My (now former) boss mentioned that I needed to remember to spend my vacation time. Apparently, management doesn't look kindly on large vacation balances. Of course, it freaks me out to not have at least four weeks in the bank so seeing it draw down to just two as I turned in the forms was a bit uncomfortable.
The plan was to head to Chelan to visit with the family and get to know Paige, all of three months old. Our plans while there: disturbingly vague. Sure, there'd be some hiking and... um... what else are we doing? Yeah, sure, I heard you say the beach, but that still leaves at least six days that aren unaccounted for. (I have much to learn, apparently.)
We started with rather non-vacationy activities. I tagged Mailbox (I know, I'm a freak, but there were flowers up there this time! Who knew?) and Amy took the kids to the gym. (Uh, huh. And she claims she had fun. Pfft.) Regrouped at home we packed up and discovered we're starting to pack lighter.
Sort of. We still had the trunk packed around poor Tokul, but she had a full pillow of space to herself. Nice. The roof rack was full of bikes and trikes and my hiking gear. I'm not sure the latter was a good plan. It was covered with bugs when I got it down. Ew.
We left the clouds behind and by the time we were coming down from Blewitt Pass it was all blue skies. We even used the AC and sunglasses. Chelan used to seem so far away, but the trip is nicely divided into segments so it goes quickly. However, if I have to listen to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers again I might just introduce the kids to the Matrix. (Fun fact: Clara actually saw the first Matrix in the theatre. It's true. She was three months. (I think she's the "One."))
We rolled up to the house and started to explode... er... unload. Thankfully, we got an entire wing of the house to ourselves so we tried to contain our mess to the downstairs. This goes here. That goes there. Amy actually unpacked bags and hung stuff in the closet. Of course, it was the closet where Henry was sleeping so maybe she hung stuff in Henry's room. Anyway, we made ourselves at home.
It was too late to go to the beach, but the rodeo was in town and that meant the parade was happening, too. Small towns are awesome. Random people just join the parade. Kids get beaned by candy thrown by local politicos, and parents can confiscate it as "too dangerous." Hehe.
That night we had our first nightly game of Settlers of Catan. I think I've come to understand my strategy. It's the same as when I play hearts. Go for the gold. It means sometimes you win BIG, but usually you wind up getting slaughtered. Much like the sheep I always seemed to be in need of.
Late that night it was decided the next day (Friday) would be my hike day. It was the only day in double digit temperatures for the rest of our trip and hiking in 100+F didn't seem like a good idea. So I went. The kids went to the beach.
That evening we did the rodeo thing. I didn't go last year (I don't think I was here for that) and now I regret it. The highlight is without doubt the chicken chase. Get at least 200 kids under 10 lining the ring. Empty a cage of 10 chickens in the middle. Allow hilarity to ensue. Much, much hilarity.
Day two: the beach. We hung at the "armpit beach" that is a tiny public beach tucked between two private docks. There's no real parking and if there are more than three parties there it's full. Kind of cool.
The routine goes like this: Get hot. Go in the water. Get cold. Play in the sand. Get dirty. Go in the water. Get cold. Lay on the towel. Get hot. Repeat. A lot.
That night Nicole and Martin went to experience Austria in Bavaria while Amy and I hung with the kids. Neither of us have really lost our skillz with babies, but I must admit I'm looking forward to the day when potty training is done. Oh, sweet clean bums. Joy will be ours. (Note to Bavaria: Make it more like the Rocky Horror (but without the leather) and maybe I'll go next year.)
When they got back we traded and built and I lost again. Hmph. This time it was wheat I couldn't get. Seriously, would it hurt the dice to turn up an eight every once in a while?
Day three: Same as day two, except without the departure of our hosts. This time Amy and I bailed and had dinner (with cloth napkins!) at a winery in Manson. That town always freaks me out courtesy of its name, but it seems unlikely they're going to change it now. Dinner was excellent and after a relaxing day at the beach I was in danger of forgetting what day it was.
Day... um... four? Crud. It happened. I forgot what happened. Truth be told, I'm not sure it's been accurate up to this point so I'll stop trying.
Day 27: We went the park and rode bikes, rolled down hills, and played baseball. The girls found freaky beans on the trees and started collecting them. Marshmallow, the cat, followed us like a dog. It was so hot we were all sitting in the shade panting. Even Marshmallow. That's a weird sight, by the way.
Aliens erased one of my roads causing me to lose the Longest Road card and subsequently lose the game. Or I just blew it. Dang.
Day 126: We have been made honorary citizens of the town, but my sunburn gives us away when they blow the whistle and the tourists are supposed to make way for the locals. We went to local water park that was erily green in the midst of the brown and yellow of Chelan's hills. The kids loved the slides and the kiddie pool. Coolest part of the park: Admission is based on height. I walked through on my knees and got a substantial discount. (I also tagged Pot Peak this day, but it's hardly worth a mention. (Of course, it did get it's own trip report...))
Day seven: Storm clouds? Really? Storm clouds? Thunderstorm warnings? It's been real, but we didn't sign up for this. See ya later, suckers. Well, after the beach. One last time. I mean, when's the next time we're gonna get to go to the beach? The sun hasn't been out on the west side in seven and a half years. So we topped off our Vitamin D and then we went home.
Like coming down off a mountain there isn't usually anything to talk about except when something potentially disasterous happens. Just after we left Chelan the skies opened and multiple fires were started. After we passed through the tunnel on Alt-97 a mud slide closed the road. All along the river we could see lightening flashing on the hills, but it hardly rained no us at all. By the time we were over Blewitt we had only the hint of nastiness and that just made for a stellar sunset
So back to work, routine, blah, blah, blah. When do we get to go back?