All of these Home Depot workshops are turning my boys into good little builders.


Aliciana took some photos while helping out at Turtleback’s Field Day. It looks like all the kids (and teachers) had fun!


All the dads in the Room 5 family were invited to a Daddy Day celebration in the morning. Connor and the other Room 5 kids performed a cute play and sang us songs. Then we all got to go outside and enjoy a donut. Yummy!

The kiddos singing to us:


Of all the times we have been to the Safari Park, we had never hiked up to the Bonsai Pavilion. So, after a stop off to see the tigers, we continued all the way up the hill to see the little trees. We also took a stroll though the Epiphyllum House, Baja Garden, and Nativescapes Garden.

The 3rd photo below was taken by Connor, and the 4th by Gavin. That’s why they are from a little lower perspective.


We visited the Museum Of Man to see the new “Living with Animals” exhibit. While there was some interesting information, it was pretty sparse. The exhibit seemed more like an art show of creepy looking humanoid animals. The little dressed up mice were pretty cute though.

We also stopped by the Monsters! exhibit, which is one of the boys’ favorites. They have a giant magnet wall where you can combine various animal parts to make your own monster creations.


The boys always have fun at their Tía Kristel’s house… especially if water is involved.


We flew into Portland late the night before, but we were going to spend our first 6 days of vacation exploring Washington. We spent this day driving to Bremerton, WA, which we are using as our home base as we explore the Olympic Peninsula and Seattle.

Along the drive north from Portland, we stopped in Olympia, WA to check out the state capitol.

We took a nice tour of the building, learning a lot about the history of the capitol. The tour also touched on how the Washington legislature works (or doesn’t… they were having trouble passing a state budget).


We spent the day exploring the breathtaking Hurricane Ridge in the northern part of the Olympic National Park. As you can see in the photos, there were deer everywhere! Also, there was still snow way up in the mountains, which the boys enjoyed throwing at us and each other.

In a few of the photos, way off in the distance on the other side of the water, you can see Victoria, Canada. Someday we are going to explore there too.


We started off the day with a long drive though Port Angeles, then along shore of Lake Crescent, though unending trees, and finally over to the Washington coast near La Push. The Pacific coast up in Washington was beautiful and rugged.

Our voyage continued up into the mountains to the Hoh Rain Forest. We went on two hikes, the Hall of Mosses Trail and the Spruce Nature Trail. Unfortunately, I forgot my backup camera battery in the car, so I didn’t get to take as many photos as I would have liked.

After spending all afternoon hiking, we finished a big loop though most of western Washington, driving south along the 101 into Aberdeen, and then cutting inland and back to Bremerton. All together, we covered 420 miles in a little under 10 hours of driving.


It wouldn’t be a Ladd summer vacation without a trip to a baseball stadium. This was the boys second time seeing a Mariners game at Safeco Field.

We got to see King Felix pitch, but unfortunately the Mariners’ closer ended up blowing the save. After the game, we walked around the Pioneer Square part of downtown Seattle.