my fabulous family.

July 28, 2008

My family does a lot of quirky things. Some I love, others I make fun of endlessly (not that the two are mutually exclusive). My aunt Dorothy (my mom’s sister) is no exception. When we were little, she was the one who told us all the dirty jokes we embarrassed our parents by sharing at parties, and as we got older, she was there to give us the advice no one else would. This summer, she was the one to pack a special, extremely yummy, picnic for the train ride that Omar and I took from Seattle to Portland (and her husband, my Uncle Carl, made the wonderful hummus).

Because the train was full, Omar and I ended up in a roommette rather than coach seating. The picnic breakfast and lunch – complete with the menu attached – were the perfect addition to the fancy-schmancy adventure.


twenty-five years.

July 27, 2008

I’ve been traveling to Ocean Village during the summers for a quarter-of-a-century. There have been lapses, maybe the longest was 3 years, but in general it’s been every year or two. MacKenzie Beach has changed a lot over the years. Ocean Village was once the only set of cabins along the beach, with campgrounds housing the other travelers. Now there is a large variety of places to stay and only a couple places to camp.

Despite these changes, it’s still Tofino to me. When we were young we used to stay in the cabins closest to the beach, but as we got older, my parents decided they wanted more privacy (as everyone walks to the beach by those beachfront cabins) and so we moved up to the last cabin in the higher set. Here’s our view from there:

feeling crabby?

July 26, 2008

Wading in the water one day, my sister stumbled across a dungeness crab. Not one to waste a teaching moment, she reached down to pick it up and realized that there was something strange about it. Its legs looked warped or tangled. As she pulled it up above the water, a smaller crap fell off the bottom of the dungeness and into the water. Turns out the dungeness was fine, it was just tangled up in love. Steph apparently interrupted the special moment. Oh well…

Once again, not one to waste a teaching moment, Steph brought the crab to the beach to share with all of us.

As for Mr. and Mrs. Crab, hopefully they found each other again.

two weeks.

July 25, 2008

It’s been two weeks since I took this picture in our cabin in Tofino, and will be two weeks before B comes home. I can’t wait!

I love you more, Mr. B.

low tide.

July 24, 2008

…scenes from last night.

Wednesday evening Omar and I joined a couple of friends, Sean and Michelle, at the Elkhart County Fair. Not one to do things half-way, Sean insisted that we not only eat fried twinkies and other greasy sundires, but also actually catch the musical act for the evening – Hootie and the Blowfish. It was like college in Rock Hill all over again… see, I lived in Seattle when grunge emerged from there, and I lived in South Carolina when Hootie made it big. The difference was that I didn’t know anyone who had seen any grunge band before they were cool and everyone in Rock Hill, South Carolina had seen Hootie. It was truly small town boys (including one from Rock Vegas himself) make it big. I, however, came into the scene a little late and had never seen the boys live. It was pretty cool to finally catch up to that train. Darius Rucker’s voice is amazing and he and his band mates put on a great show (especially considering it was a free to fairgoers).

Here are some photos chronicling the event (by the way, they’re all from Omar who’s not really a county fair type of guy, so he kept himself entertained by playing with the camera until it ran out of batteries):

the men in my life.

July 23, 2008

Get a man on a mountain and you see his true personality. The evidence follows.

Here’s Omar, in a very triumphant, king-of-the-world, kind of pose:

And here’s Mr. B, clowning around as Lady Liberty:

And spreading peace with his Aunt Stephe:


July 21, 2008

It’s an all day affair to get to Tofino. To get there before dinner time, we had to leave the parking garage at 6am. To have time for everyone to shower and get ready in a 900 square foot condo and to have the cars packed and ready to go (6 adults and an 8 year-old who’s obsessive about his mohawk styling) means waking up much earlier than that.

The ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo is our first time to relax. For B, it was a time to take pictures. Here are a few that he snapped:

the tree house.

July 21, 2008

My parents live near Pike Place Market in a condo nestled among the tree tops. B was almost three the first time we visited there (I grew up across Lake Washington, in Bellevue, but my parents moved out of the ‘burbs and into the city when my sister and I left) and he thought it was a “tree house” so that’s what we’ve called it ever since (by the way, where he stays in South Carolina is called “the clubhouse” and next door, where his grandmother lives, is “the palace” – I guess we have a lot of monikers in this family).

Because we were at the tree house, after all, B thought it would be a good idea to snap a photo of one donning a bright white flower (I admit to being a little stressed about him dropping my camera down into the concrete courtyard below):

We spent most of the day leisurely hanging out with the family – including a lovely market “brunch” of mini-donuts (yum!), hum bao (double-yum), fruit and fried chicken – and reserving energy for the long trip the next day.

Of course the thought of a very early morning wasn’t enough to keep me and Omar from catching a Mariner’s game with my sister and her partner, Sarah (and I don’t think Omar realized just how early my family leaves for these vacations). Lucky for me, Steph and I have similar attention-deficit issues and as our significant others bonded over baseball, we searched for the perfect game-time snacks and beverages, admired the grass designs, and even met my dad out front to deliver a set of house keys since he and my mom had forgotten theirs as they ran an errand.

(It should be said, too, that Steph and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, I’d never turn down a chance to hang out in a baseball stadium, and we did thoroughly enjoy the nail-biter of a game and watching the Mariner’s top the Tigers. It just means that we’re not quite as into baseball as Sarah and Omar, which likely says a lot more about them than us.)

the return.

July 20, 2008

So we’ve been home since Thursday, but it’s taken me a few days to get back into the swing of life – and life doesn’t include blogging. Now that most of that’s taken care of, though, I can get back to posting pictures here. I’ll begin with those from the trip.

We actually spent the first night in Chicago (see below). Amazingly, considering where we live, we made it there completely on public transportation. We walked through our quiet neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning to the bus stop, took the city bus downtown, transferred to another bus to the airport, and took the train from the airport to Millennium Park. We were there in time for lunch. We spent the day being tourists, stayed the night (me at the fireworks, Omar at the game), and after sleeping in the next morning, we decided to enjoy a bit more of the city before we left for our next destination.

We hung out in the park and checked out the Taste of Chicago:

And the river:

We then took the El to O’Hare and caught our flight to Seattle. B’s flight was supposed to come in a few minutes after our own, but ended up being a couple hours late. After some Ivar’s Fish and Chips and a couple drinks, we waited at the gate for his arrival. Here’s an artistic shot Omar took of our wait:

It was a long day, and we ultimately missed the fireworks except those we could see from gate A2 (and the ones B saw as the plane flew over Elliott Bay). But we made it to Seattle safe and sound, and our family vacation began…