In the middle of August, we headed across the state to the peninsula for Grandma Sara's family reunion. Grandpa Tom couldn't go and I happened to be off for the weekend, so we volunteered to go. She volunteered to drive and host us for the weekend...who could turn that down. We hadn't been since we graduated high school 10 years ago (and we missed our 10year HS reunion to go!).
We left around 9:30 am on Friday and arrived in Sequim around 7:30pm...yes, we were travelling for 10hrs! The kids did remarkably well in the car (I thought). We rode in Grandpa Tom's Rebeast (I think that's what they call it), aka a Toyota Sequoia. The thing is huge and I sat comfortably in the back with both kiddos in car seats. It was nice to hang back and not drive for once! I was hoping the kids would sleep some on the way over, but they did not. Isla napped for about 20min between the summit, where we had ice cream, and North Bend, where we got gas and checked out a few stores at the outlet malls. The big hang up: a. we left North Bend at 4:30ish...rush hour, b. there was a multi car pile-up right after the highway interchange to I-5. It took us over 2hrs to drive the 30miles from North Bend to Tacoma! By then we had to stop at Gig Harbor for dinner, then arrived at our hotel in time for bed. Actually, the kids and Ben went for a swim, while I literally ran around the hotel parking lot a dozen times to get a couple miles in!
After swimming, we turned in for the night. We got up around 8, got ready, had breakfast at the hotel, then headed to Port Hadlock to Stephanie's (Sara's niece) house. The house itself is small, but the yard is HUGE and beautiful! The kids had a blast running around outside. There were several pre-teen and teenage girls who loved playing with Ilsa. It was nice to have several pairs of eyes on her. Everyone was quite impressed with her ability to climb stairs, up and down, and just her overall ability to get around! Everyone also loved her piggy tails and painted toes :).
There were quite a few people there. A few I knew, and many I had never met. I started getting confused after a while with all the "I'm so-and-sos granddaughters cousin", especially since I didn't always know who so-and-so was! Ben's cousins Wendy (whom I knew) and Elyse were also there. Ben hadn't seen Elyse in many years and was happy to reconnect. I think she's the cousin that's closest in age to her. Ben and Elyse's husband (Rob?) got along well and spent quite a bit of time chatting.
The weather was ok while we were there. The forecast had said it would be in the 70s, but it was actually pretty overcast and in the 60s (maybe), which was downright cool to us who were used to 90+ for over a month straight. I was glad I packed a sweatshirt for Miles, a sweater and jeans for Isla, and a fleece for me. Ben, who's mommy didn't pack for him, was stuck with his shorts and t-shirt :).
Here's a few pictures from the day:
On Sunday, we turned around and headed back to Spokane. This time, we went through Kingston and took a ferry to Edmonds. It was so fun! I've been dying to take the kids on a ferry ride!
It was very windy on deck!
I had no idea that ferries were so well equipped with fire fighting equipment. We had to stop for every fire extinguisher, every fire hose, and every fire axe that we, I mean Miles, saw.
After the ferry ride, we went south on I-5 to the 405, through Bellvue to Issaquah. We stopped at Issaquah for lunch at Panera (we don't have any in Spokane!) and hit up Target for a few things. Then we hit the road and stopped at Indian John Hill for a bit of a break and to use the bathroom. The kids had a blast running around.
They both napped for a bit after the rest stop. We stopped one more time, in Moses Lake for some ice cream and to go potty. We made it home by 7pm. I think we left around 10ish? It was a good 8-9hr travel day.
Though we spent the majority of the time travelling, we had a great time at the reunion. I don't know if it will be feasible to go back again next year, but hopefully it won't be another 10years till we go!