Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Sunny, Beachy, and Puppy-ful Whidbey Weekend

Oh, what a weekend we had and we are so grateful for Eric's mom (aka the birthday girl) and dad hosting our crazy clan for another sleepover.

When we go to Whidbey, we usually head up early Saturday morning to avoid sitting in a long ferry line. Unfortunately, Annika had an event at school Saturday night that precluded us from following our normal schedule, so we opted to head up as soon as the kids got out of school Friday afternoon and prayed that the freeway traffic and ferry line were kind to us. Oh boy, were they ever kind!! We made it up to the ferry terminal in pretty darned good time, especially considering it was a sunny Friday afternoon. We did miss the first ferry that we were aiming for, but considering we were able to pull right into the parking lot instead of waiting in the ferry line waaaay up the hill, we were feeling mighty great.

To celebrate the sunny weather and to bide our time as we waited for the next ferry, the kids and I popped over to Ivars for some ice cream. Yum! I was too full to finish mine, so Buca even got a bit of a treat.

Buca says, "Nom, nom, nom"

Before long (and after a few ice cream drips down the kids' hands), we were on the ferry and taking in the gorgeous views from the ship deck.The kids "helped" the ferry make the crossing by pretending to be a couple of ferry captains. Thank goodness they accept payment in the form of ice cream!

Keeping their eyes peeled for signs of the Whdbey ferry terminal

"Driving" the ferry

Once the kids safely docked the ferry, we made a quick drive to Eric's parents' house. The kids are always excited to visit Bestefar and Bestemor, but this visit was even more exciting than the rest because this was the first time they got to meet Eric's parents' new puppy. Needless to say, Kodi was the star of the weekend and captured our hearts immediately. I'm pretty sure he had a magnetic impact on our kids; whenever they were out of sight, we knew they were playing with Kodi.

While the kids LOVED the newness of Kodi, it became pretty evident after a little bit that Buca was absolutely worn out by all of the puppy's energy. Poor Buca is becoming an old man and even hung out in the bushes for a little peace and quiet... that and he LOVES to spend time in the mud!

At some point during the weekend, I mentioned that we have a neat book of "Dad and Me" projects and Annika really liked the idea of making stilts and a teeter-totter. Naturally, almost as soon as the breakfast dishes were cleared, Eric and his dad were out on the woodshop putting together a set of stilts for the kids. Annika's current professional dream is to be a trapeze artist, so it is good for her to get some circus skills down now. She took to stilt walking quite quickly and was happy to wobble around the driveway for all to see.

As soon as we unpacked our gear on Friday, Annika started hounding Eric's dad to take her for a ride on his ATV. Unfortunately for her, Bestefar was completely exhausted because (a) they returned from Montana rather late the night before and before we arrived on Friday afternoon, he had already played 18 holes of golf and mowed their massive lawns. Soon after the stilts were built and the kids were out of their PJs, out came the helmets and ATV for some fun around the property. The kids even got to take turns driving! Naturally, the ride-on mower also came out so both kids could have rides at the same time. No child left behind!

After the ATV adventures, we all (minus Buca and Buster, who were quite happy to relax in a quiet house for a bit) headed to a nearby beach to play, burn off some energy, and start Kodi's swimming lessons. The sun was out in full force but the breeze from the water kept us from feeling too warm, gratefully. We practiced skipping rocks and explored the beach, finding countless keeper rocks, some crab shells and claws, clam shells, and more drift wood than we could .. errr... shake a stick at. We even found a couple of driftwood forts/structures that other beach goers had built. The kids were in hog heaven. While we wandered around, Eric's dad worked with Kodi on figuring out how to swim; Kodi wasn't overly keen on getting in so deep that his feet stopped touching, but it was a great start!

Conor and his "stick"

Eric and Annika working on their rock skipping skills

Beach exploration time

What a view!

Annika and her crabby beach treasure

Show and tell

Swim, Kodi! Swim!

Wet pup

One of the driftwood structures

Eventually, we wrapped up our time on the beach and headed back to the house for lunch, a few rounds of cards while the kids played outside, and to pack up our gear. We had to be back home in time for Annika to attend the Pajamarama party at school Saturday evening. Once again, we lucked out and were able to avoid a ferry line. Woo hoo!! Nothing like smooth sailing and not having to wait in line to make a group of travelers smile.

We always have fun when we visit the island, but this weekend's trip was such a treat because of so many fun things ... nice weather that allowed the kids to play outside, a new puppy to meet, ATV rides, a trip to the beach, and so much more! Thanks, Bestemore and Bestefar, for a great weekend!!

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