This is a belated report on last week’s visit from the granddaughters.
Sophia and Annika arrived Saturday night on the new Alaska Airlines nonstop flight from Raleigh. It was 1 a.m. their time by the time we got them back to the island and tucked in bed. Teddy was so excited to see the girls he didn’t know who to jump on first.
Sunday was devoted to Easter baskets and hunting for eggs. Robin had a lot of fun putting Easter together after a hiatus of several years. We also made the pilgrimage to Sunlight Beach, where Robin’s grandparents had their house. We walked along the beach and the girls marveled at the huge piles of driftwood. We visited the site of the new house, which Annika said (accurately) was “concrete and a big pile of dirt.” In the evening, we had the traditional granddaughters’ dinner: salmon, noodles, and broccoli.
Monday we headed south to Portland, or, more precisely Forest Grove, so the girls could visit with their Great Grandmother Lois and Great Aunt Karen. We had a bit of a kerfuffle at the hotel, a McMenamins that is right next to where Robin’s mother lives. We had reserved a two-room suite that was supposed to sleep four but it had only one bed. The hotel finally let us have a couple of roll-away beds, though we were only entitled to one. We had a nice visit and a pleasant dinner, also at the hotel.
Tuesday we headed over to Seaside, where the hotel, the Inn of the Four Winds (recommended), was much better set up. In fact, Annika declared it “the best hotel room ever.” I don’t know if it was because of the free cookies and saltwater taffy in the room, the fact that the beach was right outside, or the cushy king-size bed that she and Sophia shared.
In the afternoon, the girls’ cousin Allie came over, along with her grandmother Bonnie. Allie is 14, a year older than Sophia, but a couple of inches shorter. (Sophia is now 5-9.) The girls walked into downtown Seaside to get ice cream. They really hit it off, which was nice to see.
We drove up to Astoria, where we had dinner at an Italian restaurant with Allie; her father, Wyatt; and his girlfriend, Sandra. After dinner we stopped at a park called the Garden of Surging Waves, which commemorates Astoria’s bicentennial and the role of the Chinese in creating the city.
Wednesday we headed back to the island via the Washington coast and the Port Townsend ferry. We had a nice dinner, sitting outside overlooking the ferry dock, with Whidbey off in the distance. We tried to get ice cream after dinner, but the ice cream place was closed, along with almost everything else. I thought stores closed early on Whidbey, but in Port Townsend they seem to roll up the streets at about 5, at least in the off-season. The ferry ride was lovely, with a full view of the mountains, from Mount Rainier up to Mount Baker.
Thursday we went to Greenbank Farm, where we had pie for lunch at the Whidbey Pies Cafe. Then we headed to Fort Casey State Park, where the girls had fun clambering around the battlements and visiting the lighthouse. And we got another full panorama of mountains and sea.
To get to the airport in time for the girls’ flight would have required leaving the island at 5 a.m. or earlier, so we spent Friday night at the Sea-Tac Hilton. The next morning we got to the airport before 7 for an 8:40 flight and found extremely long lines. We had some anxious moments but got the girls to their flight in time.
It was kind of a whirlwind week, but we loved having the girls here. We hope they’ll want to come back next year, when we should have a new house for them to stay in.