Wednesday, September 03, 2014

End of summer round-up

Our family summer, packed with experiences, is now officially over! The kids went back to school yesterday. It's nice to have some good long chunks of free time now, as opposed to engineering a few hours occasionally.  I quit my contract at T-mobile when the kids got out of school in late June, to have some time for the trips we planned this summer.

My mom visited for the first time, we really enjoyed having her and she enjoyed seeing us, and seeing lot of sights in Seattle.

Our visit to the Boeing factory

While she was here, we had Peter's birthday party at the Somerset Recreation Club pool, which worked out well. After my mom's visit, we spent a few days at a hotel in Astoria, Oregon. Great little city, a good place to stay to see the sights in the area. The main sight is Fort Stevens, which I always love because of the setting and all the old ruined military buildings.

Bike ride along the Columbia River

Then we had our friends the Delebecque family visiting our house from Geneva, and later traveled together to Yellowstone National Park with them. It was really enjoyable, and the kids also got to practice their French. Kenny was speaking with them quite well towards the end of the week, and Peter was starting to speak again, but understanding most things.


There's a buffalo in the background here, on the right
After Yellowstone, Eric and Kenny went straight to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the "Great American Fly-In", which is a big general aviation event. They went with Eric's friend Roger, and really enjoyed it - Kenny in particular collected tons of swag, which he treasures. While they were gone, Peter and I picked a lot of blackberries in a vacant lot nearby, went swimming a lot at the pool, and also did a camping trip to Deception Pass.

Playing on the beach at Deception Pass

After a week at home, seeing some friends, we took another trip, this time following the Columbia River, starting in Richland (great hotel, right on the riverfront), where Eric was able to take a tour of the Hanford Nuclear Center. Then we drove along the Columbia River, spending a night in Umatilla, and one in Hood River. The area is definitely not a huge tourist attraction - there's plenty of wide open spaces! I enjoy that occasionally, though, going to places that are not as popular.


Preparing to battle the thousands of spider webs draped around the Twin Sisters peak area

In complete contrast to that trip, we next went to Disneyworld. This was a long planned trip for Eric's parents' 50th wedding anniversary. It was an experience - huge, all kinds of things to see, all kinds of rides and attractions. It was sweltering, temperatures in the mid 90's and very high humidity, and the crowds were heavy, but the kids loved it.

At Disneyworld

I had the kids do some "homework" over the summer - mainly writing, on the blogs I set up for them specifically for this purpose, to practice both their typing and writing skills. They were always reluctant, but I had them do it before they got screen time, so it generally worked out.

Swimming was always on the agenda on warm days - and even some rainy days. We joined the Somerset Recreation Club, which has a pool and is only about a 4 minute walk from our house. On sunny days it was pretty full around 4 in the afternoon, but on rainy days (it's heated, so it was warm enough to swim even on rainy days), we were sometimes the only ones there. I swam laps for the first time in a long time. The kids hadn't learned to swim very well before, because they didn't go swimming regularly in Geneva. But here, since we went swimming so often, they improved tremendously even without lessons. So, now they can both swim across the pool. It was also a great place to see kids they knew from school, without having to specifically arrange a playdate.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Rachel said...

What an amazing summer! Funny that you toured Hanford. I was born there. It's why some people say I glow in the dark...

9:30 PM  

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