Wednesday, July 27, 2011

10 years in review

As some of you may know, Rob and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary on July 14th.  I guess that's something, I don't know.  We've never made a big deal about stuff like that.

It just so happened that Rob's friends were planning to get married in Seattle the same weekend as our anniversary, and it just so happened that Rob and I had gone to the Pacific Northwest for our honeymoon 10 years ago.  It also just so happened that we finally sold our Urbana house, and although we have suffered huge losses, there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel now.  I was hesitant to make the trip on account of the expense it would involve, but Rob did not share my concerns and he went ahead and bought plane tickets.  More than that, Rob's friends asked him to play guitar in their wedding ceremony, and he agreed.  We left the day after we closed on our Urbana house (July 12th).

We flew to Seattle and the next morning (July 13th) left for Port Angeles, WA, which was our gateway to Olympic National Park.  We attempted to hike Hurricane Ridge, as we did 10 years ago, but it was a lot more difficult with a 2-year old whose favorite activity is kicking, screaming, and throwing himself on the ground, and who generally refuses to ride in the Ergo carrier anymore.  Oh, and also, there was snow.

Snow at 6000'

Out for a hike

Snow covered trailSnow covered trailMeli & RobTeam Ragfield

Panoramic view

The next day (July 14th) we went to the Hoh Rainforest, which has got to be one of the coolest places on earth.  According to the website, Hoh gets approximately 3,556 mm of rain per year-- just for comparison, the forest where I did my dissertation research gets approximately 1,500 mm.  It's just cool.  Will did about as well as could be expected, which is to say, we had about 5 whole minutes of hiking in the rainforest before he began having a temper tantrum.


More hiking


Ooo, a fern!

Ferns are awesome

After a truncated hike in the rainforest, Will got to rest in the car as we drove to First Beach.  It was freezing cold (and raining), so we only stayed for a few minutes, but enough apparently, for the requisite photo of Melissa running into the ocean.

Will at the Pacific Ocean


Melissa at the Pacific Ocean


There was perhaps some more nap time for Will in the car as we headed back towards the hotel and stopped off at Lake Crescent, which ended up being one of my favorite places (both this time and 10 years ago).

Good morning


Lake Crescent


Lake Crescent


We did a short hike to Marymere Falls, and Will enjoyed this.  He actually hiked most of the way (about 1.5 miles round trip, I think?) on his own.



We ended up finding the same exact tree that I stopped off to hug back in 2001, and Rob recreated the photo.  Will joined me this time.

Tree Hugger 2001

Hugging the tree in 2001


Tree huggers 2011

Hugging the tree in 2011.

The irony of this is, though, that as I looked up through the towering foliage to see it's top, I realized that it was a dead tree.  I don't know if it was 10 years ago or not.  Kind of makes the whole thing feel more bitter than sweet, I guess.

When Will got tired, he rode on Rob's shoulders or I carried him:

Having a good time

Walking the bridge

And he enjoyed seeing the waterfall at the end of the hike.  His face lit up and he said "WOW!" and then "WHOA!"

Marymere Falls

The next day (July 15th) we went to the Elwah River Valley, which was amazing.  Maybe when Will is like 12 years old, we can go back and spend the whole week there, hiking around and camping.

View from Elwha Valley


Will is excited for some more hiking

Elwha Valley

We did a short hike at Elwah, which was more rugged than any other hike we had attempted with Will.  That is to say, we had to cross a stream on a log.

Stream crossing

It would have been less nerve-wracking for me if Will had conceded to ride in his Ergo or be carried, but he insisted on crossing the stream while riding on Rob's shoulders.  This remained his chosen mode of transportation for the duration of the trip.

That afternoon, we took a ferry back to Seattle.  Will slept the whole time and I didn't even throw up.  We went to the wedding rehearsal; Rob rehearsed (recall that he was playing guitar in the wedding) and Will and I ran around in the freezing cold Puget Sound.  That night, Rob's mom flew into Seattle, and Rob went to go pick her up at the airport.

The next morning (Saturday, July 16th) it was raining, so we opted to go to the Seattle Aquarium--an indoor activity.  I couldn't help but morosely recall when Rob and I went there on our honeymoon 10 years ago, and I formally vowed never to have children as I saw a woman trying to get her bratty little child to look at a hermit crab by saying, "LOOK, GABEY, WOUDLN'T THAT CRAB TASTE GOOD?"

Team Ragfield

Fish watching

That night, Will stayed at the hotel with Rob's mom, while Rob and I went to a Seattle Mariner's game with Rob's friends who were getting married.  It was my first baseball game, ever.  I had a $7.50 beer, and that definitely helped me get though it.  And then, apparently, my sister in law's baseball fantasy boyfriend hit 2 homeruns.  Bravo.

$7.50 beer

The next morning (Sunday, July 17th), we went to the Space Needle.  It was probably cool, I guess, but not worth the exorbitant admission fee, particularly when you have a 2 year old with a 5 minute attention span, and you arrive there 5 minutes before his nap time.  But whatever.  It brought back memories from when I watched the entire Frasier series while I nursed Will during the first several months of his life.

Will at the Space Needle



Melissa wanted to make sure to keep her eyes open.

Afterwards, we happened upon the "Bite of Seattle," and Will got to try some Mango lemonade.

Bite of Seattle

Team Ragfield

Will & Meli

Then it was time to head back and get ready for Erin and Wyatt's wedding.  We tried to get Will to take a nap in the hotel room and Rob went into the bathroom to practice his guitar.  Endearing.

The wedding was seriously the most awesome wedding I have ever been to.  And I'm not just saying that because Rob was playing his guitar in it.  It was really a great wedding.

Bride and maid of honor


Power of two

Rob playing Power of Two by the Indigo Girls as the family was being seated.

Just married

Scott County

The day after the wedding (Monday, July 18), we went to Mt. Rainier, which was cool.


We did a couple of small hikes to see some big trees and another waterfall for Will.

You guys are totally looking the wrong way

Then it was time to come home.  Will has been having a tough time readjusting, I don't know if he is still jet-lagged or what.  He's been having some trouble sleeping and then on several mornings he has slept in until 8:30 or even 9:00.  He wants no part at all of daycare.  He still goes on Mondays and Wednesdays (so that in theory, I can work on my article for the Howler Monkey volume.  In practice, I have barely even started it), and he has since moved into the 2-year old room.  He used to love going to daycare, and on Saturdays and Sundays he would stand at the door with his shoes and hat, getting agitated and asking for "Mo" (his teacher).  Now he doesn't want to go at all.  I have to drag him outside kicking and screaming and then he beats on the door saying "Inside!  Inside!"  When we get there, he just cries and cries and says "No no no no!"  And of course he doesn't eat anything the whole day.  It is breaking my heart.  I hope things get better when I'm back at work full time and he is on more of a consistent schedule.

Anyway, I am exhausted at the moment because Will slept in our bed last night and he totally hogged my side, so I was left clinging to the edge.  Plus he intermittently kicked me in the ribs all night long.  Then for some reason I didn't have coffee today and I am kind of feeling like I might pass out soon.  Guess I'd better end this then.  Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

GREAT READ and AWESOME PHOTOS!!!!! What a wonderful VACATION in the pacific northwest!!! gorgeous COUNTRY!! thanks for "sharing' , as I felt like I was there,too!!!! I think Will did FANTASTIC, being only 23 months old, and BEING COOPED IN AIRPLANES for several HOURS, , in rental cars, in STRANGE beds, on FERRY's, eating ,sleeping and doing everything on a totally different TIME FRAME>>>>>>> bless him!!! the pictures speak a million words,,,,,, so glad you captured the moments!!! thanks again for sharing!!! ANOTHER RAGFIELD ADVENTURE!!!!!! Luv to all , mom

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Anniversary ... and thank you so much for the great 'trip report' ... LOVED the pictures ... and love you all!! auntie

Alena said...

Happy anniversary, Melissa! I enjoyed reading your notes and looking at the pictures.