We’ve made a tradition of visiting our friends (college roommate) in Washington during our summer road trip. It’s only about a 6 hour drive from my parents house and after driving 17 to get to my parents house – an additional 6 hours doesn’t seem so bad. So we usually break it up by staying at my parents for a week before we take on the Washington adventure. Steve was able to fly into Washington this year and meet us which was so fun.

I think everyone in the family would agree one of the highlights every year is picking raspberries and blackberries (and some years we pick blueberries). I know we take for granted the oranges that grow in our backyard, but berries seem so much better than oranges! And my kids can’t get enough. So much so, we pick right when we arrive so we can eat on them and then as we’re driving home we make a quick stop and pick another box to take home with us. And the truth is the kids probably eat their weight in berries while they’re picking.

The first year, the kids picked every berry they saw because it was so exciting – after years of practice, they’ve been trained to only pick the best berries.

We sure wish picking raspberries was a luxury we could enjoy in Arizona.

And the next best thing to fresh raspberries is fresh raspberry shakes.

We were able to hit up the Adidas employee store which was an important stop as we picked up three pairs of cleats and a pair of court shoes (plus a few more things we didn’t need). We visited this store years ago on our first visit to Washington and we haven’t been able to make it back so this was a treat.

When we first arrived at our friend’s house, I saw a brand new freeze dryer still sitting in the box in the garage (which had been there since Christmas!). You better believe we made it a priority to get it set up so we could make freeze dried skittles and salt water taffy. I know most people use freeze dryers for food storage but I’m confident I would get my money out of it just drying candy!

We visited parks and explored their five acre plot of land. Kids rode bikes and skateboards and took turns driving the gator. They played in the tree farm next door which is always a fun activity at night. The adults went to dinner. We made pizzas and enjoyed lawn games. We stayed up late laughing and comparing parenting stories.

Stacey gave Hunter a haircut which is great because she taught me how to cut hair 20 years ago and it’s still one of the most useful skillsets I’ve picked up. He was looking for a new style so she was teaching me the ropes.

Did I mention we ate a lot of raspberries?! 🙂

We have built beautiful family relationships over the years and my kids can’t imagine a summer where we don’t get to see the Heatons and I have to agree!