Sunday, February 28:
It started out as a decent PNW day. The sun was shining and it wasn't freezing cold (a blessing in these parts). I called my brother and his family to see if they wanted to play at a new park with us. He said Yes and we were on our way.
We went to Saint Edward State Park. It's in the Kenmore, WA area right on Lake Washington. There is a fabulous wooden playground with loads of things for the kids to climb on and run around in. There is a paved trail that would be perfect for bike riding (we never remember to bring bikes). And there are some hiking trails to meander on that lead down to the waterfront.
After consulting the map and not thinking too much about the level, we all (11 of us - 4 adults, 7 kids (4 of which are 4 years old)) headed down the "difficult" path that is .40 miles long. It was easy enough to walk down, there was no way in hell I was walking back up that thing without having a heart attack. Anyway, it's narrow and the left side is steep and the kids did a wonderful job "trying" to stay to the right and away from the heart pounding edges. We made it down without a single fall!! Woo Hoo!! Now it was time to try and keep them out of the water while they played at the edge. For one, it's cold. For two, they would whine all the way back up the path with their wet, soggy shoes and socks. For three, they are young and we are dumb.
Actually, they managed to stay dry and loved throwing rocks into the water. We watched a float plane come across the lake and land just out of sight. We waited for the sun to break back out, but it never did. I guess this is good because the .62 mile hike up the moderate trail was very sweat inducing. The kids whined the last little bit and asked to be carried. No freaking way! I told them they could stay there and look for bears, but I was heading to the top and there was no stopping to whine. As we neared the top, my brother Scott, got the fun idea to toss rocks and sticks into the woods on either side of us. The kids were constantly in a state of "what was that?" I asked, "was it a snipe?" "No!" "It was a bear!" That was the consensus of the youngest kids (the 5 that are 4 and 5 years old). They had fun looking into the woods and trying to spot something and were very ecstatic to realize we were at the top of the hike and back on the Seminary building.
Great fun was had by all. And the kids who were "so tired" "I'm dying" where full of energy to run back out on the playground to play some more. It's a very fun place to go spend some time on an early afternoon.