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