Northwest Trip, Part Two (Week Fifty with Vianne)

Posted by Amy O. , Saturday, April 6, 2013 1:20 PM

March 18-24

It only took a few hours into the trip for Vianne to remember how much she adores her Grandma Gustafson. By the second day, I would go to take her from Grandma & she would already refuse me!  I should've taken off for my own private vacation! :-)  I love this photo because it's Vianne smiling at her Grandma, and you can see the love & joy radiating from her that Grandma inspires!
Grandma got lots of love from Vianne!

On Monday, we had dinner with the Hsiehs minus Ben at Fultano's, with a little playing at Mom's house beforehand.  I love seeing our kids together!  Vianne making music with Ava & Ian...

On Tuesday, the Blair girlies were at Grandma's for the day.  I loved seeing Vianne really play with them for the first time.  Bea introduced her to Barbies...

...and Margot showed her the necklaces & puzzles.

I especially loved seeing Vianne play with these toys because most of them are ones that I played with!  These necklaces are ones that my dad brought back once from a business trip to New Orleans when we were little girls and of course we loved them and used them all the time in our dress up play.
And this photo melts my heart - Vianne playing with the doll house that my dad built for me & my sisters!

Vianne really enjoyed this football that Grandma had among her toys...never had played with one before!
This snapshot cracks me up!!
At the end of the week, we were throwing an early first birthday party for Vianne so my mom graciously helped with the shopping, planning, food preparation and decor.  Tuesday night we stayed up late: I was making craft foam Eeyore tails (of course!) and my amazing artistic mom was spontaneously freehanding this Eeyore poster for 'Pin the Tail on Eeyore'.
Wednesday was the day we were going to get Patrick/Daddy at the airport!  Vianne was all smiles!
We spent the afternoon awaiting his arrival at the Blairs...
...which we had been to so many times by now that Vianne was very comfortable there...
...and marched around like she owned the place!
I just couldn't get enough of her in this little outfit with these little shoes, walking around like such a big girl!
Then she got a special treat from Aunt Emily - a big Korean rice cracker thingy.  We're going to have to track some of these down...

We met Daddy at the airport with balloons that said Congratulations! (because we'd found out a few days before that his dissertation was approved by all three readers!!) and lots of smiles!  Vianne was so happy to see him - and so was one tired single-for-a-week Mama.  As we were leaving the airport together in all our family-reunited joy, we saw this beautiful rainbow!
We stopped by the Mall 205 McMenamins for a celebratory Stout - and some more snuggles from my two favorites!  Soon we were joined by some more favorites - the Blairs - to join in the celebration.
Back at Mom's house...
...glad to be together and to be done with the dissertation!!
The main reason for our trip was so Patrick could present at two conferences of The Society of Pentecostal Studies and The Wesleyan Theological Society (which we were grateful were meeting in Seattle this year which gave us the perfect 'excuse' to see my family)  so Thursday, we left on a road trip for Seattle. Thankfully, Vianne is a great little traveler and slept a lot of the way there!
We had a lovely room for our two-night stay just a ten minute walk from the Space Needle - and with this view of it!
Dinner at the hotel :-)
On Friday, Patrick was at the conference (held at Seattle Pacific University) all day so Vianne & I took a breathtakingly gorgeous drive north & west to see our friends from Fuller, the Snyder family, who moved to Oak Harbor, WA, in the summer of 2011 - and whom we hadn't seen since then.  It is such a beautiful area - especially Deception Pass, where we stopped for a few photographic memories.




The kiddos having lunch: twins Hazel & Jude ( 2 yrs 4 mos old), Nona (1 yr) and Vianne.  The twins were born when they still lived in Pasadena & I hung out with them as much as I could.  So great to see them again so grown up and to finally meet Nona!
Vianne & Nona checking out the books.  I wish we lived closer - they would undoubtedly be the best of friends!

Heidi with the camera-&-Amy-shy twins :-)
Saturday morning, Patrick had his second presentation to give so Vianne & I enjoyed a relaxed breakfast at the downstairs buffet, where Vianne enjoyed trying some new foods and all the attention she got from the other patrons.  She gave a lengthy sermon about halfway through breakfast - and with her usual impassioned vocal inflections & hand gestures, she fit right in with the Pentecostals ;-D.

When Patrick was done, we packed up and took advantage of the unusually warm, sunny weather and walked down to the Space Needle to have a look around.

On our way back to Canby, we took a short detour off I-5 in Centralia for a late lunch at the Olympic Club McMenamins, which means we can check another one off our map of all the McMenamins we're determined to visit :-).
And, what appear to be the last photos I took on the trip, back in Canby, Vianne & David playing with the old school pop up toy.  This is from my childhood - nowadays, they've got rounded corners & stuff.  Somehow the four Gustafson children survived on this one...:-)

We ended the week with Vianne first 1st birthday party on Sunday - a few weeks early, but we wanted to celebrate with Oregon family & friends while we had the chance. 

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