Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Choosing Precious Family Time!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

OLA: Choosing Precious Family Time!

the newest addition to the family, Kai Jor El, right after delivery by proud parents, Claudine, with Arnold assisting!
My second daughter Claudine’s second son was due on July 1. Technically, we had a week to kill when we left Boise on January 25. Jim and family were going off to visit his sister Suzanne’s family the following day and Claudine had company until the 30th. We had 3 options to get to her and husband Arnold’s home in Calgary: the shortest, the longer, and the longest, in driving distance.

The shortest was to drive straight through and have several days of rest somewhere between Boise and Calgary. The longer, adding 7 hours, is driving through Seattle to get another chance to visit my daughter Trish, son-in-law Deejay, and grandkids Krishna, Yeye, and Kenji. The longest, a trip through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 2 middle Canadian provinces east of British Columbia and west of Ontario which we had not been to, would have added 20 hours. Of course, we chose family time!

The Seattle Great Wheel, newest addition to the Waterfront
Deejay had chili and cornbread waiting for us for dinner!  After a bottle of wine amid a brief frenzied catching up, we retired to rest after a long travel day. The next night I made what my grandkids’ always ask me to make, baked lasagna! Deejay rented The Call for a movie night and guess what Bill rented? The Call! They are really very much alike, especially about how to take care of their brood.

Grilled beef on skewers @ Seattle's Ipanema
The third night the boys had their night out. First they revisited the famed Seattle Waterfront and Pike Place Market. Then they had a sampling of increasingly popular Brazilian food, at the Ipanema, very heavy on grilled or roasted beef, served on large skewers from which you take slices as they go around tables. Meanwhile my day was spent cooking another favorite dish of my grandkids, Halaan (Manila Clams) Soup and steamed crabs
luxurious iPic Theater experience in Redmond, Washington
The last day the couple gave us a very nice date experience at iPic Theater in the upscale Redmond Town Center (Microsoft country). We watched ‘Now You See Me’ in the luxury of extraordinary recliners with a shared table. We each had all you can eat popcorn, ‘on the house’ before and after lunch. I had ROOT beer and Bill had REAL beer, a Stella Artois. Lunch was pepperoni and sausage flatbread con jalapenos for Bill and I had the fresh Asian chicken rice rolls. And it was a mighty fine movie to boot! Since we were already in Redmond, we also passed by to look at Bill's first ever home in Washington. It still looks great! 

Bill's first ever home in Redmond, Washington!
@ Red House, Renton, Washington
The second to the last night was supposed to be the girls’ night out but Claudine texted that she was actually due on June 30 instead of July 1 and I wanted the chance to be at the delivery room just as when welcomed Kenji to the world.  Enzo, Claudine’s first son, arrived 2 weeks early so I missed it. Trisha, Bill, and I went to the Red House, a very popular tapas and wine and beer bar and restaurant in Renton. By about 7:30 PM Trisha and I had already let off enough steam to poor Bill. We called the rest of the family to come over. Besides, Trisha would no longer be able to drive after the bottle of Rioja.
@ Red House in Renton, Washington!
So we were still able to have the family night out. Kenji sang his ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ masterpiece (he had sung it to me every day I was there) so I could record it. After 2 flavorful paellas, the awesome Family Size Mediterranean plate, the most succulent Steak Pomfrites, and the trio of desserts, tiramisu, apple crisp, chocolate molten cake, and another bottle of Italian wine, the whole Bunch headed home extremely happy.
The following day Deejay had breakfast ready on the table:  scrambled eggs, sausages, biscuits, and gravy!!!

beautiful yellow fields of rape seed!
world's biggest truck in Sparwood, BC
We were on the road at 8:30 am, 30 minutes earlier than our goal. The road we took to Calgary took us there in 12 hours and 45 minutes of driving. There were many great shots of the Canadian Rockies and beautiful yellow rape seed fields. We stopped for the night at Cranbrook, BC, leaving only 4 hours of driving the next day. We also saw the world’s largest truck at Sparwood, BC! At the border between Eastport, Idaho and Yahk, BC we stopped at the little Duty Free Shop and bought Grey Goose for Arnold, gummi bears for Enzo and the twins, Red Label for Bill, and chocolate for me and Claudine.
the smallest Duty Free Shop at the border of Idaho and Canada

the Canadian Rockies at summertime
We reached the Kootenay Country Inn at 7 PM Mountain Time. It was a cute white motel with pink and white flowers hanging in front of every room. The room was small but aptly painted white and baby pink (too bad for Bill). Wifi in the room was strong and excellent. The breakfast buffet at the nearby Husky Travel Center was bountiful but I got a text that Claudine was already bleeding and in the hospital waiting for her doctor. So we hurried on to Calgary, 4 hours away from Cranbrook.

I couldn't get enough of Kai!
Fortunately for us, Claudine was sent home and asked to come back at 4:30 PM. We arrived at their home at 2 PM.  So after some quick updates, we all trooped to the Peter Lougheed Centre. The doctor decided to induce her at 5 PM. Arnold and I were the only two allowed inside the labor room so Bill and Enzo went home. The delivery was all natural, and I won the contest of guess the time! Kai Jor El was born at 8:04 PM on June 30, 2013, weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces.

More on all this precious family time, with jewels of finds in between, in the next posts!