NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

Bird Festival

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I think the Bird Fest was one of those things I found out about from our city’s free newspaper – my neighbors and I always joke about all the exciting news we learn when reading it every month. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it was a very Emma-friendly event and I had to go, even though I would be alone (it was a Saturday) – a little uncomfortable since there was no on-site parking and all attendees rode a shuttle together from a short distance away. Nat actually really wanted to come, so we went early with the hope of getting home before he had to leave for work… I ended up loving it so much that I called him a Lyft and he went to work while I hung around for another couple hours.

Dogs aren’t allowed at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, so I had never been. I loved the small interpretive center – and then all the activities and presentations of the festival! There was birdhouse building and duck decoy and Gyotaku fish painting (mostly for kids), archery, a fish casting challenge, and a waterfowl retrieval dog demonstration. Also, Conestoga wagon rides! My favorite part (after the wagon ride, obviously) was learning about the “monster invaders” and lamprey, and ~pond life~. I spent a long time watching tadpoles and salamanders swim around in water scooped from the pond. I left after the live bird show, but not before making a bird feeder and a seed ball and snagging a bird tote to color (my dad actually colored it beautifully during his visit a couple days later).

Victoria, BC: Part 2

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After the Royal BC Museum, we went to Chinatown (the oldest Chinatown in Canada, the second-oldest in North America) to see Fan Tan Alley. We had lunch there, then went to the Bug Zoo. It is very small, but even just photographing the decor, I was satisfied. We had thought we’d finish the day with a leisurely stroll through the Butchart Gardens (where Nat fondly remembers visiting as a kid), but we got there at the last ticket sale and tickets were $34 each?! We knew we had to do it, though. And it was lovely. It’s beyond any kind of botanical garden I’ve been to before. Dinner was at Moon Under Water, and before going to bed we took another nice walk around the grounds at the Craigflower Manor, right across the street from our Airbnb. In the morning we got on the ferry, and then cut it very close getting Ian to Sea-Tac for his flight home. And then we didn’t do anything until two weeks later! It was nice to hang around home alone – I feel like I don’t even remember what that’s like anymore 😆

Victoria, BC: Part 1

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Ian came out to visit for my birthday! I was so happy when he offered to make the trip, and decided we should make an adventure out of it. It was a whirlwind weekend.

My birthday was on a Thursday, so I went to work, picked up Ian from the airport, and took us to my neighborhood tap house, the first stop on my 30th birthday pub crawl 😂 All my neighbors were there, plus my buddies Sophie and Jennifer. We got a Morrissey song played at our second stop, played The Smiths on the jukebox at our little downtown’s diviest bar, and ended the night at my house with ice cream cake.

The next morning we drove to Port Angeles to take the ferry to Victoria for the weekend! It was a 4.5-hour drive and we just made it. In Victoria, we checked in to our adorable Airbnb and took a long walk around the Gorge Waters, stopping for pizza and ice cream.

The next day we went to the Royal BC Museum, which was amazing!! I loved its unique displays – maybe I say that about every natural history museum I go to? The modern history gallery was so neat, especially Old Town. It was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Plus it’s always a joy to share my love of natural history museums with my favorite people.