Sunday, March 11, 2012

Busy Day, Baaaaaad Traffic, Birthday Fun

Yesterday was one heck of a full day for the Olson clan.

We woke up with three extra people in the house (yes, they were there when we went to bed and we knew they were here... it wasn't one of those "oh, hello. And you are in my house why??" moments).

OK, now I have to backtrack to fill you, my dear reader, in on the whole story. On Friday, two of our nieces, Emily and Anna, and Emily's boyfriend, Sam, drove over from Idaho/Eastern WA so they could use our house as a hub before they flew down to Southern CA (aka home) for spring break. It was great to have them here with us, even if it was just a short visit. We played games, laughed, talked, and the big kids got to fill up their "little cousins of fun" tanks - which, surely, were running on empty because they hadn't seen our kids in a few months.
Anna, Annika, and Emily

The plan for yesterday was supposed to be easy: relaxing morning, airport run, Troy's birthday (part 2).

Early yesterday afternoon, the big kids had to get down to the airport (normally 30 minutes away), which shouldn't have been a big deal. Famous last words. I'd forgotten that one of our bridges was closed for maintenance this weekend, which threw the world's biggest monkey wrench into the city's flow of traffic. NOT PRETTY. It took us 45 minutes to get to downtown (where the entrance to the second bridge people were using is located - talk about a huge backup!); mind you, that drive usually takes about 15 minutes. After getting through the mess that led up and through downtown, we emerged from the horrible traffic and finished our journey to the airport. Our goodbyes were quick because the big kids were going to have to race a bit to get through the possible security lines. (Hope you three had fun... we sure did!!!!)

From the airport, Annika and I drove to my brother's house (about 30 minutes from the airport ... in theory). The messed up traffic continued to really impact driving times. A LOT. Annika and I kept ourselves busy by playing word rhyming games and the "What letter does this word start with" game. We also played "I Spy", which was very interesting, because Annika kept spying things that we drove by, making it a bit tricky for me to guess because I was on high alert in the world's worst traffic and pretty nasty rain...not exactly the best time for me to take in the surrounding scenery. Needless to say, she won! :)

After FINALLY arriving at my brother's house, we took a collective sigh of relief and then realized my mom and great aunt were also driving up in the nasty traffic and they were bringing most of dinner. No way were we eating on time. Eric and Conor were also navigating through the traffic and were calling with periodic updates on their progress. Fortunately, everyone made it in one piece and we were able to regale each other with our freeway experiences and enjoy a fun (albeit loud) evening together.

We discovered something really entertaining very quickly, our great aunt (who will turn 99 in June) gets wonderfully lippy when she's had a little wine. Hilarious doesn't begin to describe her last night!
Aunt June told Staci that she was being inefficient chopping carrots and drinking wine. The problem? Staci had to stop chopping to drink her wine; Aunt June's solution? A straw!!

Of course, this led to a huge case of the giggles!

I mean HUGE case of the giggles.

Aunt June
(Notice the lack of a straw in HER glass! She's so proper!)

Annika and Aunt June

Conor discovered Staci's big bowl of yarn and decided to see how far he could toss each ball of wound goodness. My mom tried to turn it into a lesson about size comparison. Conor was more interested in velocity!

Eric hanging out and keeping the cooks company as they prepped the food.

Troy and Aunt June

Troy teaching our kids the "Cheers—Drink—Ahh! That's the stuff!" approach to drinking.

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