A little background.. right before this trip we moved out of home and moved in with our friends, the Camps. After a couple nights there we woke the kids in the middle of the night and made the drive to Minneapolis to catch our 7 am flight. We arrived in Seattle around 8:30 AM. Gotta love that West Coast time change on the way out.
My life has basically been a series of packing and shlepping for the last couple of weeks. But you know, all that work was totally worth it because this week as so good for my heart and our little family.
Alright. Let the recap begin.
Here we are. Family of five and all our stuff. We even splurged and checked a bag! Times a changin'. The kittens were utterly useless at carrying their own things. Chris and I were loaded down.
After a tiny melt down by Bennett before stepping on to the plane, we made it into our seats and settled in for our three hour tour. Julia was a rockstar baby. Bennett and Lakin were a different story...
I'd picked up coloring books and activity books for the kids on the plane. These did a decent job of entertaining the two for the first hour. Bennett was pretty restless and very irritable. Next flight with the boy, he sits in someone else's row.
And, as no surprise, Ben fell asleep the final ten minutes of the flight. Chris and I opted to wait until everyone had exited the plane before waking him and deboarding. You're welcome fellow travelers.
Once in Seattle, Bennett decided to pull his weight and carry his coloring case. Lakin drug her backpack through the airport until she was so exhausted she had to lay down and cry. It was only 8:00 AM and I was already feeling vacay exhaustion.
Papa picked us up in Seattle with the swagger wagon and the kids went right to sleep. This photo is more material for my upcoming coffee table book, Unflattering Photos of My Children. In stores, late spring.
We caught an afternoon ferry to Orca's island. We had to get to the ferry early to make sure we made it on. There was some car stalling and downtime which is so easy with small children. Luckily we had Dave and Jess and Papa and Gigi to help keep the kids entertained.
The team van for the week. Dennis faithfully transported us all around the island and Seattle. Picking up stragglers and running all our errands.
And this was the view from our VRBO deck on the island. It was the perfect place to spend some quality time together. We did a little gaming, adult coloring, cooking and traveled into the town to pass the time.
Julia with a freshly soaked onesie. Julia badger don't care.
Orca's Island has a couple of great little spots. One of which was Brown Bear Baking. I had a latte there every single day. Their baked goods were the BOMB. Lakin was chowing on her orange roll.
Julia slept on Jess while we hung out at the island brewery.
And this here is a Dark & Stormy. It was the official beverage of the trip. A shot of rum, ginger beer and a twist of lime. Delicious.
There was a small beach area that the kids liked to walk. The big attraction was throwing rocks into the water. Lakin was determined to swim in the ocean. The weather was far from swimming weather, but you know that doesn't stop Lakin.
Jess and Dave brought their pasta maker and we made pasta with crab and shrimp together on night. Everyone pitched in and helped with the cooking.
Jess tackled the crab and let the kids get in on the fun.
Lakin lovingly named the crab, Crambo.
The kittens slept with us in our room the whole vacation. Bed sharing is not their spiritual gift. But once they are finally asleep, aren't they sweet?
The final product of our homemade pasta adventure.
Ben loves Julia more than Julia cares for.
And what do you know? Julia is not as fond of Lakin's affections either.
Julia rocked her tropical romper in the chilly Northwest temps. Slight oversight by her mother when packing for the millionth time. Cough. Cough.
Bennett and I snuggled during our fancy breakfast out on Doe Bay.
The kids colored to pass the time waiting for our food to arrive. It appears they are so pleasant and under control. We'll go with that story.
Uncle Dave awaits his breakfast sandwich.
Aunt Jess was a hot commodity once her food arrived. Eating a meal with children on your lap is always so enjoyable.
And this is our best family photo from the trip. Lower your expectations. Lower.
Crambo became somewhat of a trip mascot. Lakin commemorated his life with this powerful piece of art.
This random tiger statue provided much entertainment and a breathtaking setting. Chris is the fun one. Can you tell?
Jule Bear and her Aunt Jess.
Just being boys and throwing stuff in water. No big deal.
Getting crazy at the top of Mount Constitution with baby bows and selfies.
Mr. Snail after a rainy day on the island.
And then I found myself back at Brown Bear Baking... I'm not certain how, but I like it.
And the dreams came true. Lakin sat her tiny rear into that freezing cold water. She would have stayed in there longer but I was trying to consider her overall health and made her move along.
We started a fire one night and had some s'mores. Bennett wasn't too sure about the fire and spent most of the evening on my lap. I'm not complaining.
I mean, that view. Would it ever get old?
Another day, another breakfast, another Jess and Jule Bear photo.
I has the best coffee on the island. Obviously it was memorable since I snapped a photo. I am quite selective about what I take a photo of...
Lakin was killing it here with her outfit and her pose. Double threat. After breakfast at Rose's we hit the noon ferry up for a ride back to Seattle.
Bennett needed a little time out on the ferry. Sometimes you just gotta sit by yourself and think about how to be more pleasant.
Chris was really dressing the part of tourist dad with his map tucked into the back of his shorts and the sunglass hang.
And I couldn't resist another one of these captures. Because memories.
After the island we checked into our Seattle VRBO. This home has the most beautiful fenced in backyard with a "secret garden." This is where you could find the kids when we were at the house. Fenced in yards, I love you always and forever.
Lakin and Bennett played with these pieces of driftwood and stones from the island only providing more support for my throw all the toys away theory.
Wednesday morning I took the kids to our friend's place for a playdate. Lakin and Halle were in preschool playgroup together last year. Halle's dad is doing a one year fellowship in Seattle before returning to Rochester for his final job. It was great to catch up and spend time with these sweet friends.
Oh, just another D & S.
Dave and Jess arranged for a sitter and went to dinner with all the adults at Chinook's for seafood. Dave, Jess and Chris indulged in some oysters.
We had a pizza night and cooked some amazing pizzas on Dave's Big Green Egg.
Much anticipation for the final product.
The pizza was perfectly cooked and tasted as good as any restaurant. Chris is now really hoping to get a Green Egg sometime.
Julia really embraced her pasty roots and rocked the sun hat.
Salmon slides are totally normal in Seattle.
This boy ran and ran and ran until he could go no more. Crazy how much he fights a nap but how desperately his body needs it.
We grabbed Paseo sandwiches and enjoyed a picnic lunch at Gasworks. It was sunny and hot and the perfect way to spend an afternoon. You're looking at the #2 Caribbean pork sandwich. I can still taste those caramelized onions.
Don't let his expression here fool you. Chris loves him some Paseo.
We headed to Ballard one afternoon for some Hot Cakes treats and to watch a little crit (bike racing).
Lakin and Ben shared a hot cookie and ice cream while Chris and I split a vanilla milkshake. It was the BEST milkshake I have ever tasted and it was gone way too fast.
Julia and I watched the bikes from the comfort of the shade.
Bennett, who was seconds away from an epic meltdown, waved as the bikers whizzed by.
Since we'd barely had anything to eat on vacation we hit up El Camino (food truck) on our way to the airport for a breakfast burrito that makes Chipotle look like a wimp.
The only way to eat a croissant is with both hands.
Good morning burrito.
Julia really makes that muscle tank look good.
The flight back was much easier. The kids were wiped.
Julia did this the whole time.
And these kittens were pretty tame too.
I took all my kids on a week long vacation and all I got was this blurry photo. Who wants to go next time?