Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Vacation Part II: Up The Oregon Coast

Continuing from my last post, just finishing up day three in the Redwood Forest, I will continue on with our fabulous vacationing events.

Day Four:

We were up early to get packed up and on our way to our next spot on the Oregon Coast. Before we left, we stopped off at this amazing small little cheese factory we discovered in Crescent City. They had all sorts of delicious cheeses for SUPER cheap.  I've been on the hunt for cheddar goat cheese, but it's really expensive. This store had whole bricks of it for half the price it normally goes for. And bonus: it was unpasteurized! Even better. We had stopped by earlier in the week and discovered the greatness, so we made sure to swing by and stock up before we were off. We came home loaded with various cheeses and dined on them for the rest of our trip. I was so sick of goat cheese by the end of the week. However, we all talk about visiting that little Rumiano cheese shop again.

After our cheese pit-stop, we had a day of driving up the scenic 101. My dad got a ticket from the ever prevalent Oregon police, and Brigham and I just counted our lucky stars that we didn't get one too, since we were following him in our own car.

For lunch we stopped off at the Oregon Sand Dunes to eat and play.

The dunes were windy, sandy, a fantastic work-out, and loads of fun. When Ammon first saw them he exclaimed, "This is the biggest sandbox I've ever seen!" The little kids loved it, but it was hard for their little legs to make it up and down the sandy hills that have you collapsing backwards with every step you're taking up. I tried to take a picture of the how steep the hills were while Brigham and Ammon were climbing up.

We had races up the dunes, long-jump competitions down the dunes, races down the dunes, rolled down the dunes like grass hills, and at one point Ammon just collapsed on the side of the hill and we had a rescue mission. You can see the back of him with his arms across his eyes, as Kyle attempted the rescue in the right, top picture above. He just couldn't take the sand being blown into his face anymore.

Kenny and Ryan decided to bury Brigham. And then I said we should sneak away and leave Brigham stuck in the sand (and by leave, I mean run to the top of the hill and watch), so we did. And I got in big trouble. Don't leave you're husband as a joke folks, he won't like it. Sorry Brigham.

After the sand dunes we got back in the car and drove until one of my favorite places: Devil's Churn.

Devil's Churn is where a part of the mountain has been narrowly carved in by the water, and the tide brings the waves in which then crash and churn in the sliced opening of the rock.

It's loud and wild and thrilling. The water is thrashing high and low and loud right in front of you, like someone is stirring it with a giant spoon. We climbed all around the rocks, and I firmly held Ammon and Lydia, terrified of them falling into the churning water.

In the same area we checked out the Spouting Horn, tidal pools, and more crashing water.

It was majestic and awe-inspiring to get sprayed with crashing sea water and to gaze out at the endless water.

After Devil's Churn we had lots more driving to get to the next stop. I loved the scenic views, but let me tell you, Highway 101 sure is windy, slow, and long. We stopped at a burger joint (that was highly disappointing) for Kenny's seventeenth birthday, and then drove some more to finally make it to our resting point that evening.

The house was called Stairway to Heaven, and justly so because of the millions of staircases that made it feel like a maze of levels. Fun and, at times, annoying. Amazingly, each room had a balcony facing the ocean with a spectacular view. At the first house we stayed at in Crescent City, I didn't take a picture of the view but I had one of the house, and this house I only have a picture of the view, but not of the actual house. The house was built on a cliff (creepily so), and so I wasn't really able to get a picture, but enjoy the view of the ocean and greenery from Brigham's and my room.

Day Five:

We spent most of the day at the beach. It was once again cold and windy, but we still made the best of it and had a good time.

That afternoon my Aunt Sandy -who brought my grandma down and met us here- took the kids to the pool at her hotel so they could actually swim in non-freezing water, and I went window shopping with my Mom and Kyle and Katrina at Seaside. They had a shop with 150 taffy flavors. How is that many flavors even possible?

That evening my Aunt Sandy set up a fun activity where she opened a beauty salon. She was extremely prepared and creative, and had aprons that had the kids' names embroidered on them, a cash register, all her beauty supplies, an appointment book, clipboards, and even parting gifts for the customers. She made the kids managers and they had actual interviews for who they would hire in their salon. They asked us interview questions she had pre-printed and then the kids deliberated together on who would be the best fit for their company to hire.

I was privileged to be interviewed by Kayleen and then hired as the polisher: meaning I did the toenail polishing job for Aunt Sandy's pedicures. I was relieved to snag the position because I was in the running against my dad, but luckily they realized I was much more experienced, so I got the job. I told them I wasn't interested in the Waterboy position, and thank goodness because poor Russ was running water back and forth for pedicures and facials all night.

Even though I was busy as a polisher, I managed to get on the appointment books and received a clay facial myself. It felt lovely. My parting gift was a box of tic-tacs, and some anti-aging serum for my face.

Playing all day at the beach and the pool, and then working hard at the beauty salon, left my kids exhausted and they passed out together that night.

They were holding each other's arms, and fell asleep that way. Boy does that just make my mommy heart expand with joy to walk in and find at the end of the day. These two sleeping angels were fantastic on the trip.

Day 6:

This was our final day and we spent it slowly making our way back to Washington on the same Highway 101, while stopping to see more places along the way.

The stop was Cannon Beach with Haystack Rock.

This is where they filmed The Goonies and I couldn't get "Hey you guuuuyyyyys!" out of my head while we visited.

We timed it so we would arrive right at low tide so we could check out the tide pools, and there were plenty of them with lots of crabs, starfishes, sea anemone, and more. We were able to walk all around, and sometimes through, to explore the little pools of wonder.

Brigham had specifically requested that we visit Haystack rock, and this popular tourist-trap was well worth the crowds.

Our little family enjoyed this wonderful trip together and I felt grateful for all of God's beautiful creations that we were able to see. I was grateful to be with people I love while I explored those creations, and grateful for the planning and means that made it so we could be there. Weeks like this always put in perspective the grandness of life and what's out there for us on this earth. There's so much more than the little Maple Valley town and the problems I have there, and now I'm constantly itching to escape back out into nature enjoy it as much as I can.


  1. what a fun idea from your aunt! and what a fun trip! ive never seen goonies- i need to get on that :)

  2. So fun!! I am really jealous of this trip. I know I said this in the last post, but even more now seeing these pictures. So glad you had such a fun, enjoyable vacation.