When I Think of a Good Time, I think “WA State History Museum.” Follow Me!

51BlhwrV9ZL._SY373_BO1,204,203,200_

For our Summer School history lessons (because, yes, we do summer school here…it’s fun!), we are going through Washington State History. I actually started reading this book on my own a few months ago, and realized within a few pages that the kids had to read this book. It is just crazy good writing, informative and very funny to read. 

This is not your normal history book.

“Sons of the Profits; The Seattle Story 1851-1901, or There’s No Business Like Grow Business Hardcover – 1972″ (amazon link)

We are in the middle of Chapter 2 right now, which took forever to get to. The chapters are like, 30 pages long and chock full of information, and the kids are taking notes and working on a huge butcher paper timeline during the note taking…so it’s a process. 

However, we had to go to the Washington State History Museum yesterday because the museum has free admission on the third Thursday of every month from 2pm-8pm…and if you think I can pass up free admission, you are sorely mistaken.

IMG_0843

It wasn’t too far away, even after Google Maps had me drive in a few circles around Port Orchard for no reason.  We got there a little early, so we were able to do a little walkin’ and explorin’ before we headed inside. And we found The Glass Bridge, which was really cool and there were a lot of incredible glass pieces displayed on the bridge…

However, I was kinda looking forward to walking on a glass bridge. Like, in Frozen. Yes, yes, I know that is low brow and a little shallow and I should be grateful for the art experience provided to us…

Still a little bummed 😦

 

IMG_0902

So, it was finally 2pm and we got to go into the museum! W007!

This place is so much bigger than I expected. There are 3 gigantic floors packed with an insane amount of displays and interactive exhibits. Normally I don’t get too excited about history museums, because they are usually just a bunch of old framed pictures on the wall…but this place had it goin’ on!

We learned about Washington pioneering, trading, salmon fishing, electrical systems, dam building, aeronautics, the railway, ship building, craftsmanship, logging, mining, agriculture and Native American culture.

And that’s just the half of it…honestly. Did you know we have some Stonehenge replica somewhere in the south of the state? Yeah. I had no idea, and we need to find that thing.

IMG_0944

We also got to go into a mine shaft and learn about the dangers of mines. Glenn can tell you exactly how 39 men died between 1909-1910…and then we found a dead guy!!  Huge highlight for our day.

I was just blown away with how well done, interesting, interactive, relevant and informative this museum was. It helped the kids learn more about the history of our state in ways that made more sense than just reading about it in a book, and they talked about the entire museum all the way home.

Finding this museum was a score, and we are definitely coming back again.

Advertisements

Just Because It’s Summer…Doesn’t Mean We Don’t Get Field Trips

 

I am a sucker for Marine Biology.

Truth be told, it was the subject I had intended to study in college. Unfortunately, I did not fare too well in the required Science classes. Henceforth, I degreed in my other favorite hobby: reading.

Nevertheless, my enduring love for aquatic biomes has yet to subside and I find as many opportunities to share my love with those around me.

Marine Science Center for the day? Don’t mind if I do!

So, it wasn’t a terribly large place…and granted, I only have the Monterey Bay Aquarium for scale, so it isn’t exactly a fair comparison. But they really packed a lot of interesting stuff in here! We loitered for well over 2 hours, and I honestly believe we could have stayed longer except we were tired and becoming delirious with sea cucumbers at that point.

We are very big in touching squishy, wet and slimy things. So the fact that this whole place was filled with touching stations made us squeal with delight. There were critters we knew, like anemones and urchins, and other critters I have never seen before! The docents were also extremely helpful, and friendly, and showed us where all the pipe fish were hiding, and the eels…and the secret backroom with all the microscopes…

 

The microscope was so much better than the microscope I have, which uses a mirror…that I just could never get the hang of. But this one was pretty neat. We were looking at a jellyfish, and we could see the plankton swimming in the middle of it. If that isn’t totally nifty, I don’t know what is.

We also got to work in a side room with TONS of skeletons, and videos, and audiostations, and magnifying glass stations…honestly, I can’t believe we only spent 2 hours in here.

We definitely outlasted the afternoon crowds…

 

After visiting a sister exhibit across the road and seeing even more amazing skeletons, and learning about a class for kids where they get to assemble a gray whale skeleton in the back room (dude, seriously), it turned out that we really were totally beat from all this amazing exploration and information gathering.

So we trekked down the road a bit and hung out at the beach. Made a few driftwood forts. Walked the shore. Got to watch a baby otter swimming around looking for lunch.

Picked up some enchiladas on the way home and called it a day.

You really can’t get a better field trip than this.

Just Go.

LdepoGU - Imgur.gif

 

“You know what’s wrong with you, Miss Whoever-You-Are? You’re chicken, you’ve got no guts. You’re afraid to stick out your chin and say, “Okay, life’s a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness.” You call yourself a free spirit, a wild thing, and you’re terrified somebody’s going to stick you in a cage. Well, baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somaliland. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”
― Paul Varjack

I was looking for a quote about being a free spirit and I found this.

It is from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which is a misnomer from MisNomerVille.

Honestly, when I was 17 I had on my bucket list: “Have a croissant at Tiffany’s in NewYork City.”Because what did I know? At the time, I lived in a sprawling suburb in the middle of suburbia, flanked by cornfields, tomato fields and an AirForce base.

I remember when the first Starbucks arrived, and we couldn’t figure out why you would spend $4 on a cup of coffee. We had two high schools, one Denny’s, a library and one freeway that led people through the town or out of town. Back then, there was no particular reason to stop in the town, unless you were looking for affordable housing.

I just figured, in my small farmtown perspective,that Tiffany’s was like IKEA. Furniture and stuff downstairs, a cafeteria with croissants upstairs.

The horizon, beyond the flanking range of hills, beckoned to my soul, the same way New York City beckoned to Holly Golightly.  New possibilities and new opportunities through which to shed the tight-fitting skin of your youth, and emerge into urbanity as a sophisticated butterfly.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s seemed like the perfect stepping off into a new Little Black Dress.

Turns out there is no croissant bakery in Tiffany’s, and they just sell jewelry.

Who knew??

Nevertheless, the sentiment remains the same. The freedom of living life unconstrained. Unyielding. Unrelenting to obstacles or stumbling blocks.

What would you do if you could…just go?

 

 

5 Ways To Have Family Time During The Week

photo-1437913135140-944c1ee62782.jpg

Summer has started.

And your weekly schedule is already overflowing.  The kitchen counters are a tidal wave of camp sheets that need to be signed off, survival books to be ordered, hiking supplies to find, mosquito repellant to purchase…plus playdates, carpooling, weekly events. Do they need new socks? New shoes? Did they outgrow their pants already? Can they just live in their swimsuit?  Have they lost their shoes already?

Have you lost your mind already??

Sometimes you can actually make eye contact with the young child in your car, and all you can think is: life is way too busy. This isn’t what I intended our day to look like. This isn’t what we intended our family evenings to look like.

Being a parent in our modern world has as many challenges as being a kid in our modern world.  But parents have the opportunity to balance the heavy hectic schedule with the happy: rather than cutting everything out with a hatchet, use a scalpel instead.  The best thing you can do is to teach your kids how to balance work and life, without having to compromise family for ambitions.

Carve out time for your family to connect in little ways, and big ways.

1. Family Party Games for Family Game Night

http://www.simply-fun-games.com/family-party-games.html

I have never been a huge “party person,” so the concept of me coming up with party plans all on my own….is ridiculous. I need some ideas other than musical chairs, or karaoke (not always as fun as it would seem…if no one wants to sing).  This site has fun activities planned out for a bunch of occasions, such as swimming pool games, which could be fun to do together if you have a pool,  or Family Game Night, which can be loads of fun without a pool!

2. Day-to-Day Bonding Ideas

http://www.tipsonlifeandlove.com/parenting/7-great-family-bonding-activities

Tips on Life and Love has a practical and pragmatic view of bonding: they are focusing on daily life. But how do you make breakfast a meaningful time to bond with your family, when the coffee isn’t brewing fast enough, half the people actually awake are still in the bathroom, and the other half are trying to find the 3 year old’s other shoe before PreSchool?  (ProTip: it’s in the car)  Sometimes you need a big vacation to get away together; but most of the time you just need someone to be there for you, every day.  Make those every day moments just as special.

3. Make The Most With The Schedule You Got

http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/family/parenting/bonding/10-family-bonding-activities.htm

Need some good ideas, but not the time to sort through an entire blog’s worth of information? These guys have a very easy slideshow list to pick through, and can make unorganized spontaneous nights a little more organized, and enjoyable!

4. Good Ideas From Great Parents

http://afineparent.com/close-knit-family/family-bonding-activities.html

A Fine Parent has made not only a good list of ideas for what to do with your family, but practical tips and links to help you pull it off with ease.  Nothing makes a situation harder than not being prepared: so be prepared!  Find out what vacation spots have swimming holes nearby, and get your Huck Finn on with your kids!  Interested in baking with the kids, but not sure where to start! They have that too.  Want to build a family garden, but the green thumb ended with your great Aunt Martha? They have that covered, in full.  You have years of ideas at your fingertips on this site.

5. The Huge List of Family Bonding Activities

http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/family-bonding-activities.html

This page is awash with ideas on what you can do with your family.  From time-intensive ideas, like  starting movie marathons together, to smaller commitments like walking the dog together, this is a great resource to get your relationship time to really matter.  It has ideas like feeding the homeless together, to building an indoor fort…to juggling.  You will definitely find something on here to make a meaningful time more fun!