Sunday, July 18, 2010

Karin and Randy--almost two months late :)

At the end of May, we finally got to see Karin and Randy--it had been almost two years, I think, which is so awful.

Unfortunately, the weather was horrible while they were here: I'm not sure about May, but June was the rainiest June we've had in 15 years...May couldn't have been too far behind it! My garden literally drowned--carrots, lettuces, and peas never even poked their heads up and my spinach bolted after about 2 weeks. Only the peas have ever been replanted (we ended up with a nice crop though!).

So...Chris' mom wasn't too happy with the weather! But despite that, we had a nice visit and did quite a few things. I actually think the rain wasn't too bad while they were here, but it was overcast the entire time.

We did a trip into Portland to visit Powell's and Voodoo Donuts, then ate dinner at the Berlin Inn, Chris' favorite German restaurant he's found, so far. And Chris and his mom loaded up on German goodies and cold cuts at their little adjacent shop.

Their visit fell on Memorial Day weekend and the Shawa clan was meeting at the beach, so we went down there to join in. Dad had arranged housing for himself, Susie, Ava, Brenda, Tom, and Bean (oh, Pua and Annie, too) at a condo, and then for our family (plus Zeus) and Chris' parents at a friends' cabin; Reema, Don, Michelle, Josh and all three of their dogs rented a house; and then Jamal and Naseem (each with a friend) were going to stay at Grandma's. However...our "cabin" was uh, not the nicest digs. So I managed to convince everyone involved that the teenage boys would really be better off switching with us, which ended up working for everyone!

So...14 adults; 4 teenagers; 4 little kids; 6 dogs. It was chaotic. It was my family at their best and I loved it :) I think (I hope), Karin and Randy did, too!

Of course we had to go to the beach while we were in Long Beach: we first stopped at Waikiki Beach, where there was a beached baby seal. It was so sad, but they do this, for whatever reason, and it was neat for the kids to see.
There are also tons of rocks (and driftwood, obviously) on Waikiki, so it's a fun place for kids to play.
The boys also played in an existing driftwood fort, but no one took a picture of it. Apparently, none of us were doing well with the cameras this weekend...

Chris had become obsessed with the jetty, so from Waikiki we walked down to Benson Beach, and out onto the jetty. There were whales breeching right there off the jetty, so that was pretty cool. This was a pretty yucky day, misting heavily and cold, but Karin was a trooper :) And Danny walked a ton. Isaac ended up passed out on Chris during a piggyback ride back to the car, poor guy.

From there, we went back into Long Beach and met Brenda, Tom, Bean and Mom for pony rides for the kids. They don't look happy, but I promise they enjoyed it! Just the damn rain...

From here, I don't really remember the order of things. Blame it on a food-induced coma from all the good cooking that went on at Grandma's house: Don and Reema and their enchiladas; Susie and her cinnamon rolls and mac and cheese; Grandma's crazy seafood splurges (FIFTY pounds of steamer clasms); dessert after dessert after dessert...

We made it up to Oysterville, to the church where Chris and I were married.
And of course we weren't going to leave Oysterville without some fresh oysters. (So this must have been on our last day...). Then we drove the beach from the Ocean Park approach down to Cranberry, and stopped for some sand play and kite flying. We also saw a bald eagle flying around--this trip was just rife with wildlife!

When we got back to Battle Ground, one of Chris' best friends, Toby, and his dad happened to be driving through, so they swung by the house to say hi.

Then...we only had one day left. We took a trip to Moulton Falls and did a little walking. When we got home I fried up the oysters for lunch and an hour after that, Chris took Karin and Randy to the airport. The boys were pretty bummed to see them go, but they really enjoyed their time with Oma and Opa.

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