Time to document my trip with the kids to Washington:
But first a disclaimer: As outings go, I failed to get the camera out much, so only a some portion is "Photo Documented", and I was having some serious camera issues at times, so I apologize, this is one of those more wordy less picturing posts I'm not the biggest fan of.
After a few weeks of getting more and more brave to make the drive alone with the kids, we went to Washington beginning of July to visit family.
Now, I can say I'm no rookie to driving long distance alone, but this was the first time with all three kids and going both ways alone (most of our trips I drive one of the ways alone and Boz flies in/out and drives with me the other-no daddy on this trip) for 2000+ miles.
But I'm VERY happy to report that this was probably the most uneventful, BEST ever drive alone. We only had 1 puking session (Charlotte- Elyette almost- only an hour into the trip that prompted a quick Target trip for dramamine)! And the kids and I kept ourselves so entertained that the kids watched only 1 movie each way. I even got to listen to all of Go Forward With Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley! (A Book on CD I "borrowed" and clearly failed to return to an old roommate of mine. (So Melissa, where ever you are, please send me your address so I can finally return it! :))
We drove to Portland (bout 12 and a half hours), or rather Wilsonville the first day. Visited my uncle Sparkie and his new puppy Jimmer :). The only "Jimmer" my kids are aware exists (and I'm sure their dad intends to keep it that way).
And my oldest sister Jennie and her family. Her youngest 3 kids are all about 3 months younger than all 3 of my kids. Its pretty fun having them so close in age.
The next day we proceeded 2-3 hours north to Olympia were my mom and dad have been building their new place. Its pretty cool; 3 acres of forest, and a house more self-reliant and self-equipped with all sorts of things to make things more comfortable/easier for my dad.
After Spending a day there we went farther north to Auburn were my sister Amy and her family live (and where my parents just moved from- where I grew up).
Then again, even farther north to Redmond were my little brother, Matt now lives (took a job with Microsoft after graduating this past spring-- oh blast I need to blog that visit too :)) as well as Boz's brothers Evan and Luke and there families. Evan's family just welcomed their 3rd, Max, a week prior to our visit, so I was ecstatic to get to meet him so soon!
Again, sorry for the lack of pics.
Then we headed back for Olympia to stay with my parents for a few more days and visit my sister Stephanie and her family that also live in Olympia.
Lots of Family in the Northwest!
Our trip also consisted of going to the Seattle Aquarium,
walking water fronts,Getting lost...
A lot :) -well not terrible, but enough that the kids always just assumed I was "lost", but it helped a little 5 yr old girl know her prayers were answered when we promptly found our way almost immediately after every amen of hers.
a progressive park lunch
(cute idea of my mom's, like a progressive dinner, visiting different parks),
slumber parties with cousins,
helping grandma on the house (I'm sure Charlotte was a huge help :))
of playing and forest exploration in my parents back yard.
Elyette couldn't get enough (not even the pouring rain could deter her, or Jack for that matter).
It was pretty entertaining to watch Charlotte wiggle and squirm to the unfamiliar feeling of ferns brushing along her as we'd walk through. She loved it though. She also loved the many deer that would come toward the house.
Jack loved the big dirt piles, gravel, and "vintage" trucks in the front yard. It was VERY fun for them, which made it VERY relaxing for me.
The drive home also went well with the exception of the SMOKING motel room. We stopped in Redding (bout 9 hours away) to break up the drive home and well, I haven't had much luck with cheap motel rooms that last few trips... The last day of driving was kinda fun. We stopped at IKEA in Sacramento for some long anticipated shopping (I had a running list :)) and some lunch (yeah for $2 hot dog meals). Man, I wish we'd get an IKEA here. We got home around 4, beating dad home from worked (thus got to get all unpacked before he got home) and getting to see a friend before she left town. Ah, its nice NOT getting home late...
Pretty Sweet, BUSY, vacation! I love my NW...