Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Year of Cartwheeling

Dear 2011,
This year has had its ups and down. Sometimes it felt like life was just turning in circles. I've found that doing things in a pair sure makes the adventure more fun. I'm glad I've seen sights from Vancouver BC to Orlando, FL with a whole new perspective. Sometimes it just takes turning life upside to truly appreciate all the good. Now a new year is approaching and it's time to bid farewell to you. Thanks for making it a memorable one!
Your cartwheeling buddy

January brought us a little snow to Seattle. We built snowmen and cartwheeled!

January also brought us some beautiful, sunny weather. A great opportunity to get out and see the city.Victor Steinbrueck park is located near Pike Place Market and has great views of the Puget Sound. It's a great place to watch the ferries come and go, people watch, and enjoy views of the industry that keeps Seattle going. I've enjoyed dance parties and picnics with various friends throughout the year. Clearly, cartwheel photos were needed to remember this gorgeous winter day!

February started out with a trip to Snoqualmie Pass to go snowshoeing. Good company, a good workout, and even some good views were enjoyed that day. It wasn't complete without an attempt at cartwheeling in snowshoes.

February also brought a sunny trip to Florida visit an old friend who works at Disney World. A cartwheeling tour of all the parks was a must.
Day 1: Hollywood Studio

Day 2: Animal Kingdom
Day 3: Epcot

Day 4: Magic Kingdom

March brought piece and quiet and a little break from cartwheels.

April took me out to the east coast to visit the Nation's Capitol to see my mom and dad, and then a long drive up north to cheer my sister on at the Boston Marathon.

Washington DC

A visit to Walden Pond(a short drive away from Boston) to ponder on life and do cartwheels!

April continued with an inaugural trip to Vancouver BC with Portland friends. Trips also followed in May and June. April's trip fulfilled the cartwheel experience.
A view of downtown Vancouver
A lighthouse in Stanley Park
May did not disappoint. It began with beautiful weather my birthday weekend and a lovely Sunday afternoon at Magnuson Park. A birthday treat for me; taking a cartwheel photos on the shores of Lake Washington.
I completed my first road biking event in Utah with an old friend from Portland. 40 miles wasn't too hard but great preparation for the many other races I completed this summer. A cartwheel photo shot was taken at the first rest stop.
June brought the start of summer; you wouldn't have guessed it living in Seattle! June also brought the start of triathlons and century bike rides. I was too busy training to even take cartwheel photos during the month.

July brought a little more sunshine and alot more fun. Climbing the ever popular Mt Si, a 4,000 feet elevation gain in 4 miles, was a great accomplishment. Tired legs are not conducive to great cartwheel shots.

But look at that great view from the top!

July also brought cartwheels to the work place. Our summer social included an event called "Train the Trainer." Residents told us what to do. A request was made for cartwheels, of course.

August brought a visit to the Olympic Peninsula. A short hike through the Hoh Rainforest and a drive up to see the gorgeous views from Hurricane Ridge were the highlights of the trip.

(just for the phones don't take great cartwheel shots)
(the beautiful Olympic Mountain range in the background)

August also brought the completion of my first half ironman. Despite the big change in elevation and the oppressive heat that I was not accustomed to, there was still energy to cartwheel at the finish line.
September brought the much awaited trip to the San Juan Islands. We were glad for warm weather all 4 days so that could enjoy the lakes on the island and beaches surrounding it. Cartwheel photos were taken as a memory of the many fun times!

September also brought my first experience stand-up paddle boarding on the Puget Sound. Seals swam close by to keep us company on our short trip towards the Ballard Locks. And a quick shot by a paddle board was taken at the end for memory sake.

October we bid adieu to the late summer weather and welcomed cooler temperature, continued sunny skies, and colorful fall leaves. A road trip along the Cascade Hwy through the American Alps one Saturday made for a delightful day trip. A cartwheel photo op at a local pumpkin patch added to the autumn like feeling in the air.

November was busy with trips to Houston to babysit and visit an old college roommate. It continued with a memorable Thanksgiving weekend with family in Portland. Another great months despite the lack of cartwheel photos.

December brought a festive outing to the Bellevue Botancial Garden's Garden d'Lights and, you guessed it, cartwheels! December also brought many other great family times including the annual Christmas party with a sister in Portland and a fun trip to Denver to spend Christmas with 6 energetic nephews and nieces.
Happy 2012 to all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park, located on the North end of Lake Union, was originally used as a site to make gas from coal between the years 1906 to 1965. The city of Seattle purchased it during the mid 60's and opened a public park in1975. With great views of Lake Union and the Seattle’s skyline this is definitely on my list of top 5 best parks in the city.

It was at one time touted as one of the”strangest parks in the world.” Strange or not, this park is worth the visit! Where else can children climb on old machinery from the plant? There’s a children’s barn (inside the former exhauster-compressor building) where they so kindly painted the old parts bright colors to make them appealing for children(see picture to the right).

In addition to the children’s play area, there’s a great hill for flying kites and lots of green space. The sundial atop the hill is another unique feature to the park.

Here are the views we captured from atop the hill

Here's the best one for last!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why cartwheels?

Why not? Everyone's blogging these days and we wanted to jump on the bandwagon too!

Truthfully, the idea is not all mine. I had a friend who started a website entitled "Cartwheels Around the World." While this website isn't around anymore, I've enjoyed taking cartwheel pictures wherever I travel. That was the inspiration for this blog. Now as a group of friends we'll be cartwheeling around to Seattle to show you all the budget friendly, off the beaten track, cool places to visit around the area. We can promise you'll be entertained by our cartwheeling skills. However, read this blog at your own might just decide that Seattle is the place you should be living!

Here's a little sneak peak of what you'll be seeing...

This was taken on a recent bike ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail
(Just for the record this was taken with our camera timer. We guarantee better pictures in the future!)

Biking the Burke-Gilman Trail

A sunny day in November is a special treat to anyone who lives in the Northwest! We couldn't pass up a morning bike ride along the Burke-Gilman trail. We hopped on close to Magnuson Park and rode to Lake Forrest Park. We enjoyed gorgeous views of Lake Washington and colorful leaves (still on the trees) along the way! Of course, we couldn't pass up a few cartwheeling photos. This picture to the right doesn't do justice to the views of Lake Washington we passed(it was just the best place for us to prop the camera to take photos on the timer). I guess you'll either have to take my word for it or get out there and experience it for yourself.

The Burke Gilman trail starts near Golden Gardens Park in Ballard, hugs the Lake Washington Ship Canal, then heads north along Lake Washington. It eventually connects with the Lake Sammamish River trail around the Kenmore/Bothell area. We only rode along a small portion of the lengthy trail, but it's said to span some 27 miles. It's a popular trail used by joggers, cyclists, skaters and commuters of any kind. It's conveniently flat, which is hard to find while biking or running in Seattle, but it sure makes it nice for leisurely bike rides or long runs. The only downfall for serious cyclists might be the the tree root speed bumps we encountered along the stretch by Lake Washington.
This scenic trail is a must for any visitor or resident of the Seattle area. Pull out those running shoes, get those bikes tuned up, and dust off those rollerblades because this is one activity that you won't want to pass up on your next visit to Seattle!