We had a great time on our THREE WEEK Summer Vacation!
Matt only had a week of paid vacation so the kids and I flew out two weeks ahead of him.
(Matt did get to take another work trip to China while we were gone so he didn't sit home teary-eyed and missing us the whole time.)
All checked in and waiting at the gate for our flight to Portland, Oregon.
Grammy and Uncle Brian picked us up at the airport and we headed to Uncle Kevin's house in Hillsboro to spend the night before heading to Grammy's house in Springfield. Uncle Kevin and Aunt Mili were out of town that night so we had free rein of the place.
Grammy being Grammy had gift bags waiting for the kiddos.
Legos et. al!!
While L and T built their new Lego sets I went through my carry-on to throw out all the trash.
I may or may not have found this in the front pocket of my CARRY-ON.
(Am I liable if I admit to something on a web log?)
TSA may or may not have done a superb job of screening my bag.
More pics from our one nighter at Kevin and Mili's.
1. Dinner 2. Playing with cousin Patrick's racecars 3. Showing Uncle Brian Tomodachi Life on the 2DS
The next day before heading South to Grammy's house we spent a few (quite a few) hours at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. (OMSI)
Informative, Fun, and Great Exercise walking ALL OVER the PLACE
Then it was off to Grammy's house for one night only.
Lauren quickly acclimated to Grammy's House Rules.
(Cookies for breakfast are acceptable)
Grammy planned a fun trip for us to Wildlife Life Safari and Crater Lake.
On our way out of town I spotted this window with Steve Prefontaine and stopped to get a picture.
In college I lived on the hill where he tragically died in a car accident. While living there they filmed outside my house for the movie "Prefontaine." I remember keeping a lookout for Jared Leto who played him.
Okay, back to our trip.
We headed down I-5 toward Wildlife Safari which is near Roseburg, OR (a couple hours South of Grammy's house.)
Anytime you travel from Springfield/Eugene to Roseburg you MUST stop at Rice Hill and enjoy the best ice-cream ever. Umpqua Ice Cream from a shack on the side of the Interstate!
We drove through the park to see all the animals and then got out to explore the grounds and petting zoo.
It was a fun and memorable experience for the kiddos. We had a one eyed goat? deer? follow us for quite awhile who quickly earned a spot in the kids' heart when his lack of depth perception let him (gently) smash his face into our car window. I don't seem to have a picture of him but I have plenty of others.
We were hungry after Wildlife Safari so we made our way to McMenamins for dinner.
I believe Lauren was reliving her terrible twos and throwing a tantrum in the bottom left picture.
Since our hotel for the night had a pool, L and T had to check it out. Who cares if it is an outdoor unheated pool? Who cares if it is only 65 degrees out?
(Luckily there was a hot tub.)
In the morning we headed East toward Crater Lake.
One of the Natural Wonders of the World!!
On our way to the Lake we were held up by a big Rock Slide.
It was on purpose to dispose of loose rocks and it was actually pretty cool to see. We were only delayed about 20 minutes because these guys/gals make quick work with the bulldozer. Up on the cliff they inflate balloons (no dynamite) until the rocks start to fall. The rocks pound to the street below and then the bulldozers come out and clean it up like they are cotton balls.
Crater Lake at last!
The beautiful day made it absolutely breath taking.
Now that you've admired the Natural Beauty of Crater Lake it's time to enjoy the peeps who came to see it.
What an awesome experience and a beautiful day to boot.
The snow pack was still too high to hike down to the lake so after we thoroughly checked out everything we could we headed back to Grammy's house.
BUT, just for the night.
The next day we packed up once again, grabbed GG & Mr. Buddy (her Bichon Frise) and drove West to Florence, Oregon to start our drive up the coastal highway to Grammy's beach house in Lincoln City.
We stopped in a few cities along the way to check out the sites.
It was yet another beautiful day!
(It's very rare to have cloudless sky on the Oregon Coast)
As soon as we made it to Grammy's beach house L and T were all about heading straight to the beach.
So that's what we did.
Uncle Brian showed up shortly and taught Tyler the art of "tagging."
Gotta love my brother "DUDE BRIAN." ;)
Later on at the house:
1. GG in the kitchen 2. Relaxing in the living room 3. Conked out for the night
The next couple of days were full of beach house fun.
We were joined by Uncle Kevin, Aunt Mili, and Cousin Patrick when they got back in town. We did some sight seeing in Depot Bay, lots of good eating and of course more sandy fun on the beach.
Lauren posing on a walk to the beach.
1. Cousins holding hands 2. Sand aerobics 3. Grammy and GG chilling 4. Beach fun with the Uncles
We couldn't spend all our time at the beach because Lauren needed to school her Uncles at RISK.
Before leaving the Beach House we attempted to recreate this picture from last year.
June 10, 2013
We almost got it perfect but GG forgot to put on her bathrobe. hehehe
I believe the layout is better this year. The giant (me) needs to be in the middle.
Other Family Photos
(just missing Uncle Brian who had to go to work and Patrick who earned himself a time-out)
Love my Family!!
We couldn't stay at the beach house forever so eventually we made our way back to Grammy's house in Springfield.
When we got home it was the perfect time to make Chocolate Chip Cookies!
It started off all fun and games and eating cookie dough! but somehow (bottom photo) both kids burned their fingers and had to nurse them with ice while Grammy finished the final batches.
(This is why I don't make the cookies in my house.)
While at Grammy's house the kids would play for HOURS with the Army Guys. It was fun to watch their creativity and reaffirm that they CAN entertain themselves without Screen Time.
The last full day we were in Oregon, Grammy & GG hosted a small get-together in our honor.
Cousins got to play with cousins and us grown-ups got to catch up with one another.
The food was out of this world!
We had so much fun in Oregon and the days just flew by.
Before we knew it it was time to start the next leg of our Summer Vacation 2014 in Idaho.
We didn't fly out to Boise (Eugene-Portland-Boise) until the afternoon so we made sure to get some family pictures.
2. GG and her GG Babies 3. Grammy choking the GKs 4. Momma and her babies
Me and my Grams
She looks like a doll next to me. Love her!
And we're off to Idaho to see the rest of our family.
'Till we meet again!
**PS**What I don't have a picture for but I do want to include in this post about our Oregon vacation is an evening we spent with my Dad's brother Ken (Uncle Butchy to me and the kiddos.) He and my Aunt Charlotte offered to let us use their van to drive to the coast. When we stopped by to pick up the van we all went out to dinner and then took a drive around memory lane. He took us to the jogging paths that he and my Dad would often run together. He talked about running with my Dad (Grandpa Bob) and asked the kiddos if they wanted to go for a run with him. Lauren was game. It was fun to see his enjoyment running with Lauren (and hers too.) What was even cooler was later that night in bed when Lauren asked me to tell her more about her Grandpa Bob (my Dad.) He died when she was three and Tyler was one so neither really remember him. It made my heart smile that she wanted to know more about him.