Tuesday, July 13, 2004

We're baack!

But not for long. Really just a 2-day pit-stop before we leave for another camping trip on Thursday, this one to the Oregon Coast, with a side trip first to pick up the much-adored almost-10-year-old Lilly [known around our house as "Big Lilly," despite her string-bean-like qualities, to distinguish her from Toddler Lily, who lives in Boston], who is coming with us while her mom crams for a big test. Sarah is totally excited to see Lilly again--she keeps saying cheery things like "Lilly will be so happy to see her little cousin Sarah," even though Lilly isn't technically her cousin--and at least equally excited to see Lilly's house, which is out in the country near Eugene. We went there last summer at around this time and saw deer, and swung in the tire swing, and swam in the pool which they amazingly have-- it is not a fancy outdoor-pool kind of place at all, in case you're getting that idea, really more of a miniature intentional community with Lilly and her mom and 2 other households all sharing the same land and garden and stuff, but they have this pool that was there when they bought the place, and you swim around in it and look out at this incredible view of the mountains and it is totally idyllic.

But even more than the deer and the pool and the tire swing, if that is possible, Sarah is looking forward to seeing [and, I assume, using] the trapeze that hangs in Lilly's bedroom doorway. RW and I occasionally feel guilty that we haven't rigged something like that for our girl--star of Cirque de Sarah, performing nightly in our living room--but if you saw the weird way our house is configured, with no hallways and rooms all opening into each other, you'd understand why we don't do it. The poor kid would bash her nose in the first time she swung out.

But wait! I have to tell about the trip we just got back from! But I can't because there's too much! That, as my sister-in-law likes to say, is the way of things. Don't you hate it when someone's just come back from someplace like France or Nepal or Guatemala and all you can think of to say was "So... how was France?" [Or Nepal, etc.] and of course they just say "Um... great!" What can they possibly say? Every day of a trip is like at least a week of regular life in terms of noteworthy stuff happening. Of course it's great. Even a little camping trip like ours was so great that we are all going to be incredibly grumpy when we have to get up in 7 hours for work/daycare.

OK I am just going to make a list of the trip-related things I want to write about later. They are in no particular order. If you want to comment [please comment!] you can vote for which item you want to hear more about and I'll try to get to those. And if I never get to them, well, at least you get a general idea of what our trip was like.
1. The ferry to Nanaimo, with the bookstore [on the ferry! does that rock or what!]in which we discovered the Vinyl Cafe books
2. How Sadie and Sarah got on like a house afire 95% of the time
2A. The other 5%
3. RW's birthday, with the Nanaimo-bar cake
4. The Play Tent
5. Leapfrog
6. The wonder that is the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre [warning: long download]
6A. The water slides at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre
7. The Parksville Playground, the likes of which I have never seen before in my entire life
8. How Connie kept raving about how Canada kicks Washington State's [and the United States's in general] butt
9. The sleeping arrangements, and how Sarah almost pushed me off the mattress
9A. The [semi-]inflatable mattresses
10. The Pit Toilet [really probably not much to say about that
11. The rain, and RW's surprising [for a diehard Northwesterner] reaction to it
12. Grocery shopping in Parksville with Connie, including our freakout in the bakery aisle
13. The wands, crowns, and fairy dresses that Sadie and Sarah wore around the campground
14. Sending Sarah alone to put the recycling in the container halfway up the walk-in campsite, and the intimations of the End of Childhood brought on thereby
15. The bunny
16. The mama and baby deer
17. The Daddy Deer, why Sarah is scared of Daddy Deer, and her theory on why animals don't want you to stare at them
18. The utter coolness of our food-storage and cooking arrangements
19. The walk-in campsite itself, and why it's so much better than regular campsites
20. The night Sadie and Sarah tried to run away from bedtime
21. The beach... oh, did I forget to mention the beach? We did actually go to the beach, when it stopped raining.

And that doesn't even get into the last day of our trip, which was spent in Vancouver visiting various relations and near-relations, checking in with our friend the Baby Beluga and his relatives, walking in Stanley Park, eating Asian food, and treating ourselves to Canadian and British children's books and new clothes for Sarah [including the first shorts-and-T-shirt outfit Miss "I Only Wear Dresses" has willingly put on in over a year! And it was on sale!].

RW brilliantly packed White Car so that the camping stuff can just stay in there until Thursday. So now we are home in our own little beds. Well, not me, but I'm getting there soon. And the New Yorker came while we were gone. Should I save it for the next trip? Maybe I can just read one little article before I go to sleep...


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