Best Birthday Weekend Ever

16 Feb

This post, which is [finally!] being published a week after returning from our fabulous trip, is dedicated to my favorite son-in-law, TJ, who has undoubtedly been thinking, “Damn, she ignored us AGAIN!” Or something to that effect, but probably a bit more colorful… (I still haven’t shared the pics and report from our visit in September 2013.)

BBWE_1aFebruary is a melancholy month for my mother-in-law. So this year, to give her something to look forward to and create some fun February memories, we decided to take her out to Washington to visit with Amy and family.

Since my birthday happens to be in February, I planned the trip to coincide with that date. That was a fabulous idea, if I do say so myself, because it ended up being the best birthday weekend ever.

While winter can be an iffy time of year to travel to or from the East Coast, winters in the Seattle area are typically pretty mild. February temps in Seattle average between lows in the mid-30s and highs around 50. Snow is pretty rare. They might get a trace of snow a few times a year. Every four years or so, they might get a big three-inch snowfall. And it doesn’t usually stay around very long.

When we were there, the low was 21 and the high was 31. It was windy, too, which meant it was COLD. As you’ll see soon enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Back to my birthday (February 6)…

We flew to Seattle on Wednesday. The grand kids all had dentist appointments on Thursday morning. TJ, who ferried the kids to the dentist, stopped at Legendary Doughnuts on the way home to grab my birthday breakfast.

Legendary Donuts

Legendary Doughnuts

The place is aptly named. Those things were OMG delicious.

After sampling pieces of several of them — they were HUGE — we all loaded into Amy’s friend’s Expedition, which seated all eight of us, for a drive into the city.

I’d been to Seattle twice previously, but had never made it to the world famous Pike Place Market. That’s the only touristy thing I really wanted to do. So my birthday seemed like a logical day to do it. I didn’t realize it’s an indoor/outdoor kind of place. With temperatures in the mid-20s, it made for a chilly excursion.

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Pike Place Market

 

Pig

Rachel the Piggy Bank (market mascot)

 

Cold Kids

Cold Kids

 

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Checking out the market wares.

 

Dungeness Crabs

Dungeness Crabs

 

Chocolate-covered Washington Cherries

Chocolate-covered Washington Cherries (yes, we brought some home)

 

Frog!

Frog! (no, I didn’t bring her home)

 

Cool Sign

Cool Sign

 

Kid Entertainment

Kid Entertainment

 

Lunch Spot

Lunch Spot

 

From the restaurant... a Washington State Ferry

From the restaurant… a Washington State Ferry

Sadly, it was too cold for the Ferris Wheel. But I was tickled to get such a lovely peek at the Olympic Range, the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula we’d visited back in September.

View of the Olympic Range

View of the Olympic Range

After a delicious lunch,we paused for a photo op…

L-R, Gaige, Joey, Brianna, and Me

L-R, Gaige, Joey, Brianna, and Me

…and then headed to another Seattle landmark.

Space Needle

Space Needle

Actually going up into the Space Needle is TERRIBLY over-priced — $19 per adult! — but we figured the kids and my mother-in-law would enjoy it, so up we went.

They took this cool group photo for us.

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Family Shot

The view from the top was nice. There’s an outdoor viewing platform as well as a fully enclosed space, which is good, because it was REALLY cold up there.

Braving the cold. Briefly.

Braving the cold. Briefly.

 

Brianna

Brianna

 

Me

Me

 

Dena (mother-in-law), Amy and Mike

Dena (mother-in-law), Amy and Mike

 

Pop and Joey

Pop and Joey

 

Mike and Amy

Mike (aka Hubby) and Amy

 

Pop giving Joey a lift.

Pop giving Joey a lift.

When we left the Space Needle, Amy asked if there was anything else I’d like to do. She did a good job of not acting too disappointed when I said, “No. We’re here to visit with you guys. And since it’s so cold, let’s just go back and hang out at the house.”

Little did I know what surprise waited for me there.

Shannon!

Shannon!

Our oldest daughter, Shannon, had flown in from San Diego to spend the weekend with us, too. Hubby, MIL, and I were all completely surprised. And even more delighted.

But wait, there’s more. Shannon promptly got to work preparing one of my favorite dinners.

Pretzel Dogs!!!

Pretzel Dogs!!!

I love hot dogs and I love soft pretzels. So you can probably imagine how much I love pretzel dogs.

Chillaxin after dinner.

Chillaxin after dinner.

But wait, there’s still more. It was my birthday, right? So there was cake and ice cream, too!

Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

Man oh man. It really was the best birthday ever. And we still had a couple days of visiting ahead of us.

I was hoping to get down to Portland on Friday, but that city was frozen, literally, by an epic snowstorm. Instead, after the kids went off to school, the adults headed to the Sun Break Cafe for a light breakfast.

Half-order size of a chicken fajita omelet.

Half-order size of a chicken fajita omelet.

After breakfast, we went back to the house to relax. That afternoon, Amy and I drove to Sumner, Washington to visit Kristi’s Country Store, Amy’s closest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint retailer.

The mountain (Mount Rainier) was “out” (visible). Amy found a spot on the way back to her place where I could snag a picture.

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Mount Rainier

 

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Mount Rainier

 

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Me taking pictures of Mount Rainier (as captured by Amy)

It’s a really big mountain. We weren’t close to it at all, despite what you may think from the pictures.

We drove past Sunset Park on the way back to the house. So later, near sunset, Gaige and I walked to the park. I told him I’d be REALLY disappointed if I didn’t see a cool sunset from the park.

Gaige

Gaige

I wasn’t disappointed.

Gaige, jumping in the sunset for me.

Gaige, jumping in the sunset for me.

That shot of Gaige is one of my all-time favorite captures.

Later that evening, it was more chillaxin…

Joey and Pop

Joey and Pop

There’s more, but it’ll have to wait until the next post.

Amy, I promise not to make you wait too long!

8 thoughts on “Best Birthday Weekend Ever

  1. We were beginning to wonder what you’ve been doing all week since you’re covered in snow and we hadn’t seen a post yet 🙂 And I really love that picture of Gaige at the park too.

  2. Pingback: ToadMama.com » Best Birthday Weekend Ever – Pt. 2

  3. What a wonderful Birthday and new treasured memories made with your Family!
    Really cool table transformation too…
    Woolie Hugs

  4. What a fun birthday you had. So many good things wrapped up in one day. Those pretzel dogs look really yummy.

    It is a bummer you didn’t get to Portland, our weather was just bizarre that week. Glad it is back to normal rain now.

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