This past weekend was crazy-busy, and so much fun.
We left Portland late Friday afternoon and drove up to our hotel near the Seattle airport. The sun had set by the time we got the car unloaded, and the kids were mad that we wouldn’t let them swim anyway. Vic went out and brought food back to our room, where the kids ate while moping. Before they fell asleep, they were slightly cheered by our promises of more fun the next day.
We got up early Saturday and hopped on the light rail to Qwest Field (the finish line of Kathy’s marathon). We had planned to meet her at the ‘V’ family reunion section, which was oh-so-noisily located directly in front of one of the band stages. They were loud. LOUD. I had been getting updates on Kathy’s progress via text message but didn’t hear anything for the last four miles of the race, so we had no idea when she’d finish. April and Emma found us, and then Kathy showed. Hooray! We were surprised to see her talking coherently and standing with no trouble—she really did rock that half-marathon!
Brenda and Sean came along soon after, and all of us got back on the light rail to get lunch at Cheesecake Factory. While walking back, I twisted my ankle in the crosswalk like the clumsy idiot I am, and I banged up my shins and knee like a mo-fo. I was trying super-hard not to be a whiny baby, but OH MY BUDDHA, it really hurt. I just wanted to lay down somewhere.
The day wasn’t even close to being over, though. Kathy and Brenda had plans on their own, and Sean was flying back to Colorado, so the rest of us went back to our hotel. Jim and Trevor came over too, and the four kids dragged the dads to the pool, FINALLY. April and I started off on our two-hour road trip to Bellingham.
FLASHBACK: You might remember a while back that she found a blog post I’d written about Why Girls Are Weird and offered to send me her newest book to get through the boredom of chemo. Doesn’t that make her awesome? Yes! What made her even more awesome was that she not only sent Going In Circles, she included Why Moms Are Weird—which is out of print and she had to get on eBay—and Cold Feet, a book to which she was a contributor. All of them were signed to me and the gesture made me feel like the specialest person, like, EVER.
April and I had about an hour to kill, so we walked around Fairhaven. Most of the stores were closed, but we ran across one called Katie’s Cupcakes and couldn’t resist going in. We each bought a pair of red velvet cupcakes for our kids, and she accidentally left hers in my car until this evening (that buttercream frosting ought to be reeeeally good now). We grabbed a quick dinner and then headed into Village Books for the reading/signing. I’m going to write about the Pamela Ribon Experience™ in another post because April took some pictures I need to go with my story and she’s going to email them to me. Sooooo… you’ll just have to wait. Ha. I will say, however, that it was fun and funny and I loved every minute. I was also glad to hear that I was not the only person worried about seeming stalker-y. Whew.
OK, so after the reading we still had the long drive back to Seattle, but it was great to have all that chat time together. I took April to her car at the light rail station and we made plans to meet again in the morning. When I got back to our hotel I was surprised to see the kids had already fallen asleep—all that swimming with Emma and Trevor really wore them out.
This morning we checked out of our hotel and drove up to Woodland Park Zoo. Jim, April, Emma and Trevor were there, and we also met up with an old college friend Jim (Sharon) and his wife Jen and their adorable son Carter. No one in our family had been to that zoo before, but the Jordans and Sharons were very familiar and escorted us through like real professionals.
Katie and I were especially excited to see the red pandas—we don’t have them at our local zoo—and this is what we saw when we got to their exhibit:
You know why Katie and I like red pandas? Because they look like this:
Yeah. They’re totally cute, right? You can imagine, then, how disappointing it was for us to only see them like this:
Stoopid hide-y red pandas.
We saw lots of well-behaved animals, though, and it was great fun overall. The weather was good—not too hot—and the crowds were light. The kids had a lot of fun tearing around the place. Katie got to feed a bird with a seed stick:
…and Jack rode a monkey or leopard or something metal:
After our zoo adventure we grabbed a quick dinner before we went our separate ways (April has pics of that too). We got home tonight and are completely exhausted, but in the best way. Our trip was loads of fun, and full of family and friends—exactly how a weekend away from home should be.
Come back again for more details.