We had the most incredible vacation together as a family this past week.
We didn't do anything extraordinary, or travel anywhere exotic. We didn't blow thousands of dollars on airfare, lodging or food. It was me, Ahron, our two children and even our rambunctious dog Chloe.
This vacation was about us being together as a family, enjoying each other's company, seeing the ones we love and for Ahron, saying good-bye for a little while.
We spent our first 3.5 days in Yakima. Ahron and I planned to go see a movie together. We started out at the Second Street Grill and ended up doing a wine tasting event at Gilbert Cellars. I think it worked out better then the movie.
We laughed after the server brought us each wine sample (bless her heart for putting up with our wine naivete), trying to figure out how each different wine contains notes and hints of seemingly absurd flavors like stainless steel, oak, bacon and stone. In the end I felt like the people who actually decide how these wines should be described may be suffering from pica or something.
On the 4th of July we celebrated with a good old-fashioned family barbecue complete with my mother's infamous strawberry flag cake. Like every exciting life event, my five-year old decided to sleep through the fireworks. We could not wake her for anything, so instead I was able to enjoy the excitement of my four-year old nephew as the fireworks lit up the sky.
Tuesday we headed out across the state to Long Beach, Washington. At 28, for the first time in my life I finally traveled through White Pass in Washington. The drive, though a bit windy at times, was incredible. It makes me realize how lucky I am to live in the one of the most scenic places on this earth. Makes everything painful somehow bearable.
We spent two wonderful days at a cottage in Long Beach. The weather was amazing. Food and drink were plentiful. Running around after our children and our dog on the beach was exhausting, but happy-exhausting. I loved watching their reactions and the joy on their faces as we built our first beach campfire, roasted marshmallows and watched fireworks shoot through the cold night air. I'm pretty sure Ahron felt the same way.
Now the vacation is almost over. Ahron's begun packing and it's hit us that this deployment train is leaving full speed ahead in just a couple of days. Though it's scary to know that hard days lie ahead, I feel comfort in knowing that our children know they are loved and that we will still be a family.