I have written multiple times before about me excitedly taking on and performing granddaddy duty. And when the call came to travel to Seattle for more duty recently, I, as always, gladly accepted. But this time I was in store for a bit of a surprise.
Typically, whenever I travel to the west coast for granddaddy duty, I try to keep myself on my own Central time zone. This means in bed by 9:00 PM and up no later than 5:00 AM. This way I can be up, stretch and get coffee going before one or both of my grandsons get up to be ready to help my daughter (both boys have been/are currently very early risers).
A typical granddaddy duty day starts like this and then after breakfast, it is drop off for my oldest grandson at either preschool or summer camp. After that, my daughter and I have several hours to run errands with my other grandson, eat lunch, get the youngest down for his nap and then pick up after pre-school or summer camp. Depending on the season and the weather, it might be indoor play at home or off to one of the many indoor play gyms where the kids can play. Usually an early dinner follows that, bath time, reading time and then bedtime. I then get myself ready for bed, read a little while and then I’m off to sleep by 9:00 PM to repeat the next day.
In January of this year, I spent about a week in Seattle helping my daughter with her two young sons while her husband was out of the country attending a scientific conference. It was a fun time as previously reported. In August of this year, my son-in-law was going to be out of town attending two different conferences, back to back over a two-week period. To help my daughter out the most, I planned to be there for a total of eight days encompassing most of the first and second conferences.
I arrived a little after noon on a Tuesday and took the light rail to its end where my daughter and her two boys picked me up. When we got to her house, she had already been to the grocery store and gotten me a starter pack of local IPA (India Pale Ale) beers, my favorite. Having caught a very early morning flight, it was nice to relax for a moment after my travels and enjoy a delicious ice-cold beer.
Then it was play time with my two grandsons!
It was amazing to see how much this little fella, who like me, loves cars and vehicles in general, had grown up just since January not long after his first birthday. Recently on Facetime, he has begun to make car and truck sounds whenever he sees me. So being together, we got to do this in person each demonstrating our own expert car sounds. He has developed a very realistic engine sound and even makes an air-brake sound when this car carrier stops. If the carrier needs to back up, he also makes the softest but sweetest little “beep-beep-beep” mimicking the sound trucks make when backing up (he does this while standing when he himself backs up).
This fun play time was promptly followed by an early dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants close by with another tasty IPA.
Whenever I come out to Seattle, my daughter always likes to make sure I get plenty of opportunities to sample the multitude of local great beers. A difference since my last visit in January is that my daughter has now also developed a taste for IPAs. Knowing that now not only could we enjoy a beer together from a local craft brewer but possibly the very same beer, she redoubled her efforts to include great beers with my granddaddy duty.
Now some of you are probably thinking that drinking beer and watching grandkids makes for an unwise combination. But no irresponsibility was shown on either of our parts since we never did them concurrently. Rather, my daughter came up with a concept of “park and beer.” And over my visit, we absolutely mastered that concept visiting more great Seattle parks and microbreweries than I can even enumerate.
My first full day started out like normal with early coffee and breakfast with my daughter before dropping off my oldest grandson to summer camp. Then we ran to the grocery store to get a few more items and then headed off to one of my favorite Seattle craft breweries for a delicious beer.
We got there just as they opened and I was the first one to get to sample their newest hazy IPA, Head of Dynomite. It was delicious!
Having just finished a beer, I felt just a little awkward heading back to pick up my oldest grandson, but my daughter saved me by running in to get him while I stayed in the car with our little fella who had already started his afternoon nap.
After nap time, we headed to one of the many public parks in Seattle before returning home for a traditional evening of activities.
The next day started out the same but after dropping off my oldest grandson, we headed to a park I had never been to before that overlooked the Olympic Mountains.
This park had a beach that our littlest fella enjoyed.
After about an hour and a half of fun, we headed to our next stop for a beer.
This location boasted about 56 beers on tap and over 1,000 total selection.
Here I was able to enjoy one of my favorite beers from my Portland visit the year before with my brother.
While I downed my beer, our little fella downed an entire banana.
Then in the afternoon, we went to another park before heading to another craft brewpub for dinner.
To Be Continued…