Hopefully you all had a wonderful, safe, and relaxing 4th of July weekend. Justin and I drove up to his mom’s cabin (aka the Sugar Shack) on Camano Island early Wednesday morning to spend the holiday weekend with our families. This was our third consecutive year celebrating the 4th of July on Camano Island, which is about seven hours from Bend and an hour north of Seattle on Puget Sound. As always, the atmosphere and company made for a memorable weekend.
When we arrived on Wednesday afternoon, we were warmly welcomed by my mother-in-law, Mary (or Tutu, which means Grandmother in Hawaiian), and a house full of baby knick-knacks and surprises. So much thought and love!
After getting situated and settled in, we sat down for a few games of Sequence and snacked on several goodies that Tutu had prepared before our arrival. If you have never played Sequence before, it’s a really fun card/board game that can get pretty heated when three very competitive people are playing!
That evening we watched the tide come in over the mud flats, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Puget Sound. It’s amazing how late it gets dark here!
Justin and I woke up EARLY on Thursday and were excited to start our day on the Island. We changed into our running gear and went for a short run/walk along one of the country roads. We must have seen a dozen bald eagles, and I was definitely feeling the effects of traveling and being in a car for seven hours the day prior, so I preferred wogging.
That day we sat around playing games, chatting about life, and relaxing near the beach before getting ready for a wonderful dinner at the Chuckanut Manor. Tutu had suggested this restaurant and after glancing at the menu, Justin and I were sold! We sat outside on the patio so we could enjoy the warm air and amazing views of the Puget Sound.
Once the tide rolled in that evening, Justin made his way to the water and hopped on one of the paddle boards for an evening stroll on the water. I would have joined him, but the paddle board was a little unsteady and I did not feel like going for a swim. 🙂
Friday was a special day because Justin’s sister Jill and her family would be arriving, along with my mom and step-dad. We decided to take a stroll along the beach in the morning before their arrival and played around a bit, turning over rocks in search of crabs, climbing stairs along the cliffs, and pointing out more bald eagles as they flew by.
Once our families had arrived, we did a lot of talking and catching up before getting ready for dinner and my FIRST baby shower. Tutu and Jill threw Justin and I a baby shower since they were not going to be able to make it down to Bend for my shower in a couple weeks. In addition to our families, a few of the neighbors were also invited and came over after dinner for dessert and the opening of gifts.
The theme of the shower was “Ahoy Baby”, which was perfect for the beach environment. The colors also coincided with red, white, and blue, so everything fit in nicely with all of the 4th of July décor!
After testing Justin’s taste buds with baby food flavors and dirty “candy bar” diapers, we spent some time opening gifts and learning what everything is. I am completely clueless when it comes to baby gear/accessories, so there were several demonstrations made of what to do with each gift. Jill (who has two daughters ages 13 and 11) even brought along an eerily realistic baby doll so we could practice swaddling, changing diapers, and holding a baby.
We received so many wonderful gifts from our families – the baby is SPOILED already – and even a few of Mary’s neighbors brought gifts and gave us a few words of wisdom and encouragement. It was a very special evening and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the time, effort, and thought that went into the shower. Plus, I will never forget the moment my husband ate a melted candy bar from a diaper. Pretty epic.
Saturday we woke up early to begin our Fourth of July celebrations with a morning run, as we do every year. I was able to run 3 miles without walking once, which started my day on a high note. It still amazes me how my body reacts differently each day – I never know what to expect. We also passed a young boy who was walking down the road and didn’t think anything of it until a half mile later, when a frantic mother asked if we had seen her son. Apparently he took a wrong turn during the local Firecracker 5k run, and mom was relieved to hear that we had seen him. Since we were almost back to the Sugar Shack, Justin hopped into the Jeep and drove up to give her a ride to her son and make sure they were safe. I guess that’s something else we have to look forward to with parenting…the fear of our son getting lost!
The day was spent hanging out, playing in the water, and prepping for Fourth of July festivities. Food was prepped, fireworks were purchased, and Justin got into “father mode” and set up the Elmo piñata for afternoon entertainment.
Needless to say, the piñata did not last long after my two nieces took a few swings, leaving Elmo limbless, and Justin finished it off with a bang.
The fireworks show on Juniper Beach is truly something out of the movies and several houses seem to “compete” for best show and most applause. Apparently one of the neighbors is good friends with the Chief of the local Native American Tribe, and gets his fireworks directly from him. Starting around 9pm, colors filled the sky and loud booms could be heard from every direction. We watched the show until 11pm and called it a night.
We left early on Sunday to beat the holiday traffic and make it home in time for the Women’s World Cup soccer victory. It’s never easy leaving family, but we are looking forward to seeing them a lot more in the coming months when our little guy arrives!
How was your holiday weekend? Most memorable moment?