July 21st - We packed up the car with both girls, both adults and Sparky and headed out on our way to the Quaking Aspen Cabin, in the Sequoia National Forest.   When we got to the cabin we were pleasantly surprised.

 

July 22nd we took off to do some hiking, then headed back to the cabin for some time by the fire.

                          

 

July 23rd we tried to go find hot springs, we didn't find any springs, but did find the COOLEST mountain stream with the best swing.  We also found an interesting town (that we thought was a point of interest) called "Balance Rock".  The sign below is found entering both sides of the town on the one main road.  We weren't quite sure of the message, but it was worth a picture.

 

 

 

 

July 24th we headed off to a local lake, Lake Isabella - Sparky and Kaylee said "AHHH" and played in the water.  Michele and Candice said.. uh, no.  

 

July 25th we did a whole day hike up to the Needles Point Fire Lookout at 9000 feet.  It was a five mile hike, and the one family member that was the worse for wear would be ol' man Sparky.  He isn't used to the physical activity. Take a look at the two pictures of the lookout tower, one from about midway on the trail.... one right at the edge of the stairs to the tower.   Yes, it was a challenging hike!  After the long hike, it was time for hot cocoa at the cabin for the girls, and an early bedtime for Sparky.  (Oh and Michele didn't make it through her cocoa either)

 

 

July 26th was a travel day, we headed home through Sequoia National Park, checked out the General Sherman Tree, which Kaylee was SURE was not the biggest tree in the world.  After that, and due to Candice's superior navigation skills, we took a nice meandering detour through lovely downtown Fresno. But at least we got to stop for chips and salsa at a local Chevy's.

 

July 27th, we, Kaylee, Michele, and Michael, packed up back in the car to head to Seattle, via Oregon Caves National Monument.  Candice and Ol' man Sparky stayed behind to hold down the fort.

 

July 28th, time to hit the Amphibian conference in Washington on the way to Cindy & Marks.  We saw lots of frogs but it we didn't get any pictures. 

 

July 29th through July 31st, relaxing and playing with Cindy, Mark and Amelie.  We took several ferry rides, check out the panorama (just click on it) from the back of the ferry. 

 

Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, WA. 

 

 

 

August 1st, to the airport!   This day was an awesome adventure.  In the morning, Cindy drove us from the house to the Kingston/Edmonds Ferry.  Then we walked on the ferry and we went across the Puget Sound to the town of Edmonds.  After about 30 minutes on the ferry, we arrived at Edmonds and walked to the Amtrak station and hopped a train to Seattle.  From there, we we walked up the street to Salumi for lunch.  We had the bread, meat, and cheese platter.  The selection of salami ranged from good to awesome which explains the LOOOOOOONNNNG lines.  The cheese and bread was also very good (although, we didn't eat the Gorgonzola, ewwww moldy cheese).  After our lunch, we toured Seattle past the Pike Place Market to meet Cindy at the Seattle Center in the Children's Museum.  After an hour or so at the museum we headed off to the airport.

 

 

Kaylee takes her first trip alone on a plane.  Michael put her on the plane in Seattle, Jennifer picked her up at Sacramento.  She did great, what an adventurous spirit!  It was a long day for Cindy, Michael, Amelie and Michele.

 

August 2nd through August 5th, Michele and Michael kick back with Cindy, Mark and Amelie.  They did squeeze in a trip to Victoria, BC in Canada, and did some sightseeing.

 

 

August 6th, back on the road for a long long day with a stop at Shasta Dam for some exploring then on through to Rocklin.   Thank goodness for portable DVDs, leapster portable gaming and one VERY travel conscious and explorer-spirited 4 year old girl.  And Sparky says.... "oh great, and now MY vacation is over"