We had one great summer this year. As most of you know I just love NYC but in the summer if you don't have money it is hard to have fun with two little kids everyday. It gets very hot and humid and the playground and pool gets to be a bit boring for 2 months straight. This year the flights were extremely over priced so I decided to spend most of the summer in Seattle. I only go home once a year so I figured why not expand my visit this year to 6 1/2 weeks where the weather is cool and I have more help than I know what to do with. I purchased my tickets in July and a week later we were on a plane. I have never done that before. I usually get my tickets months in advance but this year the prices wouldn't go down, if anything they kept going up.
Kerry and Faan started the summer off right when they were kind enough to host a bbq at there house in the Poconos for the 4th of July. We had a great time and the kids got their first experience with sparklers. They spent the whole day running around playing on the water slide and swinging on the home made swing that Coolidge believes is as much fun as a roller coaster. Brody burned his finger on the sparkler and I think it will take years for him to pick up another.
Thanks to some friends of mine we discovered Robert Moses beach. We went twice before we headed to Seattle and I'm planning on going at least one more time before the summer is over. It is a great beach for families. Before kids Ben and I used to go to Jones beach but we couldn't stand it back then because of all the young adults who go to party and get picked up. To paint a picture for you think of the Jersey Shore kids and multiply it by 1,000. I know you can understand why it wasn't our favorite. The first time we went there the water was so rough that Coolidge and Brody only went in up to their ankles. I watched Ben get knocked around over and over but yet he still went back for more. The second time the waves were a lot more tame and even Coolidge tried body surfing for the first time. I can see that he loves it as much as his dad.
Our trip to Seattle was packed full of family, friends and fun. For the first time my flight going to Seattle was a breeze. Both my boys have matured quite a bit and because they are such pros at flying they made life so easy for me. As some of you know I fly with a huge bag of tricks to keep them entertained and we only went through a quarter of it. It has helped with my anxiety for flying back in a month. While we were home we vacationed at Sun Lakes with my siblings and parents. We do it every year and each year is a little different. This year we played on the water but made sure to spend family time together. We managed to put two teams together for a game of wooffle ball. Shawn and his muscles almost put the game to a halt when he smacked a huge dent into the ball. Luckily we had two balls and told Shawn to take it down a notch. It was the first time that we have ever played a game all at the same time. Usually our games don't allow all of us to play and it sucks because our crew are players and nobody likes to be left out. We also all learned from last years accidents that we all need to act our age. The group of us keeps getting larger and some how we all make it work. My boys love going there and they never want to go home.
While I was home I was able to attend my sister Lindsy's wedding showers. she had one for family and one for friends. They were both special and allowed me to see family and friends that I haven't seen in years. I have to say my favorite was the one on Whideby Island. However, how could you not have fun when your host lives on a beautiful beach and Debbie is just fun people. I wanted to take my boys because they just love the beach but I chose to go by myself because I knew that once I get back to NYC me time would be far and few between. I am so excited to see Lindsy and Shawn get married in October. Shawn is someone I have gotten to know over the last couple years and I have to say he is a great guy and am happy that Lindsy and Tyson will have someone like him.
I also celebrated my 20 year reunion. I had mixed feelings about going. Partly because facebook has connected me and so many of my old school mates that I wonder if I needed to pay $70 to find out all the stuff I already knew. Then I came to my senses and realized that it would be fun to see them all in person and talk about old times and new. It was much better than the 10 year and I had an absolute blast. However, I had a great time with all of these people in high school so I am not at all surprised that I could still have a blast with them 20 years later. Some of them I couldn't stop hugging because it was so surreal to see them. I also realized I don't want to wait another 10 years until I see them.
This year we were blessed to have so many friends invite us to go on their boats and visit their water front houses so me, Ben and the kids got so many chances to be in and near the water. One of my favorite experiences was the Schuller's inviting us to visit their place on Camano Island. They took us out on their boat to a little private beach where we drank wine and feasted on fresh caught crab while the kids built a fort out of drift wood. Coolidge and Brody were in heaven with all the little nature treasures around them.
This summer was a lot different with the boys. After Brody turned 4 their relationship changed. They have always had a bond but now they really enjoy playing with one another. Brody finally grew out of the destruction age and enjoys building along side his brother and loves the same sort of games. Don't get me wrong life is not all easy they can fight like you wouldn't believe but for the most part they get each other and need me just a little less. My mother spoiled me by waking up with them feeding them and babysitting when ever I needed. I was able to find time to read, knit, play cards and just sit on my favorite outside chair relax. At the beginning of summer Brody didn't want anything to do with starting school. After doing some school shopping for a new Wolverine back pack and Spiderman sneakers he has warmed up to the idea. He is still nervous but loves the idea of going to school with his big brother. Coolidge is quite funny because he loves playing with Brody but there are times when Brody gets on his nerves and he screams at him. As soon as Brody settles down and falls asleep for a nap you would think Coolidge would take that time to enjoy all the toys without his brother bugging him, but no, it drives him crazy and for some reason he can't have complete fun until his brother wakes up. It drives me mad.
We spent 3 and 1/2 weeks in Seattle without Ben. Thank goodness we were so busy and so was he because that is a long time to be without my cutie. He took advantage of the time and made a few short documentaries for TurnHere. They asked their filmmakers to find stories in their area to submit to Yahoo for a new series. Because Ben and a few other filmmakers did such a great job Yahoo started a deal and they plan to use these docs in the future. TurnHere and Studio Now seem to be impressed with Ben's work because he is working for both of them full time. He upgraded his video equipment which should help him to get more jobs from other companies along with higher paying gigs. I am very proud of him and excited for his new adventures. I am hoping that once both boys are in school I will be able to assist him on his shoots and lighten his work load. We are not great at putting together Ikea furniture but I think I can handle his grunt work.
It was one super fun summer this year. I am very happy to be able to spend so much time at home with my family and friends. When I got home I did experience a bit of a culture shock that I didn't anticipate. I became so used to driving everywhere, putting groceries in the car, no schlepping to the park and quiet dark nights. When I spent my first day at home I noticed we had no food so I had to get my boys motivated to walk to the store, carry my heavy bags home in the hot sun and then pack a huge bag so we could go to the park which included a towel bathing suits, snacks, drinks, magazine, and sunglasses. I sat on a hard bench instead of my moms shaded swing chair and sweated my ass off. Then I schlepped them back to feed them bathe them and go to sleep with all the yelling, sirens, music and car alarms. I then realized this is why I escape to Seattle for my summer. I love NYC but sometimes I wish I could have both.