Happy Birthday Grandma

Pre-Party Fun

A few weeks ago my mom and I flew out of Chicago to visit my grandparents back in Seattle. At first it was just going to be the two of us heading back for my grandma's 86th birthday, but soon we found out we were going to be joined by my aunt, cousin, and younger brother! Before leaving, I remember telling my mom that I hoped and hoped we'd have sun for a little bit as the Pacific Northwest is notorious for being grey and rainy. (Having lived there for 16+ years before, I can attest that it isn't always so, but you do get days on end without a peep of sunshine.)

We left bright and early on a Wednesday and arrived to, surprise!, beautiful sun and a view of Mount Rainier in all her glory. I was practically bouncing in my cramped, row 24 seat.

We met my brother at our gate and set off to pick up our rental car (aided by a girl I went to high school with!) and then we decided to UPS, as my grandfather calls it, around Tacoma while the sun was out. Though we didn't get a chance to get out of the car much, it was lovely to see Washington warm and sunny.

After a few hours of driving around, it was time to visit the very people we had traveled 9 hours to see: my grandparents. It was so wonderful to see them again after a year, to the day of my grandma's last birthday. There were hugs and kisses and smiles and a bit of off humor, but that's my family.

We spent many nights playing canasta, which, if ever want to see my strategic grandpa at his absolute peak, challenge him to a match. He'll throw you under before you've even counted your cards.

After a proper beating, he showed us his extensive coin, card, and stamp collection.

The Day of the Party

The morning of her party, we wrapped up all her 'winnings' from a previous shopping trip to Macy's, one of grandma's favorite shops. We laid around in their living room and clapped every time she unearthed a pretty sweater or blouse from under a pile of tissue paper, trusty Toby, their sweetly aging Carin Terrier, at her side.

Then it was time for cake.