The only thing keeping me from complete despair during the long weeks of kid difficulties and being home sick was the knowledge that at the end of it all we'd be going to visit our friends the Shackelfords in Olympia.
It's nice to have friends with whom one can just pick right up where one left off. We had so much fun being the out-of-town company and seeing them in the wonderful place they've landed.
We drove up last Friday night, and failed miserably at getting the kids to bed at a decent hour so we adults could eat our delicious takeout dinner unmolested. No matter. Nothing could put a damper on my enjoyment of my fried zucchini taco.
On Saturday we all did a masterful job of packing in the good times. First, there was a nice wild area right by the house that our boys needed to see.
Willem found a log.
And here are the free-range young-'uns in their natural habitat.
Then it was off to the Tacoma Art Museum to see the David Macaulay exhibit. The kids quickly found his books and settled in.
We had lunch at a nearby brewpub with middling food but good beer. We very sensibly followed this meal with fancy cupcakes just down the street at hello, cupcake.
Full of cupcake goodness, we headed back to Olympia and one of the Shackelford family's favorite parks, right on the water. Rain forest-y trails lead to the shore of the very tip of Puget Sound. There are trees, there is industry, there are marinas, there is a great view of the capital building. If our boys' grandparents lived there rather than here, I'd be packing my bags right now.
That was the last of our big doings. We took a little driving tour of downtown Olympia and then headed back to the house, choosing to deny for as long as possible that we actually needed to head home. Dave rustled up enough quesadillas for our dinner to feed an army. We took our sweet time, but we finally had to make our reluctant good-byes.
It was a dismal homecoming. Whatever weird bug we had was a two-parter. Willem was afflicted with both the cold symptoms AND the gastro-intestinal symptoms all along, but Nels and I developed phase two once we got home. So we've spent the past week holed up again. I finally sent Nels back to school today, which gave us all at least a little relief.
Some serious R&R is in order. Whether or not tomorrow's overnight outing to Astoria on the Oregon coast will be restorative or the opposite remains to be seen. But last weekend's getaway was so fun, we're willing to risk it.