Our First Family Vacation!

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terrific trips

Well I guess we’ve gone camping as just our family but this was like a real stay-in-a-hotel-and-such family extravaganza! And we had the best time! I must say I was equally looking forward to and dreading this trip for quite some time. Something about 10hrs up and 11.5hrs back + eating most meals out with two squirmy hooligans is enough to give me the hot sweats. BUT they did amazing. Seriously… it was probably all the prayers I was begging strangers on the street to pray for us but by jove, they probably cried an hour total of the entire car riding experience – from Santa Cruz to Eugene to Seattle to Cannon Beach and over to Portland and back. That’s a lot of cooped up ness and they were seriously baby rockstars. And Luke, bless his soul, had to sit in his carseat for that first leg on his very special 2nd birthday. We sang him happy birthday as many times as we could fit in and despite being strapped in all the live long day, he really seemed to get that that day was a special day just for him. We made it up to Eugene in time to get him a cake and celebrate in the hotel with my folks. OKAY I said this was just a family trip but the first part was for my cousins wedding… AND THEN we broke off on our own and explored all them beautiful green states. So there.

Of course I brought hats. They are hands down the best part of kids parties. In my humble opinion :D

This kid got like 15 different types of balls and ball games. HA! They were actually really fun to play with in the various parks we found and it really seemed like Luke knew this was all for him despite his sister opening all his presents. He’s just the dearest boy. I love him so much.

^^This is the face he makes if you ask him to smile for the camera. Ya. It’s the best. Please don’t ever change little man!!!

Abbie was a flower girl….

I was fairly positive she would freak out and start crying but that’s why Dani was the backup! But then… at the turn down the aisle… there was some loud wailing coming from that precious face (mind you my kids have a fun trick that if one starts crying, the other will also) so Abbie starts doing her blood curdling scream of sadness and then I hear Luke going off and then Dani says heck no I’m not going down that aisle and MY BRAIN YOU GUYS… it just doesn’t function all that well these days. I cannot make decisions and it drives Greg crazy but here I was all alone staring at the aisle with all those people waiting. Naturally I became the flower girl and thoroughly embarrassed myself and family forever more. MOVING ON.

But seriously, my cousins and these babies filled my whole soul up. They are so sweet with them. THANK YOU!!!

Also, little girl dresses. <3

This is my dad’s cousin. He married my mom’s sister. And my grandma married my grandpa and my grandpa’s sister married my grandma’s brother and you thought I was joking when I said we had a close family. It’s all legal I swear.


Uh ya he was in heaven with ALL THOSE BALLS TO PLAY WITH in the trees! ;)

We are immaturely amused by flower crowns

Congratulations Lizzy and Joey! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and adventures!

Then we were off to Seattle! We definitely listened to the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack and pretended like young Tom Hanks was just around the corner at all times. I’ll tell you what. I’ve never seen so many people wearing backpacks as I did in Seattle. Like everyone! And their mother! Found that sorta amusing ;) and practical! Anyways, the Space Needle. Wasn’t going to go up it cause I heard it was real expensive and such a touristy thing but HEY I have no problem being a tourist and we had some time to kill when we got there and it didn’t seem that busy and MY GOODNESS it looked cool! Like, it doesn’t look all that neat in pictures, in my opinion, but in person, it’s a really cool structure! I loved seeing it everywhere plus it made it a whole lot easier to orient oneself. Anyways, we decided to pay the tourist fee and head up. And then it began.

You guys, Abbie. I love her to bits but she is afraid of life right now. Either that or she’s just stubborn and doesn’t wanna do things she doesn’t wanna do. And she did NOT want to go up that. We were getting the major stink eye from erryyone around us for good reason. She’s quite loud :/ but I just knew if we could get up there, she’d see how cool it was! But they wouldn’t let us up… or refund our tickets haha. So being the frugal lady I am and not wanting to waste ALL the tickets, I took Luke up and honestly, it was one of the highlights of my trip. IT WAS SO GORGEOUS! SUCH a pretty day and the light and THAT VIEW and there weren’t all that many people up there and I just so wish the other half of my family was there with me. But, it has these glass walls that lean outwards. And something about seeing my baby boy leaning back over the city was making me a little weak in the knees. Plus those tiny gaps that he kept reaching his arms through… okay ever since I went sky diving back in college, I’ve had a bit of a fear of heights. I dunno why it came on suddenly but I was definitely getting a little queasy watching him despite the beauty and excitement of it all :D

Aaaand I totally forgot to take pictures of the actual view for Greg. Wife fail. I was so focused on Luke not falling out of the imaginarily large crack! Plus I thought for sure he’d go up after me but apparently my view salesman skills aren’t up to par. Anyways, my tourist self totally recommends it if it’s a nice day and not too busy :D

And then we had the best pizza picnic below where the kids could run and play and Abbie could tell me 100 more times how NOW she really wants to go up the “Pace Needo” and NOW she’s really brave. This continued for the rest of the trip because well, you can see it wherever you go as a constant reminder of the fun that could have been ;)
Honestly I really liked Seattle. We’d turn corners and there would be giant water park feature things or live music or something going on and the weather was so pretty (as I hear it is all year long! ;) ) and we just had a really good time! And THEN AND THEN that night we put the kids to bed and watched Sleepless in Seattle IN SEATTLE and my romcom loving self was so happy ;) Never realized what a creeper she really is in that movie but I still love it.

The next morning, since Greg didn’t get to see the view, I had heard Kerry Park had a spectacular one as well and according to Google, it was less than a mile away! They didn’t mention that lil walk was entirely uphill. San Francisco is well known for having crazy steep hills BUT NO ONE MENTIONED Seattle has hills that rival those! Bless my dear husband for pushing that stroller the whole way up. I think my buns are still burning.

They have the CUTEST neighborhoods around there! When we could see through our sweat and catch our breath, all the houses were just so adorable with the most incredible views. Naturally all the ones we liked were 5 million + . I’ve noticed this is my range for houses I like in any area ;) I should probably get a job.

^^That face!!! <3

AND ALL THE HYDRANGEAS IN EVERYONES YARDS! It’s like they actually get rain.

We had such a fun time finding the playgrounds around these little neighborhoods. I love seeing the kids so happy :)

I did make the mistake of sitting in one of those ^^ myself. With no one around. Omgosh I started laughing and I couldn’t get off. Tears were shooting out of my eyes, my glasses were sliding off my face, and my hands were full so I couldn’t hoist myself out. I was a sight. I feel like Greg always finds me in these sorts of circumstances. Somehow he still loves me ;) My dizzy, giggly self was awfully thankful.

^^When you ask her to pose…

They sure thought those pink chairs were awfully cool.

My personal favorite bit of the Seattle portion of our trip was going to the lighthouse at Discovery Park. There was almost no one there and it was just so peaceful and slow and lovely. The kids loved throwing stones in the lapping waves and it was just one of those tranquil moments I’ll always remember in my mind.

I loved how much water there was up there! Are they considered lakes or is it still the ocean? Either way, I loooooved it. It’s everywhere! You go over one hill and there’s more water on the other side! And it smells like the ocean but feels like a lake and it’s perfect.

We thought we might as well check out the market while we were there but honestly, I don’t know if it’s being smacked in the face by little hands 1000x a day but I get people overload quite easily these days and that was a lot of people.

What’s this you say? Oh, just the line for Starbucks. I told Greg, WHO would want to wait in that line!? And he said WE DO! Insert inward screaming noooooooooooo! But we made it! And got our coffee made at the very first Starbucks store so, *official tourist*

^^And this is my son drinking straight black coffee and saying mmmmm as always. He’s all man.

^^Greg took this fabulous picture of me right when a guy ran up and said “THERE’S A RAT IN YOUR STROLLER! IT’S HEADING TOWARDS THE BABY!” So we grabbed the kids, tipped it over, stuff was going everywhere and sure enough. Hiiii rodent. Greg was like, what’s the big deal… we have like a million of those in our house. But really, how creepy. How long was it in there and what if we had folded it up and put it in our car!? The guy said, “welcome to Seattle…” and I felt just like Amy Adams on Enchanted… “thank you!” a little kindness goes a long way even if it was meant sarcastically ;)

Later that day we drove our car right onto the Ferry and went over to Bainbridge Island… can you tell we were avoiding the city?! But honestly, we had so much fun. Anywhere the kids can run and not have to be perfectly still and quiet at all times, I’m a big fan of.

AND THEN THE NEXT DAY – I clearly seem obsessed with this movie but we were there RIGHT!? So, on our way out of town we might have stalked that lil houseboat in the movie. It was hard to see and i’m not even sure it’s the right one ;) (I think it’s that one on the end below) But it was kinda fun seeing where they filmed Sleepless in Seattle and see how unrealistic the scene is where she stops her car in the middle of the roaddd!? cause there’s really no shoulder… Come on. They made it look like such a quaint little house boating community. Probably the same way people think my house is clean the majority of the time. Hardy har har.

And then we headed to Canon Beach on the most gloriously beautiful drive… and even got a little rain!

We were looking at the weather and it was like sunny, 80’s/90’s the whole time and we were bummed it wouldn’t feel correct you know? But honestly, so glad it didn’t rain the whole time cause we would have had a hard time doing anything let alone walking around town! And that the kids weren’t freezing. These are all good things.

Can you tell they were excited to get out of the car!?

^^This one is one of my favorite pictures cause I was like, where’s Luke?! And then I spotted him back there ;)

Look at that precious little face. JUST LOOKIT IT!

Baby squats, man. I’m slightly obsessed.

Not to mention those precious little people together <3

LOVED Cannon Beach. Wish I could have had some beer but HEY. Still was pretty fun :) And it was surprisingly warm! Definitely was expecting that to be one of our colder days but it was mighty lovely down there. Sorta reminded me of Carmel looking over at Pebble Beach. But then those rocks. Can’t compare anything to those glorious rocks :)

And then we were off to Portland where Greg got to wear this awesome giraffe robe that still gives me the giggles! We ordered room service cause we are just uuber luxurious and the kids were SO happy for all of three seconds.

Real life.

But then we finally got to celebrate Luke man properly! I love this picture cause asked me to take it and went over and posed just so. He’s just so dang dear. I love him. Have I said that already?

We went to the Portland Zoo and LOVED it. You could see so many of the animals pretty close up and it was just so beautiful, not too big, and just kinda perfect for that day.

My favorite was seeing the cougars cause I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen one in person. But we do have those where we live (didn’t tell the kids that ;) ) so it was just kinda crazy to get to witness up close!
And the Vultures. Those were crazy too. Oh and the bald eagles! And of course the elephants. OKAY I LIKED THEM ALL. I do love animals :)

^^Success ;)

The next day I wandered out to find us some crazy Portland donuts.

I wish I could have captured their squeals on camera when I surprised them with such a breakfast but I never get any of the good stuff on film BOOOOO. Sooooo no one tells you those fruit loops are mighty stale, but I guess it was worth the experience. I like me an ordinary glazed donut (sprinkles if I’m feeling fancy) so I’m probably not their target client ;)

Then we were off to the falls to ward off the inevitable diabetes that would soon be overtaking us. The hike I pictured was really just a walk across the street but it was still so beautiful :) And then we were off to find some Salt & Straw ice cream to make ourselves feel really good! Naturally we avoided the city again cause *lines* and *people* ;) and ended up at Lake Oswego which again, was so cute!

hiiii Greg

And then the kids found a splash pad that they HAD to strip down and go in. My kids are slightly terrified of water so I was surprised they showed any interest at all and I was certain they definitely wouldn’t be getting wet. I was wrong. But they had the best time and that made us mighty happy.

^^when you ask them to not drink the water

The next day called for new donuts which again, so good but just gimme an ordinary donut! ;)

There was a trip to Powell’s where I envisioned us each picking out a special book but really was just me frantically grabbing all the books Luke was hurling from the shelves while Greg leisurely looked at first editions of Lord of the Rings ;) It ended faster than anticipated but was followed by the most delicious brunch and just exploring around the city!

And then came 12 more hours in the car and the most wonderful feeling of being h o m e . I love home :) Happy Thursday one and all!

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