We spent the weekend at Whidbey Island. Our extended family has a cabin there, though some people call it a beach house and some people *ahemKEVINahem* call it camping. Camping if, you know, camping involves staying in a fully furnished house with electricity and running water, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, a washer/dryer, beds with mattresses and bedding on them, and a bona fide record player with about 2,000 records to go along with it.
Yet Kevin insists on calling it camping, probably because he promised me one camping trip a year when we got married (I love to camp and he’s not a fan), so this gets him out of the woods. Like, literally.
I don’t really know how to explain Whidbey weekends. There is no cell phone reception at the cabin, no TV, and no Internet, though if you stand on the deck when the wind is blowing in just the right direction, you might receive a couple hours’ worth of texts in about ten seconds. I guess that’s why it feels like camping to Kevin. His definition of camping is being without cell phone reception for longer than 15 minutes.
He says, “There’s just nothing to do at Whidbey.” I gape at him. Nothing to do? Nothing to do? There’s EVERYTHING to do at Whidbey!
So just what is it we do there?
We play with the 20 mattresses in the upstairs loft. The kids jump, build forts, slide down, hide under, run all over the mattresses, and even fall asleep on the mattresses.
There are wide open spaces and there’s also a lot of wind, so there is naturally a lot of this:
We go to the small town near us to see a parade that features a grocery cart drill team, a pooper-scooper doing dressage behind the horses, and this plea for help from the public schools:
Rocco watches the whole parade through his monocular.
We take a lot of walks. We wade through tide pools and dare each other to touch sea anemones and pick up hermit crabs. I hoist my kids up on the same giant rock that I used to sit on and get my picture taken when I was their age.
We set up rock-selling stores on the beach and sell rocks to each other, using other rocks as payment. It’s a terrible business plan, but somehow it works…until Rocco and Vincenzo get in a fight about whether the price of “one one” means “eleven” or “one dollar and one cent,” and we have to stop playing the game.*
We look at the a big rock covered with curly, purple seaweed and wonder if the hundreds of other rocks are jealous of its full head of hair.
We see a rock that is only half covered with seaweed and wonder if its hair is just coming in or if it’s starting to go bald.
Leo and his cousin find a blue marker upstairs and have a blast drawing all over the walls. The adults then have a blast scrubbing blue marker off the upstairs walls.
We play “Would you Rather” and watch the grandparents squirm when we ask them questions like, “Would you rather always sneeeze out of your bottom or fart out of your mouth?” We laugh at Kevin, who would rather be able to make and press waffles using his armpits than be able to microwave food with his eyes.
Grammy takes pictures of crabs mating and says, “For your blog!” even though I never said I wanted to put a picture of mating crabs on my blog.
We eat Pirate Booty with every meal.
We let the kids make pets out of tent caterpillars while we stand around talking about whether to exterminate them via blow torch or pesticides.
We peek in at the kids brushing their teeth to see their cousin standing near them, peeing into the empty bathtub.
We sit on the couches downstairs after the kids go to sleep upstairs, whispering to each other so as not to wake the kids and we end up whisper-laughing so hysterically that our stomachs are sore the next day.
So now here I am at the bottom of my post, and looking back at my summary of the weekend I’m starting to think that’’ Kevin is right: there’s really nothing to do at Whidbey.
It’s just that that is exactly why it is one of my favorite places to be.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Chicken noodle soup with vegetable dumplings
Peach cobbler a la mode
*That wasn’t my favorite fight during the game, though. My favorite was when Vincenzo disappeared for a few minutes then came back carrying a very big rock that Rocco immediately tried to sell to Vincenzo, saying, “This one is very expensive. It took me a loooooong time to get it.” Vincenzo didn’t take it very well.