Brian had his usual gifted tickets to PAX in Seattle, which took place this last weekend. I was dreading it. Being alone with all four kids for four days at the end of a summer in which we’d been cooped up together more often than not. Yeah. I did NOT want him to go. But I hated to ask him not to, since it’s like the one fun and kid-free thing all year he gets to do. But on Thursday morning I got to thinking something about relationships between my kids and their cousins and a light-bulb went off. Maybe, just maybe, my sister Jenny in Grants Pass had nothing going on that upcoming Labor Day weekend – the last weekend before school – and she’d let the kids and I come and crash at their house. And I was in luck! Although she and her kids would be gone the next day, I could arrive in the evening and stay through the weekend. Woot woot! Hurray!!!
I had plans to do some school shopping in Eugene on the way to her house, but got a several hours late start. And I had to turn around and go home for Asher’s inhaler after just getting out of town. Bummer, but it also allowed me to remember a TON of other essential things I forgot to pack, as well as feed Kieran who hadn’t eaten well enough before I left the first time and had gotten hungry just as I returned home. Lol. Then he and Hollyn slept the first 2/3 of the drive, with both of them waking up just when I decided to stop for dinner. Perfect. They were great the remainder of the drive.
Once arrived, Brennan got to attend a cub scout astronomy meeting with his cousin where he reportedly informed everyone all about black holes, getting a bunch of shrugs and smiles from the attending adults. The following day the kids went swimming in the pool and played inside. After lunch Brennan got to tag along and participate in a lego-building contest. While he did that and my brother-in-law voluntarily babysat, I got school shopping done with Jenny and Kieran. That could not have worked out better. I needed not only school supplies but Brennan needed a whole new wardrobe as well and I was unsure how to get that all done before school and with as few children with me as possible. That evening we ate at a super yummy and fun old-fashioned burger place, then were treated to some bowling. Hollyn was not super easy to deal with there, (not into waiting for her turn), but we got through it and all had fun.
Sunday I attended church then the kids and I got to visit and have dinner at my Grandparents’ home. Always super great to see them and catch up. Then Monday we finally got out the door around 1.
Usuually a 3 hour drive only, with several stops and an accidental scenic route we got home over 5 hours later! But once again, everything timed itself uncannily well. I had been super tired – like in a fog – as well as hungry. Between the two I knew I was unfit to drive without some food and caffeine. So I decided to stop along the way and hit a drive through, hoping for a Dairy Queen specifically. Well when I finally got to a good town to pull off into, not only did it have a DQ, but Kieran woke up wanting to eat AND Asher announced he was carsick. If either of those had to happen, it was a good time. The kids got ice cream out of it, since we went in instead of driving through, and we even got to dance to a juke-box tune of our choice. As we neared Eugene I decided to try to hit Walmart since I’d realized I’d forgotten a few school items, and just as I neared one, Kieran woke up again and Asher announced he was car sick again. Lol.
At the Walmart they had a race-car exhibit thingy outside, so both older boys got a chance to “drive” the car, which consisted of the steering wheel being connected to a racing video game and a screen above the steering wheel. It was neat.
And finally, I thought I’d shave off a few minutes of in town stop-lights by cutting from the highway to a country road that leads right to our neighborhood. Only I had to guess which cut-across road would get there, and chose a poor one. We drove through the William Finley Wildlife Refuge which was gravel and 20mph the entire way, winding around all directions, including mostly the opposite one. Hahahaha. It was beautiful, but not a time saver at all.
Anyway, it was a GREAT way to end our summer vacation. Got us out of the house, had lots of fun activities, play time with family, and I didn’t spend four days watching my tablet for the rare texts from Brian. And he got to have his fun, return home at 5am, and recoup in a quiet house before we returned. Wins all around!