the shops and delicious food. A crowd gathers as everyone eagerly awaits the next fish throw. We waited around long enough and were able to catch a picture of it. The blur in the middle is the fish 😉

Space Needle

As overpriced as it seemed, we decided we just had to go up on top of the Space Needle. It was the must-see of Seattle. We were blown away by the amazing and beautiful views of the city.

This is the kind of picture you get when you ask another tourist to take a picture of you. Cute huh… well, that half of my face…

It was just beautiful to see the whole city like this.

Olympic Sculpture Park

I was astounded when I saw this sculpture. Last year in Washington D.C. I took a picture in front of a sculpture exactly like this one. I did not know that there were three of these in existence! I think the third one is in New York. In case you’re like me and had no idea what this was, it is a giant (10x) typewriter eraser.

View of Seattle

Seattle Museum of Mysteries

This was a museum off the beaten path. It was full of books and displays about the unknown (Big Foot, UFOs, ghosts, etc). One of the museum volunteers explained some of the stories and showed us some of the displays. The picture shows the casts of Big Foot.

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour

This was another favorite stop (couldn’t be because of the free chocolate samples). They told us about the process it takes to make chocolate and let us sample the different kinds of chocolate they make at the factory. Their chocolate doesn’t have all the fillers that most chocolate does and has a higher percentage of cocoa (45% vs 12% in milk chocolate). As you can guess, the chocolate was oh so tasty.

As you can see from the picture they has samples of every kind of chocolate. We tried them all once, and our favorites… a few more times than once.

The Chittenden Locks

It was really interesting to watch the boats come in, the gate close, and the lock begin to fill with water rising to the level of the fresh water. We also spent time looking at the fish ladder and watched the fish swim around in the water. We only caught a glimpse of a fish as it jumped up the fish ladder.

The Sound Garden

We made our way to Magnuson Park and asked for directions to the Sound Garden (makes music when the wind blows) but we were told that unfortunately you can no longer go to the Sound Garden. For some unknown reason they decided to block it off. You used to be able to go through this gate and make your way over to the structure.

This is a picture from a little ways away. I was hopeful we’d be able to hear something, but we were rather far away and the wind wasn’t really blowing very much. The rest of the park was very pretty and we enjoyed a walk by the beach.

Welp, that’s all folks! But if you’re anything like me, it’s always fun to watch a movie about the city you are going to visit before (or after) you’ve visited it. Then you recognize places and can say, “I’ve been there!” So here’s a classic for you: Sleepless in Seattle.

We spent the second day of our trip buying last minute supplies for Bowron and visiting Chris’s family. I always enjoy visiting with the Jones family. While we were there, we stayed with Carl and Aimee and were able to visit Julie and Gary. While at the Ham’s, my nephew Jacob really wanted me to go and jump on the trampoline with him. It has been a long time since I’ve jumped on a trampoline, and Julie’s kids were pros when it came to flips and tricks. After the trampoline, Julie and Gary shared some of their horror memorable stories about their time on Bowron Lakes. It was fun to hear more stories, and I feel a little bit more prepared for our own adventure. Later, Jacob wanted to show Aunt Brittany how fast he can ride his bike around the block 🙂 He really likes his Aunt Brittany. So, Chris, Lindy, Jacob, and I went around the block together.