The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Apple Camp

I'm so sad! Cap was too old this year!!! But Bitty totally made up for the lack of two movies this year by making one really great one. We LOVE Apple Camp.  This year we got Bitty's friend Lucy to join her, and that was a treat. Bitty did a great job.

This guy was so cute. All the leaders were sharing their favorite movies - his was Ghostbusters, which was made THE YEAR HE WAS BORN. Guess I really am aging.

After the viewing party we shared some caramel apple treats by the City Creek fountain
Here is the fine and finished product - it was some good family fun, that's for sure.

And here's my favorite outtake photo:

Friday, August 05, 2016

July the 4th

We were all pretty tired out after our big vacation and didn't feel up to planning a big gathering for Independence Day. However, we did feel like escaping the oppressive heat of the valley.  I was accused on Instagram by a certain desert-dwelling sister-in-law of being a total baby after declaring that we couldn't wait to run away to the cool mountains despite the fact that we had only been back from the mild North West for about 36 hours. That happened when I posted these pictures of us at Silver Lake the day after we got home:

The day after Silver Lake was Independence Day and we once again went for higher and cooler ground. We loaded our canoe, which we have christened Penny (short for her brand name: Penobscot), on top of the cruiser which we have christened Inigo. We apparently have a thing about giving names to inanimate objects. We packed up a cooler, which we have not named (yet) and drove away, listening to Harry Potter and nibbling on munchies. We found ourselves at Trial Lake and just enjoyed paddling around in the sweet breezy air.

Part of the thrill of canoeing for the kids is bringing along our fishing gear.  The past couple of years of camping and fishing have yielded very few fish for the kids, so I had high hopes of snagging a couple. So after we got out into the lake a bit we began trolling our lines.  Skippidy especially wanted to catch a fish since she never had. This was kind of hilarious - Troy prepped one of the rods, plopped the lure into the water, and had a fish on the line before he was able to hand the rod to one of the kids. It was a little funny and sad. But we thought it was a good omen for the dozens of fish we were going to catch. Instead, we spent two hours getting exactly zero more fish. We decided it was time to head home, but let Skippidy trail her line through the water on our way back to shore. Lo and behold, just as we were getting close to shore, Skippidy got a hit. A real one. And she herself reeled in her very fish!

After we made it back home, which was a bit of a trial due to the fact that two fish had to be cleaned and Cap nearly fainted and/or puked while attempting it, we looked forward to a quiet evening enjoying some burgers on the back porch with the Moores. I know, we should have had our fish that night but we needed a little break from things aquatic. I was secretly hoping that the kids would forget that sometimes we go see fireworks on the 4th of July.  I really really really wanted to NOT go to Sugarhouse Park and deal with crowds and parking and walking and blah blah blah.  However, I have one daughter who was not going to give up that easily.  Skippidy does not care for the noise of fireworks, and Cap is settling into his teen years and starting to prefer to chill out over most other activities. But Bitty? Nope, she was not to be talked out of a trip to the fireworks. 

And here is where I will hesitantly share my new secret. Do NOT go to Sugarhouse Park for the crazy fireworks. Go to the SLC Country Club. They have open admission to their golf course. Bitty and I arrived in the area only 2O minutes before the show started, and we had no problem parking. We had a nice little walk to the golf course, where there was plenty of room everywhere. We spread out a blanket, plopped down, and waited about 4 minutes before a fairly impressive fireworks show started. We loved it. Bitty is right - it is absolutely magical to sit in the warm darkness of a summer night that is just mild and lovely, and enjoy a sparkly show of fireworks right over your head. Bitty and I totally bonded. I'm so glad we went. And that is where we will be going next year - hope to see you there. But don't tell anyone else.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Bainbridge, Continued

Here is exhibit A of how my little Bitty could not wake up for hours and hours every morning.  She was so exhausted plus the mornings on the island are really quite misty, cool and still. Exactly what we needed. 

Monday was our first full day on the island and Whitley took us on a really fun adventure that I was quite surprised the kids took to so exuberantly. You involved physical labor. Generally my kids shy away from such activities. However, in grand Tom Sawyer style, Whit and I totally duped them. We took the kids to a raspberry farm on the island where we paid money for our kids to work and pick raspberries. Aren't we so clever? The kids were all over it! We had to stop them after we clearly had more berries than we knew what to do with. It was a little hot and dusty (what is this rain everyone keeps talking about that supposedly dominates the northwest?) and I was glad I had a couple of hats with us. It really was a treat, especially as we each popped a berry or two in our mouths, fresh off the vine and still warm from the sun. Heaven.

Later that day we put on suits and went to the beach of the nearby harbor where the ferry docks so many times each day. It's a lovely little cove with sand and rocks and of course plenty of crabs and shells to hunt for.

The next day Whit brought us to a different and much tidier swimming spot - their sweet little country club. It was heaven. I don't think I actually got in the water - I just sat in a lovely deck chair soaking in vast quantities of both sun and diet coke while the kids played heartily in the clear water. I learned that food really does taste better when you ask a pool boy to order it for you and he brings it out on a little tray, each plate covered with a protective lid.  Childhood fantasies came true. I had always wanted a waiter to bring me food by a pool.

On one of the evenings we had the pleasure of attending my first ever alpaca-shearing. And likely my last. I don't know that many people who are alpaca owners. Leave it to Bainbridge Island! Of COURSE people there own alpacas. It's just so perfectly quaint. Especially when you go to the local yarn shop near Whit's house and find skeins of alpaca yarn with tags that tell you THE NAME of the alpaca the wool came from.  I love it. Whitley has a friend from church who keeps alpacas mostly to give her kids hard work to do - seems like I should take a page or two out of her book - and let us know that we were welcome to come see. What a sight!

On another evening...they're all getting a bit mixed up now....Hannah and Mary Grace took the ferry out to the island to enjoy dinner with us and of course a trip to our favorite - Mora's ice creamery. So goooooood......

There was lots of time as well for just roaming the beach, searching for treasures, and hanging out with cousins:

We took one day trip to the city, where we met up with Kathleen and her kids again. We enjoyed walking around the Seattle Center where I noticed many places that I would actually like to GO next time, such as the music museum and the Chihuly blown-glass garden, but those will be adventures for another time. This particularly warm afternoon was there just for us to enjoy a massive play-structure. Well, the kids enjoyed it while the moms enjoyed sitting in the sun and doing what we always do, much to the displeasure of our children. Talktalktalktalktalk. I LOVED it. I'm so very glad I got a chance to spend that much time with Kathleen.

Somehow the time always comes that we actually have to leave. I always cry when I pull out of this driveway. I feel so very very grateful to be blessed with family and cousins whom we love and cherish so much.

The kids convinced me that we needed to make a stop in the city before really heading all the way home. We spent the morning wandering the crowded ways of Pike's Place Market, eating little donuts that are the most delicious things EVER, picking out t-shirts and sandbag animals, making our first-ever visit to The Gum Wall (Ew. Not sure I need to go back to that one ever) and treating ourselves to fresh crab cocktail. That was a really fun way to end the trip before heading up into the hills to the east for one last glorious drive through that delicious landscape before we were doomed to 11+ hours of fairly boring countryside. Well, boring except for that one part where Siri did me wrong and took me on this very strange detour through some wheat fields in Idaho that may or may not have added time onto our drive but certainly added a new experience.

You may be wondering about this stuffed turtle that keeps appearing - Mortimer is available to be checked out from our library and come on trips with library patrons. We take pictures, email them to the library, and then there will be a slide show at the end of the summer of all the places Mortimer got to go all summer long!

So there you go. Our epic visit to Bainbridge Island came to a close. Can't wait to go back again.