Monday, June 4, 2018

Weekend on Whidbey

The Olson Four did something we don't typically do on a 3-day weekend ... we traveled.

Before you compliment us for being brave souls (or shake your head for us being fools), know that we mitigated as much travel pain as possible by staying home on Friday and heading to the island fairly early Saturday morning. That said, it wasn't quite early enough, because we wound up missing the ferry we hoped to catch, but just barely. So, we waited for the next one, not the end of the world. It just let us know other people shared our "NO WAY am I going on a ferry Friday night" mentality. 

Eventually, we made it to the island and could feel ourselves switch gears almost immediately. There's just something about going to Eric's parents' house. It's just calmer there. It's quiet. We can let the kids just play outside and not worry about speeding cars zooming by. 

After we got settled and breathed deeply a few times, we decided to do our belated birthday celebrations. When we were on the island for the March birthdays, the plan was for Eric's sister and brother-in-law to be there for the fun. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans and dumped snow on Snoqualmie Pass, making it too dangerous for Kajsa and Jeff to make the trek. They came over the following weekend and left gifts for Eric and Conor on the island. On top of that, Eric's mom's b-day was a couple of weeks ago and we had gifts for her. 

"Pokemon cards! COOOOL!!!"

Eric modeling his new UW shirt

By Saturday afternoon, Conor was getting antsy, so he and I went for a walk while Annika slept off her allergy meds. As we headed up the driveway, Conor's "I'm gonna scooter all the way to the top!" zeal faded and we wound up hoofing it up the hill the old fashioned way. At the top of the driveway, we spotted a deer nibbling on the grass, so we stopped to watch it for a bit. It watched us, too, but because we were pretty quiet and slow moving, it mostly ignored us. Conor and I eventually headed to the meadow to see if we could spot more deer (nope) and so he could ride his scooter around the adjacent paved loop. I never get tired of the view from the top of the driveway/meadow. Even on a cloudy day, it still takes my breath away.

Scooter Boy

What a view!

Conor enjoying the calm of the meadow

Calm done ... time to scale rocks

"Mama, will you please take a picture of me sitting right here?"

The rest of the day was just as mellow. After dinner (both nights!), we pulled out decks of cards and played Deuces Wild, Hearts, and Gin Rummy; dice to play Greed; and  Dixit, a board game we gave to Conor for his birthday in March. Game nights on the island have evolved from "the kids are asleep, let's play a game" to "the kids can be on my team" to "the kids can play" events. Watching Annika and Conor grow into being self-sufficient players has been a really neat evolution to observe. They employ strategy, math skills, and an understanding of rules to now be part of the bigger game-loving group that is our family. (#ParentingWin)

Bestemor and Annika deep in conversation

Conor mastering the wooden block puzzle

Annika learning how to play Deuces Wild

Eric and Bestemor working on her new KenKen math puzzle pages
Deuces Wild
(hands 1-4 deal 10 cards, hands 5-7 deal 12 cards, run = 4 cards in same suit, set = 3 matching cards) 

For weeks, the kids had been hoping that Bestefar would take them fishing soon. Well, first it was winter, not exactly trout fishing season. Then, they had to wait for the lake to be stocked. FINALLY, the planets aligned and Bestefar could take the kids to Deer Lake to do some trout fishing. Bestefar is a real trooper; first he spent a couple of hours rowing Conor around the lake, then he spent a couple more hours rowing Annika around the lake. Both kids had success, which is always a plus. Apparently, Conor had a huge trout get away and learned the lesson of waiting for someone to net the fish instead of trying to hoist the fish out of the water. (Lessons learned!) 

Deer Lake

Conor and Bestefar

Conor's haul

Annika ready to go!

Annika's catch

Bestefar helping her untangle the fish 

To give Bestemor and Bestefar a little break and to give the kids a chance to burn off some energy, Eric and I took the kids to Possession Beach, which is a stone's throw from the house. It offers great views of the ferries sailing between Mukilteo and Whidbey, as well as the Cascades (ahhh, Mt. Rainier), and Everett. The sun was out and the sky was blue. We spent most of our time perfecting our rock skipping skills. The beauty of this beach is it rarely very busy. Yes, we'll cross paths with people now and then, but it isn't like the Seattle beaches on a sunny day. I think more people go there to use the boat launch than to lounge around on the beach.

In order to avoid a long wait in the ferry line on our way home, we opted to (again) hit the road fairly early on Monday. Bestefar took Conor back out to Deer Lake for another round of fishing (Annika opted to stay home citing sleeping in was preferred to waking up early) and brought home  a couple more trout for us. Thanks, guys!!

Conor's day 2 catch

Eric teaching Annika how to clean fish. 

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