Last month I visited the west coast for my very first time. We got the opportunity to go along with Jake’s parents and since we were feeling the urge to get away from home for a few days, we jumped on it. We broke the trip up into several days to help spread out the driving, which would not only make it a little more tolerable, but makes it a LOT easier on the girls.
Day 1: 5 1/2 hour drive to Boise. We stayed the night with Jake’s oldest sister and got to see her new house for the first time. Not surprisingly, it’s perfectly laid out and accessorized. Crystal is a whiz at that kind of stuff. I can see ideas on pinterest and immediately know what I do or don’t like about them, but I have yet to be able to get it to translate across into my real life. I will say that our house is in the beginning stages of not feeling like a college couple’s thrift store home..which is essentially what it’s been up to this point.
Day 2: We left after lunch and made our way towards Aurora, Oregon (about 6 hours). We stayed at the only hotel in the town close to there and at a steep $90/night we dealt with uncomfortable beds, a lobby that reeked of curry, and the lackluster breakfast of warm milk, cheap orange juice and individual cereal containers reminiscent of elementary school breakfasts.
Day 3: Woke up and made our way to a family reunion (30 or so minutes) for my mother in law’s side. It was cool to meet this side of their family because up until this point I had only met 5 or less. Even Jake could only remember visiting them a few times in his childhood so he was making all kinds of re-connections.
The reunion was held in this quaint little park in the center of the town. There’s a baseball field and a couple tennis/basketball courts and then this little wooded lot with a couple small playgrounds (one of which Natalia managed to hurt herself on within 15 minutes of being there) and pavilions. The trees were so tall and dense that I almost felt like I was in a whole other world in the middle of this town.
After all the eating was done we made our way to one of Jake’s uncle’s house. There we were able to spend a couple hours just chatting, finishing up the desserts from the reunion and passing Kaliah around to snuggle up to all the relatives. That night we found an amazing hotel with suites to stay at in Salem, OR for only $45/night. Amazing that we had just spent double the night before for something of such lower quality. Not to mention the hot (fresh!) breakfast we all enjoyed the next morning.
Day 4: 8 hour drive to the southern Oregon coast. (8 hours)
We stopped along the way at Lakeside, OR. It’s where Jake’s parents lived after getting married and when they had his oldest sister. I don’t remember how many acres my father in law said they had but they had worked so hard to rebuild this house only to move to Missouri before it was finished.
Also on the way to Gold Beach we passed through Coo’s Bay, where Jake’s oldest sister was actually born. I love their cool little bridge going into town.
One thing I seriously couldn’t get enough of was the view from Bonnie’s (Jake’s aunt) window. They live on the top of the mountain overlooking the ocean. It’s a dream!
Day 5: We spent the day in the town of Gold Beach, OR. Made our way around to some cool little vintage shops and I even found this beautiful aqua vintage colander. As someone who still owns a cheap plastic one that was given to us 3 years ago, I couldn’t pass up the $9 deal. We also ate at this great little restaurant, the Port Hole Cafe. I was lucky enough to get to indulge in a steaming bowl of (fresh!) clam chowder. Pretty sure I can never eat the stuff from a can again. Jake ordered this seafood sampler and it had scallops, shrimp, and fresh oysters. They were fried, so he wasn’t the biggest fan of the oyster cooked that way, but it was a first time for both of us to have scallops. (I feel the tiniest baby step closer to Gordon Ramsey.)
We spent another good portion of our day down at the beach. It was really foggy and even cold which I was a bit surprised at given that it was the beginning of August. We actually had to buy coats for the three of us before even heading over to the beach! Another thing I was a bit surprised at was that the shore was littered with these little sea weed pods (you can see Jake blowing into one above) and rocks. There weren’t really any shells like I had seen on the East coast.
There’s something about the fog that just gets me every time. It’s a little bit of clouded mystery that clings to everything nearby. You can see all the driftwood that finds it’s way to the shoreline and that large rock in the background is Kissing Rock (larger in the photos to the left). Kissing Rock is actually the giant one behind the small photo with me baby wearing Kaliah. The rock that Jake is on top of is about half the size of Kissing Rock–yet it’s still massive!
Natalia had a good time collecting a walking stick and a couple of rocks. Plus, she seemed attracted to these little driftwood forts. This one even had a green bandanna ‘flag’.
Afterwards, we headed back up the mountain for some cocoa before heading out on a hike.
Had a 14 or so hour drive back to Boise where we stayed at my sister in law’s for the night
Day 7: 5 1/2 hours home.
Some things I learned: My baby doesn’t take a pacifier. Imagine my surprise when up to this point she had been complacent with one but not whiny at all without one. It’s like once we hopped in the truck, some internal switch in her flipped and decided we no longer accept a binky in any situation. All in all though, she still did fairly well for the amount of driving we did. Natalia is a victim of motion sickness. This is not ever something you want to learn about your child, but it’s one of those things you only get to find out the hard way. Poor girl was throwing up on herself just minutes before getting to my sister in law’s on the first day and on the day that we left the coast. After reading the directions on my Dramamine (which did say we could give her a half tablet) we tried sneaking it into her drink, giving it to her outright, and even hiding it in a fresh piece of taffy to no avail. Then, we FINALLY found the kid’s chewable kind and by then she wasn’t taking any sort of pill shaped anything from us. Poor girl. At least now we know where they stand and we can try to take a few extra steps before heading out on our next adventure.
Did your family get to take any fun summer adventures?