The end of the phone call went something like this...
Us: "We will be arriving in Seattle around six if that's ok?"
Dee: "Yea sure just come whenever. Here's our address... If we aren't home the kids and the nanny will be, they'll show you around, give you the wifi password, the backyard for the dog and a towel for a shower"
Already they had our needs fully covered and we didn't even really know them at all. When we arrived late Dad Jay was home with kids Max (11), Emma (9) and Lucy (7). The kids entertained Scout while we grabbed a shower then tucked into some dinner leftovers Jay had saved for us. Later Dee arrived home and said how her work colleges couldn't fathom that she had invited strangers over to stay. She told them that we were from New Zealand too, so that made it ok but I don't think that helped them understand. We set up camp on the exceptionally comfortable fold-out memory foam couch down stairs and went to bed wondering how we'd managed to strike it so lucky yet again.
The next morning Will was on a mission to find some new waterproof shell pants for the coming winter. We had stopped in at the huge REI flagship store on our way into Seattle but Will hadn't found any that fit the bill for a price we could afford. The place was massive though with a climbing gym, river and even a mountain bike track. We enjoyed looking around and after two hours we did well not to have bought anything. The prices were so cheap compared to what we pay in New Zealand but our space is limited. That morning we hit a few other outdoors stores like Patagonia and Marmot but had no luck. Will was feeling pretty frustrated but we tried one last store a guy had told us about called Feathered Friends. They specialise in making custom down jackets and sleeping bags but also have a range of outdoor gear. The store ended up having a prefect pair of shell pants for Will which he brought while I tried on some hiking boots that I really liked but might have to order online from back home. With the pants buying saga over we headed over to the worlds first Starbucks cafe for a frappuccino then strolled around the Pikes Place Market looking at all the random things people had for sale.
This is how we got introduced to Hamish, a kiwi who works for Jay about our age. It was crazy for us to hear all of these New Zealand accents all of a sudden. Anyway so Dee set up for Will and I to go out with Hamish to watch the Super Bowl at a pub in town with him and his friends. It was going to be a big one as the Seattle Seahawks were playing the Denver Broncos for the final. We didn't really have any team colours to wear but I painted my nails green and blue and we wore the blue beads that came with our beers. Will also wanted to wear his jandles to the pub "absolutely not" I said. Then we turn up and Hamish is there in his jeans and jandles, it's a New Zealand style that the rest of the world just doesn't seem to appreciate.
Much to Wills delight Dee let us take Jay's Toyota Tundra to the climbing wall it was sooo nice! At the climbing wall we had to sign three different liability forms even though Dee had already done the ones for the kids online. Then we both had to do a belaying and tying in test before finally having to do an automatic belay test. The kids were getting bored and we were feeling frustrated but finally we had our laminated certificate and we got into some climbing. We had our hands full with the three of them but they were all troopers and climbed hard. The youngest Lucy would have kept going forever if we'd let her. We were going to pick up Dee afterwards and get burgers but we didn't get back until almost seven so Dee had a Mac and cheese just coming out of the oven as we got home. The troops weren't too happy about this but they came around and we savoured our final night in the kiwi haven before leaving the next morning.
Rochelle & Will