Brianna is Chris’ little sister. Her and my sister Beth are the same age and have been best friends since they were super little. Brianna was always at my house and I have many many memories of her growing up. She basically was another little sister to me! Since I grew up with Chris I have always been very close to his family and when we got married his siblings were already basically my siblings. I’m glad as time goes on we just get closer!
Chris’ sister Ashley has come and stayed with us several times before and Brianna has come several times with her family, but this was her first time coming up by herself and I was so excited that she wanted to come! Brianna booked her tickets, for as soon as she finished her semester at school, in October when we were there visiting. We had been looking forward to her coming for a few months! We really could hardly wait! It was going to be perfect timing too. Right before Christmas, and in time for Lillian’s dance recital!
The week or so leading up to Brianna coming I would talk on the phone with Nadine and joke with her about if she bought her ticket yet and if she was just going to come too. She kept telling me no, so I figured she wouldn’t come (although parts of me always thought it was a possibility.) Well the night before Brianna was going to come, I got a call from Nadine saying that she had thought about it and decided that maybe she would just come up with Brianna after all! She said she talked to Brianna and Brianna was fine with her coming. Of course we were so excited to have Grandma come up too! Nadine booked her flight and her and Brianna were going to land about an hour apart and I would just come and pick them both up at the same time. Nadine would then fly out the day before Brianna so we would still get a day with just Brianna, it was going to be perfect!
Friday I picked up Ryan from school and we loaded up and headed for the airport. Traffic was particularly bad so it took us forever! But we got to the airport just as Nadine was ready to be picked up and Brianna was there waiting as well. It was so great seeing both of them and we were so excited to have them!
Saturday we weren’t 100% sure what we wanted to do. McBrides had been here several times and we didn’t really want to play in the snow. We finally decided on going Downtown. (We originally decided on going downtown to eat at an Indian place Chris likes, but we missed their lunch hours and had to eat someplace else.) We parked at Chris’ office building and Chris needed to go up and get some things at his office. We were able to get a quick tour and see where Chris sits. After our pit stop at Zillow we decided to walk down by the waterfront and ride the Wings over Washington ride. It is a lot like California Adventure’s Soarin’ Over the World. The kids LOVED that ride when we went on our Disney trip, the kids were SOOO excited to ride it. (We were debating weather we should ride it or not, and Ryan very forcefully told us that we should, so we did!) It is a little pricey to ride ($17 adults, $13 for kids 11 and under, and $15 for seniors), but I highly recommend riding it at least once! I’d happily ride it every time we had company, we really loved it!
After the ride we walked around some of the shops at the waterfront and found a huge gumball machine that the kids were so excited to get gumballs out of. Nadine told us she wanted clam chowder so we went to the Alaskan sourdough Bakery and got sandwiches and soup. It was so delicious and the perfect meal for the chilly day. After lunch we went to the Pike Place Market for a bit. The kids weren’t thrilled about that so we left Nadine and Brianna to walk around while we got the car, then we picked them up.
On our way home we stopped and got my very favorite cookies at Metropolitan Market, then we went to Vertical World (the rock climbing gym we go to) and Brianna and the kids were able to climb for a bit. Lillian did so good climbing this time and she didn’t want to stop!
Sunday we went to church, then we went to Lillian’s dance recital. We all had a great time watching her! Later that night we busted out our Trader Joe’s gingerbread houses and we put those together. It was fun to be able to do this craft with Grandma and Brianna!
Monday we walked Ryan to school (which the kids LOVED having Brianna and Grandma go with them) and we dropped Lillian off at preschool. While the kids were at school we did some shopping. Picked up Lillian and we went to eat at the Mediterranean place we took my mom to the week before. Brianna and Nadine had never eaten Mediterranean food before and they were both excited to try it. (Brianna told me that she didn’t care what we did as long as she could go climbing with Chris and eat Mediterranean food!) Lillian and I love it and I think Brianna and Nadine both liked it quite a bit!
Tuesday we walked Ryan to school. Lillian only goes to school MWF, so we had Lillian with us all day. She is such a trooper and was a great shopping buddy to have around! We ate Thai food for lunch, which was great. Then after we got Ryan from school we met Chris at our favorite Fish and Chips place (Little Chinooks) in Interbay, then we went rock climbing.
Wednesday we took the kids to school again, then did more shopping. We picked Lillian up from school and went and ate Teriyaki at a place I love in Lynnwood/Bothel area. After Chris got home for work we went to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park and we watched the boat parade. (The boats put on Christmas lights and carolers sing Christmas songs. There was even a bonfire on the beach!) It was pretty busy and we had to park a decent ways away, but it was still fun walking down the beach, hearing the carolers, and seeing the lighted boats, and walking back to the car. I’m glad we went and the kids had a good time as well!
Thursday we had to take Nadine back to the airport, so after we dropped Ryan of at school we went to lunch (just at KFC, we didn’t have much time) and we loaded up and headed out. We always hate saying goodbye to family, but we were just grateful she came! After we dropped her off we picked up Ryan from school, then we drove to Un Bien a Caribbean sandwich place we love and met Chris there after he was done with work. After Un Bien we went to Ballard and took Brianna to Hotcakes and got molten lava cake with her. It was fun to walk around Ballard. All the trees along the streets were covered in Christmas lights and it was just beautiful, plus dessert was amazing! We had a good visit with Brianna that night and we were so glad she came!
Friday we took kids to school, Brianna packed, we picked up Lillian and we dropped Brianna off at the airport. We LOVED having her and it was so hard saying goodbye. We’ve been able to see Brianna every few months since we left, (I think 4 months is the longest we’ve gone without seeing her) but this time was different. Brianna is getting ready to go on a mission for 18 months and I’m not sure when we’ll see her after she gets back. I couldn’t let myself think about saying goodbye for long and I did so good until she got out of the car! We’re really going to miss our Aunt Banana!!!! I’m excited for her upcoming adventure, I just wish we could see her during it! Shes an awesome aunt to my kids and great friend to me!
We had such a great week with Nadine and Brianna and I am so glad they came to see us!