Monday, July 29, 2013

Oregon Vacation - Part 1 - Astoria and the condo

Shane hasn't had any extended vacation time from work in a while so we were thrilled to finally be able to take a nice long family vacation. The first leg of our trip we drove down to Gearhart, OR where we had rented a two bedroom condo right off of the beach. It was a short 10 minutes from Seaside but in a much more quaint and relaxed town. We figured staying in a condo (which was basically like an apartment with maid service, a pool and fitness room and a laundry room facility) would be much easier and more economical in the long run than a hotel room. We had two bathrooms, a full kitchen and a nice balcony with an amazing 180 degree view of the coast. The weather was great and we had more fun and relaxation than I thought possible. 

It took a lot of food and snacks to get us through the trip, but I'm sure much less than if we had bought it all along the way. Bags, boxes and coolers helped us stay on budget while still eating fairly healthy but still enjoying ourselves. 

I also packed each kid a snack bag which they got to keep with them in the van. Each bag had two drinks, individually packaged snacks such as crackers, fruit snacks, raisins, protein bars, mini peanut butter containers, and other special treats. They were responsible for their own bags which meant they could have a snack when they wanted, but they didn't get more along the way. Mom didn't have to constantly be turing around passing food back and kids learned about portion control and managing their supplies. 

Danielle had magazines and her iphone with music so she didn't require much in the way of entertainment, but I made up a basket full of books, fully-charged electronic games, coloring books, quite games and other toys to keep the boys entertained on the 5 hour drive. We put both of the older boys in the back row of the van so they could play or nap together and Dylan could help Lincoln when he needed it. Danielle and Warner were in the middle row of the van so she had a little more leg room and could help with the baby every now and then when we needed it. Warner did pretty well on the drive, but hey he's still a baby so there were a few tears but we stopped and got out a few times and that helped. Hey Mommy and Daddy needed some more coffee and walking around a Fred Meyer all the way in Oregon was pretty cool. 

Our first morning of site seeing we headed up to Astoria, Oregon to do all things touristy. One of my best friends from junior high and high school lives in Portland so we made a plan to meet there for the day and catch up between chasing my kids around an unfamiliar location. We got to Astoria earlier than planned so we could find the house where they filmed part of the Goonies movie. The house welcomes tourists but you have to walk up their steep driveway. What a fun family picture. 

Shane took a picture of a young couple in front of the sign and luckily they took one of us. Can't believe we actually got a good picture of the six of us together!

"Hey you guys!"

The house has changed a bit over time, but still pretty much the same. 

The kiddos. 

"The Goondocks"

The view from the house. Wow, what a way to live huh?

Then we hit the Astoria Sunday Farmer's Market. Right in the middle of down town the farmer's market was full of cool crafts, locally made wine (with free wine tastings for Mommy!), fudge, jerky, and of course produce. There was also quite a bit of samples and yummy food. There was even live music we watch while waiting for my friend to arrive. 

Warner loved his blue ice cream cone. 

Yummiest gotee ever. 

Next we headed to the Astoria Column. It is this awesome tower with a spiral stair case that you can climb all the way to the observation deck and throw off balsa wood airplanes into the wind. The column is on top of the highest point of Astoria so you can see all the way to the horizon for 360 degrees. It was pretty breathtaking, not to mention the shortness of breath that came from climbing all the way up with a baby strapped to your back in an Ergo. 

Lincoln wanted me to get a shot of his booty. 

Enjoying a rest with my two youngest. 

Warner is always curious. 

The view from the top. Shane and the boys and my friend Krystal watching the balsa wood planes float off into the distance. 

The view of Seaside is straight ahead in the distance. 

Danielle taking a selfie.

Warner isn't easily impressed. 

The intricate carving into the column. 

Shane and Warner taking in the scenery back on the ground. 

Next we headed to the most awesome coffee shop in Astoria. Shane and I actually stopped here on our honeymoon almost 5 years ago so it's kind of cute to take the kids back here. It has a big garage type door so you can easily walk in and out and plenty of outside seating. We loved getting more coffee and hanging out before saying goodbye to Krystal. 

Hey look, she actually got that momma's boy to laugh. 

Danielle and Dylan with the cool sunshine effect at the Astoria Coffeehouse. 

That's the column we were just on top of. 

Finally we made it back to the condo. Danielle took a rest out on the back balcony and when she got up the boys thought it would be cool to hang out on her stuff. 

While part of the movie was filmed in Astoria, the Haystack Rock filmed in the movie is actually in Cannon beach which you can actually see from our balcony there to the right of the mountain in the distance. 

The panoramic picture from the back balcony. 

One way we saved some time, money and sanity was to call in an order at a local Mexican restaurant and then eat it at the condo, out on the balcony. We got to enjoy good food, the great weather, at our own pace while we just let Warner run around. We actually ended up eating out more than I anticipated but it was nice to not have to cook and clean up after ever meal on our trip. 

With two sliding glass doors, the condo had plenty of light and great views. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh yeah I have a blog! Lincoln's Birthday, 4th of July and Camping.

Yes, I'm still alive! It's been pretty busy and we are in the midst of summer but I've just been taking time to take care of the kiddos and myself and get things back on track. We just got back from a much needed vacation, some camping, some birthdays and some other life stuff that got in the way of blogging. But here we are. Hopefully I won't be reposting any ideas or pictures but it's been so long since I've posted things are already fuzzy :) We started of July pretty wild! 

Lincoln and Dylan were wrestling around with each other and some how Lincoln's arm got hurt. After X-rays and hours in the ER nothing was really confirmed and he got a splint wrapped arm and a sling for a few days. 

The cool X-ray of his bones, he was so excited to see what things looked like on the inside.

Daddy met us after he got off work and helped walk Lincoln out.

Luckily having one arm didn't keep him from doing much. He still wanted to try and help mop.

And he was still curious. Here he is using his foot to hold a padlock and a key with the other hand.

But don't worry, Lincoln turned three very happily. We had a fun day and even did fireworks a day early to celebrate.

It was pretty cold and windy so we bundled up to watch fireworks. Don't worry, the weather didn't seem to keep him from peeing in the bushes.

Shane took the day after the 4th off, so we had a nice long weekend and went camping. We invited up 4 other families and my in-laws as well and hand a great time enjoying the great outdoors and celebrating Lincoln's birthday. He wanted an American flag cake so I delivered, with blueberries and red sprinkles on vanilla frosting. We also had sliced watermelon and ice cream to round out the party.

Lincoln had a ton of presents and loved all the cool stuff he got. 

 I love how great Lincoln is when he smiles!

Oh wait I have other kids too. Here all the kids are, with the boys all in the same bright colors each day so it was just a little bit easier to find them and make sure no one wandered off throughout the weekend. Danielle was able to come up and hang out too so we always love having her around (and yes I am wearing a Darth Vader voice changing mask in this picture). 

Slightly blurry but a cute picture of the boys. 

My little three year old cheese ball. 

We found a shallow stream to play in and the kids loved wading around the the ice cold water. 

 Yet another peeing venture in the bushes. 

 My sissy came out for the day, unfortunately this is really the only picture I have of her and Lukey being there. 

Shane and Warner hanging out around the campfire. Too bad you still have to take naps in the wild. 

Too bad there is always proof of eating dirt. 

 The boys love sharing the same bed, too bad they don't always give each other that much room. 

 Free Sluprees at 7-11. Took the kids and two kids Danielle was babysitting to get them, whoohoo!

 Warner loved the icy cold slush, his hair had a great time in the wind ;)