Monday, August 20, 2007

Ballard Locks

After our trip to the chocolate factory we headed over to the Ballard Locks. In this area there are 2 navigational locks, a fish ladder, and a botanical garden. The locks allow vessels to pass from fresh water Lake Washington, into the salt water of Puget Sound. Ellie had such a fun time watching the boats rise in the water and then as they passed through to the other body of water.

The highlight for Ellie was watching the fish ladder. We came at the perfect time of year... the ladder was FULL of salmon swimming up it on their way to lay their eggs.

I Won the Golden Ticket

Brandon discovered, through the recommendation of a coworker, that you can take tours of our local Theo Chocolate factory. He made reservations and we headed with our friends, the Karrens, on a trip to the chocolate factory. Before going on this tour I thought that I knew chocolate pretty welll.. considering the obsession that I have with it.... but I soon discovered that I really knew very little and had very poor taste in the quality of chocolate that I had previously adored.

Theo Chocolates, which has only been around for a couple of years, just recently won the top prize at the Fancy Food Awards in Manhattan. They say this award is like "the oscars of the the food world." But talk is cheap... I have tasted it and I am now totally a brand loyal costumer of Theo Chocolates.
I have never tried so many different types of chocolate.... especially so much DIVINE chocolate in one hour of my entire life. It was truly unbelievable. I am hooked. They make their chocolate bars with cocoa beans strictly from specific regions.... for example they have the Ghana bar, the Madagascar bar, the Venezualan bar. Did I mention that they are the first chocolate factory to only use fair trade cocoa beans. I was truly impressed. And I am now addicted to not only chocolate but more specifically Theo chocolate.

Ellie and Jack anticipating all the chocolate they would recieve along the tour. They were not disappointed. I know Ellie has never had so much chocolate in her little life. There were approximately 20 people on the tour. As Nicole, our tour guide, stopped to teach us things along the way... Ellie would see the bowls of samples that Nicole had on the table behind her. She would louder proclaim... ooooooo bite! Which is her waying of asking for a bite of that yummy chocolate.
This is the nib. We learned all about how they make chocolate from the cocoa beans. The nib is the final raw form of the inner core of the bean before they begin the process of turning it into the good stuff.
Ellie enjoying her treats along the way.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Oregon Coast

We took a trip to Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast last weekend. We had a great time playing around in the water. Ellie was the most adventurous and wasn't afraid of the cold ocean at all! She loved running after and away from the waves! We had a great time watching her excitment with ocean!

Lovin' it!

A little game of catch me if you can!
All smiles Splashin' in the waves
The three of us in front of haystack rock Ellie getting burried in the sand

There were some beautiful state parks nearby and we had fun going on little hikes.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Last Weekend...

Last weekend, while we were still in vacation mode, we decided to try out a few things here in Seattle that we have been wanting to do. Brandon has been wanting to take Ellie and I canoeing out on Lake Washington ever since the weather has gotten nice... so last Friday we decided to rent a canoe and go out on the lake. It was beautiful! We all had a great time... even though it really was rather exhausting! We chose the perfect day to go out.

Brandon and Ellie on the water
We tried out a new Indian restaurant with our friends the Bagleys. Ellie was so excited to see her friend Hazel again.

After dinner we decided to go to the drive-in. We hadn't really planned this ahead of time so we didn't have a sitter for Ellie... so we decided to just bring her along. The show didn't start until 9:30 pm so we were worried about whether or not she would fall asleep. Well.. it turned out perfectly! She fell asleep on the drive down to the drive-in and slept for the whole show ....until about 15 minutes before the end. She woke up and was so excited! She got out of her carseat and was a little bit amazed at the big screen before her. We decided not to stay for the double feature seeing as she was never going to fall back to sleep while watching a show. But it was a great time!