Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oregon: a trip Erich won't soon forget!

Toward the end of November, we took a family road trip down to the Oregon Coast. We had gotten some inexpensive accommodations in Seaside, Oregon so we decided to make a short trip out of it. It just so happened to be American Thanksgiving (and black Friday), and it also so happened that the Canadian dollar was flying at an all time high (about $1.10). That meant that while I was taking Erich to see lots of museums, Karen got to do some early Christmas shopping.

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We started Thursday evening, stopped by Seattle Premium Outlets, then proceeded to South Seattle where we stayed the night. Little did Erich know what his Daddy had in store the next day.

Museum of Flight

Cashing in on the success of our previous trip to the Canadian Museum of flight, I decided I would take him to the Museum of Flight at Boeing. His face lit up as he saw the numerous planes parked on the lawn and he could not believe that I was bringing him to see another airplane museum. (or as he says: "daddy bring me to the airplane musemum")

One of the major showpieces of the exhibit was the Concorde. Karen and I had the privilege of seeing the Concorde back in 2003 when it was still flying. It would sonic boom just over Reading, UK each morning, so the sound was unmistakable. Now, Erich was able to see this piece of history first hand. We stepped onto the plane and observed the rather small but comfortable seats.

Erich also had lots of fun sitting and playing with the various children's exhibits designed to demonstrate the various controls of an airplane.

Woodburn, Oregon

After we took in a few acres of exhibits, we fetched Karen from the mall and proceeded to drive down through Portland to Woodburn. Woodburn is the outlet shopper's paradise: with the high dollar, no sales tax in Oregon, and the enormous selection at the Woodburn Company Stores, we stocked up on dress shirts and trousers that I seem to wear out almost like candy.

Seaside, Oregon

After staying the night in Woodburn, we proceeded to drive to the Oregon Coast and stayed at a coastal town called Seaside. Here, we mostly stayed, taking in the beautiful scenery and the unique sights. We took Erich to the Carousel Mall where they have an old fashion carousel.

We also took Erich down to Tillamook where we visited the cheese factory and saw yet another airplane museum - this time of old World War II planes housed in former blimp hanger. Erich thoroughly enjoyed both. I find it so interesting how he is fascinated at these big marvels of machinery at such an early age, and I wonder what the influence it will have on him. I still remember that some of things I became most fascinated about as a young adult stemmed from my experiences as a child.

The Weather!

Part of the reason why our accommodation rates were so inexpensive was because we were going off season. The weather played a huge role in helping to deter tourists, but as Vancouverites who are used to the rain, it wasn't so bad. Besides, I often find that just after a rainstorm is the best time to take beautiful pictures!

The only really scary part of the trip was driving along Highway 101 (the coastal highway) one night in pitch darkness with the rain pouring down in droves. I mean the rain was BAD! Visibility was next to none, and the locals were still tailgating me expecting me to go the speed limit (of 50mph). In hindsight though, it could have been a lot worse - in fact a week after we got back to Vancouver, the area was flooded and Oregon and Washington declared temporary states of emergency.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Future pilot?

Remembrance Day fell on a Sunday this year, so Monday was declared a statutory holiday in lieu. This worked out well as most places were open to visit. We took advantage of the day off and went down to the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, BC.

Erich was so eagar to be able to see airplanes again, he could hardly contain his excitement. He particularly enjoyed looking at all of the model airplanes they had on display.

We were lucky that most of the exhibits were indoors. We had pouring rain and wind gusts up to 90km/h that day. We did manage to get this picture outdoors with the Snowbird. With all the wind, it kinda looks like they were scrambling to the jets. :-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Nathan!

My friend Nathan got a year older so I decided to send him a little gift along the lines of his hobby. Here is a custom birthday card painted entirely of light.

Darkened room, ISO 100, f/22, 30 second exposure. Handheld flashlight.

It took quite a few practice runs to be able to get all the letters in a straight line, facing the right way all in 30 seconds!