Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our first houseguests!

We finally got to move in to our new house and spent five days unpacking like crazy and getting things settled. Then a funny thing happened. I called my mom to chat one morning, and she asked Alice if she could come visit tomorrow. I laughed, knowing that would be pretty tough to do, and that her plane ticket was for next week. Then, later, she asked who was going to pick her up at the airport tomorrow. And I said, "but you aren't coming until next week!" And she said, "No, your Dad is coming next week. I'm coming tomorrow!" Um, yeah, I totally read the airline confirmation completely wrong. So it was a good thing we chatted! 

She was arriving in the middle of the afternoon, so we were trying to figure out who would go to pick her up, since we can't all fit in our little Subaru. We had put a deposit on a minivan that was supposed to arrive at the dealer some time before I thought my parents were arriving, but we hadn't heard anything. We thought it would be pretty great to have a car we could all fit in before my mom landed, so we called the dealer to check up. It turned out that the car was there, getting washed, and would be ready for us to pick up that afternoon! So we did! Our Monday and Tuesday and week got a lot more exciting than we were expecting. And just like that, we joined the official minivan club. 

Then we made sure to pick up my mom on time the next day.

We had a great time visiting and playing with her, and showing her all around the new house and neighborhood and town. I think on her very first day, we went down to the beach park.

For a special treat, Grandma took us all to the movies to see Cinderella, and Frozen Fever (of course!). Alice thought the Snowgies were hilarious. and she loved the new dresses, and seeing the gang again. She really enjoyed Cinderella, too, especially that amazing gown. I thought the movie was beautiful, and very sweet. Ivy ran out halfway through to practice her race car driving. Alice and Ivy were super into the race car game in the lobby, we killed a lot of time there before the movie started. Apparently, Alice is smarter than I was because she kept asking me for money to play. I guess I didn't figure out that those machines needed money for a good long time...
I love her crossed legs. Such a civilized race car driver.
Otherwise, the kids played in the playroom and did a lot of this with Grandma while Jon and I unpacked, organized, ran errands, and had meetings about window coverings and whatnot. I think they watched all of the Tinkerbell movies about five times each...
When my dad arrived, we took him to the park, too! We had a morning full of local color and nature. 

There was some brouhaha about a sailboat abandoned on the beach. We'd seen it earlier in the week, up on the shore, and by that morning, it was in the water, tied to the dock. There was a news crew there, but I skedaddled before they asked me anything... The boat is gone now and I haven't checked up to see what the story was...
There was also a harbor seal sunning itself on the beach, like a little sea cat. Ivy had a hard time spotting it, it looked just like another rock until it would lift its tail or head and look at everyone gathered round. People were getting awfully close to it (not us!) but it didn't seem to mind at all.
Can you spot the seal? It's lifting it's little tail fins....
We also took a stroll around the Lighthouse grounds. I can't wait until the summer when it's open and we can go inside and check it out!

There was a man there feeding the pigeons and gave Ivy some extra pieces of bread. She would chase the pigeons around with the bread and couldn't figure out why they kept running from her. .

Then Grandma and Alice found some crazy caterpillar "apartments."
We later found out that they are tent caterpillars, and I guess they can be a real nuisance, eating away all the foliage in the bushes where they make their home. Apparently, their tents, or "apartments," are also considered "unsightly." I thought they were pretty cool and it was fun to see all the caterpillars wiggling around in there together.

Grandpa and Alice had a nice walk along the beach, they even found the back of a crab shell for Alice's shell collection.
We went to the aquarium the next day and let Alice bring her camera. She blew through the place so fast, I wasn't surprised to find she only took a few photos.

While we were watching the diver swim with the fishes and tell us all about it, Alice was practicing her selfie game.
This just makes me giggle. She was so proud of herself.
She did get these nice shots of the tropical tank and the octopus. Without a frame, no less!
Alice wasn't so much interested in the touching pool, but my other little urchin liked checking out the sea urchins.

I LOVED the octopus, naturally. We weren't able to make it back for the "Meet the Octopus" session, but I'll make sure we do that next time so I can find out if it's a he or a she. Whatever it was, it was totally on the move, walking all over the wall in front of us. So awesome.

I also love cuttlefish. These were tiny ones!

Lionfish are always mesmerizing, even if they are invasive...

Ivy loves jellyfish. She was just watching them, chin in her hands...

I also love seahorses and the tank was full of them, squiggling all around.
This was after Ivy dipped her curls in the water, trying to get a good look at something.

As we were walking up the ramp to the top of the seal and otter tanks, all three of these fur seals popped their heads up like gophers or jack-in-the-boxes to look at us. They seriously just stared at Alice and Ivy, who obliged them for a minute or two but were not nearly as entertained as I was.
Then I spent a good long time watching this little otter massaging his cheeks. He must have been clenching his jaw or something. Then, all of the sudden, he fell asleep and drifted away from the window.

I tried to get Alice to lay down on this otter bench like an otter and play with her camera like a clam, but she absolutely would not have any of it.
Then we walked up to the Pike Place Market and headed to Le Panier for some macarons. On the way, we stopped to admire this statue, but we couldn't fool Alice. She knew it was just a person, but she was definitely too nervous to drop a dollar in his case, or get anywhere near him.
So my mom gave him a dollar and a high-five.
And then so did my dad.

And then Alice gave him the most tentative, least physical contact fist bump ever.
And was so bashful.

Jon and I were off to the side with Ivy, who kept saying "I don't wanna meet the statue..."

The bathroom signs at the market cracked me up. This is exactly how dad races a wet, poopy, barry, stinking baby to the bathroom, with mom waving them away in the background. Yes.

We stopped at one of the first produce stalls, my favorite one that always has truffles and fiddlehead ferns, and the grocer there enticed us with the most sumptuous peaches and sweet purple asparagus, and the first corn of the season. So we bought some purple asparagus and fiddlehead ferns for dinner, and some peaches for breakfast, and corn for dinner the next night. Yum.

And then we spent a small fortune on a whole Sockeye salmon, which got thrown overhead, of course. There it goes!

My dad and Ivy were watching all the action, and moments after I took this photo, she fell asleep like a sack of potatoes.

So Grandma and Alice got the fish and we headed back to the car with Grandpa carrying a sleeping bug down about 156 stairs. Yikes.
Oh, I just want to smooch that sleeping beauty face.
She did not flinch a bit when I buckled her into her seat, and then Grandpa fell asleep in the car, too.
The next day, we took the ferry for the very first time and headed over to Whidbey Island.

A car on a boat?! What?!
Everything the light touches is yours.
It was awfully cold and windy on the deck, so the girls wanted to head inside after a few minutes.
Grandma and Grandpa were hearty enough to stay outside.
Alice enjoyed all the places to sit, and looking out the windows.

Once we landed, we headed straight for the Greenbank Farm, which was a lovely little place. Right away, we spotted two families of geese with five goslings apiece. We stayed a little ways away, since geese can be a bit aggressive, and the mamas kept their eyes glued to us.

We ate at the Whidbey Pies & Cafe on the recommendation of a friend who is friends with the owner.
It was just charming, and it was a good thing we got there early for our little early birds, because it filled right up by noon!
We had a lovely lunch with delicious sandwiches, seafood chowder, quiche, and salad with the most tender butter lettuce and some kind of purple flowering ornamental onion. Neither Alice nor Ivy could be enticed to eat their gourmet grilled cheese, though...

And of course we had to have some pie. Ivy ate her marionberry pie with her fingers and came away from the table looking like a crime scene. Luckily, the splatters all came out of her pants. My cherry pie was very tasty but the clear winner was the salted caramel apple. We bought one to take home and it didn't last long... And I just noticed that we could have gotten cheddar on our apple pie. I have never tried that and might have to when we go back!

The girls could have spent all afternoon playing on the swings while we took turns browsing in the cheese shop and art galleries. There is a Great Blue Heron rookery right across the road, apparently, and one landed in the field right next to the swing set. I loved watching him hunt while we played in the sunshine and cool breeze and freshly mown grass. It was really delightful.

We'd gotten a late start, and needed to get back home in time for dinner, so we left and hurried back just in time to be the last car on the ferry home.

We parked and the ferry pulled away. We were pleased to see they'd stuck chocks under our tires so we wouldn't roll off the back...

Bye, Whidbey Island! See you soon!

The "Mickey Van" riding the ferry. 

The next day, we played for a bit in the morning before we had to take my parents to the airport. But on our way, we made a pit stop to see the Fremont Troll.

After the other kids climbed down, Alice asked to climb up on on his hand, which was sort of a surprise.
That didn't last long and she wanted to get down, but we enticed her to take a photo near his eyeball.

And then we said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa at the airport, knowing we'll see them again soon to welcome the newest addition.

Now we're all just getting over colds, and getting back into the groove of daily life. I'll get back to unpacking as soon as I'm feeling well again, and will hopefully write a bit about our new house and move-in adventures!


  1. Always enjoy all the pictures and your adventures!

  2. Thank you for sharing, was lovely to see the photos and share the visit. Happy unpacking :)


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