Sunday, August 13, 2017

Do It for the Twins

No sooner did Mike get back from his California work trip than we hit the road for Washington to visit Riley and Breanne and their kids and to meet twins Harper and Norah for the first time.

Over the weekend, Hallie with the kids spent a significant amount of time putting together a shoe holder from IKEA. It was a bit time consuming, but it was one less thing for Mike to do when he got home.

Tuckered out from their labors, the three just zoned on Monday. Both kids had gymnastics Monday afternoon, then they headed to Salt Lake to get Mike from the airport.

In the meantime, Monday morning Mike visited with the Maygrens in the morning and did some school work before heading to the Simi YMCA to meet up with Grandpa and watch Alie at her swim lessons. 

Afterwards, he spent a little time visiting at their house before hitting the road to the airport. He arrived in good time to get some more work done while waiting at the gate. Free wifi is a beautiful thing.  

Mike’s flight east was remarkably unremarkable. He got to the airport, took his bag on as a carry on, sat in the emergency row on the aisle (with the middle seat open, no less), and walked right off the plane and to the departing passenger drop-off area. Good thing Hallie saw him and the kids were excited to see him. Once he went over to the arriving passenger pick-up area, the ride home was also quite smooth. He arrived home to a few less the boxes then when he left from Friday. Sigh.
The boy at a pit stop on the way back home

With the renewed motivation that comes from having another adult in the home, we set to work in the evening opening boxes, putting items away, and putting the new master bedroom bed together. Mike slept better with the mattress off the ground. Eliza was a great helper to her dad (probably because she was hoping it was going to be her bed they put together next), but it was already 11:00 p.m. at this time, and everyone needed to hit the hay for the big trip the next day.

Tuesday we got up and started packing for our trip. We have never left so late in the day before (11 a.m. – yikes!), but it did feel a bit more relaxing then trying to rush out by a certain time.

Their goal for the day was Boise (As a side note for the uninitiated, that’s [BOY-see], NOT [BOY-zee]). Someone broke the power supply for the DVD player, so the children went without videos for their trip. They did, however, have grandparent-supplied tablets, books, the broad sweeping landscapes, the radio, and (heaven forbid) each other as entertainment sources. We made pretty good time heading north with only one bowel-movement-related roadside mishap. The child who did not quite make it to a civilized restroom before leaving his/her mark on the trail shall remain nameless. Nevertheless, we did have a good laugh over the mess once it was over.  

On a different note, looking for a meal near Burley, Idaho, we happened upon Gossner’s Magic Valley Chalet in Heyburn, where we got some cheese curds (AKA “squeaky cheese” for the kids to try. They weren’t impressed), shelf-stable chocolate milk (for post-gymnastics snacks, if it makes it home), and ice cream.

We finally arrived a bit later than we wanted in Boise, and Hallie took the kids to the pool to unwind while Mike did some more grading.

We took off pretty early from Idaho on Wednesday, getting gas after happening on the Boise Idaho Temple at the same off ramp.  

Shortly after crossing the border into Oregon, we made another stop in Baker City to stretch our legs.

After stopping one more time in Pendleton and Hallie finding the tin sign of her dreams, we followed the south side of the Columbia River Gorge, crossing the border into Washington at the Bridge of the Gods near Cascade Locks. Beautiful views! Sadly, the views did not make it to the blog.

We followed the winding Evergreen and Lewis and Clark Highways along the north side of the gorge, encountering Bigfoot outside North Bonneville, before finally arriving at our destination in time for dinner and to help put the twins to bed.

Thursday morning while Riley worked, Mike, the ladies, and the kids all went to the Clark County Fair. Ah, the fair! Where else can you go for elephant ears, goat droppings, massage lessons, and lectures on parasitic mites all in one place?

Mike did a bunch of work in the afternoon and evening after we got home, and Hallie played with Breanne, the kids, and especially the babies. After Riley got home, we had breakfast for dinner.

Friday, the kids did all kinds of scootering out front and in the back yard. The kids figured out how to work the Playstation and had so much fun. In the evening Mike and Hallie were babysitters!!! It was great to watch the kids while Riley and Breanne went out on a date.

Saturday Hallie took off bright and early to grab tasty treats at Voodoo Doughnut. Shocking there was no one in line. The kids found some natural treats of their own – berries! – along a trail near the house.

We took advantage of the fine afternoon weather by taking a trip to Fort Vancouver. Deer crossed the road in Ridgefield along the way (NBD around here apparently).

At the fort, we learned all about life in the 1840s, when this part of the world was still run by the Hudson Bay Company, and pesky Americans traveling along the Oregon Trail were the ones keeping the locals up at night. It happened to be Smokey Bear's birthday, so we got treats and cupcakes.  

At the fort itself, we learned about the fur trade, including the origins of the term "mad as a hatter." Backwoods entrepreneurship, child labor, and a healthy dose of mercury all make for tales well told! 

Hallie and Breanne headed to do some errands before a dinner of tasty homemade gyros. Yum-o! In the meantime, the boys looked after the children. Everyone survived.

Sunday while Breanne worked, we hung out with the rest of the family around the house and prepared for a showing of the home around 4:00 p.m. This has got to be the one!!! 

Landon showed Porter some tricks for building amazing LEGO vehicles. Sadly, he may like his handiwork a little too well. 

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