"Wake up, Wake up!" the most common phrase used in a house of seven. Yes, we are a family of seven, and getting the kids out of the bed in the morning is definitely a chore! However, on this particular day, the kids were eager to get out of bed and get a move on.
This was the day of our monthly family outing and we had decided to visit Mt. Rainer. With tea brewing, ham sandwiches being hastily made, and bags carelessly tossed in the car, we rushed to ready ourselves for a day of fun. Finally, we calmed down just enough to make it to the car and began our adventure.
Always enthralled in their electronics, I prompted the children to put them away and play some of my childhood games. When I was young, one of my favorite car games was spotting car tags from different states. At the end, the winner would receive bragging rights and we would be in the vicinity of our destination. This fun family game has never failed. My husband was within 20 miles of Mt. Rainer and the anticipation of seeing the mountain grew, especially since the peak of the mountain peeked at us with a tease.
First stop, the Visitor Center. Frustration sets in when you have kids and no plan, so we pulled over to grab some maps and then it happened. "Bathroom, please!" I grabbed the youngest and did a quick diaper change as the older girls headed toward the restroom. Restroom breaks become a whole new event with a 10-year-old who still likes to play in the sink.
As I walked around the Center waiting on my children and snapping a few pictures of the beautiful greenery, my husband returned with a map. We sat down and mapped out our tour and our choice restaurant for a bite. Meanwhile, my antsy girls found a rock wall and clambered to the top so they could get a taste of what climbing a mountain would be like.
I was terrified when they allowed my two-year-old to accompany them to the top, but creating memories is exactly what our family outings are about. I stood away, but close enough to catch my baby and watched the enjoyment on my girls' faces. We piled back into the car and were off to the mountains.
Once at the mountain, we sat for a moment, marveling in its beauty. We hiked up and down the trails, exploring various places and taking tons of pictures. The girls couldn't believe that there were large flowing waterfalls inside the mountain! After an hour or two of walking around, my daughter announced she was hungry. We trudged back to the entrance of the mountain.
At the bottom, we walked around winding paths until we came upon a cute little restaurant off in the cut. Completely ditching our original plan to eat at a familiar restaurant, we decided to try something new. This quaint little place turned out to be a Vietnamese restaurant.
Excited to try new things (but scared that my daughters wouldn't like anything and that I would waste money) we went in. It turned out to be an amazing experience and the little restaurant just so happened to have the most delicious blackberry pie!
After a great meal of traditional Vietnamese food mixed with a bit of American, my family and I bunched all together for a group photo. Sore legs, full bellies, and a mind full of memories to last a lifetime, we hopped back into the car and headed home.