Friday, October 4, 2013

Memorial Day Trip

       Memorial Day weekend we were able to attend a family reunion for my mom's family.  It was held on Guemes Island, a tiny island in the San Juans.    Friday (Carson's birthday) we made a day trip out of traveling up there along with Mallory, Brandon, and kids.  We took a route than consisted of a ferry ride, a beautiful drive over Whidby Island where we stopped and hiked to Deception Point, then drove over the bridge, and then made our way to Anacortes where another tiny ferry would take us to Guemes Island (a five minute ferry ride).  We got to the ferry terminal about 6:45 only to find that the ferry workers were on a mandatory union dinner break until 8:00.  So we sat, watched the ferry sit, and the ice cream in our car which we had just purchased for Carson's birthday melted.  By the time we got to the cabin, everyone was starving and kids were getting tired so we didn't quite do the birthday dinner we had planned (don't worry he got plenty of celebrating later).  We got kids fed and in bed as soon as possible.  All the big cousins, including Mason, had a cool attic room where they laid there sleeping bags out and slept.  Mason was so excited to be included as one of the big kids and did great.  Mike, Elliot, and I were just a few feet away in a different room if he needed us, but he never did.  
       My camera died on the hike on the way up there, so all the pictures I have are from other people.  It was a fun weekend though.  The weather wasn't fantastic, but we made the most of any sun we did get.  We went clamming, had a clam bake on the beach, did family trivia, played games, and just hung out.  We stayed in a smaller house with Mallory and Brandon's family while the rest of the extended family was in a big house down the road.  Every time we went to the big house, my teenage cousins completely entertained and played with our kids while we held Elliot and visited with the adults.  It was awesome!  It was nice to spend time some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins I don't get a chance to see very often (I also loved spending time with those I do see!) I feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing family and am grateful for the examples they are to Mike and I and our kids.  
      Below are pictures my sister was kind enough to email and a few that I stole of my cousins Facebook page (thank you Sara!)  

The kids loved the ferry!
Annabelle, Abby, and Josh hiking

My sister and I with four of our kids.  I am so happy that I have her (and my sister in law on the R. side) to be in the trenches of motherhood with.

My baby and me.  Looking at these pictures made me realize how big he's grown.  He still loves to be carried in the Ergo (best baby purchase ever!), but now his head sticks out over the top and he's looking around all over the place.
Beautiful Abygail
The handsome birthday boy
Mike and I (and Elliot of course)
Kids throwing rocks into the water.  I love how this simple pastime can entertain kids forever.  They played with rocks the entire time we were there (Carson even collected rocks that represented the solar system) with no fighting and probably would have continued all afternoon if we hadn't forced them to leave.  Maybe we should just fill their toy bins at home with rocks.

My little family.
 Everyone in the Big E family that was able to make it for the weekend.
 Abby hanging out in the big house.
My wonderful cousins Emily and Allison goofing off with and entertaining the kids.  Emily has been home from school getting ready for her mission and has become our go to babysitter.  Allison usually always comes with her as a babysitter in training and my kids love them both dearly.  We usually don't leave our babies with teenage babysitters that first year, but with Emily being 19 and Allison coming to help we have felt comfortable leaving all four of the kiddos.  It's been nice for us to go on dates and I have loved seeing the relationship between my children and cousins form.  We are all going to miss Emily when she leaves for Madagascar this November!

It was a fun weekend and the island was beautiful, but we decided we could never live on an island.  As mentioned earlier, we ran into dinner break on the way to the island.  On Sunday we took the ferry to Anacortes to go church and on our way back the workers were on their mandatory hour lunch break.  Then when we were leaving Monday, we left with what we thought was plenty of time, but there was a huge line of cars waiting to cross and the ferry only holds twenty two cars so we almost ran into union lunch hour again (we were the second to last car let on).  I guess if you lived there you would just have a stash of snacks (everytime we were stopped we were hungry which made the wait seem a lot longer) and things to do in the car while you waited for the ferry.  I can see the draw of living somewhere so private and beautiful, but I think we'll stick to vacationing to islands, but not living on them.

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