Memory Keeper: This Week In January

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Posing in front of the Seattle Space Needle

This Memory Keeper post is a few snaps returning home to sunny weather

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Going up to the top of the Space Needle would have cost our family $146.oo  (Ages 13+ $26.oo, Youth age 4-12 $16.oo, Under 4 Free) and parking was $12.oo. Double yikes!!! Since we were just passing through on the drive down and still needed to get back on the road, we opted to just pay parking at $12.oo which was good for a couple hours  (though I did see less expensive parking later for $4.oo, though not sure how long it was for) and just take a quick stroll.

I’m pretty sure I would never pay that much to take the whole family up there just to take in the scenery, unless it was something they were all super into and they were desperate to see. Though one day I may save up and go for dinner with Hubbs. The dinner IS expensive in itself, but at least you would have the entire meal time to enjoy the view.

It was a nice sunny day and there were tons of people visiting and walking around. There is also the Pacific Science Center and Children’s Science Center in the area. In the photo on the left, was an outdoor skating area they had just closed for the season

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L: For some funny reason this circle was THE place to take a pic R: Drive through San Fran and across the Golden Gate Bridge on the way home

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Ahhhh, we’re HOME

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Goofys enjoying Christmas gifts

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I am enjoying the beautiful blanket Grammy knitted (she also knitted and sewed 4 more for all of us! She is AWESOME!) and gifted to me and the pretty trees

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L: Pina Colada Smoothie: Frozen Pineapple & a can of coconut milk R: Cucumber Pear Banana with Chia Seeds

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L: Strawberry Orange Pear with Chia Seeds R: Zucchini muffins topped with walnuts…Back-to-School

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And one happy face that’s missing a couple of chompers. Hope your Winter Break was fantastic!


Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Capilano Suspension Bridge

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Our newest Family Fun Adventure also hails from our neighboring country to the north. This time we are visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Yes, its very touristy and quite expensive for our usual outings. We haven’t ever visited the bridge in all our many trips up here, so we decided to take the plunge in spite of the cold and rainy weather. And no, the rain had absolutely no effect on the other tourists and visitors to the site. They were there in large amounts, though not too bad (coming from California and the crowds we are use to) and after dark when all the billions of Christmas lights came on there were plenty of locals packing in as well

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Posing with the Totem Poles. These carved poles were traditionally used as story telling aids in Native cultures and I learned that some stories took up to a week to tell! If you are planning to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge here is the lowdown. Number 1: Its pricey! Adults will pay to the tune of $32 Youth (13-16) $22 Kids (6-12) $12. Gulp! Triple AAA members get a tiny discount.

Its all paved and strollers are cool up till the bridge itself, then everyone has to walk. So, if there are littles too big to carry or too small to walk and climb all the stairs at the tree canopy part on the other side, maybe wait until they get bigger as they won’t allow strollers on the bridge. Our littlest at almost 4 years, was totally fine walking. It depends on the child of course. There are restrooms, coffee shop, food/snacks and a large gift store.

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Yes, it was cold enough to dress as an Eskimo for the day 🙂 I was warm = happy, until the sun went down

There are 3 main areas to enjoy, the very long bridge, the treetops adventure and the cliff walk.

The original bridge was built in 1889. It stretches 450 feet across and hangs 230 feet above the Capilano River. So, very long high bridge.

The Treetops Adventure was my personal favorite part. You walk along 7 small suspension bridges and platforms, 100 feet in the air through an old growth Douglas Fir forest. This was really perfect for the little kids

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Azure and cousin Kalin on one of the bridges in the Treetop Adventure

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A view from the canopy bridges

If you have kids, go straight to the Treehouse and pick up a clipboard to take the self-guided interactive tour. Answer the questions on the paper and receive a Rainforest Explorer badge. Thankfully, a free souvenir!

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Littlest brother wasn’t feeling well so we left him to nap in the stroller in the covered snack area with a big brother while the rest of us took the Cliff Walk. As you can see, its pretty narrow and I don’t think strollers are allowed on here either. The Cliff Walk was added to the site in 2011 and its pretty spectacular. Its cool to take in the engineering feat of the walkways, but the best part is the view of the river below

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The walkways were totally safe, in spite of the wet surfaces and I felt very comfortable having the kids walk on it

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After the sun went down this guy and Dad braved the cold to view the many Christmas lights

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My conclusion about this attraction was mixed. Was it a great educational place to wander and explore? For sure! It was a beautiful and different way to hike/walk. You are walking on paved paths but feel as though you are hiking the temperate rainforest. Very cool and I would love to visit in the summer, though I imagine it would be a good deal more crowded. Was the price something we would normally stretch to include? Nope! But, since Vancouver is essentially our second home town and we haven’t really done many paid tourist things there before, we bit the bullet cost wise and had a good time. If you are vacationing, as we were and have set aside a budget for fun activities, its not TOO painful. Hope you enjoyed visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge with us on this post of Family Fun Adventures

Here is the link to my Family Fun Adventure on Pinterest:

And here is the park link:

Memory Keeper: This Week In December 2

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Auntie Yvette doing the Gingerbread House with cousin Kalin and Brecks

Hope Everyone had the best holiday season! We got to make a very special trip to Canada and spend time with much missed family up there. Thanks guys for making it a lovely visit. Here are a few snaps from our trip

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L: Squeezed in the van for a long drive R: The mad dash of Christmas morning

This was the first time our whole family was able to travel up there at Christmastime. And nearly all my family there was able to attend (We missed you Uncle Reuben! Come see us anytime)

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Playing with Christmas gifts. Thanks Everyone!

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L: We got to finally meet our gorgeous smiley little nephew…Hudson Alexander aka Mr. Bacon. He is such a good dolly child. Congratulations to Dave, Tanya and doggie sis, Jax on your new addition

R: I have a picture of each of my kids with Grandpa’s noise reducing head gear on. This time it was Brecks turn to play with them. I think they are for flight controllers. Grandpa uses them for peace and quiet 🙂

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Skating and uhhhh, napping

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Walking to Burnaby Lake Regional Park to see the ducks on a very cold day

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Memory Keeper: This Week in December 1

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Yes, we can swim nearly all year round in the slightly heated pool here in Cali 🙂

Happy Belated December Everyone! I’m finally getting a chance to catch up on some blogging, so here are some pics of our everyday life. Lotsa love and stay warm

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Forget Disneyland, they should really call the beach the ‘The Happiest Place On Earth’ Our littles think so anyway

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L: Strolling around Lake Casitas R: Watching the Christmas Parade in Solvang, CA

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At one of our favorite parks…Sequoia National Park for our Christmas pictures this year

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Here’s one to make you feel better if you are freezing somewhere. We found a few patches of snow in the park and Hubbs snapped this beautiful picture of baby B

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Weekends are for pajamas! Snuggles and a game of mini Uno

xo guys!

Family Fun Adventure (Canada): Fort Langley National Historic Site


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Super excited to bring you this Family Fun Adventure from…Canada! Yes, folks we had the blessing of making our way up north to enjoy the holidays with our Canadian family, and it was LOVELY! Today’s post comes to you from Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

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We did the touristy thing and went with the Grandparents and Auntie Yvette (not pictured here, she took the better picture so I used hers! Thanks Yvette. Start writing for my blog pretty please) to the Fort one rainy day. Here is the pricing: Adults: $8.oo Youth: $4.00 Family: $20.oo (not sure how large a family counts) My sister had some passes since she worked for Parks Canada, which took care of the kids and 2 adults. We ended up paying 3 adult tickets for about $25. If you had to pay for everyone it could get a bit pricey for a large group, but it is definitely great value. This site is nicely paved so strollers aren’t a problem. It also has the added bonus of being fenced, er, walled in so the kiddies are contained. We had our stroller, but our almost 4 year old preferred to run around

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Inside view of the palisades

See the shed like roof off of the wall? There is a window in the wall that they used for trade with the Native people

“Fort Langley is the exact location where, a century and a half ago, a huge fur trade organization called the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small post to trade with the First Nations of the West Coast. The enterprise grew, evolved, and influenced history, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia” (taken from Parks Canada website. See link at the bottom of this post)

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L: Under the wall walk R: Stairs leading to the wall walk

This place is perfect for kids in the 5-12ish age range. There’s quite a few things for hands on fun, like a children’s museum in that you can wander around and touch most everything for the younger ones and slightly older ones will be able to enjoy the historical value. My older boys (13 and 15) weren’t all that interested in the history, but they were fine with wandering around. My 1st grader was TOO excited and couldn’t stop running all over looking for everything on the map and interactive booklet that was handed out to the kids. I had a hard time slowing him down to point out different interesting things. He was the same way at the LA Natural History Museum ( too overwhelmed to focus on details, which is funny cause he’ll listen to me read plenty of detailed science books. As an adult, I loved the place! It was a wonderful educational peek into life in the 1800’s and the birth place of British Columbia

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Here’s a picture from up on the wall walk at the top of the log walls surrounding the Fort where soldiers could patrol on look out

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L: Grandparents talking to the cooper making barrels for shipping salted salmon, cranberries and other goods

R: Mom and Azure in the store house in front of pelts that would have made up the fur trade that this area was known for. An attendant informed me that bear fur was commonly used as the outer wrapping for a pile of furs as it was the least expensive pelt

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L: Pretend to be a blacksmith for a few minutes R: Big boys testing out the bellows at the smithy

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L: Boat used for trade R: Try your hand at panning for gold at certain times of year

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Some kitchen areas in the houses. Interestingly, two or more families shared these homes. Each family area consisted of one large room with kitchen and sleeping areas just like in the Little House on the Prairie books. Some thing that struck me was how dark these houses must have been. There was some electric lighting disguised as candles or lanterns, even still, in the cloudy weather that is Vancouver for the most part, inside was really dark

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They really try to make the areas lived in. Beds with blankets, knitting basket out, food on the table. Everything is very tidy which it probably really was, since people didn’t have too much stuff back then 🙂 The grounds are, I imagine a lot neater than it was in real life. More park like and less like a muddy farm

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In the fall there are farm animals, a vegetable garden and mini orchard on site. Nothing to see when we visited late December. There also weren’t any crowds to deal with. Awesome! We pretty much had the run of the place

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A view of the Big House

“British Columbia was proclaimed a colony at a ceremony in the Big House on November 19, 1858. The present building was reconstructed for the centennial of this event. The original building served as the fort’s office and residence of the chief trader, the clerk, and their families” (taken from Parks Canada website) I learned that the Fort was built twice after being destroyed by fire and the only original building from the second build on site is the Storehouse. I didn’t think to ask the attendants what happened to the other buildings (its killing me now!) and I can’t seem to find anything online (let me know if anyone knows the answer) it seems like there was too much competition in trade and that led to the Fort ceasing to be a company post in 1886

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The kids enjoying some of the items they could touch and dress up with

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I was very impressed that the vintage clothing, dolls, china etc. could be handled. Very cool in my book!

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L: Old fashioned sink. A pitcher and wash bowl R: Furnace

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Some items in the stores that traders and gold miners would need

 I wished I would have read up about the site’s history before the visit. My overall impression of this place was…its an awesome educational gem! We had a great time and I thought the value was pretty decent. Some reviews I read suggested some visitors weren’t happy with crowds, lack of shows, activities and attendants to speak with. Although there weren’t any shows or special activities at the time of our visit (late December) there also were virtually no crowds, we still had a memorable and interesting visit. We spoke with a couple friendly attendants dressed in period clothing and they were able to answer our questions and tell us  interesting details of life and trade products of the Fort. I would certainly recommend this place for visitors to the area and would also consider an annual pass to bring the younger kids

Hope you enjoyed this post of our visit to Historic Fort Langley in British Columbia

Here’s the link to the Parks Website:

To Pin any of these pictures, see my Pinterest page: