- The DHS and I had planned a semi-vacation (ie. half-vacation, half-football-tournament) that I semi-forgot about and therefore only marginally planned for, which meant we went camping at a lake without towels, sleeping bags or pillows*.
- We spent the vacation part of the vacation (ie. the non-camping portion) in the Seattle area, walking around the city, taking in Pike's Place Market and the Seattle Aquarium. (The kids caught plankton at the Aquarium and looked at it under microscopes. So cool!)
- We also spent three hours at the American Girl doll store in the Alderwood Mall. Yes, my girls and I went a little crazy. (They have a doll hair salon!) The DHS and the son also went a little crazy, but in a whole different way.Yeah, try asking a seven-year-old boy to sit for three hours in a doll store and you'll find out what I mean.
- I thought we'd have WiFi in our hotel room, but no. There was wireless not-free internet (WiNfi?), but I wasn't willing to pay for it. (Those few days without internet may have helped me curb my appetite for Angry Bird. I have not played it in more than four days. Yes, really. I might actually start writing novels again. Maybe.)
- While enjoying Seattle, the DHS and I soon realized our children had forgotten how to live in a city. When we were in China, we lived in a huge city of nine million people (at least), so I took it for granted that city-life would come naturally to them. But I forgot that we've been gone for two years, so things like ESCALATORS, CROWDS, HIGH-SPEED TRAINS, PUBLIC BATHROOMS, PARKING GARAGES, BUSY STREETS, TRAFFIC and STREET-CROSSING SIGNALS were alien to them. In some cases, even frightening enough to make them cry.
- After one short stint at the lake (on the non-vacation portion of the trip, after the night of barely-any-sleep camping) I drove back to the football stadium to pick up the DHS. The children were only semi-clothed, the baby was hungry, the sun was beating down, the two-year-old was throwing a fit. I couldn't get to the suitcase for clean clothes because it was under ALL the other stuff at the back of the minivan and I couldn't deal with unpacking and repacking while the baby was screaming. This is when having a Dashingly Handsome Sidekick comes in very handy. I hauled everyone (my two-year-old was only wearing her diaper) across the parking lot into the football stadium to find the DHS. When he saw me and my entourage approaching, he came right over. (Maybe the baby screaming and the diaper-only two-year-old were some sort of sign?) He left the stadium right away and got out clothes for all our kids while I fed the baby. It was one of those I-can't-take-this-anymore moments, and I'm very glad to have a level-headed sidekick when those moments occur, let me tell you.
- Good news about our vacation: Nobody drowned. Nobody is bug bitten or sun burned. We ate huckleberries because there was a bush at our camp site. I've almost finished my Christmas shopping between the American Girl store and the Lego store. (Yes, we also visited the Lego store to reward the seven-year-old boy after his long American Girl experience.)
|Outside the Seattle Aquarium with our plankton net.|
|My very enthusiastic American girls.|
|Sophie and her friend Blake at the lake. (This is directly before the Mommy near-melt-down moment.)|