Thursday, October 7, 2010

Still a Seattle-ite at Heart

Sunday, October 3 - Thursday, October 14, 2010
I'm home! That's how it always feels when the landing gear touches down at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle. We're here for a 10-day visit with Stacy's family, and her grandpa has a houseful. Now that Mom and Ken split most of their time between Spokane and Phoenix (the Tacoma house has been rented), they stay at Grandpa's with us while they're in Seattle. There's something special about waking up with everyone in the same house. It feels like we get to spend even more time together. We have lazy mornings over coffee and breakfast, usually go out for errands or short drives in the afternoon, and either cook at home or go out to dinner in the evening. Even though we don't get to see the family very often, this gives us a chance to make the most of the time we do spend together.

Unlike our last trip to Seattle that included a few touristy day-trips and a 2-day stint in Bavarian-themed Leavenworth, we've decided to lay low this time. Other than a visit to friends Nicky, Babette, and their families in Vancouver, British Columbia, we plan to veg out with the family and do little else. We've got a lot of work waiting for us back in Deltaville, so for now we want to enjoy the peace and quiet! After enjoying a lazy couple of days with Mom, Ken, and Grandpa, we met up with Sue, Don, and Matt for the traditional family pizza feast at Pegasus on Alki. What a gorgeous day! This may have been October in often-rainy Seattle, but we had a beautiful sunny, windy afternoon with temps in the 60s. We walked along Alki beach before meeting the family for dinner, enjoying spectacular views of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound and watching the ferries go back and forth to the San Juan islands.

Mom and Ken headed back to Spookaloo on Friday, so we left Grandpa with a fridge full of leftovers and drove down to Tacoma to have dinner with Stacy's best friend, Andie. Stacy and Andie have known each other since they were two years old, and Andie is the closest thing to a sister that Stacy has. We had a great time visiting with Andie and her kids, and were thrilled to see the newest addition to Andie's family, 4-month old Josie. What a cutie!

Saturday we made the 3-hour drive to Vancouver to see Nicky and Babette and their families. Some of you may remember our adventures with Nicky and Ba in Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, last winter. It's been six months since we've seen them, and we've been having major withdrawals. Besides having the chance to catch up, we also had Nicky's birthday and Canadian Thanksgiving that about reasons to celebrate! Ba and Tim graciously offered up their house as bed and breakfast-slash-party central, and we knew we were up for a terrific weekend. After getting slightly lost trying to find the house, we tracked down Nicky, Ba, and the kids at the local grocery store. They had two carts full of food, most of which was intended for an early Thanksgiving dinner planned the next night. Yummy! Nicky and Babette led the way back to the house, and it was like we'd just left Green Turtle the week before. You know you have good friends when you can go months or even years without seeing each other, and things just fall back into place the moment you're in the same room again. Life is GOOD!

The rest of the weekend was filled with good food and friends - our favorite combination! The first night, Babette cooked two kinds of salmon that she and Tim caught. The second night, we all pitched in to create a "fantabulous" Thanksgiving feast. Nicky and Babette really outdid themselves; remember those two shopping carts? They were full of turkey, stuffing, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, soup, two kinds of cranberry sauce, rolls, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and of course, whipping cream. (How many pounds did I just gain by relaying all that???) We spent most of Sunday afternoon in the kitchen preparing dinner, and stuffed ourselves that evening. All in all, it was a terrific weekend.

Monday evening we were back at Grandpa's after a long, rainy drive home. We relayed the excitement and drama of the weekend over Chinese take-out (yes, I know - more food), and called it an early night. Mom flew back from Spokane the next day, and we challenged Grandpa to a few games of cribbage. Not your style? Try it with a Bombay martini! (Author's note: before you think we're a bunch of lushes, there's a story behind the martinis. During a family cruise to Alaska a few years ago, Grandpa and I spent a cold, rainy afternoon in the ship's observation lounge playing cribbage, watching the glaciers go by, and drinking Bombay martinis. You've gotta love nostalgia...)

By Wednesday, reality began to set in as we realized our trip was nearly over. As much as we hated to leave, we were also excited to get back to Deltaville to begin our work on the boat. We had such a fantastic time with the family, and wish we could see them more often. As we told Grandpa before we left, the boat will soon be leaving the U.S. for an extended period of time, but we'll always come back for family visits!

A few more pictures:

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