A string of clear skies and warm weather (the folks round here call it a “sunbreak”) often leads to spontaneous behavior.
Who was I to pass up an opportunity to watch the sunset at Richmond Beach with my mom?
These photos don’t really do the place justice. Imagine a giant opalescent sheet of glass, fringed with craggy snow-spiked mountains. Add a foreground of green grass with frolicking children . . . got it?
Getting close to finishing up with these. What is there to say about the EMP except . . .
Whoa, funky architecture . . .
. . . check out our reflection . . .
. . .Katie insisted on dancing in the Sky Church at every spare opportunity . . .
. . . I was nearly hit by the Guitarricane . . .
. . . HOLY CRAP THAT’S KIRK’S CHAIR . . .
. . . and my Mom is one righteous biker babe.
That is all.
After the home-run with the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, I thought I’d take another big swing with a ferry ride to Kingston.
The ferry ride was nice enough. Sunshine!
But what to do on the other side? Most of the businesses in Kingston were closed, but the ticket vendor at the ferry terminal recommended driving to Port Townsend, which is reportedly adorable.
And it is. But it’s also a 45 minute drive from Kingston. Which is not so great if you have to get back home before the kids get home from school at 4:00. Alas, we didn’t realize the drive time until we were almost halfway there.
But it was fun anyway. Seagulls of unusual size!
This random guy with his epaulet-bedecked coat!
And lunch beside the sea. The water is incredibly clear in the Port Townsend Bay. We saw a rowboat, sailboat, kayaks . . . and a sea otter!
Katie is quite the mealtime conversationalist.
Grandma & Grandpa:
The drive back was a bit of a race-the-clock white-knuckles on the steering wheel affair, but everything was chill once we got on the ferry. Popcorn from the snack bar didn’t hurt, either.
And yes, we did make it back just in time to see the school bus pull up in front of my kids’ stop. Whew!
Backing up a bit . . .
I want to chronicle a few more of the adventures I had with my parents when they came to visit last month. Especially this insane tulipalooza eye-candy freakout:
Seriously, is the level of beauty here just insane? A staggering number of the flowering bulbs grown in the U.S. come from Skagit Valley, which is about an hour’s drive north of where I live. My parents and I noticed how similar the weather and climate are to those in the Netherlands (we took a road trip there when I was 8 or 9).
We mucked about in the fields for a while (and I do mean mucked, the mud was thick):
Then we went to see the demonstration gardens. Holy. Cow. It was like Flower Disneyland, everything was meticulously manicured and gorgeous. After a while I began to get a little dizzy, even though I was loving every minute of it.
(Pant. Pant. Pant. Are you ready for more? It’s like putting SweeTarts on your eyeballs.)
OF COURSE WE HAD TO GET A PICTURE WITH THE BIG FAKEY WINDMILL! OUR HEARTS AREN’T MADE OF STONE!
By the way, all of the images in this post were taken by my mom, with her phone. I only used about 1% of the photos she took; we were all a little giddy and swept away by the spectacle. My mom loved it (home run on the hostessing front!) and I can’t wait to go again next year.
My Eleanor got baptized!
Lucky girl — both sets of grandparents were able to come to Seattle for the event. There were also so many friends there; it was wonderful to see how much love there is for this little girl. This was a really spiritual experience for me, and I do not say that lightly. (Or often.)
Unlike in Utah, where the Stake Primary organized everything, we put together everything ourselves (with some help from the ward mission leader). Everyone in the family participated: William lead the music (Katie assisted by doing interpretive dance during the songs), and Jeffrey and I played a duet of “Keep the Commandments” on the piano.
Grandma Shirts gave a talk about baptism, and Grandma Newey gave one about the Holy Ghost.
When Katie saw Eleanor in the water, she got upset and really wanted to get in, too. Grandma Shirts explained that it wasn’t her turn. This placated Katie for a moment, but then lead to her demanding “My turn!” during Eleanor’s confirmation. Just wait about six more years, baby girl . . .
Naturally, this was all followed up by the traditional game of dodgeball in the church gym.
What great kids — what a wonderful evening!
Jeffrey and Brian sanded this wedge-shaped car for about two weeks, whenever they have a spare moment or just feel like fidgeting. Nothin’ like a pinewood derby car to bring out your inner fussbudget.
Jeff didn’t want to paint it, mainly because he has found the car that I “made” as part of a YW activity as a teenager. I was a junior in high school, super busy, and didn’t remember to work on it until just a few hours before, so I drew with markers all over the plain wooden block and then nailed wheels to it. Dubbed “The Brick,” it did okay in the races.
Anyway, as a result, Jeff wanted an unpainted car that he could draw on with markers as well. I readily admit that his car is 100x cooler than mine, though. The “J+B” on the side stands for Jeff + Brooke, although I think it should stand for Jeff + Brian as well.
I’m a little sad that I had to miss the race itself, since it conflicted with a Girl Scout activity. Just a few more years until Wimmy’s making them, though (unless I can manage to finagle a heat for the Activity Day girls).
My parents are here for a whole week! Fun times for everyone, but especially for those of us who get to watch Katie try to figure out their names.
Right now, she refers to both of them as PawPaw. And occasionally she will specify my mother as PawPaw Suzie. Meanwhile, Katie refers to her paternal grandparents as PawPaw and Randy.
Today after church the weather was sunny, so we took a drive out to Snoqualmie Falls (one of the “Top 20 Places in Seattle to Take Your Mother,” according to one of the random websites we found).
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but probably not this:
Majestic, no? Lots of people compare it to Niagara Falls, which is nice, but I’m guessing that those people have never been to Niagara Falls. Snoqualmie is much, much less terrifying.
Although, Niagara is probably a teensy bit easier to get a group photo with.
Yay! Here we are standing in front of a railing! With some mist!
Jeffrey is wincing because he fell asleep in the car on the drive. So did Eleanor and William. Katie, having taken her nap before the drive, stayed awake and chirped the whole time about PawPaw and allllll the fun things she wanted to do with PawPaw.
Seriously, she’s been insisting that PawPaw Suzie read her stories at bedtime instead of me. That. NEVER. Happens.