February Update

February 26, 2008

needleIt has been a busy month for us.  We’re all settling in nicely now.  Lauren is in pre-school two days a week and also does cheerleading on Wednesdays with the Liberty Bells.  Harry is enjoying the 1 on 1 time with his Mammy.

Jackie has made contact with a few of the Microsoft (ahem…Stepford) wives.  Her social life seems to be sorted.

We’ve been trying to get out every weekend to do stuff with the kids.  We’ve done the Seattle Aquarium and the Children’s Museum.  We went along to the Chinese New Year celebrations in Union Station.  We made a trip up to the nearest outlets in Tulalip.  We’ve even seen Mickey Mouse and Manny the Handyman in a live Disney show at key Arena.  That was awesome…

We’ve also been making use of the elh plethora of parks and trails on our doorstep here.  There are 4 lovely parks all within a 5-10 minute drive.  Marymoor, the biggest has a huge off-leash areas for dogs so Missy is loving that.  I drive to work along Lake Sammamish every morning and they’ve converted the rail bed that runs along the lake into a trail.  Some of the photos here  were taken along the trail.




Money has been a little tight so we’ve had to put Lauren to work.  This is her at work as a product tester for the Sesame Street website.




elmel  elh2eh


We got up on Friday morning and yadda yadda yadda, we arrived in Seattle!

February 5, 2008

So the trip home was pretty good and it was great to see Laurel & Hardy again and of course Jackie and the rest of the family and get out for a few beers with the lads and all that good stuff – but the fact remained that I was only home for 6 days and then we were heading away again – lock stock and barrel.

So a nasty bug that had been going around the office in Redmond hit me around St Stephens day and by Thursday I was flat out and of no use whatsoever to Jackie as she dealt with the kids, packed the bags, packed up the house and did pretty much everything.  I was so sick all I could do was call work to see if they would change our flights.  I ended up taking a semi-lethal cocktail of drugs and somehow managed to drag myself together at about 5am on Friday morning.

logo_AA_stack I won’t bore you with the details but we had an emotional departure at the airport with all the grandparents.  We managed to dispatch Missy to the cargo hold without too much bother and finally got going.  Kids were great on the flight thanks to Jackie’s endless patience with everyone including me and we arrived in Chicago a little tired but ready to keep the show on the road all the way to SeaTac.  That’s when the bomb dropped.  Snow storm in Chicago, hundreds of flight canceled including ours – we were pretty much left stranded by American Airlines in Chicago with 10 suitcases, tired and hungry kids, a barking dog trapped in her own personal plastic prison cell and they weren’t putting us on a flight until Sunday – 48 hours away!

Cutting this long story even shorter, we found a porter to hawk all the bags out to a hotel bus, we found a hotel that would take the whole family even the 4-legger and off we trotted to the local Holiday Inn.  Kids had a ball in the hotel – we had adjoining rooms and they were pretty excited about the whole thing.  Work managed to get us on a flight the next day and we arrived in Seattle only 24 hours behind schedule.  We were some sight on the shuttle bus to the airport parking lot.

I was cream-crackered for the final drive from SeaTac out to Sammamish but I was fully prepared to give Jackie the full tour of all the sights on the way home.  Needless to say she was asleep before we were off airport grounds so the tour would wait for another day.

So it wasn’t all plain sailing but happily with the passage of time the bad memories become the interesting memories and the good memories just seem to get better – the main thing is that we all got here safe and sound.

Wrapping up 2007

February 4, 2008

100_0052 It’s been a while since I’ve been able to pay my spin doctors to crank out any new posts on the old blog so as a quick catch-up and so we can get this thing motoring again here’s a brief summary.

For thanksgiving myself and Matty zipped down to Vegas for a few days.  It was an eye-opener for the former capuchin monk.  We did all the landmark hotels, took a spin down to the Hoover Dam and availed of the complimentary beverages at the Luxor – our home for the weekend. 

By an extraordinary stroke of luck the legend that is Tony Bennett was playing Vegas on the Friday night so I mugged two blue-rinsers in the Hilton lobby for their tickets.  He put on a great show.  81 years of age and still belting them out.

100_0091 Other highlights of Mattys trip before he headed for home were trips to Snoqualmie Falls and Snoqualmie Pass (the nearest ski resort) and a trip up to the local wine country in Woodinville.  There are a couple of wineries and a brewery up in Woodinville.  Never ones to discriminate we sampled a little of the grape and a little of the grain…and then a little more of the grape…and then we took some of the grape and the grain home and all was well in Sammamish…until the next morning.  Oh yeah – and we also went to a Sonics game.  It was actually a decent game considering they are having their worst season ever.

100_0137 100_0168

It was early December before Matt hit the road.  After a quiet couple of weeks and with the Christmas shopping done I left my temporary bachelorhood behind on December 21st when I returned to Dublin to help Jackie with the pack-up for the family exodus back to Seattle on December 28th.