Sunday, May 11, 2008

Off to the island...

This post has been a few weeks in the making but only because I’ve been waiting for more of the pictures to come my way. Thank you Becca and Evan!

This post is part of my week-long adventures… I was sooooo fortunate to be able to travel to Whidbey Island, WA for my grandparents 65th (!!!!!!!!!!!) wedding anniversary. 65 years. WOW. I can’t believe it and neither could my grandparents!

Marian and Warren Fitzpatrick, Married May 15, 1943. (Little side note - I learned on this trip that my grandfather was in the service for a greater part of their early married days and that he wasn't even able to be present for my father's birth!)

This trip had been in the works all year. Justin, Becca and the boys were flying in from CO, me and Evan from UT, and my dad from RI. I was pretty impressed with the timing of all our flights. We all arrived within one hour of each other. (and for once none of us got held us by delayed airplanes or lost luggage!) Other guests were my grandmother’s sister (Aunt Jewel) and her daughter/daughter’s family who already live on the island.

Whidbey Island is unique. I have memories of visiting in when I was little. The big thriller was driving to the ferry and taking it over to the island. (I always thought it was funny when my grandparents said they “went oversees” one day to go shopping (they love Costco), etc.) The ferry ride takes about 25 minutes and you can get out and walk up to the top to see the view.

Well, Evan and I arrived together and met up with my dad. We got our rental car and drove to the nearest restaurant for lunch. This restaurant didn’t have a normal menu. It seemed to be famous for its cornbread and pulled meat (pork and chicken). I got what I thought was a simple salad… the meat was a bit strange but I was hungry. Unfortunately, it came back to haunt me later (details below).

We started our drive to the ferry and even though it was a Friday afternoon, we were impressed by the lack of traffic. That is, until we got to the ferry line. It was CRAZY long (over 1 hr 15 min wait). So, I decided to get out and explore. I wanted to get a great view of the island since it was a clear day so I hiked up some mini hills and probably trespassed on some people’s property, but no one seemed to care. Seattle habitants are MUCH more laid back than Bostonians. On every corner there’s a coffee shop and the local people just hangin’ out. They’re on a different time schedule than a typical easterner. I’m not saying that’s bad or good. I am just saying it.

Here's a few pictures from my hike...
Here's the ferry!
So, I got back to the car just in time to board the ferry and as luck would have it Justin and his family were the 2nd to last car to get on as well! I was excited to see Riley and Jace (my nephews) because it’s been about 18 months since I had last seen them. Riley is 5 and Jace will be 2 in July.
Evan and Riley

When we got to the island we went straight to my grandparents house which is about 5 minutes from the ferry. They live along one of the peaks and their backyard faces out onto the water. Since the weather was beautiful out the grandkids and the great-grandkids went out to play some soccer in the backyard before dinner (which was my grandparents favorite – Costco Lasagna).

There were too man of us to stay at my grandparents, so Justin and his family stayed there and my dad, Evan and I had reservations at the local motel. Initially I was surprised the island even had a motel since I had never seen one before. My expectations for what this hotel would be like were pretty low, but I was blown away! It actually had cute rooms, a microwave, little fridge, cable tv, comfy beds, and free WI-FI!! WOW. But, here’s where the story gets miserable. I was pretty tired because of the time changes and all the traveling in the past few days… and around 9:30 PM I started to feel really sick. I thought I could just sleep through it but little did I realize I was about to have the most miserable night I can remember in a LONG time. I’ll spare you the details, but I wouldn’t wish what I experienced on anyone! I almost never get sick, but when I do get sick, I GET SICK. Ugh… I still tremble from the memories of it. And, even thought I was in a room by myself and in a comfy bed, I was miserable (to put it mildly).

In the morning I hobbled over to the phone to call my dad’s room and give them the bad news. I didn’t want them to wait around for me, but they were so patient and concerned! My dad went to the store to get me some water, gingerale and saltines. Then, Evan gave me a blessing. It was wonderful to have the priesthood so close by! Normally, I would have had to call someone if I had been in Boston, but it meant a lot to me to have my little brother there to give me a blessing although I was too weak to acknowledge it at the time.

After an hour I felt my fever start to break and I was able to get the strength to take a shower and get dressed. I was so slow, but I did it! Then, my dad grabbed anything I would need for the day and I fell into the backseat of the car. We drove to my grandparents and I walked in and fell on their couch, which is where I spent the majority of the day! It was beautiful out, but walking more than 5 feet was miserable.

My family’s activities that day revolved around me (at least this is what it felt like to me!) and what I was able to do. We all hung out in the living room while I laid on the couch and when I felt a little better we got in the car to go to the park. I just wanted to be around everyone, so I laid down on the park bench and watched the action take place.

Jace and Riley
My brother and sister-in-law introduced me to a new game. They had this moving bar at the playground. It’s about a foot off the ground, but moves back and forth. Two people stand on it and move their bodies around to shake the bar and try to knock the other one off. Hilarious! Of course, I didn’t do it, but here are some pics. Justin seemed to have practiced and was the champion, but Becca didn’t let him win too easily!
Justin and Becca trying it out
Justin won
Evan and Justin... yet again, Justin won
Then it was back to the house for lunch and back to the couch for me. Everyone chilled again for a while, but then decided to go to town to see the boats and the shops. I opted out of this one and slept for about 3 hours. I have never moved less or slept more in one day in my life.

Here's Riley playing my dad in chess. He's so smart! At five years old he knows his multiplication tables. We asked him 4 x 3 and he said out loud "That's 4 + 4 +4. 12" WOWZERS!! And, he starts Kindergarten in the Fall!
Pictures of their trip to the town
Evan... he's the shining star in the family :)

Fortunately, by 5 PM, I was feeling able to at least sit up for a while. This was a good thing, because we had to leave for the big dinner at the only restaurant on the island. A Chinese restaurant! So, that’s where we all gathered to celebrate their anniversary! I look pretty normal in these pictures… but you would not believe how un-normal I felt!
Me and Jace
Evan, Riley and I
Justin, Evan, Riley and I

Not a great picture of all of us! But, the only one I had with my dad and sister-in-law.
This is outside after dinner... with Lynn, Roger, their son Alex, and Aunt Jewel... with my family (minus me)The same group... this time with me minus my dad

After dinner it was back to the hotel room for me and I crashed. So much for enjoying the hotel’s amenities! I finally was able to sleep for longer periods of time and was able to keep the saltines down. I was so nervous about flying back the next day and being stuck on a plane for hours and hours, but fortunately, I was able to again sleep almost all the way back!

Sunday AM I did feel better but still very weak in my muscles. I was able to pack my things and shower, etc, but still couldn’t carry anything (thank you Evan!) We met up with Justin and his family at the Ferry for final good-byes as we traveled overseas to the airport.

As luck would have it, just as their car was pulling in behind ours at the rental car place at the airport Riley got sick from being in the car and Justin and Becca had to drive out of the airport to a gas station to clean it up! POOR THEM! But, fortunately, we were all able to meet up again in the airport playroom while we waited for our flights.

The trip home was uneventful except for the bible basher who sat next to me on the first part of the trip. At first he seemed interested in talking to me about the church since he noticed me reading my scriptures, but then he just wanted to argue with me. It was terrible! If there had been another free seat on the plane, I would have moved!

Upon leaving the island I reflected on whether I could ever live on one... and the answer was no, or at least not now. It's a little too remote for my liking, too quiet, and too far from things I love. But, it is a great place to visit, to rest, to relax, to get away from the 'hustle and bustle'... and for me this time around, it was a great place to sleep!

And, I just have to give a 'shout-out' to my dad because he really did watch over me every step of the way and made sure I was as comfortable and as cared for as possible. THANK YOU!!!!

OVERALL, the trip was fabulous, and I only have happy memories of spending time with my family. I wish we could get together more often, but I’ll savor what I can get! ☺


Jamie Parke said...

Wow what a trip. 65 years, that is amazing. I am so sorry to hear you were sick, it is so miserable at home but even worse away from home. Thank goodness you were well taken care of. I would love to visit the island sometime, it sounds neat but probably more remote than I could stand also.

Maylene said...

Oh that must have been awful to be sick! But it sounds like it was very relaxing and fun. I've only been up to Whidbey a few times but I loved it when I was there. I would love to have a summer vacation home in a place like that!
Your nephews are super cute too! It's so funny because I hear about them and your brother but I really haven't ever seen pictures.