Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just a quick note again, because, yes, I have about a billion better things that I should be doing besides blogging. We arrived safely in Oregon last Saturday night and have been busy ever since. The one thing I wanted to comment is this. Our garbage cans were delivered today and we got a nice big "West Coast" welcome. Our recycling can is DOUBLE the size of our trash can! Can you believe it! Now we just have to get back into the cycle of recycling! We got so used to Spokane taking practically nothing, that we got out of habit.

More updates, and pictures, to come later!

Friday, June 18, 2010

One more great thing about Spokane

Okay, so I know that I am technically supposed to be cleaning the carpets, or loading the moving van, or some other chore, but I quickly had to give one more huge "Spokane You Are Awesome" post.

Last spring, when we were looking for places to live, I took a drive out by myself to check out a house. The house I was looking at was the one we ended up getting. After my appointment, I met a girlfriend for lunch at a local coffee house. Of course, I drove back to Seattle immediately after lunch. My sister-in-law was watching my kids, and when I was about a block away from her house, I wanted to stop and get her some flowers for the favor. I got out of the car and looked for my wallet. It was not in my purse. It was not behind the seat. It was not on the floor. It was not in the car.

Since the drive from Spokane to Seattle is five hours, by the time I got home, the coffee shop was closed. Early the next morning, I called them, and sure enough, some random stranger had turned in my wallet; completely intact. I was amazed.

Last night, being our last night in the house, we decided to take the kids out to dinner. We went to local restaurant and our kids were so extremely hyper, that we decided to take them to a McDonald's playland to let them run off some steam. It worked! But in the process of leaving, I left my purse draped around a chair in the playland. I did not even notice it was gone until it was time to leave this morning to go pick up the moving truck. So, once again, I called a store and politely told them that I may have left my purse there.

Guess what? It was there! I could not believe my luck! But, I guess luck does not have much to do with it. All that matters, is that two honest people found my purse and returned them to management. I will miss living in such a place where manners and honesty matter so much.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maybe June wasn't that boring...

Okay, so I know in my previous post I said that June, so far, has been a kind of uneventful month. But then, today, we did this:

Farewell Spokane!

Wow, it has been awhile since I have posted anything of real substance! But I have my excuses!

As most readers know, we are drawing close to the end of our year in Spokane. We moved here on June 12th, 2009 and we will be driving away with our Penske truck on June 19th, 2010.

Something many will not know, however, is how much I did not want to come to Spokane. Not. One. Bit. I really had nothing in particular against this city; I just thought it would be fun to get away from the Pacific Northwest. "Here is our opportunity," I said many times to Joshua. To experience a new part of the country, try new activities, meet new people.

Turns out, we accomplished all those things, and more, being only 5 hours away from our beloved Seattle.

There are a few things I will miss terribly about Spokane. First, the airport. It is freaking amazing. Anybody who has flown into or out of the Spokane INTERNATIONAL Airport, knows how fun this place is. I will also miss the parks. I don't know if Seattle has more parks per capita, but the parks in Spokane definitely rival it's west coast city. The best part about the parks here, is that they are rarely crowded. Even on beautiful days. There are just so many great parks/playgrounds to choose from, families never congregate en masse to the same one! There are so many choices. Lastly, I will miss the people here. While Spokane is a very conservative and non-diverse city, the people here are genuinely nice. Something I miss about Alaska and that was mostly lacking in Seattle.

So I thought it would be fun to take a look back at our year here. I chose one photo that successfully described our time here and Spokane in general.

June 2009:

This was our first time going to Manito Park since our move to Spokane. I choose this picture, one, because Manito is an amazing and beautiful park, but also for everyone to notice Claire's outfit. That girl still lives in bathing suits! Funny how much, but then how little she has changed!

Since this picture, Claire has out grown her Thomas bike. We took her to Toys R Us a month ago to pick out her new bike, and true to herself, she choose a boys silver bike with a huge shark mouth on the front. She is a champion biker, even biking with Levi and I to Joshua's work a couple times. The longest bike ride she has done is three miles.

July 2009:
This is a hike we have done several times called Indian Painted Rocks near the Little Spokane River. Although hard to see, at the trailhead there are rocks with ancient Native paintings.

I like this picture because the truly reflects the Spokane outdoors. The dry soil with large needled evergreen trees is typical of the area.

August 2009:
This is at one of the several outdoor pools that the City of Spokane built. Two opened in June 2009 and the rest will open this summer. Levi is on the right slide racing a boy that he met there. Claire is watching in the water on the left with the pink swimsuit on.

Last summer we went to an outdoor pool or splash pad at least once a week!

September 2009:
No trip to Spokane is complete without a ride on the carousel! The carousel celebrated its 100 year anniversary the year we moved to Spokane.

October 2009:
This picture, while not good photographically speaking, is does a great job of showing another one of our favorite places in Spokane. This is from the top of Lincoln Park. There is a circular trail about half a mile long that we will bring our bikes to for a family ride. The trail is about as wide as a road, so there is plenty of room for everybody. In the middle of the trail is a small pond where, if you are lucky, can see turtles!

November 2009:
Ah, Riverfront Park. Another major stopping point for the Knight family. The kids love to climb around on this blocks. There is also a HUGE radio flyer red wagon for the kids to climb up. The handle is a long slide back to the ground.

December 2009:
Although we did not go to this place as often as the kids would have liked, it will always be a positive memory of Spokane. This is a pizza restaurant called Five Mile Pizza Parlor. It is amazing! Obviously there is a huge ball pit where kids can just jump and play to their heart's content. There are lots of other games too, but the best thing about this place, is that Mom and Dad can enjoy a beer and a conversation with a decent dinner. Each time we have been, the kids play for over an hour, and never want to leave. A perfect paradise.

January 2010:
Just how the parks are never crowded in Spokane, neither is the children's museum. Claire's Godparents gave us a year membership to Mobius Kids when we left Seattle. It was a perfect gift. Claire especially loved going there, where she would instantly find this blue princess dress and head for the mud. Her and Josh have done several daddy-daughter dates here. Their favorite game? Fishy Catch.

February 2010:
Okay, so Coeur d'Alene is not officially in Washington, but everybody goes there! Cd'A is about a 25 minute drive from our house, and a must see for all our visitors. Cd'A is not just a beautiful place, but it has the most amazing wooden playground!

March 2010:
Finally! Riverside Park! We love this park! This picture is from the top looking down on the area locally known as Bowl & Pitcher.

April 2010:
How can I keep mentioning Spokane without mentioning the drives to get here! We ended up making three cross-state trips back to Seattle. This picture is from one of our stops in Leavenworth. They have the coolest hat store with TONS of crazy hats to try on.

May 2010:
This picture is taken from the south side of Bowl & Pitcher. The Centennial Bike trail is along that side and I have biked the 15 miles around the river several times. This time I took Levi & Claire out for a ride. We even saw a deer cross right in front of us!

So far June has been pretty uneventful. We have been doing a lot of packing and getting ready for the big move. Both Josh and I will miss this crazy town; it has been an eventful and memorial year. I can honestly say that I am grateful for my time here and all the adventures we had along the way.