Okay, let's try this again!
In the springtime as we were enjoying a visit with our Bainbridge cousins I got it into my head that a trip to visit them this summer was due. I feel the pull of the northwest take over every couple of years and do what I can to get there. It's just one of my favorite places on earth, and feel that it's pretty much my natural habitat. If I didn't have such deep roots here in SLC, I do believe I would be lobbying hard to move us there. My roots here, however, are currently un-uproot-able (I totally just made up a new word) and so we pay visits to my native country every couple of years.
As summertime approached and we began to make plans for our trip, we realized that we might have little problem on our hands. My sweet hubby just started a new job in April that has proven to be substantially more stressful and time-consuming than we had planned, and we had already planned on it being very high in both of those areas. He has been absolutely swamped, well past his eye-balls, and it became clear that he would not be able to join us on our trip. I was so very sad about this. I hated to leave him behind, and I know he hated being left behind. We both agreed, however, that it was no use in cancelling the trip - I'd just be finding other things to keep the kids busy and out of his way as he was working from home. I still get sad thinking about going without him.
Not only was leaving him behind sad, but it made me face a couple of challenges that I was dreading. First of all, that is quite a long drive, all the way up there to the great North West. And I would have to do it all by myself. I am a notorious zonker when it comes to long drives. Troy is great at driving and often my only requirement is to stay awake to keep him company and I fail him regularly in this duty. Could I actually make this marathon of a drive? And secondly, upon our arrival in Seattle, I would have to get through the city safely on my own. Driving in cities that are large, busy and foreign to me is quite terrifying. However, I decided that I believed in myself and that I could do it.
I'm so excited to tell you that indeed I did do it! I took on those two challenges and discovered that I have within me the power to not only stay awake while driving, but to listen and follow the directions given to me by my new best friend, Siri. I will be referring to these accomplishments often because, despite the fact that they are both really not that big of a deal, I feel rather adrenalized by my surprising victory.
In planning for the drive, I decided I would do better if I left very early in the day to avoid evening traffic in Seattle, and especially avoid driving through the city in the dark. I left at 3:30 in the morning. Yes, this was slightly crazy but I'm not sorry at all. I was able to give the kids the gift of letting them sleep through a good chunk of the drive. We also had with us my niece Mary Grace, who was really wanting to visit her sister Hannah who is living in Seattle proper for the time being. I picked her up on the dot of 3:30, whereupon she let me know that she had yet to go to bed that night. Yes, Miss MG was a sleepy stowaway in our car all day long. We really only had to stop a couple of times and found the ride to be nearly incident free. The only exciting thing that happened was that Skippidy found herself with enough free time in the car to do some tooth extraction. I claim victory over the fact that I did not lose track of her tooth after she wriggled it free. The tooth fairy was slightly dismayed to find she was expected to deliver the goods even while on vacation, especially since she had neglected to bring along with her the traditional golden dollar our children are gifted with when they lose their teeth. Luckily she had a mostly-used Target gift card in her wallet that was still good for three bucks and Skippidy was pretty tickled about getting it.
Once we got to Seattle it was my job to get us to the apartment of MG's sister Hannah, whose been living there for about a year. I found that I did not especially enjoy driving around the very narrow and hilly streets of the neighborhood known as Capitol Hill - there is nary a parking spot to be found. So, I left the van in the loading zone outside Hannah's door, we ran in to drop off MG, give hugs all around, and sped back out to the van before I got a ticket. After that I bonded with Siri as I was led to the ferry terminal and we could make the last leg of our long journey to Bainbridge Island.
|I love this picture of Cap completely and totally out cold in the way back of the van|
|Mary did this for 10 of our 12 hours|
|It's hard to tell which tooth was actually missing, but follow where her tongue is pointing and you'll see the spot|
We were so happy to arrive on the island and be with our dear cousins. We spend Saturday afternoon and evening just relaxing. The kids really were in need of the down time - Cap had spend the previous two days at Bear Lake with his buddies getting burnt to a crisp while having the time of their lives on a tube behind a boat, and Bitty had just the day before finished up her three weeks of Theater School. So down time was needed. In fact, Bitty slept so hard in Whitley's deliciously comfortable beds that I had trouble getting her out of bed before mid day just about every morning.
While we were there, Troy's cousin Ashly joined us. She lived with Troy during high school and she and I became very close friends for a time. I hadn't seen her in so very many years and it was such a treat to reconnect and spend some time together. After the beach we returned to Troy's home for a tasty meal and more talking. My kids were rather taken with their kids - I'm sure my kids will have similar memories of the Durham kids that I have of Kathleen and her siblings - our parents are good friends and when my family would come to visit SLC we'd stop by their house, send the kids to the basement to play while they stayed upstairs and talked. Not that much has changed! What a very pleasant evening.
Maybe I'll leave the first Bainbridge post at that? Seems like it would be just too dang long to post it all at once...