Sunday, October 9, 2016

Our 60 Park Success!

After Jared's birthday, we only had one month left to reach our summer goal of going to 60 different parks, and we had 15 parks left to go.  On August 25 we walked along the Sammamish River Trail through the Redmond Town Center Open Space and Dudley Carter Park (which was not much of a park) to have a picnic on the side of the trail.  
 It was HOT.  We had to go home and cool off with a popsicle.

 And a cool drink of water.
 We took the weekend off from park going while Jared and Todd were on a backpacking adventure.  The weather cooled off a lot over the weekend.  On August 30 we went to Crestwoods Park to pick blackberries and cheat death.  Sammy scares me.

 On August 31, we went to Carillon Woods Park.  The playground there turned out to have almost the same design as the playground at Crestwoods Park.  I was really sick for this park trip.  I was run down and feeling terrible.  This was one of two days when I just felt awful, and then all of my other symptoms cleared up, but my throat was an achy, throbbing, painful, swollen mess.  I dragged myself to urgent care almost a week later and learned that I had strep throat.  Of course I got this diagnosis one day before I was planning to run a half marathon, and so I couldn't do it.
 Eloise may be part dinosaur.  She does a very accurate impression.
 We were goofing off at South Rose Hill Park on September 1, and I decided that climbing through these hoops would be a good idea.  The uphill climb was easy, but I got stuck going down.
 I was so funny that the kids had to get themselves stuck, too.
 Yes. We are all so hilarious.  Fortunately, my humiliation occurred before the Christensens showed up to play with us, so I had a very small audience.
 On September 2 we met friends at the temple so that the moms could take turns doing temple work and watching children.  Next to the temple is a huge park called Robinswood Park where we went with the Carvers for lunch.
 Sammy was really excited about puddles, or, as he calls them, "Pubbles!"

 September 3 was a Saturday.  Daddy needed some peace and quiet in the afternoon, so we found a new park in Lake Forest Park called Horizon View Park.  It was really busy, and we were surprised by the emergence of the sun, but we had a good time.

 Due to Labor day, starting school, and easing back into our routine after the long weekend, our next park visit wasn't until September 8.  We went to Mark Twain Park in Kirkland, which had NO parking.  We drove around for ages before we found a friendly neighborhood street near a park entrance.

 On September 10 we went to see our friends, the Wilsons' new house in Snoqualmie.  At the end of their street is a park with two playgrounds, called Jeanne Hansen Park.  Most of the pictures I took there were just terrible, thanks to the sun's bad placement, and the kids' energy after a 45 minute drive.
 On September 12 we had a field trip to Seattle to visit the St. James Cathedral as part of our history study of the spread of Christianity through Europe.  We went with the Carvers, who we are sharing classes with this year.  I teach history to their two oldest girls, and Annie teaches science to Jared, Eloise, and (usually) B.  After the cathedral, we went to a nearby park called Cal Andersen Park.  This turned out to be pretty seedy.  The first thing that happened when we got there was the arrival of a troop of police officers on bicycles to remove a deranged old man from the children's play area.  We had a picnic, played for a little while, and headed home.  Annie later told me that the water feature that had looked so cool online, turned out to be closed to swimmers, smelly, and filthy.
 I love that Jared is testing his strength on the playground.  I love a little less that Sammy is testing his balance on everything he can possibly climb.

 On September 13 we went to Marymoor Park.
 We went to two playgrounds, walked a mile between them, stayed until lunch time, and then B cried when we were heading back to the car, and he saw another playground that we hadn't played on, yet. My life satisfaction was pretty high this day, as the kids played joyfully together, and I walked the dog in circles around the play area.  
 That same day we met the Christensens at Juanita Beach to play in the water.  Our warm days were numbered, so we had to take advantage of one of our last possible water days.
 It was Baby Daniel's first time crawling around on the sand and engaging with the other boys at play.  He ate a fair bit of sand, but he was so happy that we didn't have the heart to pick him up.
 On September 15 we went to Hamlin Park in Shoreline.  The first thing we saw was this bunny family.  The adult ones were obviously someone's pets at some point.  They let the kids get close enough to pet them.  I stayed across the street with Shadow.
 We went on a little explore in the woods before we played on the playground.

 On September 16 we went to Deception Pass State Park.  Two field trips in one week is a lot, but the Knight children really wanted Deception Pass on their parks list, and, when I consulted the tide schedule, the 16th had the most favorable tides for tide pool exploration (lowest tide was not in the middle of the night) of all of the days in the next week.  We had to beat the September 21st deadline!  It was cold there, as expected.
 We only had two major injuries, not counting the knee B skinned in the parking lot.  Jared slipped and punctured his hand on the barnacles.  He was very difficult to console, even though we had discussed the likelihood of barnacle injuries on the drive up.  B skinned his other leg pretty badly when he was hanging onto the strap of my baby carrier without my knowledge, and I stepped over a big tidepool.  Instead of letting go, he hung on and got dragged across the rocks and through the water.  If you look closely at this picture of Sammy holding seaweed, you can see blood dripping down B's leg.
 We combined our science field trip with our history lesson for the week.  We climbed up the cliff to the picnic area for lunch, and then learned about the Byzantine Empire and made paper mosaics before coming back down to the water to look at jellyfish and throw rocks in.
 Jared told me to be sure to include my photo of his terrible injury.  It was quite deep and icky.
 After Deception Pass we only had two parks to go!  Of course I left my phone in the car at the 59th park, Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville, which turned out to be one of our favorite playgrounds, so no pictures there.
For our final park, I found a list of parks in the City of Kirkland, and discovered that we still have five parks with playgrounds, and probably around eight parks without playgrounds in Kirkland that we have not yet visited.  We picked one at random and ended up at Spinney Homestead Park.  B declared this a winner, since he found an abandoned toy car here.  Sammy, on the other hand, got stung by a wasp above his left ear, and cried all of the way home.  I didn't realize that it was a sting until the next day, when it swelled tremendously, and stayed swollen for three days.  Poor Sammy.  This was September 21, the last official day of summer.
 We made it!  Here is our final list:
It was a fun, busy, active, memorable summer.  I'm really glad that we set this goal, and I'm even more happy that we succeeded.

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