Since we heard that Amy's sister, Nicole, and family were relocating to the Northwest (even if on the wrong side of the mountains) so Martin could practice there we've been looking forward to our first visit. I can't remember a time when I'd actually stopped in Chelan. Even just driving through on the way to somewhere else was hard to recall. (Of course, that might have been because it's not really on the way to anywhere else...)
It was also the first big test for the entertainment system in the truck. Although we had always sworn our kids would have to deal with long car rides like we did (fighting, sleeping, being bored) the DVD player came with the truck and the expense to remove it didn't seem like a worthwhile investment so it stayed. Now, suddenly, with a three hour trip it seemed like a good deal.
In fact, it rocked. Clara and Lilly were totally plugged in (well, virtually plugged in since the headsets are wireless (yes, overly fancy)) and poor Henry craned his neck around from time to time to see why nobody was feeding him Cheerios or playing hide and seek.
The weather over the passes (Snoqualmie and Blewitt) was great so we had views to distract us from the awkward noises coming from the trailer behind us. Oh, did I mention we don't travel light? We were bringing everything including the kitchen sink. (Seriously, we had a kitchen sink in the trailer.) We convinced ourselves that the clunking in the rear was from the slightly wobbly hitch, but nothing to worry about.
A movie and a Max and Ruby later we found Auntie Nicole and Uncle Boppi's semi-truck trailer and parked next to it. Martin and Papa were already drenched in sweat and the truck was mostly unloaded. I felt a tiny amount of guilt that we were had arrived late, but that quickly disappeared as I started carrying boxes and shelves and whatever else made sense to transport from Kentucky probably at a cost rivaling that of lifting it into orbit.
Nicole and Martin's house (aka: The East Side Moosefish Adventures Base Camp) is pretty close to perfect. Air conditioning, enough room that there are places to hide Molly's toys, air conditioning, offices for both Nicole and Martin, air condititioning, guest rooms, air conditioning, a view of the Lake, and air conditioning. (Did I mention air conditioning? Yeah, it was freakishly hot.) The girls immediately made themselves at home and started wreaking havoc. Tokul found her place at the back of the pack behind Addie, Bacchus, and Molly's stuffed puppy.
Most of the rest of the day was spent unloading, unpacking, and chasing kids. Amy added some drama by slicing her hand open on a couch (Is there a doctor in the house? Oh, yeah... sweet!), but other than a seizure on Bacchus' part there was none of the usual holiday-illness/injury/drama that is a Boruck family tradition.
We decided to tempt fate by putting the three girls into the same room and it appeared to be working well until Lilly had a freak-out, woke everybody up, and generally caused a ruckus. (Confused? Think sleep walking mixed with a nightmare she can't wake up from and you've got it. COBRAS!) Henry woke up extra early so Amy and I were a touch tired in the morning. As usual, it was my good fortune as I was able to justify an early morning at Starbucks. Oh, the sacrifices I must make...
It was July 4 so we started the day with... more unpacking. We tried dilligently to get the kids to nap with mixed success knowing they'd be up late. We were planning to go to Manson (worst name for a town EVER) for their fireworks display so when I was tasked with occupying the kids for part of the morning we went north along the lake to a beach. I hadn't planned to get them into the water, but kids are kids so they all got fairly wet and had a nice ride home in panties. It was just too hot to keep them dressed on dry land. I'm mean, but not cruel.
That night we returned to the park for dinner (mmm... meat pizza), but decided it would be lousy to try to watch the fireworks from there. Instead, we found a spot on the shore of Manson Bay with a million other tourists. The show was pretty good and very intimate. (No, the Vernazza show Amy and I saw in 2001 was still better.) It was, of course, full of Papa's inside knowledge of pyrotechnics, which added to the insider feeling of such a small town show.
Saturday morning we found we had done most of the heavy lifting. Now it was all about moving stuff around and getting it just so. This meant we did a lot of sitting around playing with the kids (including a new sport resembling bowling, but with little girls and a slip-n-slide in the backyard) and then pulling crystal or china out of a box. I tried to stay inside as much as possible because I'm such a delicate flower that I wilt when exposed to heat like we were "enjoying." Egads. I can't wait for winter.
Even after three days the girls were still getting on pretty well and even Tokul was getting brave enough to come out of our bedroom when she thought the other dogs weren't looking. Part of it might have been exposure to new toys (for the girls, not Tokul), but it's hard to tell. Molly loved her new kitchen (you didn't think we'd bring a real kitchen sink, did you?) and all three of our kids were all about a ball popper that made enough noise to reinforce our love of battery-free (or uninstalled) toys.
The house was coming together much more quickly than I had expected and we had time to hang out. I was mercifully isolated from work by the lack of an Internet connection (except at Starbucks, but caffeine ruled there) except for finding a pile of improperly-disposed-of personal data at the recycling center.
At night we consumed bucket (mmm... bucket) and played games and watched movies. And Amy and I dealt with crazy Lilly's freak outs. Sunday morning I decided I was tired of just sitting at Starbucks so I took Henry on a hike up on Echo Ridge... after getting Starbucks. We were back before Martin got up so I didn't feel too guilty about running off on my own.
Monday came too soon and it was time to head home. The car seemed amazingly empty since we'd moved much of our gear into the trailer so Tokul had room to stretch out in the back. Perhaps the best part of the departure was that Amy and Nicole weren't depressed at the thought of not seeing each other again for six months. A three hour drive is a heck of a lot closer than the five hour plane ride to get to Kentucky. I just hope they invite us back.