Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve dropped in here. And yes, part 1 should come first. The problem with vacations is that you take so many photos (and generate so much laundry) that you don’t do anything at all for a while after you get back. We had the added bonus of two pretty sick kids, so the Gibbses laid low for a while after returning to Florida. But we’re starting to perk up and get back in the groove, so here are the pics from the second half of our trip home. (Alas, my memory card filled up and the first half photos are on a cd that just arrived in the mail.)
So, the second part of our trip was spent at my great-grandfather’s house in Port Orchard, WA. We managed to squeeze in our family, my parents, my aunt & uncle and four kids, and day visits from my sister’s family. Big house or no, that’s a lot of people so we were happy to luck out with the weather. It could not have been nicer — I swear that Washington was trying to woo me back. I can even hear it whispering to me now.
Paula….Paula……..I have mountains, forests, wool sweaters, good bookstores, and delicious coffee. You know you want to come back to me. Humidity does not and never will agree with you.
No! I must stop listening.
Where was I? Ah yes, talking about the delights of Port Orchard. We even coaxed Josh’s parents to come to the house one day so you’ll see them in these photos too. It was so great. Too bad that the plane trips were no fun at all and we’ll need a year to forget about it before we can try again.
Here we are in the living room, following a longstanding grandpa’s house tradition: listening to my uncle compose away on one of the grand pianos. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen him or heard him play, so that was special.
Bea thought so too.
She greatly appreciated all the space to walk around in and the chance to fall down Stairs of Doom. Perhaps one-story Florida apartments are not so bad after all.
Here’s another grandpa’s house tradition: spending time on the swings.
(And falling down the hill.)
Later in the week the two swings on the left were replaced with baby versions. We have hit the critical mass of grandchildren to make that worthwhile!
It was, of course, entirely fabulous to see my darling little mum again.
Camilla recently graduated to the Big Kid Swing.
That’s my mom, Camilla’s cousin ransom, and my cousin Ruth. And Toby, the much-beloved son of The Beans.
I hadn’t seen my sister for two full years, so that was one of the things I looked forward to the most. She’d never met Beatrice and I had never seen her son Jude. We snuck in a walk one morning to look for the earliest blackberries.
Ah, dogs galore.
I cleverly forgot that the blackberries ripen much later in WA than FL. But the kids were content with a few blackcaps instead.
We also found a few very sour red huckleberries. Marian reminded me that my grandmother Camilla would make them into a tiny pie for us when we were kids.
My dad took a crazy early morning flight, a bus, and a ferry to join us.
He had never met Beatrice before either.
With views like this, how could we not want to spend our time outdoors?
I am reminded of this pic from two years ago…
Here we are starting the hike down to the beach. Not shown: the part where Camilla became irrationally afraid of the crabs we would find at the seashore and I had to carry her. Both ways. Burned a lot of calories that day.
Grandma and Ransom were brave enough to venture to the end of the pier.
Daddy and Beatrice preferred solid ground.
Eventually my aunt did find some very very tiny crabs and Camilla beefed up her courage and took a look.
Maybe next year, Bea.
Toddlers + water + infinite supply of small rocks = fun times.
But eventually we had to go.
My arms gave out when we got to the apple orchard so Camilla and I stopped for a rest.
My brother Tim and his family couldn’t be there, but we talked often on the phone because Hilary found out that she is pregnant with TWINS!
Just imagine all the cousins there will be next summer…
Now for the family photos. I am not very good at picking my favorites, so there are lots. Here we are with Josh’s fam. Also? It is impossible to get both of my children to smile at once. Or sometimes even just one of them.
Camilla evidently found this whole family photo thing to be very suspicious.
But she perked up in the end.
Since we were blessed to have both grandmas there, why not some of those?
It’s nice to be able to make people you love this happy.
Here we are all together.
And here’s my saintly Aunt Lauri with her two beautiful girls. Seeing them was also a highlight of the trip.
One last cup of coffee at the kitchen table, and then we had to go.
We miss you, family.