Monday, March 23, 2009

A Family "Reunion"

In my previous entry, I mentioned that we had gone out to Ephrata this past weekend to attend the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of Uncle Phil and Aunt Barbara. While we had a lot of fun being in attendance there, we were also treated a wonderful weekend in other ways.

We left Friday morning around 1100. We stopped at Costco and filled up our gas tank and picked up a birthday cake for Mary (which sadly never got eaten). And then we headed out! We took Hwy 18 up to I-90 and then headed up Snoqualmie Pass. There was LOTS of snow still hanging around over the pass. That really didn't surprise me since we've had snow way down here just in the past few weeks. But Mike did mention his concern... after all, camping season is just a few months away. Hopefully it'll all be gone by then! I'm glad I took these pictures on the way over. When we came back, it was late at night, dark, and very foggy.

It's so fascinating to drive along I-90. I'm always amazed at how there is such a definite line between the mountains and desert. There is a pretty defined demarkation between the two. You might miss it if you blink! One moment you are enjoying the beauty of the evergreen trees and the next there is vast nothingness!

We stayed at the Motel 6 in Moses Lake since the rest of the family was staying there. That was an interesting experience. It was definitely a cheap place to stay, but I doubt we'll do it again. The water was funky... it looked and smelled okay (we had bottled water to drink)... but it dried out our skin terribly. What's worse, I couldn't get it OFF my skin. I'm not kidding... it's like it had too much bleach in it. My skin felt slimy and I couldn't seem to rinse it off well. Mike got a rash. The beds were uncomfortable, the floors were cement (very hard on the feet and back), and the noise was outrageous. We could hear every footstep from the people above us. The kids had a hard time going to sleep because of all the loud noise around us. Oh well... we spent very little time there... it was a place to sleep and that's it.

We checked in, dropped off our stuff, and then caravaned with everyone else over to Time Out, where Aunt Barbara's family and friends had gathered to eat pizza, drink soda, and socialize before the party. It was WONDERFUL getting to connect and reconnect with everyone there! We had not seen Jon and Kreanna since their wedding day in 1999! And so of course we'd never met their children either. I had only seen pictures of them on Aunt Barbara's blog. They are so cute! And I personally had never before met Terri, Teresa, Steve or any of their children. So that was a real treat!

After meeting up there, we had some time. So we took the kids to play at a park. And then we headed over to the anniversary celebration. That was very fun. The decorations were perfect and it was so nice to see all the pictures of their family over the years. How exciting! When we were done at the party, our family all gathered over at Perkins for a late night bite to eat. We sang Happy Birthday to Mary but I think everyone was just too full and it was so late so we didn't eat the cake. That poor cake... we toted it around with us and finally brought it home. Nobody would take it off our hands. We each had a piece and then the entire thing found its way into the garbage. Sad.

We woke up somewhat early on Saturday morning (no choice really... the beds were so uncomfortable!) After checking out of the motel, we made plans to meet with Jon and Kreanna for lunch at the Golden Corral (along with Roy, Linda, Bekah, Loral and Emily). Roy had wanted to go to the Golden Corral the night before and we talked him out of it... just not worth the money when we weren't that hungry. I remember eating at a GC in Utah last year and I was REALLY impressed!

Anyway... we went in search of breakfast and happened upon a little place called Griffin's Bakery & Cafe. Um... YUM. Really... that sums it up. The have some of the best bakery fare I've ever had in my life. No exaggeration... in little Moses Lake, WA! Mike had a ham and Swiss pastry that was to die for. I had quiche that was melt-in-your-mouth. The kids had a yogurt parfait that was incredible and had the best granola I have ever tasted. And I had a piping hot cup of Mexican hot chocolate that was sinful! Truly... I almost want to make the drive again just to have breakfast there!! If you haven't had a chance to sample the fair, well, you really MUST stop the next time you are driving through central WA! Here are the guys, enjoying themselves thoroughly...

After having a nice breakfast, we drove around and checked out the small city. We hit the local Walmart and then spent some time cleaning out our car and vacuuming it. The car always gets so trashed when we go on road trips. Ugh. But it looked a lot better by the time we got done!

Later we met up with everyone at the Golden Corral and had a nice lunch there. When we were done eating, we decided to go to a park in Ephrata and let the kids burn off some energy. They had a LOT of fun playing with their cousins and enjoying the nice weather! (Ahhh... the weather was SO much nicer in Ephrata!) I love this picture!:

And isn't Miss Aleigha just so adorable???

Anyway... the kids had a blast... here are some other pictures:

The kids all climbed a steep hill while we were there too, but that deserves its very own entry!!

After playing for awhile, we all walked over to the adjoining cemetery to meet up with Steve, Teresa and their family. Their daughter Amanda is buried there. I remember Mike telling me the story of how he and Mary drove down there for her funeral and how heart breaking that was. That was right before Mike and I had met. While I've never had the honor of meeting that beautiful little girl, it was quite apparent that she has a lot of people who love her and her spirit was very present there that day as her family gathered around her grave and left flowers for her to enjoy. There was such a feeling of peace there and I couldn't help but reflect and be thankful for the plan of salvation and the ordinances that bind us as eternal families.

We all headed over to Aunt Barbara's house and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening there. It was so wonderful to be there. Mike and I have spoken about this and we both felt as though we were in the midst of such goodness there. We were honored to have been included in the evening meal and then we had such fun just talking and getting to know everyone better. We are so blessed to be able to call them all family. How lucky we are to be associated with such wonderful and good people! I thank them for gathering us into their fold and allowing us into their circle. (Of course they have us pining after the warmth of Arizona now... but that's a post for another day!) Here are some pictures snapped while we were there:

We headed out pretty late. I believe it was about 9:30pm. We stopped for a snack and then headed back over the pass. It was very foggy in places and the temperature was hanging right around freezing. There were some twists and turns that were a bit treacherous, but we made it home safe and sound, just after midnight. What an amazing weekend! Truly, we are so blessed!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post to read...and your food descriptions of the bakery you found is KILLING me (just started a diet :)! I can't wait to check out that place when we return someday. It was sooo wonderful getting to know you and your sweet family -- we all feel like we've known you forever - you guys just fit in perfectly!!