Last week, Jason's brother (Nathan) and SIL (Carolyn) flew into town. They live way the heck out in Rhode Island, so we don't exactly get to see them on a regular basis. In fact, they hadn't ever met the tiny rockstar who goes by the name of Julianne. Yes, indeed, they had a lot of catching up to do.
But before they got caught up with the girls, they had to get caught up with us. Naturally this involved dinner at the Kennedy School because eating at McMenamins is mandatory when family is out to visit the left-coast. The other mandatory event is perhaps less thrilling: family photos. Of course we're all crazy about photography around here, so there's no shortage of energy in that field. Nathan and Carolyn, however, weren't quite as enamored with the idea but I think Sarah made the experience quick and painless. While I certainly understand the whole "we just had our family pictures taken less than four years ago" mentality, when you're involving children who tend to get birthed, grow up, and grow hair (or not, as the case may be for poor Jules) families look a lot different through the years. So. New one required. No tears shed. Success.
Yesterday we took advantage of having Nathan and Carolyn to ourselves for a whole day and drive out to Newport to visit the aquarium. Sydney was quite keen on them seeing the "fishies that are all around in that big tunnel," and it's tough to say no to requests for beach trips.
So we borrowed Jason's parents' minivan, packed a bag of snacks, strapped in the kids, and a few hours later (after lunch at McMenamins in McMinnville) found ourselves at:
Fish are cool.
But even more cool?
Having your picture taken with your Uncle Nathan and Aunt Carolyn as a shark swims in the background. Seriously. How often does that happen? Hopefully only when there's a super-thick piece of glass separating you from Mini Jaws. Otherwise, that's really not so cool. (Sidenote: did you know the aquarium has slumber parties in the shark tunnels? for CHILDREN? I can't even tell you how terrifying that sounds to me, but that's probably because I read Jaws at a young and impressionable age.)
It was all very exciting, and after spending a few hours in the car as well as a couple hours at the aquarium Nathan and Carolyn became quite the experts at entertaining the girlies. Jules was smitten with both of them, especially with Nathan's Red Sox hat. Ah, the indoctrination begins early.
It was such a treat to get to spend time with Nathan and Carolyn, and the girls loved having them around. Between car trips, and coffee runs, mismatched shoe adventures, and discussions about vegetables, house plans, the weather, and New England sports teams, there was never a dull moment. Sydney is already making plans for the next time she and Carolyn get to make cupcakes together...hopefully next year when we move into the new house.
Tomorrow, Nathan and Carolyn fly back home, and so they left early this evening to spend their last night with Jason's parents. No less than a half hour after they had gone Jason said, "I miss my brother." Yes, it's hard when the only sibling you have lives so far away. But it certainly makes visiting them that much more wonderful. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll get to see them in June when we're back east this summer, and as I mentioned to them as they left, "You'll see us on the blog." Thank goodness for airlines, for emails, for cell phones, and for blogs--they are at least a good way to make the east coast seem a little closer to the west coast.
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