My sister Beth has come to visit a lot (4 times?). My sister-in-law is from Oregon, so when she was visiting her family one summer the kids and I went to visit her, my brother James, and Remmy. All of Chris’ siblings have been up (except for Andrew and Kerby), so we were only missing a visit form my brother Preston and his family. Preston told me that they were hoping to make the trip up in the summer, and wanted tentative dates. I wasn’t sure if they would really come. Traveling with two kids under two is a lot of work (but also cheaper since kids under two fly for free). I was so happy when they actually booked their tickets and they were going to come!
I feel like I hit the jackpot with siblings, and their spouses. I am extremely close to all my siblings (despite living across the country) and I LOVE the people they’ve married. (This goes for Chris’ siblings as well.) So I really was so excited to have Preston and Emma come and visit. One of the hardest parts about living so far away from family is having my kids live so far from their cousins. So having Parker and Felicity was extra exciting for us! We were extra excited because we hadn’t met Felicity yet! The one wrench in them coming was the house remodel. We were still living in the rental house, but we made it work. Preston was also extra considerate in getting a rental car for their family so I didn’t have to pick them up from the airport, or drop them off, and if they wanted to go someplace without us they could.
This was their first trip as a family, and their first time flying with two young kids/babies. Of course when its your first flight like that you HOPE everything goes well. Sadly their flight was delayed. By a lot. They were stuck at the airport waiting with their kids for hours. Since their flight was so delayed they didn’t make it to the house until after 1:00 Am. It sounded like they had a rough trip. (Their almost two year old is very busy, and its not easy trying to contain a toddler!)
We’ve had a lot of company come and stay with us over the years of us living in Seattle, but this was the first time that people with young kids came to visit us. Its the first time that my kids have done stuff in Seattle as the big kids. One of the main differences was not having the days jam packed with stuff. Most days we didn’t start doing stuff until the afternoon, so kids could have naps. The mornings were spent playing the Nintendo Switch that Preston brought with him. I will say I think this was Ryan’s favorite company. He LOVED playing the switch with Uncle Preston.
Another difference of having young kids around was where we ate. Preston and I both love eating out, and Emma agreed that eating out was a huge part of traveling for her as well. We did go out to eat at some restaurants, but having the young kids, we ordered in a decent amount and just ate at the house. It was nice to eat some of our favorite restaurants, and being able to stay home!
One of my favorite things about Seattle is how much there is to do for everyone! Its great for singles, for couples, families with older kids, and its especially great for families with little kids! There were a lot of great options on things for us to do with Preston, Emma, and their kids! One of the first things we did was the easy hike to North Creek Park and Boardwalk. Parker loved running, but he really wanted to climb into the marsh. Luckily this is a short hike and there is a great park! The kids LOVED chasing Parker and playing with him. I loved seeing my kids with their cousins!
Another day we were able to go to the zoo. Again Parker’s favorite thing was running around! Ryan was able to show them his favorite exhibit, the penguins. At the penguins we found a boy who was lost and helped him find a zoo worker, who was in contact with his mom who was looking for him. Ryan really wanted to find the playground (which we never did find) and may have gotten a little upset that we couldn’t find it. The kids really wanted ice cream and I finally gave in and let them all share one. Another favorite memory of mine was watching Lillian feed ice cream to Parker. Sometimes I think I do the zoo wrong. I see other families that are mesmerized by the animals and seem to be looking happily at the animals. That has never been the case with my kids. We always give it a good go. The kids have fun for a bit, but there are always fits involved. I think Preston went in with those same rose colored classes that I always have, and I think it was different than he expected. That being said I loved going to the zoo and I am very glad we all went!
We were also able to go downtown to Chris’ work. (I feel like we have the same routine every time we have visitors. Of course we do mix it up here and there, but the core of it is the same with each guest. What can I say, we find something that works and we stick to it!) After Chris’ office, Preston and Emma took their kids to Pike Place Market and we just met them back at the house.
Another day we went to the beach and let the kids play. It was so pretty out! I really love going to Olympic Beach in Edmonds. Its a nice sandy beach, which we don’t have a lot of here. There is parking, and its close to home. It was fun to watch the kids play while we were able to visit.
Preston and his family flew out on Lillian’s birthday. Luckily they were able to eat some cake with us before they left. They left for the airport so they’d have plenty of time since they have two young kids and all the luggage that comes with that, and they needed to return their rental car. As luck would have it, this flight was delayed as well, by several hours. They were stuck at the airport again for hours and hours and got home super late again. I kept telling Preston I hope they were having enough fun to make up for the crappy traveling. I’m hoping they aren’t turned off to traveling because I want them to come back!
It was fun going on all these adventures with the kids, but my favorite things were visiting with Preston and Emma, I really do love them and wish I had more time to spend with them. I was thinking that I don’t get much one on one time with them, since every time we go down to Arizona we have a lot of family to juggle. It was nice to have time with just them! I also loved seeing the kids play with their cousins. I loved watching them play with Parker and try to tell him what to do. I loved them talking to him like he was older and expecting him to listen perfectly to them and to Preston, and when he wouldn’t they would think it was so funny! I loved having extra time with Parker. Since he is so young I’m sure his memory of me isn’t great, or isn’t there at all, so its fun to try to win his affections again! I loved meeting my new niece Felicity and getting in those baby cuddles! I loved watching my kids with her and how much they loved the baby! I also loved watching my baby brother as a dad and husband! It was too weird, but in a good way! I’m also glad they were understanding that Chris had a lot going on, so they didn’t see him much. We loved having them and I really do hope they’ll make the trip up again!