nostalgia and the kids

Hello from Seattle! I flew in on Saturday to spend some vacation time with friends and fam and to get in a little work time with my group here in town. I have yet to have been back to Seattle for a "vacation" since moving back East. Tom and I both usually come out and work Mon- Fri which makes for a productive work week, but a rushed one. This time, I am taking Wed-Fri off and plan to spend some quality time with people--sadly, I still don't have time to see everyone I want--it has to be in shifts as it is, so that does make it hard. I hope everyone understands!

On Saturday, after having my direct flight diverted through Minneapolis for a medical emergency on board, I landed in Seattle 2 hours past schedule and headed up I-5 with my destination being Bellingham to visit my sister and her family. Of course I cannot head north without stopping in my favorite part of Seattle, my old stomping grounds, in the U District (University of Washington). I didn't spend much time there as I was anxious to head up North, but I was able to feel quite nostalgic seeing the area, the campus, my old college workplace on the Ave and more "old school" VW camper busses than I could count (sigh... made me miss mine...)

After buying some presents for my niece and nephew and my obligatory UW paraphernalia, I was back on the road. I decided to take the back roads up a ways instead of getting back on the boring freeway. It was a sunny day---Mt Rainier was gorgeous as it always is when its visible through the clouds. It was in the mid 60's, the radio station I used to listen to here was cranked up as loud as my mid-size rental car speakers would allow, window down--arm out, and I drove! It felt great and I had a feeling of longing for Seattle--one that I haven't had in a while. I think it was the sun--it really makes Seattle so much more appealing to me when its sunny.

I had a great time in Bellingham with Steph, Jesse, Zane and Chloe. Zane is the sweetest boy in the world and Chloe--well, she is sweet too, but is in that stage of the terrible two's and lets just say---she lives up to them! Really though--they are sweet kids and I love watching them interact and seeing my sister being such a great mom and Jesse such a hands on dad. Many times I found myself telling them over the weekend, partly as statement and partly in amazement: "I don't know how you guys do it." Just seemingly simple tasks like getting pajamas on them tired me out.

Sunday we all got up and after a trip to REI we headed out to the coast, specifically Bellingham Bay, which leads out to the Pacific Ocean. It was a nice day again and we grabbed Zane's bike and headed for a walk/hike along the Bay. We headed into a beach area and Zane and I went on a "nature walk". We found an abundance of crabs of all sizes, thousands of mussels and other sea creatures that amazed Zane and maybe because I was seeing some of these things through his eyes, they amazed me too (Chloe was throwing rocks in the water with Steph-- not interested in the sea-life). Zane very bravely held the very smallest of the hermit crabs ---and whispered to me, as if the crabs could hear him "Auntie, will they pinch me?" I whispered back the comforting "No" and wanted to stay there all day climbing the rocks and finding treasures with him.

After the beach we all were tired and went home for some lunch. I left shortly after to start the long drive to Bellevue so I could be ready for work today. It was such a nice weekend--i don't get many of those with the kids and I miss them terribly. They are getting so big--so fast.

Here are some pics of my time with the kids.