Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Middle of the night crisis

Hubby woke up in the middle of the night to an unusual noise.  Ran outside and came back yelling to call 911.  The neighbour’s house was on fire.  Long story short, the fire ran along the fence and ours’ caught fire too. (never realised how loud a fire could be!)

We got the kids and puppy out to our other neighbours’ place, then hubby and I grabbed our documents and pcs and hard drives.  I dumped all my gear back into my camera bag (thank goodness it is quick and easy to pack!) and moved it all outside, away from the house.

 

Really grateful to the Redmond Fire Department and all the other surrounding departments who also arrived.  They arrived within minutes and quickly got things under control.  (Two-house fire so they brought a whole team for each house.)  Our wonderful neighbours all came out to help and support us too.  They really all made life easier, the neighbours taking the kids in to sleep since we spent the rest of the night waiting for the all clear and filling in witness statements.

It is shocking to see how fast a fire grows, doubles in size every minute in a normal fire.  This one started in a shed, so plenty of fuel (including an exploding propane tank).  It moved really fast.  When we were all safe and the fire department had arrived, I got my camera out, to keep my hands busy and snapped a few shots.

A miracle no-one was hurt and nothing sentimental was lost in either house.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mount Rainier

This mountain is really huge.  You can see it from so many places, but I usually only get a view of it when I am driving.  Took the opportunity to capture it when hubby drove us home from the city, driving over the lake.  It is one of the few mountains still with snow on it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Company picnic

Amazon has a family day each year that we attended at Seattle’s football field recently.  The kids had an absolute blast!  The field is huge, with many levels.  We only discovered the top floor at the end.  Next year we will go there first!

The first activity the kids did, was decorating their own frisbees.  It was interesting experimenting with the effects of different colours.  There were lots of other activities too, like a science section, GoldieBlox, Lego, crafts and face painting.  (I waited too long to get in line for the henna tattoos.)

  

There were quite a few performers around too.  They were still grinning by the end of the day, which was very impressive!  All very friendly and happy to pose.

 

We had lunch in the stadium stands, watching all the events on the grass.  Learned a bit about broomball!   Sure was entertaining watching the three-legged race on the big screens!  The kids got a bit of exercise playing putt-putt, laser tag and going on carnival rides.  The boys’ favourite is always the climbing wall.  They flew up there. 

     

I didn’t get a chance to photograph the official mascot, but I got a shot of the cute box guy.  All the children there loved him!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Birthdays

Two of the kids had their birthdays shortly after we arrived in Seattle.  I knew we would not have enough time to get them presents after we got here, so I bought early and sent the gifts over with our airfreight allowance.  It made a big difference not having to rush around trying to learn where shops were.  I guess we could have ordered online, but that kind of spoils the fun of hunting for the perfect gift, at least for me.  ( do wish I had wrapped them beforehand though!)

We had given the kids early birthday parties before we left.  I discovered these cute little cakes at Safeway (QFC also makes them).  Got a Barbie one as a surprise for my youngest.  Think we managed to give both kids a special day each.

PS if you want to see some of our daily adventures on Instagram, you can follow me here: http://instagram.com/whiteforge

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Days in Seattle

We arrived in Seattle during the first days of spring, with regular blue skies and bright flowers starting to peek out everywhere. 

After so many hours travelling, we were grateful to arrive at our temporary home in Redmond.  The corporate housing was very pretty, with a great view over the river out the back.  It was in a complex with lots of families around.  The kids had friends to play with every day.  The stairs just weren’t so great up to the bedrooms.  They were quite steep and all of us slipped at least once, hubby taking a fall.

 

Driving there was interesting, especially since we were tired.  “Wrong side of the road” kept making it feel like we would be t-boned every time we turned left.  A friend had given us the tip “righty tighty, lefty loosy”.  It doesn’t just work for opening jars.  When you turn right, keep tight to the edge and when you turn left, keep loose.  It is easy when there are lots of cars around, since you mostly follow the other drivers.  The concentration has to kick in when you are the only driver around. The roads are mostly quite well-marked and spacious, which made it a lot easier.

The trees here are tall and green, new shoots were budding everywhere.  The cloudy skies were something to watch, the kids finding creatures in the sky.

 

A beautiful walking trail runs behind the corporate housing.  It runs along the river.  It was permanently filled with families walking their dogs, cycling or rowing on the river.

  

All the streets are lined with trees as well.  It makes you feel a lot closer to nature.  All the plants and trees camouflages the buildings.  It doesn’t feel like you are close to a city.

Redmond is really beautiful.  We are slowly finding our way around and getting lost a lot less often!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hummingbird

I haven’t seen a hummingbird since I was really young (a long time ago in a land far far away!).  It was so great to see one again.  We discovered this one by the bushes outside our corporate housing.  Keen to plant some flowers that are friendly to them next spring.