Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Walla Walla

Well, we finally got over to Walla Walla to see the kids. Tim was very excited about going, so he reserved a motel room a couple of weeks ago. Allison (the ex) wanted to know if we were going to stay with them (as if!)... but we graciously declined. :)

Tim had to work on Friday morning, so I ran some errands with Jessica and waited for him to get back. He got back a little later than originally planned, so we got a late start, but it was a nice afternoon for a drive. We drove out HWY 410 and over the pass, which scared the bejeezus out of me. It was this tiny little two-lane road that curved around with no guard rails and it seemed like we were miles in the air! I kept getting that feeling of vertigo... like I was going to drive us over the edge of the cliff, it was scary stuff. I wish I would have had Tim take a picture of it while we were heading over, but all I could think about was staying on the road, so no pics.

We got over there a little after six and found our motel (across the border in Oregon). We got checked in and headed to pick up the kids. They had started calling around 3, so they were very eager for us to get there. Allison hadn't fed them, so they were hungry. We went out for Chinese and Sam had us cracking up most of the time. We tried to pick on the names of Emily's teachers (one of our traditions that drives her nuts). Each year, she tells us her teachers' names and we come up with clever additions or phrases or play-on-words for them. After their bellies were full, we headed over to Wal-Mart (after I just got finished saying I never shop there) because it was cold and I really needed a light jacket while we were there. We also toured around and tried to find a 7-11 (without luck). We finally went to Safeway to get a fountain Dew for Sam and I and then it was about time to take the kids home.

Saturday morning, they called at the crack and we made our way over to pick them up. We took them to breakfast to this great little place (voted "Best Breakfast") across from Whitman college. After that, we hit the pet store and then took Kate to Pioneer Park to run around. Sam took her too close to one of the pheasants in the aviary, so he pecked at her through the fence and startled her away. We walked around the pond and then took a bunch of pictures of the birds.

After the park, we meandered around town, took Em to the bank to deposit her check, and then decided to go bowling. Tim didn't seem that excited about the idea, but there really wasn't anything else to do in town. The bowling alley looked completely deserted, but we finally found the entrance and it was open. We were the only ones in the place! It was kind of fun. We played two games and Tim was really competitive. I was surprised how irritated he got when he didn't do well. Sam and I were laughing at him (quietly of course). Tim ended up winning one game (by one point... but who's counting) and I won the second. After that, we took Kate to Tietan park and let her run for a few minutes before heading out. We hit the Safeway for snacks and DVDs and then went back to the room. They watched some weird vampire movie, and my EHD was missing a cord, so I couldn't use it, so I ended up taking a short nap. After the movie, we went to dinner at Lorenzo's and had pizza. Emily got moody in the afternoon and did nothing but try to pick fights with Sam, so it got a little old after awhile. By the time we were done eating, she was ready to go back home. We made a 7-11 run and then dropped the kids off again. We headed back to the hotel, watched a DVD and Tim fell asleep. I watched tv for a little bit and then went to sleep fairly early.

Sunday morning, we picked the kids back up and then went to breakfast. Sam wanted to go to Elmer's and he told us where he thought it was. Emily agreed about the location, but we drove over there and it wasn't in that spot. We drove around aimlessly for quite awhile and then Em finally called Allison to find out where we were supposed to go. Turned out it was completely at the opposite end of town! We finally got out there and there was a huge line, so we ended up going back to the place we'd eaten the day before. We had to wait for a couple of minutes, but they have a pretty quick turnaround.

I stood outside to avoid claustrophobia and was trying to decide on a newspaper. The NYT was from Saturday, so I was looking at the others and it was depressing to see that it was all a bunch of bad news or horrible headlines. I heard a voice behind me and an elderly man asked me if I was going to pick one. I told him that it was too depressing and that I thought they should have a "good news" paper. He launched into a story about his early days back at Berkely, during the riots. He said that he had gone to a lecture, and they were all piling in to hear this guy. I guess he was a bigwig, so there were people sitting on the floor to hear him. Before the guy started, he asked if anyone had any good news. Since there were riots going on, it didn't seem like anyone had any. He said that he wasn't going to start until someone brought him some good news. I thought that was a funny story. It was kind of cool to have someone share their life experience like that even though it was really random to be discussing with a perfect stranger.
Sunday, Sam kept telling us that it sucked that we had to go home already. And his solution was that we should come back next weekend. And the weekend after. Anyway, we finally got through breakfast, made one more 7-11 run, one more trip to the park, and then dropped the kids off to head for home. We came back over I-90 so I didn't get freaked out, and I made much better time. We got back in about 4 1/2 hours instead of the 6 it took us to get there.

I feel bad because even though it was a good weekend and Tim got lots of quality time with the kids, he's still sad. :( I don't know how he'll ever feel better about them living so far away. Especially since they are getting older and it will be harder to find time to see them with increased school activities, jobs, etc. I told him that he needs to talk to Allison about setting up a regular schedule now... so it doesn't end up falling through the cracks later.

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