I ended yesterdays post mentioning an up-coming adventure. Here it is!
Day two of my wife’s birthday started off by letting my wife sleep in a little before rushing out to the car and hitting the road for the hour drive out to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park near Eatonville, WA. The drive from Gig Harbor was absolutely gorgeous once we got past Spanaway with plenty of rolling country roads and the constant feeling that any minute Mt. Rainier would pop up from behind a cloud. We enjoyed the chance to get out in the fresh air and break my family’s ever growing cabin fever (the joys of having only one car right now).
The staff at Northwest Trek were incredible. After an hour drive, plenty of coffee and half a gallon of water I definitely had to visit the “little boy’s room” as soon as we pulled in but the woman at the counter let me and my son rush through the office to the bathrooms inside without having to pay first. This was a very good first impression that would continue to hold strong through our entire experience. Ticket prices for the family were definitely on the pricey side with adults running $19.75 ea. and my toddler son’s (3-4) being $9.25. We were able to get a 10$ discount because we are Pierce County residents so our total ran around $40 for the day. Though it seems pretty steep I feel like we got what we paid for when you take in to consideration the 1 hour tram tour of the free-range area of their park. Speaking of which:
This park is Amazing! The free tram ride through their herbivore region was full of beautiful animals, plenty of photo ops and a guide who kept us entertained and informed. We learned how many calories an adult moose needs (just under 10k or the equivalence of about 25 big macs), what male, female and young goats are called (Billy, Nanny and Kid), and that I’ve been incorrectly referring to Canada Geese as “Canadian Geese” all of my life (the guide said, “they are *from* Canada but “I’ve never seen a passport”). We had a chance to see the American Bison, Alaskan Moose, Blacktail Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Roosevelt Elk, Mountain Goat and tons of smaller animals throughout the ride and came out excited to see what was next.
Some times I feel like a military tactician.
As mid-February gets closer and closer I begin to plan out what I’ve come to refer to as “Ladies Week”; Valentines day, my daughters birthday and then my wife’s birthday. Though these days are all very close to each other they are completely different days. I made a vow to never attempt to “merge” the days, to give each their own special attention and planning. I want my wife and daughter to feel special on these days because they are worth it and I get to set the standard for which my daughter will look to with her future husband.
I mentioned last week that we don’t usually do a lot for valentines day. This year I was able to sneak some tulips and chocolate in to garage without her noticing and presented them to her in the morning. My son was the first to see the spread and got VERY excited about giving them to mamma. As soon as she got up he rushed over to her and told her about the gifts in the living room and dragged her out. He wasn’t as interested in giving the gifts as he was getting a piece of mamma’s chocolate… I’m working on him 🙂 The day was spent adventuring around town, visiting Schemel Homestead Park and ended with some excellent gluten-free pizza from Blue Cannon Pizza. We had a peaceful evening talking and watching some shows after the kids went to bed, just the way we like to spend the holiday.
Our daughter’s first birthday was a blast. We decided a while ago that we won’t give our kids sweets until their first birthday. We set them on a sheet with a cake and let them have at it. Our hope is that they plant their face in the cake and start chewing away like a warthog, the reality is that they take a couple tiny bites and want nothing more. I guess when you don’t stuff your kids with sugar on a regular basis they just don’t care as much for that overt sweetness when they finally have it presented. We spent the evening talking with friends and family, watching the kids run around and ended the night with a fire and roasted marshmallows.
Last night was my wife’s birthday and though my original plans fell through we were able to salvage the night by adventuring in to downtown Tacoma rushing around trying to find “Monkeyshines“. Though we didn’t find one we had a blast exploring new areas and spending time with the kids. If we had really wanted to find one of these cool glass balls we would have needed to get a babysitter and head out quite a bit earlier. We ended the night with dinner at B.J’s Brewhouse and got caught up with Agent Carter on Hulu. Another nice, relaxing evening.
We aren’t done with my wife’s birthday just yet. I took the day off and planned out an adventure for the day. She has no idea what is in store but will hopefully enjoy what’s ahead 🙂
###Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?
Near the end of January 2015 I felt the need to challenge myself (and others) with writing a new blog post every day for the month of February. I *need* to write for sanity’s sake and usually work better when I challenge myself. The rules are simple: write a new post to your blog every day before 10am PST. The post needs to have at least 2 paragraphs. We are going for quantity, not quality. If you join in post a link to the others who are joining in this challenge to help build exposure. This is all about helping build the discipline of daily writing.
**John C. Massie:** [www.johnmassie.com](www.johnmassie.com)
We spent the next hour or so walking through the other half of the park. The paths were well paved and most exhibits looked like they gave the animals plenty of space to roam around while still allowing a good viewing area. We saw quite a few omnivores/carnivores including the Grey Wolf, Red Fox, Coyote, Mountain Lion and a few members of the badger family like the Wolverine and the Fisher. It was nice to see all the animals and enjoyed the time together talking about what we were learning along the way. Our toddler did pretty well through the first half but ended up in the Mei Tai carrier after the tram while our daughter fell asleep about halfway through the walk.
We ended the trip with a trip to their cafe where we were surprisingly able to order some gluten-free options! I ended up going with the bison burger where my wife had the regular cheese burger on a gluten-free bun. The burger was pretty good for a zoo burger but wouldn’t be something I’d order again if it were served somewhere else (though I’d likely order it if we decided to eat there again). All in all it was a pretty incredible day that was well worth the $40 price tag to get in. We are considering the $200 family pass that includes a membership for the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium as the zoo is closer but we love the idea of being able to come out here whenever we want.
Have you been to Northwest Trek or another free-range wildlife park?
Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?