To Seattle, Oregon and Back Again

Our main vacation for the year entailed a car voyage up to the Pacific North West. Easily one of my favorite places on earth. Our first destination was Seattle where we were able to visit Phil's family and enjoy all that the Emerald City has to offer and then we drove south down to Lincoln City, Oregon where we met my family for a little Fourth of July on the coast. 


We were fortunate to see both of Phil's sisters while we were there. Jaimie was there the whole time we were and we overlapped with Carly just a couple of days, so we made sure pack in lots of fun! The whole day we were all together, we went to Lake Sammamish to go tubing, waterskiing and picnicing.

Hazel happily strutted her stuff while playing in the sand. Ryder, Penny and Hazel had a blast with their cousins Elsie and Owen. There is something so fun about seeing your kids play with their cousins. 

Oh, and Ryder experienced a couple of firsts. He attempted his first time waterskiing, where he did great. He got up on his third try--albeit, only for a second or two--but I say it totally counts! He also fell off the tube for the first time and even though both events almost gave my mommy heart a heart attack, Ryder on the other hand kept his cool and had fun.

And what's a trip to Seattle without a friend visit? It is always a pleasure see these wonderful people and see how all our families are growing. And thanks to Grandpa Steve and Grandma Laurie, we even got away one night with the adults for a little dinner date. Which was pretty, stinkin' wonderful. 

We also took our sweet time lying around and relaxing in the humid heat. :) And we all made sure to take advantage of our time with Aunt Jaimie.

It had been awhile since we'd been downtown, so we decided to hit the big city for another one of our big outings. We checked out the Space Needle, ate lunch at Dick's, rode the monorail and hung out at Pike Place Market where we watched fish being thrown, ate fresh, hot doughnuts for dessert and danced to the street performers. We also visited Seattle's iconic gum wall, which I must admit on a 90 degree day is more gross than cool. A couple of us got literally stuck to the ground. Ew. But it was a cool 'ew', right? And we may have added our own ABC gum to the mix. I mean, how can you not? So there you have it, the cliche stops that are necessary to impart on the younger generation.

The last day we were there, Phil along with his parents took the kids on a hike to Rattlesnake Ridge, while I stayed back to do laundry and pack. They all had quite a bit of fun. Hazel may have charmed her way into Grandpa Steve's arms so she got carried AND full and complete access to his Camelback. A perfect way to end this portion of our trip. Quality time, while getting them nice and worn out for the long car ride the next day. 


Oregon was breezy and beautiful. We met my parents and my sister's family there on a Thursday afternoon and after checking out our hotel room, ran right over to the beach. We told all of them to not wear their swimsuits because the water was too cold, but luckily, they didn't listen to us because they were stripping down to their suits faster than I could say, "Look, there are seals over there!" We then headed over to Mo's for some fish and chips for dinner. I mean, Mo's + plus the Oregon beach? I mean, it's just so apropos.

 The next day, we (along with everyone else in the state of Oregon) took a little field trip to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Where I totally ate my weight in dairy. And enjoyed every second. We ate at their restaurant that served a variety of grilled cheese, and then of course, got some ice cream. Delish. And I may have had a bit of a tummy ache later. But hey, go big or go home, is what I always say. Actually, I don't say that. Hardly, ever.... unless it has to do with dairy.

The next day was the Fourth of July. We bought some sandwiches and headed to a place down the coast a few miles to look for whales. You guys. You'd think we were watching the World Cup finals or something. We saw the whale watching expedition boats and using them for a point of reference, spotted a few spouts a ways out. Which in itself was pretty fun. But we kept watching and felt we had two behemoth friends on the radar, one of which kept inching it's way closer to us. And the closer the spouts got, the louder our cheers got. There was one point we got incredibly bashful because we were beginning to cause a scene. Don't worry, we got over it quickly. And then--I mean it's hard to describe because were overlooking a cliff, but I'm pretty sure that whale couldn't have gotten more closely if it had tried. One of two things happened. It heard our cheers and wanted to give us a show, or Heavenly Father blessed us in our over-eagar, pathetic state with a really awesome memory. It was pretty amazing. He came out of the water in waves because he was so huge. Or "she", excuse me. Of course, when this happened we were yelling and cheering. Honestly, whoever was there that day did not leave wanting for entertainment. Sadly, we have not one picture to document our outing that day. Because we were tos busy peeling our eyes, dang it!

That night we grilled hot dogs, walked the beach long enough to see how insanely crowed it was and walked straight back to the hotel room to put our kids in their jammies and watched all the crazy people while we waited for the fireworks to start. Which we did, from our window, all snuggled up so our kids were able to crawl into bed right after the last boom. The most perfect way to do fireworks with small children, if you ask me. 

The next day, we decided to forgo our usual bee line home to take a stop in Boise to see my Aunt Lancy, my cousin Bethany and her cute family. It was such a wonderful treat to spend time with them and eat the yummy dinner they made for us. Another thing I wish I had taken a picture of! It was surely the cherry on top to a wonderful vacation!