Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2013 Road Trip - Vantage Bridge

"The Vantage Bridge is a bridge in the U.S. state of Washington. It carries Interstate 90 across the Columbia River, near Vantage and George, Washington. This section of the river is named Wanapum Lake; it is the reservoir formed by Wanapum Dam. The bridge separates the Ginkgo Petrified Forest and Wanapum Recreational Area State Park on the western bank of the Columbia. 

The current bridge is the second Vantage Bridge. The first was built in 1927 as part of the Sunset Highway (later US 10), a precursor to I-90. In 1962 the second bridge was built because the reservoir pool backing up behind the new Wanapum Dam would soon overwhelm the old bridge. The first bridge was dismantled. In 1968 its steel cantilever truss was reused for the Lyons Ferry Bridge, where SR 261 crosses the Snake River." 

                                                                                                     - Wikipedia

September 18 2014. We were here on our way to Great Lakes, IL and came across this magnificent view. Subhanallah.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Summer Visiting Vacation 2012 - Part 3

July 9 2012

We went to Peach Crest Farm in Stratford, Oklahoma to pick up some peaches with Poppy. I was totally excited and we got ready pretty early for our U-pick trip. I love peaches and Daniel has been telling me about how good peaches can be here. I've never seen a peach tree before and I was hoping for some big towering trees that could provide me with some shades from the scorching hot sun. When we arrived at the farm, my eyes started to twitch when I saw the real deal. Oh no! These trees were super tiny and the temperature on the dashboard said 92 degrees and there was hardly any shade! For a split second, the idea of staying inside the car with the A/C on seemed far more tempting. But seriously, although I felt that the weather gods were feeling a little too frisky for my liking, I did get myself out of the car to start my peach picking adventure. I was glad I did. Despite being a little bit on the small side, some of the peaches were pretty good.

Since Peach Crest is a USDA certified organic farm, no pesticides are used here. We saw hundreds, could even be thousands of giant grasshopper everywhere in the farm, jumping and hopping, happily eating the peaches until there's nothing left except the pits.

40 minutes later, and we were done with peach picking!

 We drove by Stratford little town. There was nothing much to see or do here.

Sarah : "Move along folks!"

We took a different route to go home and it was great to be able to see other towns along the way. This is the city of Ada.

 Somewhere along the way home, we stopped at an Amish store to buy some fudge.

There are some pretty good fudge here and many choices to choose from.

One of the many beautiful landscapes of Oklahoma on the way back.

A sudden, welcome, rain shower cooled down the temperature from extremely hot to pleasant.

Chilling out at Poppy's place. In case you're wondering why the boys were only wearing swimming shorts, they were waiting to have water balloon fights. The sweet lady wearing an apron, that's GB, Poppy's wife. 

Beautiful and cozy house!

Water balloon fight, especially after the rain is FUN! 

Despite the hot weather, the backyard is unbelievably green and so pretty.

Thriving vegetable garden

Serious grilling is going on here

Producing this yummy dinner

Sarah with the ever cheerful Aunt B.

Cleaning up after dinner.

Hanging out with Poppy in the backyard.

Last activity of the day - the Diet Coke and Mentos geyser. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Going Boeing

Ezzat's birthday present this year - visiting a plane museum. And not just that, (in no particular order) he got to visit a Boeing factory, took ferry rides, spent a night at a hotel, spent some time at the hotel's swimming pool, ate a lot of sushi, watched some TV way passed his bed time and ate some junk food which he normally doesn't get to have. Probably sounds like 'ehhh' to some but for an officially seven year old boy - he thought it's awesome!

This time we took the ferry from Kingston terminal. Took us 30 minutes to cross over to Edmond instead of  Seattle. From Edmond we drove to Paine Field, where the hotel is, which is exactly next to the museum!

That's Boeing assembly building right there! This is the view from the hotel's entrance. Ezzat was literally drooling by this time.

We had sushi mushi mania that night. I love sushi but only to a certain degree. Raw salmon or tuna is fine with me but that's about it. Anything raw beyond that, no thank you. I used to think that making sushi was a mysterious art form best left in the hands of those skilled sushi chefs, with all the rolling, stuffing, and topping resulting in perfectly balanced sushi. In my case, I would usually rely on the guy behind the commissary sushi counter or any sushi place that won't cost us a giant hole in our wallet. With a family of 5, that's rarely the case. But you know what, after trying to make them, it's not as nerve-wrecking as I thought it would be. Cleaning up however, was a different story - with the aftermath of all the shaping, patting, rolling, cutting - you name it. Do some homework, watch some youtubes, get whatever ingredients you need to make them, and roll!

Fun time at the pool

 Resulting in this face

 And this

Next morning - walking towards the museum which is just next door. 

This place is called Future of Flight Aviation Center. It didn't seem like it was much to look at, very few interactive exhibits. I think it looks like a hangar turned gallery, that was given a bit of makeover, where people can stop  by and check out exhibits relating to Boeing and aviation in general before they proceed to the Boeing factory which is the main attraction. But the boys seemed to enjoy themselves. So it's probably just me.

We're not allowed to bring any electronic devices on the tour so no pictures of that. Luckily there's a cheap locker in the main building for rental so we just left everything in there. The tour cost $15 for adult and $8 for kids and the kids have to be more than 4ft tall to be on the tour and Ezzat barely made it. (We purchased our tickets from the website and booked the date and time we wanted.) The whole thing took 90 minutes, starting with a video presentation at an auditorium about Boeing's history, how it all started to it's latest projects. We're not allowed to use the restroom once the video started and that's exactly the time when Farhan told me he wanted to go there! So we waited until the video was over, thinking that we might be able to go after that while waiting for the bus to come to take us to the assembly building but nope. The bus was right on time. And we had no choice but to board the bus and the poor boy had to hold during the entire 90 minutes since there's no potty breaks on the tour as well. By the time it was over, he said that he didn't feel like going to the restroom anymore. I made him go anyway.

So we proceeded to the factory on the bus. Our tour guide is a pretty straight forward lady, knows her facts and figures well. The tour basically showed us the manufacturing line of Boeing airplanes from start to finish.  The Everett plant here operates 24 hours 5 days a week from Monday to Friday through 3 shifts. We went  there on Saturday and it was pretty quiet so a weekday might have more action. Still it was a pretty cool experience. The scale of the buildings here has to be experienced. It can hold all of Disneyland and still there is plenty of space available for parking. We had two stops to see the 747 assembly area, and then the 777 and newer 787 area.  Basically we saw planes, parts of planes, and parts of planes becoming planes from an observation platform probably around 50 feet in the sky (The platform rail is about 4 ft high so I guess that's the reason why kids need to be higher than than). On the tarmac we saw a  super huge Dreamlifter, a modified 747 airplane. It's primary use is to transport parts of Boeing 787 Dreamliner from supplier around the world to the 787 final assembly site here in Everett. I wish I have a picture to show you guys. It's crazy huge.

At the observation deck in the main building. 

 The birthday boy

The hotel where we stayed at. The weather was great that day, clear blue sky all the way. After we're done with the Aviation Center, we just headed back to our car to catch the next available ferry since we've already checked out from the hotel earlier.

We did stop at this restaurant, Claire's Pantry to get some lunch. 

They're not that great.

Back on the ferry

Calmness is great

Sleeping is better