Family Visits–Eat, Talk, and Walk

 

R and P at Hurricane Ridge

My three daughters live in places with nice weather in the spring and fall (Indiana, Maryland, and Eastern Washington). So that’s when I visit them. But nothing beats our summers here in the Pacific Northwest.

This year all three of them plus one son-in-law, and one grandchild showed up in August.

So what do we do when we all get together?

On this trip, we visited a spray park, a street market, and a rock-climbing place. And we took in the Terracotta Warriors Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. But most of the time we stuck to our old favorites: eating, talking, and walking.

Eat

I have a picture in my head of family gatherings centered around the kitchen, mom up to her elbows in pie dough and pot roast, sweating, her hair falling in her eyes. Well, that’s not me. I did make a couple of good dinners, and my daughters and I put together some tasty lunches. But we also ate out at some favorite spots, and when my nephew and his family visited, we had Thai takeout.

Breakfasts were mostly self-serve. Even my nine-year-old grandson made his own, which was good because, still being on East Coast time, he wanted to eat before I wanted to get up.

Talk

I talk to my daughters on the phone at least once a week. But talking on the phone is not the same as talking face-to-face or talking while we eat or walk. It’s not the same as conversing as a group.

Walk

Walking is our old stand-by, one of our favorite things to do. We walk for exercise and pleasure, and we walk to experience beautiful or interesting spots.

Here are a few photos from our walks.

Hurricane Ridge is a beautiful place for hiking.

It was a hot day with lots of hills to climb. My grandson took a moment to rest and hydrate.

The next day we hiked on a shaded trail on the shore of Lake Crescent.

sitting on a mossy rock with Lake Crescent behind

When daughter #1 arrived, we took the ferry across to Kingston.

a break to pick blackberries

The next day, we walked through Washington Park Arboretum.

Finishing off with xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung in University Village.

What do you do when your family gets together?

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About Nicki Chen

About Nicki Chen Nicki Chen is a writer living in Edmonds, WA. Her first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, is set in China during the Japanese invasion and occupation, 1937-1945. She's working on a second novel set in Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation where she and her late husband lived in the early '90s.
Chinese food, photography, summer, walking, Washington , , , , , , , , ,

20 comments


  1. I’m so happy your family was able to make it for a visit, Nicki. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. The Lake Crescent trail looks like an amazing walk.
    Yes, food tends to be the centerpiece for our family gatherings, too.
    This morning your post finally appeared in my WP Reader…yay! Have a wonderful Sunday.




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    • Hurray! I’m glad my post showed up in your WP Reader today.

      The Spruce Railroad Trail along Lake Crescent is only one of hundreds of beautiful trails on the Olympic Peninsula. You could spend years hiking there and then start all over again. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandson were planning on hiking the beautiful Hoh River Trail in the rain forest, but time was getting short because we ran into a couple of construction slowdowns.




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  2. Lovely photos. We mostly sit and talk because not everyone is still able to hike




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  3. What a lovely visit, Nicki! Such wonderful places to walk!

    When my family gets together (for holidays mainly), we eat and play games. Now that everyone has a cell phone, we’ve played online interactive games that are good for crowds. We also play those backyard tossing games (beanbag toss; horseshoes).




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    • I’m not much of a game player. My oldest daughter and her family are big game players, though. We all enjoy playing cards and board games as long as they’re not too complex, especially in the evening or in the winter. On this trip, my daughter, grandson, and I sat out in the garden house of the place we rented in Port Angeles and played “Fortunately, Unfortunately” as the sun was setting over the Strait of Juan de Fuca.




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  4. Beautiful walks! Very jealous.

    When my family gets together, some of my siblings run or bike together. I wave at them as they pass me on my walks.

    They also open a lot of wine.




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    • My son-in-law takes his morning runs while I’m still getting dressed. No matter how far he goes or how many hills he climbs, he never seems to be winded. Some people! We do have the same taste in wine, though. We’re both big malbec fans.




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  5. Looks like a good time was had by all! We eat and talk. Any walking is purely functional like going into the house for another bottle of wine.




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  6. Looks like a wonderful get-together, Nicki.

    When we went to Colorado this summer . . . we did hiking, sightseeing in Poudre Canyon, home-brews by the campfire, lots of great meals (including a Thai carrot soup), bocce ball, croquet, poker, pool, and other board games.




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    • Bocce ball, croquet, poker, and pool all in one trip. Sounds like fun. I haven’t played croquet in such a long time. When I was a kid, we played it a lot in my grandma’s back yard. Now I’m wondering, who do I know who still has a croquet set?




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  7. Nicki, this looks like the perfect family get-together. The lake looks glorious with such stunning views. We do much the same when meeting up with family – lots of walks either on the moors or forests and then meals together, either at home or often out. You can keep in good contact over the phone but miss the everyday nuances of life, so it’s lovely to meet up in person. 😃




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    • Yes, Annika. It sounds like our family get-togethers are exactly the same (except we don’t have moors). Since I live alone and have plenty of time to cook, I don’t eat out often, so when family members visit, I enjoy trying out a new restaurant.




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  8. It’s as easy or as hard as you want to make it, isn’t it, Nicki? I do tend to stress, even when it’s family, but once it’s happening the time together just flies. 🙂 🙂 Lovely to see you with family.




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    • The expectations for a fancy dinner are higher for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. As you said, if you do want to make something especially nice, that can cause some stress. It helps to know you can trust other people to pitch in. My sister, all three of my daughters, and my granddaughter are all good cooks, so, now that my daughters are grown, I don’t have to feel everything is on my shoulders. The same thing is true for planning activities. I try to have some plans made before they arrive, but they always have plenty of ideas to add.




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  9. You know, Nicki? My family does pretty much what you guys do when together. Like you I talk with my kids several times a week. We also text. But being together is something else. We all love long walks. And we adore to eat! These are the most simple and yet wonderful things to share with family and friends. And yes your summers up there are the best:)




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    • I think you and I have a similar situation with kids in another state. Now, besides having daughters in Indiana, Maryland, and Eastern Washington, I have a granddaughter in Oakland. She found her first job there after college graduation. So now I have another place to visit. I think the weather is pretty good there all year long.




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