Saturday, April 4, 2020

Leavenworth, WA

Luke's best friend and his wife have two girls almost the same ages as Clementine and Josie and we've gotten the girl gang together several times:

San Antonio (2013)
Seattle (2015)
Denver (2016)

(looking back at these I cannot believe I traveled so far with such little kids!)

with our last visit overshadowed by Josie's hospitalization for asthma (2017). I wanted to go to Seattle this time and I asked Adrienne about vetted vacation spots. She suggested Bavarian-style village Leavenworth, WA, where they had vacationed before. She made the plans - including a train trip that we agreed the girls would love.

We got up very early and flew to Chicago and on to Seattle. The girls were so excited to have their iPads (=flyPads) on the plane, the only time they see them.  The day was long but uneventful. Traveling with kids was EASY! Luke, we have arrived!

everybody loves free snacks

Josie can't bear being hot (or even warm) and rolls up her pants constantly. As someone who is investigating all weighted blanket offerings, I just don't get it.

Jeremy picked us up at the airport, we met Adrienne for lunch, and then caught cabs to the train station from their house.

The four hour train ride passed quickly, with the girls chatting away and playing games. Adrienne packed bags of fantastic snacks.

Late night pretzel and sausage in Leavenworth.

The morning was a surprise - we arrived at night and couldn't see the scenery. We opened our hotel room door overlooking the courtyard to see the Cascades!

After breakfast we went for a walk.

Becky at Broken Barrel Distillery. She was so hilarious - Adrienne bought an insulated growler and mused that it would be perfect for champagne and Becky said with impeccable timing, "it's perfect for a champagne day." Here's to champagne days!

Discussing piano lessons.

Amy and Joel, who have become first time parents since this photo was taken, joined us for the day.

Strolling to dinner at Andreas Keller for German fare.

Christmas lights up most of the year!

Alphorn serenade at our hotel.

Needing to get the wiggles out, we asked the front desk if any playgrounds were nearby. Fortunately this school playground was unfenced and a basketball was lying around.

Mexican for lunch.

Ice cream in a sunny spot.

Nutcracker museum. Each pair of girls completed successively more difficult scavenger hunts but somehow always ended up in front of this display - the most brightly lit and Disney-themed. They raced around this place - a long rectangular two story space - for 90 minutes and we had to establish a zone defense to corral them.

Italian for dinner.

Introducing us to a now-favorite game, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, plus a viewing of Frozen 2.

Another long travel day. The train was a little delayed - we caught it around 6:30 am after waiting in the bracing cold on the platform.

Sunrise in the snowy Cascades. This was so beautiful!

Getting to play "with the electronic" on the train.

We had eggs in the dining car and the attendant surprised the girls with trifles of whipped cream and Hershey's syrup. A perfect ending to a busy but also relaxing couple of days with friends.

We flew through Phoenix and finding our car in the parking garage late Monday night, Josie asked Luke, "do you remember how to drive?!"

The next day we dropped the girls off at school and Luke and I went to sit on couches for a sectional purchase in the future. We had lunch at the Pan-Asia grocery store.

Now Luke and the girls have been home almost one month and this trip feels like a long time ago. Fortunately, none of us were sick upon returning from Seattle (our trip was almost two months ago) up until the present. I've been keeping a daily diary for the past month, keeping note of policy changes (limitations on gatherings until, finally, a shelter-in-place order for all of Missouri that begins Monday) and how we are spending our time. Elective procedures have been cancelled and my department began a week on/week off rotation to help our families and limit our exposure.

Be safe, everyone! Let's get back to champagne days with friends. 💙

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Clementine's Seventh Birthday

For Clementine's birthday this year we decided to have a day where she decided the lunch spot and afternoon destinations instead of a party. Only later we found out a school dance was taking place the same day and most families wouldn't have the time (or stamina) for two events. A family day was just perfect.

Opening presents in the morning before dance class.

A mermaid tail for the pool and Ariel pajamas.

We tried to attend Ice Cream for Breakfast Day at Clementine's Creamery but the line snaked around the block 5 minutes after opening. We went to Clayton for doughnuts instead.

After dance, we headed to Katie's for brunch - her choice. She likes the food but she LOVES playing with the dough.

Joined by Grandma!

Modeling new sequin garments from Grandma.

Next stop: Play It Again Sports for inline skates.

Next stop for what she really wanted: new shoes.

Trying out the skates.

Off to the school dance... which turned out to be kind of a bust (too loud, unfamiliar music)....

 ... which is how we ended up at the only restaurant with walk-in availability on a Saturday night, the hotel lobby Applebee's.

All ready to try out the mermaid fin the next morning!

In classic first kid fashion, she a has blog post for all the birthdays! How incredible to look back at photos that seem like yesterday and like a lifetime ago.

First birthday - Second birthday - Third birthday -  Fourth birthday - Fifth birthday

sixth birthday - Luke and I were in Mexico and she was feted in grand style at grandma and grandpa's house!