My Dad and his wife Chris just left town after a great 4 day visit. It was a much more relaxing visit than I could have ever imagined. We worked on various projects around the house Thursday and Friday in between time spent playing with the girls, catching up and relaxing. Because of all of my Dad’s hard work we now have a beautiful front gate to protect Ava from the stairs, a swing in the front yard and chandeliers properly hung in the nursery. On Friday, I had the pleasure of being sent off to the spa for a nice swedish massage and spa pedicure while Grandpa and Grandma held down the fort at home. It was so nice to get out by myself to be pampered. I got home to find both babysitters and Elise sleeping on the couch with Ava napping alone in her room. It was an adorable site to come home to. After only about 20 minutes I was followed by Laurel who came over to babysit and was thoughtful enough to come over early so that we could get ready for our evening out easier. She was and always is so helpful with the girls, it allowed me even more time to pamper myself with a home manicure. I also spent my time getting ready and got to enjoy the process instead of being pulled in 20 directions and rushing the whole time. We had dinner that night with my Uncle Butch and Aunt Carol at El Gaucho. It was, of course, an amazing dinner. I had my first oyster in almost a year (yum) and a delicious cocktail (one of my firsts not the first). They treated us like the family that we are and everyone had a great night. All around a great day, one of the best I’ve had in a while!
Saturday was a full day with breakfast at home and then a little play time at the house and nap time while the first half of Iowa’s season opener played. After Ava woke up we all headed downtown for the afternoon. The plan was to start at the market and get stuff to make dinner then spend the rest of our time just wandering around downtown. It seemed like a simple enough plan but when you have a toddler with you even the simplest thing can become impossible. We stumbled on our old friend Emery while entering the market. He was just finishing up his “shift” at the Local Color as a street performer. He does crazy, amazing things like hula hoop while spinning his guitar over head and signing a song about how much he loves his Mom and Dad. We enjoyed his last number of the day and headed off to purchase some goodies and get some good people watching in. Ava was doing great to start and loved Emery’s song and dance, she seemed to enjoy all the commotion of the shoppers and vendors but after only about 20 minutes she became cranky. We tried to fix it with treats of chocolate doughnuts and crepes but that just made a sticky mess. She desperately wanted to get out of the stroller and run around; in a busy downtown market that’s not an option. She proceeded to get more cranky and unruly so we headed north out of the market in search of a way to turn the day around.
Needless to say we left the market a little dejected. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you head out on a family adventure and it backfires on you. We wanted to try and salvage the trip out so we decided to head to the Seattle Center to play around in the water fountain and run around as much as possible. We were about one block away from the center when we remembered that it’s Bumbershoot this weekend and the Seattle Center has been taken over by concert goers. Another fail… at this point we figured it was best to just head back to the car and start to get things ready for dinner.
We had Butch and Carol join us for dinner again this time at our house. Michael made fresh seafood pappardelle with ingredients from the market. We enjoyed chocolate cake and port for dessert and lots of good wine and laughs the whole night. It was a great way to wrap up the visit. It’s always so hard to say good bye to family when they are visiting. I know that my Dad especially had a difficult time saying good bye to both Ava and Elise.
We hope to see more of Dad and Chris this next year. It’s a different experience for the girls with each of their grandparents and I want them to be able to enjoy all of their family as much as possible. I had a great time getting to see my Dad and watching him play with Ava and hold Elise. We had a hard time getting him to put the baby down, she smelled like his aftershave the whole time. They had an instant connection and he was continuously able to lull her to sleep. It was a very sweet sight to see. Although it was a quick trip it was filled with great family time and I think that everyone had a memorable visit.