We’ve had a whirlwind of family visitors this week
Houseguests Round 3 were my parents, who delighted us by staying over a few days on their way to a vacation in Victoria, B.C. I did my darndest to cram in as much grandparent-time as possible.
On the evening of their arrival, Brian and I took them on an adults-only outing to the Cinnebarre to watch Star Trek: Beyond and eat delicious hamburgers. Totally fun movie — it was great to have some adult time with my parents.
After church the next day, the grandparents took Katie on a trip to the beach and came home with pockets full of pebbles and shells. Having this one-on-one time with grandparents was a big deal to her; it’s been two weeks since then, and Katie still talks about it at bedtime.
The following morning, Grandpa and Eleanor were ushered out the door for golf. She’s taking a genuine interest in this sport, and my dad is a great teacher. She made par on one of the holes!
Meanwhile, Grandma taught everyone how to make “burrito” pillowcases (I spent a morning cleaning the decrepit disaster that is our craft room for just this occasion you are welcome, Mom):
When our crafting was over, the grandparents and I took William out to West Seattle for incredible Hawaiian-Korean fusion food at Marination Ma Kai. Nummm, kimchee quesadillas and shave ice!
The evening was rounded out with a visit to the Ballard Locks, which my dad had never seen before. A boat towing logs came through while we were there, an arrangement which I had never seen before. The logs were lashed together and just floating in the water. I half expected to see lumberjacks astride them, juggling axes and stroking their fluffy beards.
And if that weren’t enough fun for one day, we stopped at Molly Moon’s for ice cream on the way home. Whew!
My parents took off on Tuesday morning. This left us with just 24 hours to prepare ourselves for Houseguests, Round 4: Uncle Michael and Aunt Natalie and best of all, Cousin Anderson!
My kids were very excited to see their first Shirts cousin. Jeff even requested to come along when I drove out to pick them up from the airport. I initially thought he just wanted some time out of the house, or time alone with me, but when we pulled up to the airport, Jeff jumped up and whispered, “I can’t wait to see that cute baby’s face!” and rushed to give Anderson a hug.
Our first excursion the next day was Jetty Island. The older kids hadn’t had a chance to visit Jetty yet, so it was a nice treat for them. The only snag is somehow there was a reservation mix-up and we showed up on the wrong day. But we were early enough to grab the standby tickets (whew).
Jeff and William asked to go off and explore the island on their own. They walked over to the “lagoon” marked on the island map and walked around it. It always pleases me to see Jeff wanting to be a little more independent.
Anderson loved dipping his feet in Puget Sound and observing his cousins build a giant pile of seaweed. When it was time to go, he was so cold his lips turned a little bit blue, but he kept asking to go back in the water.
Day Two of Anderson Week was spent riding the ferry to Kingston for crepes and ice cream, one of my favorite summer activities. (I intentionally had a skimpy breakfast because I knew exactly what good stuff was up ahead.)
Anderson loved the ferry ride, as did my kids:
Between crepes and ice cream, we romped on in the park and played around with a Frisbee. My kids were being “a bunch of goofy-goofs,” as I like to say:
The boys quite literally collapsed in a pile on the way home:
Saturday was the next day, so Brian was able to join us for a trip to the waterfront to ride the Seattle Great Wheel, which he hadn’t been able to ride before.
Jeff wasn’t very happy about the heights. He curled against me during the entire ride, and I could feel how tense his shoulders were through his shirt.
After the wheel, we walked down the street to the Olympic Sculpture Park. The walk was a bit longer than anticipated, and it was hot and dusty downtown. Nobody was in that much of a good mood when we arrived, but spirits lifted as we began to explore the statues.
Discovering an indoor play space wasn’t that bad, either. (Shade! Hurrah!)
Sunday was Anderson’s last day in town. We trooped to church, and then headed over to St. Edward’s State Park for more excellent cousin play on the wooden castle playground. Eleanor was wonderful at watching over Anderson, which gave the adults ample time to talk (adult convo is always at a premium around here).
Speaking of which, we were lucky enough to have some evening adults-only time during Cousin Week. On Friday, Anderson was put to bed early so the grown-ups could meet up with Kristen & Patrick at a restaurant in Ballard, and then on Saturday evening the big kids were left at home while the adults took Anderson to the Cheesemonger’s Table, followed by a nice stroll around downtown Edmonds.
The only bad thing about houseguests is that eventually they have to go home. Thanks to all of them this summer for making this season an excellent one!