So we had Spring Break plus “a bonus Spring Break” because my sister and her family ventured out to Oregon the week after our break. Since I had to dig my flip flops and shorts out of the attic for my trip to California and I am not about to put everything back, I feel like summer is on its way. Especially with the warm sunny weather we are soaking up. Yet I know well enough about the rain that sometimes invades in May and the June gloom here in Oregon so I am leaving a couple long sleeves and hoodies in the closet.
So back in March we told the kids we were going to Washington because my husband had an all day meeting at a church. This was all made up. There was no meeting. We told them they had to spend a full day entertaining themselves in the church nursery. I hate holding the truth from my kids so I told them we’d stay in a motel with a pool. Our plan was to surprise them and take them to Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. And yes, they were surprised.
One of the best things about Great Wolf Lodge with a 8,6, & 4 year old (we have gone when they were younger) is we could do almost everything including all ride on a tube slide together. There was just one slide my younger two did not meet the height requirement on. It was refreshing and fun to not have to spend the whole time in the little kid’s area. However, it was nice they still wanted to play there at times giving us a little break too.
It was a great time for our family. I am in this new phase of parenting where I am doing more with the kids versus for them. It really makes events like this enjoyable.
After Great Wolf, my family dropped me off at PDX where I flew to LA to visit my friend Linda. Linda was in the youth group I lead back in Michigan, and somehow she got all grown up on me and is now a graduate student at USC. I love seeing my youth group “kids” all grown up finding their place in the world.
My first full day in LA I drove in my rental car braving the crazy six lane highways I am not used to. I headed to Santa Monica where I enjoyed the festivities on the pier and a run along the beach.
And an amazing sunset!
Linda gave me an “inside” view of LA. We ate at several ethnic restaurants, drove to the Hollywood sign, I went to her Ultimate Frisbee tournament, and we even got to visit the LA opera.
I could not get enough of the warm, sunny, LA weather. I am not sure I could live the pace of LA, but the weather and the beaches are pretty amazing.
After four days of being home and trying to revert back into some kind of routine, we were thrilled to have my sister, her husband, and kids come visit us in Oregon. They live back in Michigan where we used to live so we don’t get to see one another often.
While they were here, my brother-in-law did the Beaver Freezer Triathlon on the campus of Oregon State. It was my second sprint triathlon. He has done more and even completed an Ironman Triathlon. It was fun to do one with a family member.
My time was very similar (only a thirty second difference) from my first triathlon last spring in Stayton, Oregon. But the swimming went so much better. Last spring I felt nauseous swimming and could not get into a good swimming pattern. I felt like I could have increased my speed on the bike, but I am still not totally comfortable “bike racing.” This is something I hope to work on this summer. The run for me was by far the best and my run time was only about 1 minute and half more than my normal 5K time.
My brother-in-law is the guy in the back with the blue shirt and sunglasses. I thought this picture was funny with the “happy runner” in the front.
One of the greatest things about having my sister and her family here is seeing all the cousins playing together. They are ages 12,10,8.6,4–there was a baby every two years. My brother continued that pattern with an almost two year old and a baby due next month.
The weather cooperated and we were able to spend most of Monday at Silver Falls State Park. We have been there many times. We appreciate it more going with people who have never gone before.
My sister, her husband, my niece, my nephew, and my oldest two hiked to Double Falls which was about a four mile hike round trip. My youngest and I made it just past the lower South Falls and took a breather while the rest went on. We were able to hike back together.
And then return home to a wonderful dinner cooked by my husband.
After my sister’s family left I cannot believe how tired everyone was. It has taken us a few days to get our energy back. My sister made the comment that there is something relaxing about getting back into your normal routine. I have found that to be true. The house is slowly getting put back together and everyone is returning back to work, school & regular activities.