Beautiful Victoria, BC

While camping in the Olympic Peninsula, we trekked over to Victoria by way of ferry boat and spent the day exploring the charming city!  The drive from the Klahowya Campground to Port Angeles was beautiful as we wrapped around Crescent Lake.  We woke up a little late and had to mega rush to get everyone in the car (Carter was half dressed… and seriously though, he wasn’t wearing pants yet).  So, though the drive on the winding roads around Crescent Lake was very beautiful, I was feeling extra queasy as I was trying to do my hair and makeup in the car.

 

The Ferry

I mentioned that we were rushed getting everyone into the car that morning so as to not miss the ferry boat (the next one wouldn’t have been for several hours), but what I didn’t mention is that WE WERE SUPER MEGA RUSHED!  So, Scott parked the car, paid for our spot then grabbed Zellie and ran off to buy ferry tickets while I quickly got Carter mostly dressed (still missing shoes…) and packed our day bag with diapers, food, and water.  Scott had run off with the keys by accident so I had to lock the car from the inside.  As soon as I had closed the door after locking, Scott called to remind me to grab the passports which I had totally forgotten!  I had also forgotten the camera… so Scott had to run back to the car to get the things I forgot.  I had started running with shoeless Carter towards Scott and we met about halfway.  I took Zellie from him (who I think was also shoeless) and the kids and I started booking it to the ferry.  Somehow we all made it to the building before they closed it to ferry walk-ons!  It was a pretty stressful 7 minutes, but we did make it and no one got lost! (Maybe it was just because I was so frazzled about being late and forgetting things, but I was so confused about how to get to where we needed to be to get on the ferry haha)

 

Man it felt good to be on the ferry!  And look at that beautiful view of Washington 😍

 

Carter LOVED the ferry.  He was so excited to be on such a big boat!  And we obviously didn’t have time to do his hair during the mad rush of the morning.. 🙈

 

The ferry ride was a little over an hour so we kept entertained (and probably provided entertainment to many others!) by have the kids race on the deck, spin around poles, and test out almost every available seat.  I’ve only been on one cruise, but I didn’t get seasick like many warned me of.  This ferry was something else!  It was so hard to walk around haha, and poor Zellie being so small and light!  She was very cautious while walking around.

 

Just waiting to get off the ferry boat.

 

Carter’s 20th or so stamp in his passport, and Zellie’s very first stamp in her passport!!

The Wharf

Upon arriving to Victoria, I was blown away at how beautiful it was!  There were just so many small details with landscaping and flowers, to the food trucks and vendors, to the brick, street signs, and street lights!  It was all just so charming!  We walked around the wharf and Carter was so excited to see all the different water taxis and ferries, but these sea planes were by far his favorite!  We got to see a couple take off and Carter loved it!

 

Lunch at Red Fish Blue Fish

For lunch we went to this place called Red Fish Blue Fish on the harbor.  In Scott’s research, it was the top rated place to eat in Victoria with fair warning about a line forming early on.  We got to the restaurant about an hour before opening and we were the fifth people in line.  Within 15 minutes of us lining up, There were at least 30 more people in line!  The line just kept growing too, so we’re glad we got there when we did.  Oh, and we VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU GO TO RED FISH BLUE FISH if you’re ever in Victoria.  We tried one thing from each section on the menu and it was all amazingly fantastic.  You really can’t go wrong!

 

This is just some of the stuff we ordered.  I don’t remember what anything was called (except for the fish and chips, obviously) but I’m serious that I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on the menu.  The flavors were all so unique and incredible and the quality was 👍👍👍  Also, we’ve eaten fish and chips in several different countries, but our favorite were by far in New Zealand.  Well, on this day in Victoria, BC we found a contender!  These were the closest tasting fish and chips that we’ve ever had to the ones in New Zealand!

 

The kids loved everything we ordered too which was kind of annoying because they ate a lot of it haha.

 

 

Chinatown

As part of our wandering, we made it to Chinatown.  Scott has special memories of visiting Chinatown in San Francisco as a young kid so he was especially excited to be taking Carter and Zellie.

 

The kids loved looking at all of the little trinkets and touching EVERYTHING in sight and arms reach in the stores haha.  Carter was just beside himself when Scott told him he could pick out something from one of the stores, and lucky us, he chose a sword 🤣  He was very serious about having a sword, being very careful to not whip it out at the wrong time and accidentally hit someone.  He was very proud of his sword and loved walking around the city with it.  We had to keep reminding him that it was intimidating for other people if he had his sword out as we were walking haha.  It was definitely an interesting choice seeing as how we continued to walk around the city for several more hours, but to this day he still loves his sword!

 

We used the buses to get around the city and the kids really loved it!  Zellie got all comfy in her seat and never wanted to get off haha.  Carter compared every bus to our bus!  He thought it would be pretty cool if we had some seats like these in our bus 🤣

 

Victoria Bug Zoo

We stopped at the Victoria Bug Zoo for a little while in the early afternoon to escape some of the heat, but funny enough, they actually keep the zoo very warm for all of the bugs… So it actually wasn’t any cooler inside!  Ha, we won’t make that mistake again.  But the kids really enjoyed seeing all of the different bugs.  There were a couple employees that walked around and did informational presentations on the different bugs.  They even took many of the bugs out of their habitats and let the kids see them really close and even touch some!

 

 

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

After the bug zoo, we went to Beacon Hill Children’s Farm.  There were a few different animals to see, but everyone’s favorite were the goats!  There were shelves of brushes, so we each grabbed one and had a blast just brushing all of the goats.

 

I got some really funny video of the kids (and Scott!) with the goats so keep an eye out for that!  Scott actually loved spending time with the goats more than the kids did haha.

 

About 32 weeks pregnant with baby #3!

 

We don’t have a double stroller, and we accidentally soaked the baby carrier we brought early on in the trip so Scott spent a lot of time towards the end of the day like this carrying both kids!  I posted on Instagram about our stroller dilemma, but I’d love to hear if you have any suggestions of a good double stroller that isn’t side by side, has hard plastic wheels, can accommodate a third kid via a riding board, is easy to maneuver, and folds up to a decent size.

 

 

Fisherman’s Wharf Park

To end our day in Victoria, we went to Fisherman’s Wharf Park and had dinner and ice cream!  This area is really cool because the restaurants, shops, and walkways are all floating!  It’s like food trucks, but on the water haha.

 

The whole atmosphere was so fun and we enjoyed dinner at Smoke and Anchor.

 

We then headed over to Jackson’s Ice Cream because, well, ICE CREAM!  Seriously, ice cream at the end of an exciting and exhausting day of exploring is just the best!

 

 

Back to the Ferry

Carter requested that I take his picture just like this. 🤣

 

The ferry ride home was a lot less than ideal… It was after the kids bedtime, the ferry was over an hour long, it was super crowded and it was freezing!  But, our day exploring Victoria was amazing and I can’t wait until we can go back so I’m okay if the short (in comparison to the entire day) ferry ride home was a bit of a lemon.  Until next time Victoria!!

Camping in the Olympic Peninsula… a while ago…

Well, I haven’t been blogging in some time!  Life has been pretty busy for me over the last couple of months, but it’s been so wonderful too!  My biggest project over the last couple months has been ZELLE, an online store filled with baby/toddler girls clothing and accessories hand made by yours truly!  It’s been an exciting time for me as I’ve poured my heart, soul, and countless hours of sleepless nights into this little shop and I’ve been blown away by the positive response and support that I’ve received since opening!  On top of the shop, I did a lot of photo shoots, was mom full time, prepped for baby #3 to join us, and somehow managed to not go completely crazy!  Now that baby #3 has joined us, I’m on “maternity leave” and my shop and photography are taking a short break to adjust to life as a family of 5 😊  I figured that when the baby joined us then I’d have ample time to finally edit photos and videos from the last TWO months of our life and work on updating the blog!  So here goes nothing 👍

Camping in the Olympic Peninsula

Towards the end of August, we decided to go camping in the Olympic Peninsula as our last big family trip before baby #3 came.  We chose to stay at the Klahowya Campground.  The campsites were pretty private, we were 50 yds from a beautiful river, and there was a lot of exploring for the kids to do!

The kids LOVE camping and they do so great with it, it really is such a fun family experience for all of us!  Since we were in the woods with no technology and our days were kind of dictated by the rising and setting of the sun (since that’s when the kids usually woke up and when we put them to bed) Scott and I ended up going to bed before 10pm every night!  It was a crazy thing getting so much sleep haha.

 

They love helping to set up the tent!  Zellie is not much help at all, but she enjoys watching and holding the steaks.  Carter is getting pretty good at assembling all of the poles and clipping the tent to them once it’s up!

 

Carter was so excited to help blow up the mattresses!

 

They seriously could play in the tent ALL. DAY. LONG.

 

It’s weird looking back at these photos with my baby belly so big!  Jameson has only been in our family for about a week, but I already can’t remember life without him!  I sure do love these two older kiddos of mine 💕  I’m far from a perfect mom, but they are both so forgiving and loving.  I’m so grateful for opportunities like camping that help us to be closer, experience more together, and grow stronger as a family!

Hood River County Fair

Oh, hi there.  I’m Emily and I’m really behind on blogging… Seriously though there are five drafts sitting in my “Posts” section and I don’t even know what I was planning on doing with some of them since it’s been so long!  I’m attempting to catch up though so yay me!  These photos are from when we went to the Hood River County Fair a couple weeks ago!

 

The fair took place a few days before the crazy heat wave came through Hood River so it was actually beautiful weather that evening!

 

Can we talk about this Sonnet James dress for a minute please?  It isn’t a maternity dress, but it’s so comfortable for maternity!  Scott actually got me this dress for Christmas last year.  Yes, he bought me clothes without me picking them out and yes he did an amazing job!  I love this dress and how functional and comfortable it is.  And I’m excited that I’ll get to wear it just as much after baby comes!

 

So, sad story about the fair… Scott and I had a little miscommunication about who was going to bring the cash, but we didn’t realize it until we were at the entrance…  We figured at the entrance they would take card and then we’d use the little cash that we did have to pay for the kids to ride a few things.  BUT, the entrance did not take card, they were cash only.  They said there was an ATM inside the fair so we gave them pretty much all of our cash and were hopeful that the ticket counter took card, and if not that we’d have the ATM to get more cash out.  Well, the ticket counter definitely did not take card either!  AND lucky us, the ATM was totally busted.  Poor Carter was so excited to ride the airplanes, trains, and carousel but he didn’t get to because his parents forgot the cash!  Luckily there was a whole section dedicated to the FFA and 4H programs so we spent almost 2 hours looking at and petting animals haha.

 

Zellie is obsessed with animals so she was having the time of her life squealing at all of them 🙂

 

28 week bump date photo!  I’m 32 weeks now and boy, let me tell you, 4 weeks makes such a huge difference in that belly size!  No joke, I totally feel pregnant now that I can’t bend down without grunting and you better believe I need help getting back up.

 

This pig was so funny!  It jumped up in excitement as we were walking close to it so Scott and the kids went over to pet it.  It was wagging it’s tail and twitching it’s ears and then slowly started to melt to the ground as the kids were petting it haha.  This pig loved the attention!

 

Even though we didn’t get to do any rides this time, we still had a lot of fun as a family and I’m so grateful for these kiddos of mine!  I’m the luckiest momma!

Wahtum Lake Hiking

A couple weeks ago we spent a Sunday afternoon hiking around Wahtum Lake in the Columbia River Gorge.  Well, the goal was to hike around the lake and make it to an incredible view spot, but we were having a really hard time finding the right trail… so we ended up walking back and forth on the same 100 yards of trail and then decided to just make our way down to the lake and let the kids explore for a bit!

 

Even though we were very confused as to where the right trail was supposed to be, it was a beautiful day with beautiful weather and we were surrounded by the most beautiful scenery!  After we turned around for the 5th time or so, Carter started to get a little annoyed haha.  He didn’t understand why we couldn’t keep going on the trail and we didn’t either!  And then there’s Zellie who is completely chill pretty much all the time and was loving the ride in the Ergobaby carrier.

Carter pretty much lived in the Ergobaby carrier for the first 18 months of his life when we lived in 12 countries, so sometimes it feels like we never use it for Zellie.  But we really do use it so often with her and she loves it so much!

 

Here Carter is hiding the stick that I asked him to put down because he kept “accidentally” tapping the back of my leg with it while we were hiking haha.  I turned around and he quickly threw it under his shirt!  Cheeky boy!

 

Wahtum Lake is stunning!!  The lake itself is hard to access and not really great for kids to play at, but Carter jumped right in with Scott (a little above Carter’s knees) and excitedly attempted to help catch crawdads.  Zellie on the other hand was not so happy that she was confined to sitting in a little rivet of tree roots to keep her safe, she would’ve much preferred to be in the water with the boys!

 

There are so many things that I love about our Ergobaby carrier, but mainly it is just so comfortable!  We’ve had this same carrier since Carter was a few months old and both kids have used (and abused!) it, but it is still in great condition.  Scott will even carry Carter in it when we go on really long hikes and Carter needs a little break!

 

Even though we’ve loved our Ergobaby carrier I know that there are some other styles and brands out there.  As we are prepping to add baby #3 to our adventure team I’m doing a lot of searching in regards to what will be the best for our family!  I’m so grateful to everyone who responded to my questions on Instagram and Facebook a few weeks ago!  Your comments, experiences, and suggestions have all been so helpful!  We’re excited to find a carrier that will work best for our situation and to keep hiking and exploring as a family 🙂

Hiking Wahclella Falls

A friend and I took the kids to hike to Wahclella Falls in the Columbia River Gorge and it was so fun!  It was a little over a mile to the waterfall and the older boys did great doing it on their own.  To actually get us to the waterfall—instead of playing with rocks in the parking lot—I carried Zellie in the Ergobaby Carrier.  Being 7 months pregnant and carrying an 18 month old in the Ergobaby carrier was surprisingly much more comfortable than I expected!

 

One thing that makes a waterfall hike even better for me is seeing waterfalls on the way to the destination waterfall!  I can never get enough waterfalls 😊

 

He loves to run ahead and be the leader when we go hiking.  At one point I called out to him so he didn’t get too far ahead and as he turned around I said, “Are you having fun!” He said, “Oh yeah!” and I encouraged him to show me how excited he was and his face turned to what’s in the above photo haha.

 

And then about 50ft later he gets to a pile of rocks and begs for me to take his photo!  Haha all on his terms I guess!

 

And the majestic Wahclella Falls!  The entire hike was beautiful, but this waterfall was something else.  The kids looked at it for about 20 seconds, thought it was cool, and then begged to go play in the water!  So we went back on the trail a little bit to play in the creek and we had lunch before making it back to the car.  We sure do love all of the kid friendly hikes in the Columbia River Gorge!