Hi! We've been back home for over a week now. Have you checked out the pictures I've been posting to Flickr? Because if not, you should do that. There are lots of good ones. I am a bit more than halfway done with getting everything processed and uploaded.
So, when we left off, it was Monday evening in Grants Pass. Tuesday was our last day there. We made our way to Tom's parents' house after breakfast. Grandma had the day off work, so she got another full day with the kiddos. Tom's parents have a big German Shepard (Cheeba) and three little dogs (Brindle, Scooter & Franklin). The little dogs spend a lot of the day outside, but when they came in for dinner, Scooter made his way over to where the kids & I were sitting. Eleri was fascinated by Scooter, pointing excitedly at his "tails" (his ears, actually), and exclaiming, "Hi Gooster!" She wanted desperately to give him hugs, but he was not as enthusiastic about receiving them as Leo is. It was quite the silly little scene. In the early afternoon, Tom & I took turns going out to get some exercise (he went jogging through the neighborhood around the library, I went back to the hotel & ran on the treadmill), and in the later afternoon we all went back over to Riverside Park to play some more. We rounded out the day by picking up some pizzas and going over to Tom's sister's house for dinner so the cousins could visit and spend a little more time together.
Wednesday morning, we packed up and headed northward. Eleri, who can be a champion car sleeper under the right conditions, was passed out before we reached Canyonville. First stop was Eugene, to visit Tom's other sister. She has a very sweet dog, Pearl, whom Eleri also tried to call "Gooster" at first. We hung out a bit and then got some lunch (tasty burgers...it was kind of a burgerrific vacation). Then we were off again, onward to Corvallis to visit with the Cachews and get some quality running-around time in for the wee weasels. M & B's little one is adorable and had the best time at the park, riding on the swings with her daddy. Her delighted little giggles were super cute. Too soon, it was time to move on, north to my parents' house in Tualatin. Dinner, little bit of visiting & playing, bedtime. I'm always a little amazed how exhausting it is to travel. Just sitting in a car for much of the day wouldn't be that draining, you'd think, but it somehow is. Go figure.
Thursday I got some quality girl time with FarmerMegan (sushi lunch, home for a bit, then back out to go shopping), while Tom, Mom & Yaya played with the kids. My dad took - and passed! - his licensing exam to become a pharmacy tech, which was fantastic. In the evening, my parents fed & hung out with the kids while Tom, Megan & I went out for dinner. It's nice to have some grownup time with your friends. :)
Friday we would get a fair bit more grownup time. In the morning, Megan, Tom, Dad & I went over to Threat Dynamics shooting range, where we met up with Marcy. Threat Dynamics (for those who don't want to bother clicking the link) is a different sort of shooting range. They use modified Glock pistols that "shoot" compressed air instead of bullets. The guns have perhaps a bit less recoil than a standard 9mm, but they still have some. Anyway. The super cool thing about shooting without ammo is that you can safely do all kinds of things you couldn't do at a regular range. Like shooting while walking forward or backward, shooting faster than the standard one-shot-per-second, or shooting with a bunch of your buddies all together, without divided lanes. (Oh, and no sore thumb from reloading ammo!) The five of us had a great time. :) Everyone did really well, and it was just a ton of fun.
Next we picked up the kids, dropped off Dad, and made our way into the city for lunch with our other friend S and her two kiddos. We ate at a Persian buffet place, then walked down to Ben & Jerry's in search of some Schweddy Balls. WHICH THEY DIDN'T HAVE. (It had apparently not been released on the West Coast yet.) Curses. But, we had some ice cream anyway, so it wasn't a total loss. After ice cream and a bit more walking around, S took her kids home, Tom & I took our kids back to Grandma & Grandpa's, and we all reconvened back in Portland for some more walking and eating. Browsing at Powell's, hike down to Voodoo Doughnuts ("The magic is in the hole!"), pause down by the waterfront, then a bunch more walking back & forth trying to figure out where to eat dinner, finally ending up at Dragonfish. It was really great to visit with everyone and have some grownup time. Plus, any day that includes a maple-bacon bar from Voodoo is a damn good day. As an added bonus, my parents had already put the kids to bed by the time we got home. It was great!
Alas, our vacation had come to an end. Saturday we were up and out, making our way back home. Our flights were, thankfully, uneventful (no repeat of the double-meltdown from the Phoenix-to-Seattle flight), and though it was after 11pm by the time we finally dragged our weary selves through the door of our apartment, we were at least able to sleep in a bit the next morning. The cats were quite happy to see us, and Eleri was overjoyed to see Leo, flinging herself onto him for a hug. Hehe.
Vacation complete! Coming up next: a brief recap of the past week.