Last week Emma and I got to fly out to spend time with my mom, my two sisters, and my niece. It was a much needed vacation for this mama, after another tournament week and, well, life with a full house.
My sisters and mom are from New Jersey and Oregon, and though we lead different lives, we always have so much fun when we get together. Sometimes we laugh until it hurts. And that feels really good.
I grew up on this street. Isn't it lovely?
Emily and Emma, in my childhood neighborhood. This house belonged to our next door neighbors. The woman here is a widow like my mom. And they are still good friends.
We drove down the road to the elementary school we attended as children. Many years ago. The school has since closed down, but we couldn't resist the temptation to raid the playground just one more time. And I really tried to make sure the teeter-totter didn't go down more on my side, if you know what I mean.
The Gingerbread Village, on the way to the coast. We stopped here so many times as a family when we would go to visit our grandma and grandpa. It's still open for business, with the same old booths and musty, Oregon smell. And the gingerbread is still soft and warm.
My energetic 75 year-old mom, Emma, and I at Sea Lion Caves. Sarah, at home in Colorado, kept calling my cell phone while I was here. I told her I was going down to a cave to see some sea lions, and I would call her back. The phone rang again. Sarah asked,'Have you seen them yet?' I said, 'Seen who?'. "Well, have you seen the water tigers yet?' I love that kid.
I am in love with lighthouses. I think they are so romantic. And wonderfully old-fashioned. And a little spooky. And so symbolic in my faith.
A little homemade salt-water taffy for our trip up the highway. It's really not my favorite candy. But is tastes like memories.
This octopus sparked some funny discussion. The lady at the museum told us that male octopusus (octopi?) have one arm without tentacles so they can breed. Emma thought she said so they can breathe. She spent the next 15 minutes trying very hard to figure out why in the world he would have a strange arm so he could breathe better.
Oh my word. If you ever go to the Oregon coast, you just have to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory. You get a great tour, some wonderful photo-ops, and lunch. Like warm patty melts with Tillamook cheese. Oooh. And the most creamy, sweet, cold Tillamook ice cream. In a chocolate dipped waffle cone. Yeah.
The last night of our trip, we stayed with Kenny's parents. Papa taught Emma some of his beautiful painting techniques, while Grammy and I visited.