Doug's 40th

IMGP9273  On our way to Seattle to catch a flight to Dougy's 40th birthday. They are enjoying my 7-function binoc/compass/signal mirror device that I keep on hand just in case :) IMGP9277  Nice, Ben! Pic-05242013-002  Inside the mission chapel. Pic-05242013-003  The boys were pretty impressed with the church and all the artifacts preserved from the Mission period.
Pic-05242013-004  "Hey Mom, that's a rosary in his hand." Pic-05242013-005  Yup! Pic-05242013-006  Preparing chalk art for a big Memorial Day celebration. Pic-05242013-007  Takes a LONG time!
Pic-05242013-008  Found a neat playground nearby where Mom and Richard met us. Pic-05242013-009  Then to the turtle pond for tree climbing. Pic-05242013-010 Pic-05242013-011  Sam really enjoyed studying these turtles. He really spent some serious time with them. So cute of him. He is so curious and empathetic to creatures.
Pic-05242013-012  I love you, Sam! IMGP9278  They loved making this little clam "talk" at a nice dinner sponsored by Richard. The little song they like to sing - invented on this trip - is "One, two, poo, little snack-snack!" You end the song (the snack-snack part) by jumping on something. This clam really stank! I hid it in the hotel room but Dave found it and tossed it. IMGP9279  This is what a hotel room looks like with two boys stuffed in. I am standing on a chair against the far wall :) IMGP9281  Hotel still life: Pope Francis coin from the Santa Barbara Mission, gum ("To clean our teeth!"), gems that Sam received for free from a jewelry store (I indulge him every time we stop in - turns out jewelry store proprietors keep gems around to look at or take - Sam got a topaz, garnet, zircon all for free but sadly - very sadly - most of them are now lost on a Santa Barbara beach - they fell out of his pocket). The goggles represent the cumulative 24 hours the boys spent in the poor in just 4 days! They loved it. We did, too! And they made us stop for hot chocolate every time we went by the little concierge area in the hotel :)
IMGP9282  Walking through Santa Barbara down town area after procuring a suit for Dave, and gloves for me - for the Great Gatzby party later in the evening. Nice town - really big, actually. IMGP9283  We spied a public restroom as soon as we got into town :) IMGP9287  Here is the beloved pool! We were really only one of two families consistently enjoying it. They had a wonderful time! Ben loved the hot tub :) IMGP9288  Ben saw some guys get into the pool with beers and he said something like: "Oh, beer in the pool. That's a grownup drink. That's cool."
IMGP9289 Pic-05252013-001  Out on a jog down the beach before the big birthday bash! Reminded me a little of running in Kailua. Man, were we spoiled there. I miss those days. Pic-05252013-002  The Hobbit House :) Thought the boys would enjoy this since we are reading The Hobbit right now. IMGP9292  Great Gatzby party! Mom and Doug talking to Kate, Dave in foreground.
IMGP9293  Ok time to hop on board the shuttle! IMGP9294  "Let's go!" Says Richard. IMGP9295  On our way! There's the birthday boy! IMGP9296  Absolutely gorgeous decorations, Mary. You and Christy did an amazing job coordinating everything.
IMGP9297  I love you, honey! I was worried about leaving our kids with a sitter I'd never met until I found out she was from Kyrgyzstan, then we hit it off famously. I showed her my measly Russian and she could understand me :) I didn't want to leave. I asked her all kinds of things, and found out that Kyrgyz boys do know how to do armpit farts, but they stop earlier than my boys seem to. No surprise there! IMGP9300  Like the suit and gloves? Dress from Goodwill. Love the shoes...also Goodwill but they are not in pictures. I will be wearing them with jeans :) Makeup done - NOT BY ME :0 ha ha! IMGP9301  Planning Doug's present with a buddy of his! IMGP9302  Some pictures of the table follow. Mary did a wonderful job planning every detail, from menu to lighting.
IMGP9303  Nice outfit, Richard. IMGP9304  See the chandeliers? Mary had them brought in to add to the ambience. Very nice! IMGP9306  Doug about to blow out his candles! IMGP9308
IMGP9309  Off to church the next day - Our Lady of Sorrows in Santa Barbara. IMGP9310 IMGP9312  At the end, the priest (Father Mario) called all the children up to help administer the blessing on the congregation. It was pretty neat. Too bad I think Sam looks like he's a "weeping angel" from Doctor Who (he has a friend who is very into it and they play games during recess inspired by the show). Ben not participating yet, but he came around a few seconds later :) He is just to the left of the altar boy. Sam is to the left of the girl in the black and white stripes. IMGP9313  Beach burritos! And a just-engaged couple standing up together, smiling :) Congratulations, John and Kate!!
IMGP9314  Doug and Mary and Isabella! IMGP9315 IMGP9316 IMGP9319  We were down on a little local beach when the boys decided they wanted to walk up to East Beach from Butterfly Beach - 1.7 mi away and through a narrow area where the tide was lapping up at the rocks. Dave thought it was not such a good idea. I thought it was ok, questionable, though. We didn't want to be "that tourist family" swamped by waves. The boys and I made a run for it - 1/4 mile through the sand outrunning the tide. Most people who live there haven't done this - the hotel staff said they hadn't done it. Doug hadn't. But we made it, thankfully. Here we are on the other side. I texted my brother - he said "And how are you getting back?" We didn't have that figured out yet. But we are good walkers and ended up meeting mom and Richard about halfway back :)
IMGP9322  Ben at his "cilantra" bar where he serves meals with cilantra and coffee :) IMGP9323  Eagle learning to do the monkey bars :) IMGP9324  Sam was lounging and prospecting :) IMGP9325
IMGP9327  Ben learned to armpit fart this weekend! Every time we see the shirts come up we cringe. Pic-05272013-001  Eagle! I almost needed this info! Pic-05272013-002  Eagle! I found you! I am so relieved and so grateful! What were you doing in Lost and Found - looking for a job at Alaska Air? After a WILD eagle chase at the airport we got Eagle back - here is the happy reunion. Suffice to say that at the curb, waiting for our driver to take us to the ferry, Ben said "So, where is Eagle?" OMG!! What do you MEAN where is Eagle? We ultimately decided to miss a ferry connection we were unlikely to make anyway and send me back running for Eagle. I had to get a special pass, go through security again, track down the train where he left Eagle, peek my head in the doors of every car and go "Anyone seen a stuffed bald eagle? Anyone?" Nope. Up to SEATAC port authority lost and found - closed. Left a note. Down to baggage claim (ok - sounds easy enough, but I am RUNNING with a pack on through Memorial Day crowds while Dave and limo driver circle - I only have enough time for one circle around to hunt him down). I get back to baggage claim as my last hope that he came up. I find some ladies, yell out "Did a stuffed bald eagle toy get turned in?" and to my immense relief someone said "Why, YES!" I did a big WOOOHOOO! and when he finally emerged I ran through baggage claim with him over my head like an Olympic torch - but I was so relieved and disoriented I was like a bird trying to get out of a house! I finally got out and flagged down the stretch limo - Dave saw Eagle flying by, popped open the back door and I flopped in, hysterical and laughing, on the floor in a sweaty heap. Our fantastic driver, Paul, laughingly said "I have NO idea why I waited. I have not WAITED for ANYONE in my life!" Paul insisted on taking a family picture on his iPhone when he dropped us off at the ferry. He was so kind and really enjoyed the drama of it all with good cheer and a bunch of laughs. So thankful for good people in this world. IMGP9331  Talking to his buddy, so relieved to have him back. Both boys are such troopers - they have had colds all weekend but you wouldn't know it other than a little crankiness and looking tired now and then. I am off to bed myself here in a minute!
IMGP9333  Just as Dave was saying "Isn't this a long slog, this part? The walk up the ramp with our bags, the ferry, the walk up the next long ramp..." Ben knocked his lemonade right onto Dave. I thought it was so funny as I ran to get napkins. Once again our family was making a huge scene. People all around were smiling and wondering. Then Ben started talking about how gross it was when Isabella puked after crying - "Do you remember the BUBBLE COUGHS?" Dave and I almost peed in our pants. When poor Isabella puked afer her crying jag, Sam dove behind a couch (he doesn't like pukes or crying) and Ben watched, wide-eyed, as she had what he called "bubble coughs." A great and memorable trip!!