Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer Travels ~ Leaving the City

It takes hours to leave the city. Not because of actual distance but because the roads in Seattle cannot handle the masses of people that travel them everyday. We are boxed in on every side by cars....everyone going somewhere. We are just trying to get out and get to scarcely populated Idaho. I love the change of terrain as we drive. The change from mountains and green to rolling hills and brown.

We arrive in a heat wave. But the heat is bearable. There is no humidity; there are no bugs. The nights stretch on well into the night. We all venture outside when we really should be slipping off to bed.

We visit with family. My grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins and their kiddos. We talk about "when we were younger." We make memories. The kids swim and play with their new found friends.

We enjoy Idaho life: 4-wheelers, trap shooting (with my 86 year old grandfather), barns, thrift shopping, and just being together.

I love this place. It is familiar, it is welcoming, it is full of pieces of my life. And now pieces of my kiddos' lives. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summer Travels ~ A Sailing We Will Go

We can't take a trip out West without having a day of sailing. My parents own a beautiful Catalina sailboat, and my children look forward to sailing with them each time we go visit. I look forward to the familiarity of the Puget Sound: the sights, the smells, the gentle sound of the water. I do not look forward to the sea sickness and nausea that creeps into my gut.

While my children are running around investigating every inch of the boat, I am firmly planted with my eyes on the horizon. As long as I stay where I can feel the breeze and see where I am going, then the trip is one full of wonder and delight.

As the children grow, they enjoy the boat more. This year, they were all eager to help "prepare" the boat and close it up when we were all done. The older two enjoyed driving for a bit. They are engaged with what goes on on the boat. They are excited to learn boating terms and rules. They are absorbing the experience.

There is something peaceful about the water and the way people interact with one another (at least in the sailing world). This is one of my favorite parts of our vacation.

I think my son sums it up perfectly, "Grandpa Tom, you can never sell your boat. "

Summer Travels ~ Retired Life

Next stop, northern Washington, and welcome to the retired life. My parents are both "retired" but still work part time. They sold their house, bought an RV, moved away from the city, and are enjoying this stage of their lives.

We got a little taste after ten days with them. Swimming every day (in a heated pool), late night campfires, sailing on their boat, more friends and family, and pure relaxation.

This was the stop. There was no sight seeing, no attractions, no tourist activities. This was ten days of living vacation. Taking time to breath, taking time to play, taking time to play cards and just be together. This was time to make new memories and laugh together.

 My parents share what they learn with us; they share their lives with us. We learn from them; we grow, listening to their stories and seeing how their ideals have changed. We see their happiness with little to nothing. We see them embrace a new culture of living and enjoy it. My children see their grandparents relaxed. They see them unattached to things and attached to love and time.

 Yes, I think I like the retired life. 

Summer Travels ~ Snapshots

It would be nearly impossible for me to share about all the fun we had out West this summer. There were so many friends, family, and cool places to visit. This post will be a photo journey through some of our visits with dear family and friends. I will resume the story telling in another post.

 Surprise Tea Party prepared by Aunt Maggie.

 Epic Water Fight with Uncle Will.

 Time with very dear friends.

 Uncle Will and Aunt Maggie taught the kids how to play chess. Of course, they continued playing with their friends. 

 All the kiddos took a turn on the zip line.
 Even I took a turn! (photo credit to my dear daughter, Kaylynn)

Over 3,000 miles apart and still one of my dearest friends.