Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spokane continued

Now that the 4th of July festivities are over, I finished uploading my photos and can share a few more of our Spokane trip.  I took about 150 photos....so it was hard just choosing a few.

 First Day.....
Here are my two Granddaughters posing for a picture at a rest area we stopped at for lunch on our first day.

Meeting Gwen for the first time in over 20 years of pen paling.

Second Day!
River Front Park, Spokane, WA 

Sliding down the slide from the HUGE wagon at River Front Park in Spokane.

Our family posing at a City of Spokane sculpture.

The beautiful clock tower.  A good friend of mine, Channie, told me that her great grandfather helped in constructing this tower.

My granddaughter, Zoey, and my friend from Australia, Gwen, riding in the Gondola over Spokane Falls.

The Spokane Falls, aren't they absolutely beautiful?  This is a view from the Gondola ride.

Another view from the Gondola!  It's amazing!

Granddaughter, Nicole, and hubby riding the Gondola over the Falls.

This is a sculpture on a sidewalk next to the park.

(20) The Joy of Running Together

by David Govedare. 1984. This corten steel sculpture depicts runners of all kinds. It celebrates the Spokane tradition of Bloomsday, the largest timed road running race in the world.

They were supposed to look like they were running WITH the runners.....NOT even close girls...LOL

Nicole,  Riding the Carousel.

Zoey riding the Carousel.....she absolutely LOVED it.

The Looff Carousel. 

 These are the horses we rode!  

Zoey and Nicole feeding the "Garbage Goat"
The Garbage Goat in Riverfront Park was designed by Sister Paula Turnbull, a Catholic nun for Expo ‘74 as a recycling/environment statement.

This corten steel sculpture of a goat will eat small pieces of trash with the aid of its vacuum digestive system. Don’t throw your garbage on the ground, feed it to the Garbage Goat.

A photo shot of myself and Gwen upon leaving the park!  Of course, my hair was a mess after riding the rides, but oh well...it was FUN!!!  I just wish someone had gotten some shots of the girls and I on the rides.

Third  Day!!
Cat Tales Zoological Park 

(This was the blurb from the news station that was there that day) 
SPOKANE, Wash. - Today was a great day at Cat Tales, their baby tiger was introduced to her new playmate, Sage. Sage is a four month old Pyrenees and was delivered to Cat Tales!
Spokane Humane Society Director Dave Richardson has been on the hunt for a playmate for a couple of weeks, Mike at Cat tales received the call yesterday and went over to see Sage, they fell in love with her.
Today's meeting went well. This is truly a great match. Amura and Sage, in harmony together.

 This is Apollo.  He turned nine years old the day we were visiting.  I got some great shots of him.  He got a tad irritated at so many people standing around taking pictures and ROARED....to be left alone. I just happened to be standing the closest...and it scared the  bajeezes out of me.  So, we gave him his space and moved on.  :-)
Another beautiful animal.  His name is Zamba!  I finally got a photo of him as we were getting ready to leave.  He had been in his 'den' all morning.

  Just your average "kitty cat" taking a snooze.

 Good byes to Gwen!    They had a wonderful time getting to meet my friend/pen pal from Australia and enjoyed her so much! 

  Time to head for home!!  

What a fantastic three days!!!  Can't wait to go back again some day!  If you are ever in the Spokane area, take a few hours out of your day and visit Riverfront Park.  You will be glad you did.  I just wish we had had more time to see everything there was to see.  But, we didn't....so guess we'll have to visit again, sometime.

Have a great day! 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What happens when the Wilson's go on vacation...:-)

We had an absolutely fabulous 3 days vacation!  What a fun filled time!!
We left around 7am Monday morning.....and got to Spokane, WA around 2 pm or so.  We checked into our motel and then went to visit my friend/pen pal, Gwen, from Australia who was visiting the US.  We had a good 2 hour visit and then went back to the motel and got something to eat.
Around 8:30 am, the next morning, we picked up Gwen and headed downtown Spokane to Riverfront Park.  What a beautiful park!!!  We took Annie, our dog, with us.  The park is animal friendly for the most part except for the inside attractions and a few other things.  
We were so fortunate to find a parking lot right across from Riverfront Park.  We walked across the road and saw a HUGE Red Radio Flyer Wagon.  The tongue of the wagon is a slide.  Of course, we all, with the exception of David and Gwen, had to go down the slide.
Then we walked to guest services and got our day passes....for myself and the girls.  David and Gwen didn't want to ride the rides and the one or two things they did want to do, they just paid admission.
Our first ride was a Gondola ride across the Spokane Falls.  How beautiful!!!  First Gwen, Zoey and I rode and then Nicki, David and I rode...as I wanted to see her reaction to the ride.  :-)   This photo shows it as right up next to the falls....and it really isn't that close.  But, you get the idea.  The ride was included in our day pass.

Next we went on the Looff Carousel!  David opted to sit with Annie with the four of us girls rode the Carousel.  Again, the ride is included in the Day Pass.   Zoey and Nicki loved the Carousel horses.   I have to admit, it's been a long time since I have ridden the carousel and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  We had planned on coming back by and riding it again but time just got away from us.

The girls fed the Garbage Goat and rested a little bit before heading over to the Pavilion. 
We arrived at the Pavilion and rode some of the rides. (all included in the day pass) David, Gwen and Annie watched from the arena surrounding the rides....it was in the shade under a canopy.
We rode the Tilt a Whirl, Scrambler/Sizzler,Octopus/Spider and Strawberry Go Round.....the girls had a blast!!  I guess they didn't know Grandma LOVED those rides as a kid.  These rides are not the super scary ones.....and that's OK for the three of us chickens :-)  There were some we didn't get to ride as time was running out and there was just so much to see and do.  
Then, we went to the IMAX Theater and saw Wild Ocean.  We wanted to see another one...but we missed it by 15 minutes so went to this one.  
I have to admit....I felt sorry for the dang sardines in this cinema.  But, the theater was cool.....and it was nice to sit down for awhile.  Besides.....it was free with our day pass :-)
Afterwards, we met David back by the Clock Tower and we all had some snacks that I had brought along.  
Then, we all decided that we had enough 'fun' for the day and we decided to head back to Gwen's Cousin's house.
BUT...before we did that, we took a drive out Newport Hwy to see where Cat Tales was located, as we were going there the next day.  Then, we went to a small strip mall and went to Fashion Bug....they were having a big sale.
The next morning, we went to Cat Tales.  What a fantastic place.  It's not huge....but you can spend several hours there, easily!  We just enjoyed our time viewing the large 'cats' that they have.  There are picnic facilities so that a family could take a lunch, if they wanted to...but we didn't plan on staying that long.  As it was, we actually did spend 2 1/2 hours there....and could have had lunch...but we opted not to.
 While we were there, the local news station was doing a piece on a baby tiger.  We were standing right next to them while they were filming.
Read the story!  And, click on the Video Gallery to see the dog and tiger interact.  We were watching them as they filmed this story. 
If you want to view more video or see more updates, you can click on the following link:
Afterward, we took Gwen back to her Cousin's house and said our goodbyes.  We were leaving Spokane and heading towards home.
We had snacks in the car until we got to Colfax, WA where we stopped for an early dinner at Arby's.
Then it was off towards Walla Walla, WA.....we took a different route towards home just to see some different scenery.  The rolling Palouse Hills were so pretty.  The scenery got even better as we headed around the lake on Hwy 730 where the Snake, Columbia meet a huge lake.  AWESOME!
We missed our turn off to take us through College Place and Milton Freewater...where I used to live YEARS ago...and I wanted to show the girls....but we didn't realize we were on the wrong road till we were half way to UmatillaBiggs Junction, we'd be about 2 1/2 - 3 hours from home.   While we were still on I-84....a state policeman flew by us going really FAST....we guessed at least 80-100 mph.  We figured there was a wreck ahead.  But....when we got to Biggs Jct, about 9pm.....we hadn't encountered anything so we figured it was on up 84 somewhere.
About 1/2 hour onto Hwy 97, all traffic was stopped!!  We were about 3rd or 4th in the line of traffic.  We were told nothing except that there was an 'incident' about 7 miles up the road and all traffic was stopped in both directions.
We sat for awhile trying to decide if we should turn around and head back to I-84 and take an alternate route...that would have added several hours to our trip, but then someone came by and told us it would be another 2-3 hours and traffic would be flowing again....so we decided that we'd just catch some sleep and head home on the same route we were on.  We were only about 2 hours from home.  
So, that is what we tried to do.  BUT....it was definitely uncomfortable with four people and a 65# dog in a Kia Optima.  We counted over 26 cop cars (local, state and county) blowing by us during the night........and I am sure there were more that had gone up that way before we ever got on that road. 
I finally got in the back with the girls...and let the dog have my seat up front with David.  The girls and I put a large quilt over us and thankfully I had had them bring pillows along.  We slept in between cop cars blowing by us.   Zoey got a case of the giggles....not sure why....probably part from being tired and part from the weird sleeping arrangements....LOL  but we all ended up giggling and laughing because of it.  Her laugh is contagious!!
About 3am....( 5 1/2 hours after we had stopped) we were awakened by blowing horns.   The police vehicles were all coming back down and some were honking their horns to wake the long line of trucks/cars....as they were going by.
At that time, we still had NO CLUE what had happened.  But, we were just happy to be able to head for home.  We got home about 4:45 am...just as it was getting daylight.  We unloaded the car and all headed to bed!!!   AHHHHH our own bed!
When I got up at 11 am....I jumped online to see if there was any news of what had happened...as we still hadn't seen or heard anything about the incident.
This is what I read in an e-mail that I get from Alerts.  It was posted around 2:40 am:
News Release from: Oregon State Police
Posted: July 1st, 2010 2:40 AM

A female armed with a firearm surrendered and was taken into custody by Oregon State Police (OSP) SWAT team troopers early Thursday morning following a near 6-hour standoff on Highway 97 at the south end of Grass Valley. Additional information and names will be released later Thursday in an updated news release.

Preliminary information indicates on June 30, 2010 at approximately 8:28 p.m. OSP was asked to respond to assist Sherman County Sheriff's Office at the scene of a traffic stop on Highway 97 near milepost 28 during which a woman was armed with a firearm and shots were reportedly fired. Highway 97 and Highway 216 were closed to all traffic. OSP SWAT team members were requested to respond to help. The woman surrendered July 1st at approximately 2:00 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Highway 97 and Highway 26 will be re-opened by 3:00 a.m.
Wow....what a night!!!
The good news is that this morning, we are all rested and ready to go again :-)  The girls both thanked us for a FUN 3 days.
David went and got the mail and my TAC CATALOGS are in!!!!  WHOOOOOHOOOOO!!!  I am so excited!
Now, to get a shower and get ready for the rest of our day!!
We are all looking forward to the 4th of July....we have a ton of activities going on that weekend.
I'll upload some personal photos, we took, as soon as I get them uploaded to my computer.
Have a great day, everyone!!!