Before kids, the door-to-door drive would take us 3 hours in the summer and 3.5 hours in the winter (barring anything weird like pass closures, etc.). On Friday, it took us 4.5 or 5 hours to go door to door. Nothing like traveling with wiggly kids who have to pee every 10 minutes!
We wound up driving two cars over because of our plan to leave our spare car behind so our nieces can use it. Great in theory... in practice, that resulted in Eric having a very peaceful drive over with our dog and me having a stressful time driving our kids over in the van. We did caravan and used Annika's Hello Kitty walkie talkies to maintain an open line of communication between the cars, but that didn't help when the kids needed new movies in the DVD player or helping picking up the book/toy/shoe/water bottle that they happened to drop. I was pretty frazzled by the time we pulled up to our destination but was glad we made it in one piece and me without too many bald spots. ;)
Our plan was to stick around until Sunday, but that had a chance of getting hijacked when Eric's boss reached out to him saying there were Internet connectivity issues back at the office. Mind you, this was at 9 Friday night. Eric wound up working with a guy from the ISP until 1:30 AM on Saturday (can we have a collective "ugh, that poor guy!!" inserted here, please??) Fortunately, the issue was resolved and Eric didn't have to pack up our crew for a Saturday return trip to Seattle, which he thought might have to happen.
Conor woke up at 4:50 Saturday morning (can we have a collective, "ugh, that's early" inserted here, please??); to pass the time, he and I hung out in the bedroom's walk in closet (all of us shared a room that weekend) and read stories until Annika woke up a bit after 6:00. To let the others in the house sleep as long as possible (namely, Eric), I shuttled the kids off to the closest Starbucks for hot cocoa ("hot toto", per Conor) and the opportunity to speak above a whisper.
The rest of the weekend was really mellow. John (Eric's brother) made chocolate chip cookie dough before we arrived so he and the kids could do a project together. (Wasn't that sweet of him??) It was a huge hit; the kids loved it ... and the rest of us loved the resulting cookies.
It was a rainy, cold weekend, so we mostly hung out at the house and caught up with Eric's brother and his family, as well as Eric's sister and her husband, who live close to Eric's brother (et al).
A few months ago, Eric's brother's family added a 3rd Great Dane to their pack. They named him Zed; he's super cute, but already bigger than our Buca. He decided that Annika (who runs everywhere and makes random squeaky noises) was his toy, so took to chasing her and trying to play with her. Annika wasn't overly impressed with that idea. Zed also wanted to play (aka nibble and slobber on) Buca, who like Annika, wasn't overly enthusiastic with the idea, so poor Zed spent a lot of the weekend segregated from the kids or on a leash. Our kids had a great time with the older Danes (Nevaeh and Boomer) who were much slower and less inclined to think our kids were chase-worthy.
On Sunday morning, we packed up and made the long drive home. (Fortunately, without the many potty stops that we had on Friday!) Because of our fairly early start, we had the freeway to ourselves for much of drive to Ellensburg. We saw quite a few gorgeous fog banks (partially making me wish we had the ability to stop on the side of the freeway so I could practice photographing landscapes), not to mention beautiful waterfalls in the mountains and some stunning autumn-colored trees all along the way.
|View of the canyon Friday night|
|Boomer and Erin chillin' on the floor|
|Makin' cookies with Uncle John|