Friday, July 12, 2013

Sand Castles and Sparklers

 Soooooo......that was an unintentional little blog break I took there. Sorry about that. See, I had this fantasy about how this summer was going to go. The J-bird's last summer before REAL SCHOOL. We were going to chill and BE TOGETHER and have all this quality time and yeah right. After a blissful, mostly illness free winter, the kids have caught two nasty colds apiece, and even with my decent immune system, I ended up getting as sick as I've been in years this last week. We've had Vacation Bible School and a trip to California and a fun surprise party to throw and swimming lessons and taekwon do, and then, over the 4th of July weekend, a much needed long weekend spent with friends in a rented house in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. It was restorative, regenerative, and just an all-around wonderful full stop to the self imposed hustle and bustle. Just the kind of time together I was hoping for out of this summer.

 We packed up the car with coolers full of groceries and bags of clothes and sand toys (and everything EXCEPT our sweatshirts, even though we KNOW that no matter how hot it is inland, it will be cool and windy by the water. Oops.) and then we headed out in a caravan with our pals, the Beckers, stopping at a Dairy Queen on the way for some sustenance.

By the time we arrived, our two little ones were tuckered out. We let them sleep while we unloaded the car, and then we woke them up to go enjoy the beach!

 The Oregon coast isn't like a lot of other beaches you may think of. It's usually breezy and cool, even when it's hot inland. The water is cold. But it is gorgeous and powerful and a place I just cannot get enough of. The kids loved it. We went shopping for sweatshirts (found one for the J-bird, couldn't find one for Miss V - frustrating! , so I just dressed her in many layers plus her smock. She stayed toasty roasty.) We got a couple of warm days after all, which was nice. Miss V, as usual, feared nothing. She dove right in, touching all the seaweed and putting her feet in the cold water, throwing sand over her shoulders and experiencing it all with reckless abandon. The J-bird hung back a little and watched, to be sure it was all safe, and then he enjoyed it in his own way, but he also had a wonderful time. He built sand castles and hunted shells and climbed on logs and played soccer in the sand. Every day that we were there, they wanted to be on the beach.

One of the days we were there, we drove to the Newport Aquarium. That place is amazing!

 (walking like a crab)

 (the sign says "Wild Ginger")

 And we had lunch at the Rogue Brewery

Amy, Bailey and I took a few hours and visited a spa. I've never done that before, and holy cow, friends and neighbors.... First of all,  there's never a quiet time in my house when I'm not waiting for someone to wake up and/or holler for me to take them potty, so even when I DO have time to myself, it's not like that, you know? At this place, you even had to turn your phone off, so nobody could even call to ask when I was coming back or what was I making for supper. It was intense. I had a massage and then sat in a giant hot tub that overlooks the ocean. I would give that experience a 150 out of 10.

 Our 4th of July celebration was so much fun. We had a fire in the fire pit to roast hot dogs and make s'mores, did some sparklers, and then we watched the amazing fireworks display from the deck. When it got too chilly for the kids, I took them inside, and we finished watching from the comfort of the couch in the living room. I'm pretty sure we had the best view in town.

 This photo pretty much sums up the evening these two had. Seriously. Click on it.


 The next day, James and I took the kids to play at Regatta Park. It's a huuuuuuuuuge wooden play structure located on a lake in Lincoln City. It's in from the actual coast, so it was warm (hot, actually), and the kids had a blast.

On our way back to the house, we stopped by a glass blowing studio and watched an artist at work. It was extremely cool.

The rest of the weekend was a blur of fun. Hair dos....

 Hanging out....

Serious dance moves.....

Video games....


 Breakfast nachos?

 And lots of time in the sand....


 Thank you, beach.

We needed that.

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