May 6, 2013

I'm Baaaaaack!

Hey there, blog friends!  Did you miss me?  We were gone for a week to the San Juan Islands and Seattle for Joe's work trip.  No, I didn't tell you I was going.  I'd like to say that it's because I was being wise and not alerting the public to the fact that our house would be unattended for a week - which I would have totally opted for had I had time to even think about our trip - but it was actually because it snuck up on me with little notice.  That's my excuse for missing my Ridvan post.  Ooops!  Luckily, Leanna has forgiven me for that.  There was no internet where we were, so blogging and e-mails and facebook were all put on hold.  Which was kind of fabulous!

I won't bore you with a ton of details from the trip, but I will share the highlights!

The view from our cabin porch.
We had an adorable little cabin right by the water in Seattle, not too far from Whidby Island (which we were all excited about because it's where all of the action in the Last Mimzy takes place and we can't get enough of that particular movie)!  There were bald eagles everywhere, which I was the only one ridiculously excited about.  But seriously, eagles!!!

My favorite people on the ferry.
We ferried to and from the San Juan Island for a day, hiking around the British and American Camps (there's a lot of wacky, post Revolutionary War historical stuff on that island, like how we almost went back to war with Britain over a pig!), visiting an alpaca farm, and eating some seafood.  The best part of the day, though, by far, was the Ferry rides to and from.  There was a rainbow in the sky, one of those airplanes that land on the water took off right over us, the kids made friends with a cute little Canadian kid who wanted someone to play Legos with him (they were happy to oblige), and it is just generally cool any time you get to drive on a boat.  Am I right?

View from the hotel room.  If I looked left and between some buildings, I could see the Space Needle from our window.
Then it was off to Seattle to the fancy schmancy hotel that Joe's conference was in.  Let me just tell you the lesson in appreciation that I learned in this hotel.  You know all of those amenities you get at your basic Motel 6?  A microwave so you don't have to eat out every single meal?  Complementary breakfast?  The ability to find the swimming pool?  Yeah, they don't offer those things in the uber expensive places.  We bought a ton of things we could microwave to feed the kids so that we wouldn't break the bank on meals, but alas, no microwave.  Breakfast?  Only if you want to pay $20 per person.  And the pool?  Yeah, we have one but good luck finding it.  We can't be bothered to give you details like that when you check in and you have to change towers and go up 5 floors to get to it.  Oh, and internet?  Only if you're willing to pay.  So, I was a little annoyed.  But the view?  Oh my gosh!  The views was to die for.  Especially at night.  So, I will always appreciate having gotten to fall asleep in the most comfortable bed on earth while looking over the twinkling Seattle skyline for free, but I will never look down on my Motel 6 again.  They know what a Momma wants, which is a microwave for dining in, an easy to find swimming pool, and free internet so that while the kids are on their second Disney Channel cartoon before breakfast, Momma has something to do other than look for the nearest bottle of Advil.   

Glass ceiling piled high with random glass sculptures with light shining through them and casting colors everywhere

The kids and I did the typical touristy things like the Space Needle and Pike's Place, but the highlight was the Chihuly Glass Garden.  Seriously, this was the most magical thing I've ever personally experienced of the art world.  Joe said, "Take the rowdy boys to an all glass exhibit?  Yeah, be my guest, but I'm not having anything to do with that."  LOL!  I did think twice about it, but Hannah Jane and I were dying to go so I kind of bribed the boys into it.
Floor to ceiling glass jungle.  Those green spiky things were as tall as the kids and it went on for about  30 yards past the big swirly tower.
Turns out that it was so breathtakingly magical that the boys were all but silent, awestruck the entire time.  The only thing I really heard was them constantly asking for the camera to take pics of their favorite things.  And around every corner was a new favorite.  Here's my favorite.

So magical!
These full scale wooden boats overflowing with abstract beauty were like something I'm not even creative enough to dream up.  And everything was set on black glass, so it looked like it was on water with perfect reflections below.  I want to be Chihuly for a week.  His world, his vision, and the cash flow to make it all happen must just be surreal.  

And then, the grand finale of our trip was to spend an evening with friends that we had when we weer first a family.  Back in the Utopian days of student family housing, back when each of our neighbors were from a different country and we regularly spent evenings together on the lawn, watching the kids play and discussing the world from different backgrounds, we became fast friends with this family and we happened to each have three kids right in the ballpark of one another.  I was pregnant with my second when I threw Carolina's baby shower for her second, and we both had our thirds right before we moved to Utah.  We haven't seen them in 5 years, and our kids used to spend so much time together that it was a blast to see the kids together again!

Now we're back and it's time to get back to business!  

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