Thursday, December 18, 2014

All of the thanks and fun

You know what? We had the best Thanksgiving break ever. It was exactly what was needed.

Our friends in Portland arrived in record time for lunch, where we proceeded to stuff ourselves silly with food. We ate and ate and ate and ate. As we fell on to the couch to recover, all four kids disappeared upstairs to play, and it was like no time had passed since they last saw each other. As they played, the wine and beer began flowing, along with reminiscing about the years when we lived next door in Sydney. This was pretty much the pattern for the next few days: coffee, coffee, coffee, wine, coffee, coffee, wine, wine, wine, wine. And food. Lots of food.

I think my liver has only just recovered.

We kept an eye on the weather forecast because Saturday was predicted to bring snow. I didn't want to get my hopes up because if I learned anything last winter in Seattle, it was that snow gets predicted much more than it actually happens. Also, it was still November! The first snowfall last year didn't happen until days before Christmas. As if it was going to snow, right?

And we then woke up on Saturday morning. Ahem... and, yay!

It was only a small amount of snow, and oddly none of it actually stuck to the roads, but it was enough to make four kids super excited and willing to head to our local baseball fields for a play. This adult may or may not have been excited too - for the first time, I had proper snow boots to break in and keep my feet warm and dry. Another reason I was happy was because the clouds gave way to sunshine and blue skies, which never happened last winter when it snowed - back then, the rain came and melted it fairly quickly (this time, the snowy white patches stayed for a good four or five days).

In fact, the skies cleared up so beautifully that we thought it would be the perfect afternoon to take our visitors to the Space Needle. We'd already been up twice in the past, but both times were heavy grey days without mountain views. This day was so cold anyway, not many other people would have the same idea, right?


We got there at 2pm, and stood in line for a freezing half hour as icy winds - the truly miserable kind - whipped around us. When we finally got to the ticket window, we were informed the next time slot available was 4pm, and we nearly cried, until we remembered we could go and warm up in the nearby EMP Museum (we get a discount there which makes it worth going in, even for just ninety minutes). So that's what we did, and everything worked out perfectly.

We made it up the Space Needle with not much time to spare before sunset, but in those temperatures, it's not like I wanted to be outside for more than five or ten minutes anyway. As the sun was going down, we were treated to a birds eye view of two dudes climbing around, installing the Christmas-coloured lights on the outside of the tower. They had a crowd watching, I had vertigo, and knew for sure that was a job there is no amount of money in the world that would convince me to do.

Happily, the entire horizon - both east and west - was full of mountains and pink skies, so I finally got my wish for clear views form the Space Needle. And white snow-dustings atop the buildings downtown - still a novelty. We got some cheesy photos of the four kids sitting with Santa in his space sleigh, and called it a day. The Portland gang had to leave the next day, and I spent another three days eating stuffing... I want more weekends like this, please. There's nothing better for the soul than quality time with close friends you've known for a decade and gone through the dramas of baby stuff together with, right? Living away from Australia, the opportunity for spending time with old friends isn't something we get to do often, if at all, so I'm grateful we only live a three-hour drive from these guys.