Tag Archive: Via E Alexis

Secret Garden Friday: Natalie and the Milkweed

Via E Alexis Christine O'Shay dollfriend in garden

Hi Friends! It’s me, Natalie Alexis Christine! I know, I haven’t written in a really long time! Ali said I could have the honor of introducing our new Friday feature at A Doll’s Picnic–oh boy! So welcome to our first Secret Garden Friday!

I love the book The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Have you read it? It’s one of my favorite books to curl up with and get lost in. I think it’s because Burnett is such an amazing story teller, and also because most of the story takes place outside, in nature, which is what I like best! There are plants, and gardens, and animals, and really compelling (that means fascinating) characters, and mystery and magic. If you haven’t read it, we recommend that you go to your local library and check out a copy right away!

We think any garden can be a secret garden, if you are willing to look at it with wonder and imagination. I think the gardens here at A Doll’s Picnic are very wonder-full places. I think it’s because we don’t keep them too neat and perfect… we let wildflowers–like queen anne’s lace–come up and grow, and we like plants to self-propagate–that means that they seed or spread naturally, all by themselves. Also, the deer and squirrels and raccoons and quail and lots of different kinds of birds come in our yard and keep it messy and interesting. Sometimes Ali gets frustrated because it’s a big yard and she feels like she never gets it under control, but I think that’s part of what makes is so special.

Today, I wanted to show you around our secret garden a little bit. Here’s a really neat cactus that Ali brought home from her parent’s house:

Bishop's cap cactus

It’s called a Bishop’s Cap. Can you imagine it as a hat? I like how it is all leathery and wrinkled, like an elephant’s foot! It grows in an amazing way, from the center out. See those lines of dots? Each of those dots used to be a bloom at the center of the cactus! The flowers are yellow and very fragrant, but they don’t last very long. It’s bloomed once for us, but soon it will be time to bring it for the winter. You might think cactus are tough, but they’re actually pretty picky. They don’t like to be too cold or too hot, too wet or too dry! Isn’t that funny? Do you see those pinkish areas? That’s where the cactus got sunburn, just like a real person!

Bishop's cap cacuts 2

I think it’s amazing to look at plants really closely. Look at all those tiny white dots!

Now I want to show you one of my favorite plants in our secret garden.

Via E Alexis doll milkweed

It’s called milkweed, and it grows wild all across the United States. It’s usually considered a weed, but it’s actually a really interesting wildflower and doesn’t act like a weed at all.

Vie E Alexis doll and milkweed

Milkweed grows from seed into a perennial. (Perennial is one of my favorite words! It means something that comes back, year after year). Milkweed is special in lots of different ways, which you can read about on Wikipedia. Did you know it has really beautiful and complex flowers? They smell good too! But the reason why we have it in our garden is simple: butterflies! Milkweed is the only food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars! The adult butterflies lay their eggs under the leaves, and when the caterpillars hatch they begin to munch holes in the leaves right away! One of our favorite secret garden activities in summer is to go out and look for monarch caterpillars on the milkweed plants. Sometimes they’re so tiny they’re hard to find, but eventually they grow up to a couple inches long!

Milkweed has a white, milky sap that is toxic to most creatures, which is why the deer don’t eat it. But the monarch butterfly has evolved to depend on milkweed. As the caterpillars eat the plant they absorb the toxins which make them taste bad to predators! Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

milkweed plant

But it’s fall now, and the caterpillars have all grown up and left. Milkweed is beautiful in the fall: it turns golden, and then the really special milkweed magic begins.

milkweed pod

Do you see that pod? Do you know what’s inside? Can you guess??? Fairies!

milkweed pod splitting

Well, that’s what I like to call them, anyway. Actually it’s seeds, all packed inside, each one attached to a silky canopy of threads, kind of like a tiny hot air balloon.

Milkweed seeds

When the pods start to dry out in the autumn, they split open and all the little fairy-seeds start to fluff out and separate from each other. When the autumn winds arrive, the seeds blow out and float all over the garden and neighborhood!

milkweed pod opening

The pods are beautiful when they split open!

milkweed seeds

Don’t worry–they don’t sprout wherever they land! Milkweed likes water; that’s why you often see it growing in drainage ditches or by irrigated fields. Where we live it’s very dry, and in our garden we’ve found that milkweed seeds only sprout where we water regularly. (It’s also a slow-growing plant, and easy to spot and pull out when it’s young). Still, we like to think we are helping to spread monarch butterfly habitat in our neighborhood. ūüôā

milkweed pod dry

Look how neat the milkweed pods are when they’re empty! What do you think they look like?

Empty milkweed pod

Let’s look at a pod up close. Here’s one that fell on the ground:

Via E Alexis doll milkweed pod

It’s a treasure! Ali has one of these in her writing room–she’s had it for years, and it is still perfect!

Via E Alexis doll milkweed

It almost looks like a little elf shoe…

Via E Alexis doll and milkweed pod

…Or maybe a canoe!

Via E Alexis doll and milkweed pod

The seeds are really beautiful up close, and it’s amazing how many are packed inside one single pod–dozens and dozens!

milkweed pod with seeds

The seeds are so soft and fluffy and delicate.

Via E Alexis doll milkweed seed

They’re fun to blow and to try to catch, kind of like dandelions!

milkweed seed

At the base of the silk (also known as the coma) is one oval, dark brown seed, which easily falls off of the silky fluff.

milkweed seed

I think nature is a pretty amazing gardener, if you ask me! She has very creative ways of spreading her seeds!

Via E Alexis doll with milkweed seed

How about you? Do you have a secret garden you can visit and explore? What treasures can you find there?

Via E Alexis doll and milkweed seed

Happy Secret Garden Friday from A Doll’s Picnic!

Natalie’s Notebook: Washington Trip, Part 3… the AG Store, Seattle!

Hi Friends!

I’m back! I get to tell you all about where we went and what we did on our Washington trip when we got to Seattle! Well, I gave you a hint last week… and here’s where we went first!

American Girl Store Seattle

Yay! You know what’s inside, right???

Oh boy! Not only did my mom and dad go to the American Girl Store first thing after¬†we arrived on the east side of the Puget Sound, but they took me along! I actually got to go inside! Oh boy! I was just about jumping out of the bag Ali carried me in!¬†I’ve heard all about how exciting and fun the American Girl stores are from Ali and from some of my doll-friends who have been there (Zelie, Ashleigh, Amy and Marie). Well, everything they said was completely true! It’s the most fun place I can imagine!¬†We spent¬†a couple of hours looking at every single thing in the store. I loved it all. I can’t even decide which I liked better: the historical displays or the modern ones. The historical ones are really interesting, because you can learn about what girls dressed like and what kinds of things they had in their homes a long time ago. But the modern displays are so bright and fun, and they make me want to play!¬†And guess what? We even got to choose new friends to bring home with us! Ali adopted Ivy, because she is being discontinued (how sad!) and Paulina was on a special lookout for a friend of her own: My AG #23.

American Girl doll Josefina looking at #23

It was hard to choose, because every doll is so special, but Paulina finally settled on just the right #23 for us! Yay! I love new friends, don’t you?

This was my favorite store display: the beach cabana!

Via E Alexis doll at American Girl Store Seattle 2

Oi! (That’s Portugese for “Hello!”)

It made me feel so happy and summery. All the doll-models in the store are really nice, and they’re not shy at all! It was so much fun looking around and choosing friends that we kind of forgot to take pictures to share with you!¬†Well, eventually we had to go, so we could have a New Doll Opening Party in our motel room. But guess what? Ali made a reservation for us to have lunch in the American Girl Bistro the next day!

Back at the motel, we had a great time welcoming our new doll-friends.

New American Girl dolls in box

Paulina introduced Catherine Anne Sophia to our family and told her all about where we had been on our trip so far.

American Girl doll Josefina and #23 2

Catherine’s hair came out of the hair-net a bit wild, so we all decided she would enjoy a visit to the American Girl Doll Salon the next day while we had lunch.

American Girl doll Josefina and My AG #23

We all admired Idina Lee.¬†She’s so pretty and cute and perky! She’s really funny too, and I could tell right away we were going to be good friends.

American Girl Ivy doll in box

Of course I couldn’t wait for our special lunch at the Bistro the next day!¬†Paulina, Idina and I¬†got to sit at the table with Ali and Dave¬†in special doll-chairs, while Catherine had her hair fixed at the Salon. It was so much fun!

Via E Alexis doll at American Girl bistro with friends

The room was full of little girls with their dolls, having parties and talking and laughing. But there were some grown-ups too! I was glad I changed into my prettiest dress for the occasion. The waitress even gave us our own doll-sized tea cups!

Via E Alexis doll at American Girl Bistro 1

Ali and Dave had a nummy lunch, and then we picked up Catherine at the Salon and went out to do some local sightseeing. We drove to the Seattle Center, which is this really big park near downtown Seattle, where there are all sorts of interesting things to do and see. There are gardens, theatres, museums, art exhibits, sculptures, and even a giant water fountain where children were splashing around and playing.

Fountain, Seattle Center, WA

It’s kind of like a county fair! In fact, the World’s Fair was held here in 1962. That’s what the Space Needle was built for:

Seattle Space Needle

It’s a really tall tower (605 feet!) with an observation deck and even a¬†restaurant near the top! I think it looks like a UFO. Don’t you think it would be fun to eat there someday? Ali and Dave couldn’t go up this time because they had Jessie the Pug with them. But they did take the historic Monorail to downtown Seattle and back!

Seattle Center Monorail sign

Even in downtown Seattle there are baskets of flowers hanging from the lamp posts:

Seattle flower baskets 1

These flowers were hanging right outside the monorail station:

Seattle flower baskets 2

Aren’t they amazing?¬†One of my favorite things at the Seattle Center was the poem garden. Pieces of poems were actually engraved right on large granite stones:

Poem on stone

After exploring the Seattle Center for a while, we headed over to the world famous Pike Street market. Unfortunately, by the time we found parking, the market was closing up! But Ali and Dave did get to look around another neat yarn store. Then it was time to head back to our motel after another busy day!

The next day was Thursday, and we had to leave the Seattle area and drive south to see more of the Puget Sound area. Before we did, guess where we went one last time??? That’s right! Back to the AG Store! We just couldn’t leave without stopping there one last time. And we’re so glad we did, because guess what we discovered had been put out that very morning?

American Girl doll My AG #61 2

A new doll! Ali was so excited because My AG #61 actually has red hair! So she just had to bring her along with us!

American Girl doll My AG #61 1

That meant we got to have yet another Doll Opening Party that night when we got to our motel room in Tacoma! But first, we stopped along the way to see the beach.

Bracket's Landing, Edmonds, WA 2

The beach we visited is called Bracket’s Landing, and it’s the site of an underwater park–a protected underwater area where divers can explore interpreted paths and see kelp forests. Isn’t that cool? We even saw two divers walk right into the water and disappear. I wish I could go diving and see all the amazing creatures under the water. But it was beautiful above the waves too.

Bracket's Landing, Edmonds, WA 1

Ali and Dave had a picnic lunch and enjoyed the cool summer air and breeze, watching the ferry boats load cars at the dock.

Bracket's Landing, Edmonds, WA 3

There was a sign that told all about the dangers that are hurting the Puget Sound:

Puget Sound sign

I’m really interested in conservation! Did you know that rainwater¬†runoff is one of the biggest pollutants to the Puget Sound? The rain water runs off the streets and parking lots and carries pollutants with it into the ocean. Did you know that planting a “rain garden” is one way you can help stop the pollution? I like the sound of a rain garden. Here at home we have deer-proof desert gardens!

When we finally got to Tacoma, we were excited to welcome our newest doll-friend. But first we had to carry the bags all the way up to the 7th floor of the motel. This was the view from our window:

View from 7th floor, La Quinta, Tacoma, WA

It kind of made my knees feel funny looking down so far! Zinnia was so happy to come out of her box and join us dolls:

American girl dolls on motel bed 1

Yay! There’s nothing I like better than just hanging out with my friends!

Doll collection on chair

Here we all are! From left to right, in the back row that’s Idina Lee, Sharon Lilyanne, me (Natalie Alexis), Jade Sabrina Dianne, and Zinnia! In the front are Paulina Clementina, Kisa Violetta, and Catherine Anne Sophia. Ali says the car was much more crowded on our way home from Seattle than on our way there!

We saw lots more interesting things when we explored the Kitsap Penninsula on Friday. I’ll have to tell you all about them next time! Until then, love and hugs, your friend

Natalie Alexis

Natalie’s Notebook: Summer Adventures and Washington Trip, Part 2 (updated!)

Alexis in sunglasses

It’s summertime!

Hello Friends! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I’m so sorry! I’ve been so busy enjoying summertime, and Ali’s been so busy with her skating practice, that we haven’t¬†had time to work on¬†A Doll’s Picnic in a long time. But we plan to do a lot more writing in the weeks to come, I promise! First of all, I never finished telling you about our trip to Washington! But before I do, I have some news! Guess what?! I have a new name! Here it is: Natalie Alexis Christine. Do you like it? You can call me Nattie for short, as long as you promise not to call me “Tallie” (it sounds too much like Ali). I love my new name, and I love Ali for giving it to me. She says besides just being a pretty name, Natalie is also the name of a¬†writer she admires: Natalie Goldberg. How cool is that? Anyway, here are some summer pictures of me at Lake Siskiyou at the beginning of July. Alexis at the lake 1 Alexis at the lake 2 Alexis at the lake 3 Alexis at the lake 4 I had a great time exploring an¬†old weathered tree stump that was on¬†the shore and looking out at the lake. I didn’t go swimming that day though… it was pretty late in the afternoon and Ali said the water was awfully cold! I did get to go swimming for the first time last weekend though! The lake water was still cold but very refreshing on a hot afternoon, and I enjoyed floating on my back and playing with my new beach ball. I have a new bathing suit, too! I don’t have any pictures yet, but next time we go I’ll be sure to take some, okay? It was really fun to get in the water with Ali and Dave. Ali made sure to dry me off very thoroughly afterwards, and the next morning she washed and conditioned my hair. I felt like I was in a salon! So, back to Washington! I still have so many pictures and adventures to share! Remember we drove north along the Puget Sound after leaving South Bend? Well, we arrived that afternoon in a beautiful little town called Port Townsend, which is on the very northeastern tip of the Olympic Penninsula. I thought it was such a lovely place! We got to stay for two nights in a¬†gorgeous bed and breakfast called¬†The Old Consulate Inn, which is a beautiful Victorian house built in 1890!

Old Consulate Inn Sign, Port Townsend, WA

What a great view!

Here’s what it looked like on the outside: Old Consulate Inn Bed & Breakfast, Port Townsend, WA It is on the top of a hill just across from the old county courthouse. Washington has the most amazing historical courthouses! They’re really grand. Anyway, we could hear the clock bell ringing every quarter hour. County Courthouse, Port Townsend, WA The Old Consulate Inn has¬†three stories and a wrap-around porch! We had a room on the second floor called “The Rose Room.”¬†We could just see the harbor from one of the windows:

View from window

This old Victorian house was next door. That spikey metal railing on top is called a “widow’s peak” (it kind of gives me chills).

There was also a claw-foot bathtub, beautiful old-fashioned furniture, and a cozy study nook: Rose Room in Old Consulate Inn Us dolls felt at home right away!

Via E Alexis doll with friends 2

Home sweet home.

I loved the wood staircase, and all the old Victorian decorations. I especially loved that there were books on the bedside table and a whole library downstairs! The proprietors must love to read, just like me!

We¬†enjoyed exploring Port Townsend that evening and the next day.¬†There are a lot of old houses and buildings there, like this one in the downtown: Victorian building, Port Townsend, WA It’s a really pretty and interesting¬†downtown. There are tons of art galleries, restaurants, several bookstores, an art-supply store, a toy store, and even a yarn store! I saw this pretty sweater on a tree in front of the yarn store: yarn bomb tree Ali says this is called “yarn bombing.” Isn’t that funny?

We saw lots more flowers! I love how people plant them in baskets or window boxes right outside the shops and along the sidewalks. I think Washington has more flowers than anywhere else in the world!

pink fuchsias

These fuchsias are also called “dancing ladies”!

But I think what I loved best of all was the beautiful harbor and the view of the Puget Sound. Port Townsend, WA wharf

Port Townsend, WA

This is what downtown Port Townsend looks like from the dock.

sail boat anchored at Port Townsend, WA

Doesn’t this look like a painting?

There’s way more to explore in Port Townsend and the Olympic penninsula than we could see in only one and a half days, but we saw enough to know it’s a beautiful place we’d like to go back to sometime. It was a little sad to have to leave¬†so soon, but on Tuesday morning we were eager to take the ferry across the Puget Sound to the Seattle side for more adventures. Us dolls were super excited about the ferry ride, because these boats aren’t just for people, they’re for cars too! They’re like big, floating parking lots: you drive your car right onto them, and they take you right across the water to wherever you need to go!

Ferry dock

At the ferry dock the road goes right into the water!

We watched eagerly as our ferry approached the dock. Ferry boat 3 It docked right in front of the road, and we watched the load of cars and trucks drive off.

Ferry boat 1

See the truck? That’s a big boat!

Then, finally, we got to drive on! We were so excited! It felt really weird to park on a boat!

Via E Alexis doll, Maplelea doll Jenna, Vestida De Azul doll Paulina

Jade and Kisa were as excited as I was!

The ferry ride was really smooth and comfortable. Except for the slight tippy feeling, you would hardly know you were in the middle of the water. We actually got to take two ferries: the first one took us across to Whidbey Island, which is located right in the middle of the Puget Sound, and is the largest island in Washington. Whidbey Island sign, WA I liked it a lot. There were¬†lots of tall evergreen forests and open grasslands and meadows. We stopped to see a really cute little town called Coupeville, where Ali and Dave took a little walk along the shore and saw these flowers: White flowers Whidbey Island Then we drove south¬†down the island to the next ferry terminal, which took us across to the mainland. We checked into our motel room in Everett, which is just 25 miles north of Seattle. After all the excitement and traveling, we were glad to have a little relaxing time in our room. And then… guess where we went that evening??? I’ll give you a hint:

American Girl Store, Seattle, WA sign

Oh boy, oh boy!

That’s all for now! I’ll tell you all about it next time! Love, your friend Natalie Alexis

Adventures with Alexis: Washington Trip, Part 1

Hi-ya friends!

I know I promised to tell you all about our trip through Washington as we went, and I really wanted to! But it turned out that we¬†were¬†so busy having adventures that I didn’t have time to stop and write. The good news is Ali took¬†lots of pictures for me to¬†share. She even bought me my own¬†camera! It’s an old-fashioned disposable camera, the kind you just point and shoot, and when you’ve used up all the exposures, you send the whole camera in for the film to be developed. This is very old-fashioned now, but it’s a fun vacation-ish kind of thing to do, don’t you think? ūüôā I’ll share my pictures with you when we get them developed!

You remember our trip began with driving through the Willamette Valley where all the grasses were, and that we spent our first night in Woodburn, Oregon? Well, it was a really nice motel room, but us dolls were eager to leave the motel Saturday morning! We couldn’t wait to get to Washington! Paulina tried to see north from the motel window, but she couldn’t see much beyond the freeway:

American Girl Josefina doll looking out window

Finally we were packed up once more and on our way. We drove north through Portland, where we caught a glimpse of a volcano¬†from the freeway. I think¬†it was Mt. St. Helens, the one that erupted in 1980. Isn’t that kind of scary?

Mt. St. Helens from I-5, Portland

We didn’t stop in Portland but went right on over the magnificent Columbia river! It’s¬†huge! Isn’t it amazing to think of all that water flowing hundreds and hundreds of miles to the ocean? And guess what? The state border between Oregon and¬†Washington is halfway across! We were so excited when we saw this sign:

Entering Washinton sign

All us dolls let out a cheer! A little further up the highway we saw this:

Welcome to Washington sign

Hooray!

I think Washington is the greenest, most flowery state ever. It’s much greener than California, and even than Oregon. There were wildflowers everywhere! The daisies were growing like weeds, everywhere we went. Do you think it’s always like that, or it’s just still spring there?

I-5 Washinton

There were even daisies blooming along the center of the freeway!

Soon we headed¬†west toward the coast. I’ve never seen¬†so many trees in my life! It was such a perfect, blue day that it was hard to imagine all the rain that makes everything so green. It was just about the greenest place I can imagine, and there were daisies and foxglove and queen anne’s lace and other flowers growing in meadows and right along the roadside. The only thing I didn’t like was all the logging¬†we saw. Timber¬†is a really big industry in Washington, and they just mow down acres of the forest. It’s very strange to see the square clear cuts chopped right out of the hillsides. This made me feel sad, because I couldn’t help thinking about all the birds and animals who used to live there. It also makes the forest grown in¬†funny patches, like a bad haircut. It sure makes me wish our world¬†didn’t need to use so much wood. I hope all my friends¬†use recycled paper products at home, like we do!

For a while we drove along the Columbia River, and I had a lovely time daydreaming about all the places the river had been before it reached the coast. Finally we turned up the coast, and this is what we saw: the ocean!

south Washington coastline 2

This part of the Pacific coast wasn’t anything like the beaches near San Clemente, California, where I come from, or like¬†the Bodega Bay area, near where Ali grew up. It was really a huge bay, and with the tide out there were huge flats of mud.¬†We kept on driving, and as we drove we saw signs that told us hundreds of acres of forest here had been destroyed¬†by winds up to 120 miles per hour in 2007! That’s as strong as a hurricane! Can you imagine wind so strong that it knocks down whole forests of trees? I sure can’t. Don’t you think that must have been scary for the people that live here?

Soon we turned east away from the coast, and not long after that, we arrived at the little town where we were going to spend the night.

Willapa River, South Bend, WA

South Bend is a little town on the Willapa River. They call themselves “the oyster capital of the world,” but I’ll bet they got their name from the bend in the river. Everything was very green, and there were lots of lawns and gardens and hardly any fences. We got to stay at the cutest little motel, called The Seaquest.

Sea Quest Motel sign, South Bend, WA

It was really nice! We had a little room with our own porch, and a kitchen, and a study nook and a DVD player!

Sea Quest Motel, South Bend, WA

There were even baskets of geraniums hanging from every porch, and a pot of flowers on the back step:

flower pot

There¬†are so many flowers in Washington! You even see them hanging in baskets from lamp posts! Ali and I both love to look at the flowers. Ali says it’s something to do with living in a desert with lots of deer.

geranium bud

Getting to each motel or inn where you’re going to spend the night is sort of like coming home. It’s a wonderful feeling to be at home-away-from-home, don’t you think?

Via E Alexis doll looking out window

It’s good to rest after a bustley day of driving and looking at everything. Paulina thought so too.

American Girl Josefina doll 1

We all enjoyed relaxing in our little study nook and talking about everything we had seen on the drive.

Via E Alexis doll, Maplelea Jenna and Taryn dolls

The next morning we had to leave South Bend and keep driving north toward the Puget Sound. But first, Ali and Dave took Jessie the Pug for a walk along the Willapa River.

Alders along Willapa River, WA

It was kind of a muggy morning and Jessie isn’t too fond of warm days, so she got pretty hot. But Ali says it was really nice. They saw more¬†wildflowers, including this one:

wildflower by Willapa River, WA

We don’t know what it’s called, but they were growing in several places¬†along the water. Isn’t it pretty?

After their walk, we drove north along the Hood Canal, which is on the west side of the Puget Sound. It was a very pretty drive, and we saw thousands more trees, and little towns along the water. When we got close to our destination, here’s what the highway looked like:

Washington Hwy 20

I’ll tell you all about where we went as soon as I can! For now, I’ve got to go get ready for a 4th of July picnic!¬†Happy fireworks!

‘Till soon,¬†your friend

Alexis


 

Alexis is an Alexis Christine O’Shay Dollfriend. Paulina is an American Girl Josefina doll. Sharon and Jade are Maplelea Taryn and Jenna dolls.

Adventures with Alexis: We’re Taking a Trip!

Hi Friends!

Guess what?! I’m on my first¬†trip! You know I want to be a travel writer some day, right? Well, my mom-friend Ali and dad-friend Dave are taking a vacation to Washington, and I get to go along! I’m so excited to see new things and practice observing, and Ali said I can write here as often as I like! So I’m going to tell you all about my first trip ever and everything I see and do!

Maybe I’d better go back to the beginning: Ali and Dave are celebrating their anniversary this weekend, and they decided to take a trip to Washington to explore and relax and just have fun. Ali told me some¬†of us dolls would get to go, and we were all so excited when we heard! We wanted to start packing right away:

Dolls packing for trip 1

I love packing: I always know just what I should bring. But some people feel overwhelmed when they’re faced with choices. That’s how my friend Asleigh felt when she heard she might get to go along:

American Girl Isabelle packing for trip

Ali says it might have something to do with being an artist, and that she’s the same way. Isn’t that funny? If so, I’m glad I’m a writer. I did my best to help Asheigh calm down, and we looked through all her pretty clothing together:

Via E Alexis and American Girl Isabelle 1

My friend Tabitha was excited when she heard that Ali and Dave were going to the Pacific Northwest, because she said the weather there is a lot like weather¬†in England and Wales, which is where she’s from. She wanted to pick out a travel outfit just in case she got to go along:

Via E Alexis and Bonnie and Pearl doll 1

She has this super adorable green wool coat which is perfect for rainy or misty days:

Via E Alexis and Bonnie and Pearl doll 2

Isn’t it adorable? She also has a really cute teddy bear, which she says helps make her feel at home wherever she is.

My new friends Jade and Sharon¬†were also really excited. They’re from Canada, and like me they love¬†traveling!

Maplelea dolls packing for trip

Well, we spent most of the week getting ready and packing, and yesterday we finally were on our way! Yay! I was so excited I was just about bouncing up and down in my seat. I loved looking out the window and watching the scenery change. We drove north through Oregon for a long long way, but it didn’t seem like a long drive because there was so much to look at. Everything was very green, and there were so many trees of all different kinds. We saw flowers blooming: wild peas, Queen Anne’s lace, and thousands of white daisies nodding in the breeze! It was sooooo pretty!

Yesterday afternoon we passed through a town in Oregon that said it was “the grass seed capital of the world.” That’s when we realized the huge pastures we were passing were all different kinds of¬†grasses. Some of the fences near the highway even had signs on them so you could find out what was growing! Here are the types of grasses we saw:¬†Annual ryegrass,¬†Perennial ryegrass, white clover, winter wheat, wheat, and fescue. The grasses were blooming and putting out seeds and they were so beautiful. I love how they stretched far away, all the same color and texture. I also love how the fields line up next to each other, like pieces of fabric on a quilt. My favorite grass was the winter wheat, because it was such a pretty golden-fawn color and all tufty with seeds. I also loved the white clover, because it was covered in little white flowers!

We spent last night in Woodburn, Oregon. We were so excited to be in our first motel!

Via E Alexis with friends

From left to right, my friends Paulina, (me, Alexis!), Sharon and Jade. We’re the lucky dolls that got to go along!

It’s a really nice room! We’re going to be on our way again soon, and today I’ll make sure that Ali takes lots of pictures so I can put them in my next post! We’re going to head north through Portland and cross over into Washington, and then head out to the coast! I get to see the ocean! Oh boy!

‘Till soon, have a great Saturday!

Love, your friend, Alexis


 

Alexis is a Via E Alexis Christine O’Shay Dollfriend. In this post she is wearing a Gotz dress with American Girl leggings. Jade and Sharon are Maplelea Jenna and Taryn dolls; Tabitha is a Bonnie and Pearl doll; Ashleigh is an American Girl Isabelle doll; Paulina is an American Girl Josefina doll.

Adventures with Alexis: Afternoon at the River

Dear Friends,

Hello again! Alexis here. ūüôā I just have to tell you about the beautiful afternoon¬†we had at the river last Saturday!¬†We drove to the Upper Sacramento River where it rushes through Dunsmuir, which is an old train town in Northern California (my first trip–oh boy!). Oh, was it beautiful! Here’s what we saw:

Sacramento river at DunsmuirThe first thing I thought when we got out of the car was: there are¬†so many leaves! It was so green! There are many different kinds of deciduous trees growing in the forest along the river, including oaks, cottonwoods and maples, and right now they all have new spring leaves. Then there were grasses and waterplants along the river’s edge. I just looked and looked. The fresh breeze and the river rocks and the sound of the water all made me feel so happy.

Via-E Alexis doll in forest

I love being out in nature!

There was so much to explore I didn’t know where to start. So I took off my shoes and stepped into the river.

Via-E Alexis doll at rivers edge 2

The water was really cold!

I love my feet being bare, especially in water. I feel like it helps me think better.

Via-E Alexis doll feet in water

Have you¬†heard of the Sacramento River? It runs all the way down the Central Valley in California to Sacramento, and eventually it reaches the ocean. I was excited to see it up here because this is where it really starts. The headwaters are only a few miles south of my home! At Dunsmuir it’s already a pretty big river, and runs pretty fast, especially in spring. It’s funny to think that water is all melted snow! Lots of fisherman come here to practice fly-fishing, but I’d rather just wade and explore. I’d love to see a fish in the river, though! I looked and looked, but I couldn’t see any through the reflections.¬†I had to get out of the water after a few minutes; it was too cold!

Via-E Alexis doll feet in sand

I put my purple jelly sandals back on and explored the rocks a little bit. The rocks right by the river are very roundy from being in the river. I love to think of the river washing and grinding them until they are smooth. I wonder how many years it takes?

Via-E Alexis doll at rivers edge 3

The rocks a little further up the shore are perfect for climbing and perching on!

Via-E Alexis doll on rock 1

I found a ledge that made a great lookout spot:

Via-E Alexis doll on rock 3

What a view!

It’s funny, but sometimes when you’re out in nature it is so beautiful that you almost feel all alone,¬†know what I mean? Even though there’s a town and people and even a freeway nearby, I felt far away from everything.

It was a bit mosquito-y, but thankfully that doesn’t bother us dolls! My new friends had a great time too. Tasha loves to sit still and just look and listen (she’s so pretty, don’t you think?). She’s an artist, and she said she’d love to come back to this spot to draw. That sounds fun!

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in forest 2

Gaby had fun climbing the rocks and branches, like me.

Schildkroet red-head doll holding branch

Here is my newest friend. Her name is Tabitha and she’s from Wales! She’s kind of shy, but really interesting when you get to know her. We call her Tabby for short:

Bonnie and Pearl doll on rocks

She said some of the mossy rocks reminded her of England. She loves the forest. I love it too, but I think I like the river best. I’m just always attracted to¬†water! Maybe I’m part fish, or frog, or turtle!

Via-E Alexis doll at rivers edge 1

It feels so nice on my toes!

Oh, we had such a lovely time! There was a nice bench for sitting on and watching the river:

Via-E Alexis doll and Bonnie and Pearl doll

When the sun started to get low, the mosquitos became a bit troublesome, so we finally had to go. I wanted to stay longer, but Gaby said she really wanted a cup of tea!

Schildkroet red-head doll holding cup

I hope we go back to the river soon. I want to explore some more, and maybe even go swimming! Besides, it’s so refreshing, and there’s so much to look at. ‘Course, I always think there’s so much to look at wherever you are. That’s why I’m a writer!

dolls on bench

‘Till soon! Love, your friend

Alexis <3

Via-E Alexis doll on rock 4

 


Alexis is a Via-E Alexis Christine O’Shay Dollfriend. Tabitha is a Bonnie & Pearl doll. Tasha is a Maru and Friends Jamie doll. Gaby is a Schildkroet doll.