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August 4, 2008

Urlaub ist geplant

Zurueck aus Deutschland habe ich mich an die Planung unseres Jahresurlaubs (eine ganze Woche - wow!) gemacht und etliche Stunden auf diversen Travel-Websites verbracht bis es endlich entschieden war. Im September geht es nun endlich auf unsere Alaska-Kreuzfahrt. Hurra!

Wir haben schon laenger mit dem Gedanken gespielt, weil wir so lange wir hier im amerikanischen Nordwesten leben, doch noch moeglichst viel hier aus der Ecke anschauen moechten. Letzten Sommer waren wir ja in Kalifornien mit einem kurzen Abstecher nach Mexiko und dieses Jahr soll es nun Alaska sein.

Das Dilemma bei der Recherche war nur das es nur 2 Cruiselines gibt, die Kinderbetreuung ab 2 Jahren (fuer Timmy) anbieten, die aber gleichzeitig ein Minimumalter ihrer Passagiere von 6 Monaten haben (Sarahs Geburtstag + 6 Monate = 14. Sept.) und die Alaska Saison Mitte September zu Ende geht.

Ein Cruise von Seattle aus hatte schlechte Restaurant-/Service-Reviews und war obendrein auch ziemlich teuer, bis ich dann nach weiteren 2 Tagen im Internet endlich auf unseren Cruise gestossen bin - guenstiger aber dafuer mit Balkon, mit Kinderbetreuung fuer Tim, besseren Reviews, von Vancouver ueber Alaska (Juneau, Ketchikan, Endicott Arm) nach San Francisco von 14. (!) bis 21. September. Wir haengen dann noch 2 Tage in SFO dran, um aus unseren Kindern endlich rechtmaessige Deutsche zu machen (Deutsche Paesse gibt es fuer den amerikanischen NW nur in SFO) und Marco (ich war schon 2 mal da) mal die Stadt zu zeigen.

Glacier, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, Fishermen's Wharf wir kommen!

Kurz nach unserem Trip fliegt Marco dann fuer eine Woche alleine nach Deutschland um den 60. Geburtstag seines Vaters mitzufeiern und sich den neuen Familienzuwachs (1 Cousin/e im August, 1 Cousine im September) persoenlich anzusehen.

Dann ist es mit den Marcos spaerlich gesaehten Urlaubstagen auch wieder rum und ich darf dann wieder bis naechstes Jahr warten fuer ein bisschen Familienurlaub.

Posted by tini at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

August 3, 2008

Camping Trip to Lake Kachess

We just got back from our Camping Trip to Lake Kachess and i wanted to share how it went. First, I did some research on hikes for families with small kids in WA with campsites nearby and lakes for swimming with a max. 2 hour drive from Seattle and… tatatata… result: Lake Kachess.

Weather forecast predicted:
Fri-Sat 70/50 F, no mosquitos
Sat-Sun 75/50 F, mosquitos active

Campsite has a 2 night minimum on weekends and a 3 night minimum on holiday weekends, but has spots on first-come-first-serve basis, so we would try it without a reservation next time.

Carride was fast, 1 hrs 20 min., easy to find, I-90, Exit 62, beautiful scenery with mountains, forest, lake – all we ever wanted. Great campsite, bathrooms close by, but no showers (we knew that before).

As we stepped out of our car we were attacked by a large number of mosquitos, so I immediately got back in the car. First I thought we should drive home immediately. My mother instinct worried about my kids safety (poor soft baby skin). We didn’t bring mosquito spray as our friends, scheduled to arrive a little later, had it on their pack list, so we did not bring one. Big mistake.

We kept kids in car, put up tent (very quick), moved stuff in tent, got kids, stayed and relaxed a little. Tim loved our tent. After some while we got bored and decided to look for the beach. Mistake. I got bitten a couple of times as soon as I stepped out the tent while I tried to protect Sarah as much as possible. We walked to the lake, but I was still stressed out about mosquitos and wanted to get back in the tent asap.

Our friends arrived, brought spray, no more new bites, but I already had 3 on my left ring finger, 2 on my ankle and 3 on my forehead including a nasty one on my eyelid (unfortunately my left eye – my right, almost blind eye wouldn’t have bothered me as much). Over the next hour my eye lid swell almost completely. I felt and looked beaten up like Rocky, but Marco insisted that I look more like “The hunchback of Notre Dame” (if not familiar see google images and find me on our camping trip). Thanks, husband. ;-)

After some BBQ I went to bed (tent) with Sarah. Under our multiple sleeping bags it was warm and cozy and best of all “mosquito-free”. The rest of the pack sat on our campfire. I slept with a couple of interruptions, got ca. 5 hours (fine with me as I am used to it). But Marco had not as much luck, got about 4 hrs, as he switched mattresses with Tim around midnight (Tim was asleep but whining for about an hour), to find out that the air mattress had a whole, so he blew it and tried to fix it in the middle of the night without waking us up, but it did not work, he basically slept on the ground and froze (at 45 F) in a too small sleepsack. Tim slept on top of 2 more sleeping backs, but Marco didn’t want to move him again.

They next morning we all used some OFF! to fight the mosquitos, except for Sarah, as she is too little for most of the sprays, then we had a great breakfast and went hiking. The hike was great and I would highly recommend it for a day trip. The first 0,5 miles can be made with a stroller/wheelchair. Tim walked all the way by him self – about 2 miles in total. We had great weather – a perfect moment (and my eye was a little less swollen. Finally I could see and enjoy most of it.

After our hike we had a nice BBQ lunch, played cards, ball, horseshoe,badminton. We planned on swimming but around 2 pm it got cloudy and a little too chilly for swimming in a mountain lake. Around 4 pm Marco decided that he don’t want to be awake for another night and we packed and went home. Whimp. ;-) I totally agreed and we were happy to be home for dinner, a warm shower and our great king bed.

So, if you are up for it – don’t forget your mosquito spray, check your air mattress before you go and maybe a warmer weekend – but overall a great family trip. Tim loved it and won’t stop talking about it. We would love to do it again and if Sarah gets a little older we can put mosquito spray on her and we don’t have to keep her in a tent.


Posted by tini at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)