Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fitting Exploration into Holiday Travel

(Warning: Photo Dump Below!)

Whew!  I think we've all recovered from the Fourth of July holiday!  We decided to make a trek up to my parents house  in Washington.  While we were out exploring, I told my husband that I didn't know how to work this into the blog, because I want to make sure that each post has something to offer you, the reader.  I just love his response: "Just share it!  Give encouragement to people to get outside and explore!"  I kinda, really love that man! =D

So without further ado, this is how our holiday travel went while enjoying some adventures, both outdoor and indoor. 

Day 1: The Drive:  So it doesn't take all day to drive up there, but it's 6-7 hours.  Given the time it takes to load and unload, it's basically a full day.  Thankfully now my little ones are doing so much better in the car, so we don't hear screaming the whole way.  When the fussing started, I'd just pull out another book, read it, then pass it back for them to re-peruse (lift the flap books are awesome!).  We'd try to take advantage of meals and gas stops to take a stretch break (or as the kids call them, shake breaks!)  Other than that, lots of dried fruit, I spy, singing and license plate tracking!   We got in with just enough time for the kids to play with a little, battery powered four-wheeler that my dad had received broken, but free and fixed it up.  That got the wiggles out!

Day 2: After a lazy morning, Josh and I borrowed my parents' jeep and headed up some mountain trails (holiday tip: you don't have to have/bring all the "toys."  Share and borrow what you can!)  It wasn't a clear day, but it was so gorgeous!  The ruggedness of the hills is so stark against all the foxglove blooming (my favorite!!!)  Josh was able to just reach out the door and pick me bouquets.

  We picked wild salmon berries and went for a small hike at the end of one of the trails.  At the very top we even ran in to another couple from Alaska, so naturally we had to stop and visit with them for a bit!

After we got back we loaded in the truck with my parents to hit the carnival.  Though it was a fairly small carnival, the kids were awestruck.  Our 5 year old enjoyed a few of the kiddie rides, but our 2 year old would only go on the carousel until we got to the Ferris Wheel.  Grandpa and Daddy went with them and even at the highest point you could see both of their faces beaming with delight and they excitedly waved to us every cycle!  What a treat! 

So fun to see familiar faces as well.  A former neighbor and her grown daughter also visiting from out of town, two mission trip coordinators and an former worship teammate let alone countless others that I couldn't quite place anymore. 

Day 3: My former church GAVE me a piano!  I'm so excited and grateful, but have no place to store it right now, so my dad is hanging on to it for me.  He, Josh, and my brothers moved it to their garage for now.  Boy, do I owe them cookies or what?  I just have to tease them that they'll forever be helping me move pianos!  (It may have happened a time or two before) 
First we had to stop by Wing's cabin and learn how the pot-bellied stove worked!

Ringing the church bell with Bampa

 Then the whole crew drove up to Bellingham to the Spark Museum.  If you ever get a chance, check it out.  A museum on the history of electricity, complete with a functioning Tesla Coil (I didn't remember what that was until we got there!)  I'm not a huge fan of electronics, but even I found much of this fascinating.  Just this history, if nothing else, and the beautiful detail they seemed to put into everything they did. 

We got back into town to visit my best friend from age 4 and her family and to barbeque and hang out in their new back yard.  Beautiful end to a busy day!  And I love that our kids feel like cousins!

Krista and I basically have this exact photo of us when we were this age!  Now it's our kids!

Day 4:  Church the next morning (same one I grew up in!) along with many more familiar faces.  Then lunch at the favorite spot  before the in-laws joined us for the logging show and chainsaw carving competition. 
Pole Climb

Day 5:  Independence Day!  Parade in the rain, then about 30 people came to the house for a get-together, fire crackers, and a ton of food.  Lots of playing in the  rain and dancing through the smoke! 

Day 6:  Home again, home again, jiggety jog.  When we hit bad traffic we just took old farm roads.  Better moving the long way through beautiful scenery than stuck in stress and traffic. 

I'm so grateful for my family, but I know for some staying with family can be a difficult time if they are not accustomed to spending much time outside.  I think, especially during a visit to see someone, relationships take priority.  Be with those you've come to be with.  But if the opportunity arises to get everyone out and see something new, maybe it could benefit all!


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