We had a great time in Spokane, other than the grueling drive of course :)
We left the house around 7:30, got coffee and breakfast and were headed towards the trestle at 7:45. At 9:15, we finally got out of Everett. Yep. Traffic was a disaster, the trestle was all backed up, we detoured around the accident through downtown Everett but so was everyone else. We were highly aggravated by traveling before we'd even left our town!
After that delay, we made good time and cruised into Moses Lake for lunch. Gwen acquainted herself with everyone sitting within 5 feet of our table (as is normal for her!) and the kids had their first chance to throw and stomp in snow. We had a mini-snowball fight in front of everyone at McDonalds, then loaded back into the car and took off. We ended up in Spokane at around 2. We went to visit Jason's Mom, then took the kids to Red Robin for dinner, which, all things considered, went fairly painlessly.
Back to the hotel, where Ethan and I shared a sofa bed and J and Gwen got the king bed. We had restless sleep because the kids aren't used to sharing beds and they are little bed hogs. They spread out and push their parents into the corners!
We were up at 5 on Saturday (painful!) and ventured out into the snow for breakfast. The snow had been coming down all night and everything was white and fresh. It covered up all the dirty slush from the night before. Very pretty. Breakfast was rough. Syrup + wound up kids + tired parents = *sigh*. After we escaped the restaurant, we stopped at Target to buy Mommy a coat because she was very smart and left her coat (and snow boots) at home. Then back to the hotel where the kids zoned out for a bit on the tv.
Around lunch time we headed out to David and Christy's house in Coeur D'Alene. They had more snow and after the kids played around inside with Tyler for a bit, everyone headed outside to sled down a small hill close to their house. The kids LOVED sledding. Jason helped make a huge snowman and the kids just had a blast. It was nice for them to have another kid to play with as we don't typically like loitering around long in the snow. Their second hand snow clothes held up splendidly and after we un-bundled them, they were dry and warm. I got such a deal on those!
Later that evening, everyone else showed up. Angela, Chris, Matthew and Jamie, Donny and Mary (Jason's Mom). We had a really good time seeing them all and catching up. It was interesting to see the kids interact. Matthew and Tyler, being very similar in age, naturally stuck together. Gwen and Jamie, being the only girls and similar in age, also stuck together. This left Ethan going back and forth between the groups. Too old for the girls, too young for the boys. He really noticed too that he didn't fit in. Broke my heart. I know these things are good for growing and learning, but it still hurts a little bit.
On the way back to the hotel, Gwen was out immediately, but Ethan conveniently woke up just as Daddy was pulling into McD's to get Mommy an ice cream cone, so he ordered some nuggets and we all had a late evening snack. The kids fell asleep easily together in the sofa bed and we thought that we'd have a comfy nights sleep in the king. Not so much. A few hours in, Gwen woke up crying and saying her head hurt. So Jason went onto the sofa bed and I snuggled with Gwen until she fell back asleep. Neither J or I slept well after that and I woke up a very bad mood.
We ate breakfast in the hotel and Gwen just couldn't stop talking. We were all sitting there and she starts shrieking, "Mommy! Mommy! Look!". Thinking there must be a guy in a Santa costume or something very shocking going on, I look. Only there was nothing there but a guy at a table. Gwen continues, "Mommy, look, A GUY!". Its so loud that no one can ignore it and the guy cracks up, we crack up and the guys wife cracks up as she returns to the table. A few minutes later, Gwen pushes back her plate and says, "So, Daddy, how are you today?" Jason looks rather bewildered and says he's fine and she says, "Good" and continues eating. Where did this come from?
The drive home was rough. No one was rested, Ethan wanted to go back to the hotel (he kept telling people that we lived in a hotel) and Gwen just wanted out! We pulled out the DVD player and that seemed to do the trick. We got home around 3, the kids pulled out all their presents and started playing, Daddy started playing his game (Mass Effect) and I alternated between zoning out and doing chores.
Later today, or maybe tomorrow, I'll wade through the masses of pictures we took and post.