Monthly Archives: September 2011
Last weekend was a 3-day weekend in US, thanks to Labor Day holiday. It also marks end of summer here in Seattle. Any additional sunny weekends are really ‘bonus’ days.
To make most of the last summer days, a bunch of us decided to do something. Ever since the ‘planner’ moved to Bay Area, the ‘late latifs’ find themselves doing nothing or nothing much to write about. This weekend would have headed that way had it not been for the Bati’s to take on the onus to generate enthusiasm and find accommodation. The group wanted to go to Long Beach or at least somewhere by the ocean. Now finding last min lodging for 9 adults by the ocean on a sunny long weekend in next to impossible. The only housing available were 2 bedrooms ones – which would have worked in pre-baby days. But with 3 babies in tow, it was next to impossible.
Luckily we found a 4 bedroom house in Wenatchee and other in Port Townsend.One was well furnished and with hot tub and other was bit dated.When we saw the pictures, we all went ‘Hello, Hot Tub!’.
Long story short, after 2 hours of drive from Redmond and 30 mins of driving up and down the street in dark to find the driveway, we were in a really beautiful house. Even though the description calls it a cabin – it is far from a cabin.A beautiful covered porch, a mudroom large enough to hold hiking or skiing gear with built-in shelves, comfortably appointed bedrooms, large deck, covered hot tub,outdoor grill to a well stocked kitchen – the house had it all. All we had to bring along were clothes, food and beverages.
As everyone was going to arrive late, I went to bed with Varun while Vipul stayed up to provide directions. Once everyone was settled, Vipul woke me up. He had secretly arranged to get a birthday cake to celebrate my birthday!I was a bit annoyed to be woken from my slumber but was happy to find the surprise. Cutting the cake at mid night brought back memories of first few years in US when we celebrated everyone’s birthday with mid night cake cuttings followed by dinner parties and club hopping on weekends!
The next day Varun woke us up as usual at 7:30. We were in vacation mode and wanted to sleep in, but he still has to learn the concept of vacation ;). After breakfast of Shveni’s famous ginger tea, toast and lots of ‘char char’ we lazed around while the kids played in the kitchen and on the deck. It seems like the breakfast was immediately followed by lunch of steaming hot idlis. Luckily all kids slept at the same time post lunch and we had ~ 1 1/2 hours to play Canasta. The girls won -without cheating – I must add; just as the kids woke up.
After their nursing/feeding and diapering we all ventured out to Lake Wenatchee. The lake is about 20 mins drive from the house. We reached just around sunset. Varun had a ball of a time playing in the water even though the water was a bit cold. This playtime ended when he decided to taste the sand and then smear it all over him. Imagine Varun being covered in dirt and Vipul scolding me for allowing him to play in dirt. It was a chaotic 10 mins before I could get Varun cleaned up (who by the way hated being cleaned up). I am bummed I don’t have any pics of Varun’s with dirt all over him or of the lake – he looked cute in a ‘kanhaiya’ kinda way!
Luckily someone got ice cream and that caught Varun’s attention and then he spent next 10 mins devouring ice cream. We hightailed back home after that to make dinner. Luckily all the kids were tired and went to sleep after dinner and bath.
The next day we were all determined to do something. So after a hearty breakfast of pancakes and ginger tea, we headed out to a Smallwood’s harvest farm stand while others got ready. There are many farm stands selling local fruits around Leavenworth but there is a particular one that we always go to. It’s the second one as you drive past Leavenworth towards Chelan. I particularly love their plots and honey crisp apples. Unfortunately they had none, but had sweetest plums and peaches, red pears and apples amongst other produce. We sampled a lot of fruit, tasted fruit wine, and purchased boxes of fruit to take home. When others joined us there, between us we had at least 4 – 5 boxes of fruit. We had lunch on their lawns and spent the time watching Varun run around. He loved their chicken coop, tepees and was fascinated by their moo-train ( a tractor pulled cow shaped wagon train).
As it was very hot, we decided to head to waterfront park in Leavenworth. This is a hidden gem just steps from the hustle-bustle of Leavenworth. The beach has really soft sand and is shaded partly. The water was perfect and it was fun watching the rafts make their way downstream.
Just before sunset, we headed back home to grab dinner and to enjoy some time in the hot tub. Varun’s nap was messed up and he decided today he will not sleep and miss all the fun. He ate a little bit of burger for dinner and then again devoured ice cream that we had. He went to anyone who was giving him a bite of their ice cream and was covered in chocolate and vanilla. He was pretty upset when Vipul took him to our room to make him sleep as it was almost 11.
The following day was Monday, day to head back home. After what seemed like a ‘ 2 days of food vacation’, it was a chore to sort/pack up everything. Dishes were loaded, kitchen was cleaned, trash was taken out, bags were packed and it was time to leave. We decided to make best of Varun’s nap and left just before noon.
We reached home around 4:30 after a real bad traffic jam and lunch break.
We used to go on a road trip every summer as part of this group. Somewhere along the way the tradition fell apart. Here’s hoping that we revive this in coming years!