Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Johns Family Road Trip of '08

Since this last weekend was so hot, Aaron and I decided to get a hotel room at the beach and take the kids away! We haven't had any vacations this year and don't have any planned, so this was considered our vacation of the year. A little pathetic considering that we could only find a cheap little hotel in Pacific City, OR to stay in! Hey, I'm not complaining though, we had fun. The ironic thing is, there was an airport.....or more a landing strip right behind our hotel. So I spent the entire night thinking, "Now that one is going down for sure, it sounds like a vacuum cleaner". Anyways, our journey started off on Hwy 6. We past the landmark of "Papaw & Nana's house" and felt like we were on our way when I hear the little voice of my daughter say, "Have to poop Mommy". Great! So I call my Dad to make sure they were home and let Chloe do her thing and we are back on the road! Woohoo! I took the above picture just outside of Tillamook on Hwy 101, yes this is a highway. You can only see this in Tillamook. There were about 200 cows, we had to wait for about 10 minutes while they stopped and looked at us and then slowly meandered their way to the other side.
Aaron then wanted to show me where his Grandpa's land was on the beach, so we took a 5 minute detour. Now when I say 5 minutes, that is more like 30 minutes to the rest of us. Aaron was just a little off! We finally made it to our hotel after 2 1/2 hours in the car. Good Old Pacific City! We unloaded our car in the 65 degree weather and headed to the beach. It was windy! We sat there and froze for about 5 minutes and let the kids run and around and then went back to the car and drove 20 minutes to Lincoln City for dinner at Mo's.

My son's favorite dinner is clam chowder, or anything seafood. So he was very excited to get his cup of clam chowder and so was I. Mainly I was excited to get out of the car, because I was about to pull my hair out from all the arguing.

The beach outside of Mo's was not windy at all and there were 5 seals swimming in the water. The kids got a kick out of it. After we were worn out we headed back to our hotel and took showers and went to bed.

The next morning we headed out around 11 and headed up Hwy 101. We didn't want to go home until late, so Aaron had scoped out several
spots we could stop at along the beach. Our first stop was a lookout thing, that turned out to be a view of some houses and bushes. Really, we could make out the ocean if we looked really hard. We continued up Hwy 101 where we kept running through little towns that made me say, "Oh, this is where Happy Valley is" or "This is where Nestucca is".

Our next stop on the Johns family road trip of '08 was Munson Creek Falls. Its just a mile walk up a path and you are supposed to see this amazing waterfall. We hiked up the trail, only to have it caution taped off because of the fallen trees. Note to Oregon State Parks.....a sign at the beginning of a rocky trail would be appreciated!!

Luckily for Aaron and his hopes of broadening our children's view of Oregon, our next stop was a guaranteed success. The Tillamook Cheese Factory! We ate lunch, checked out the cows and headed up the stairs to the viewing area to watch all the cheese be made. Oh, but wait, it was a Sunday! And who wants to work on a Sunday?? No one apparently! We just got a view of the vacant work floor and the non-moving conveyor belt. Payton was like, "Wow...can we get some ice cream now?". Of course we got ice cream and I just have to say, it is so much better from there than in the store!

With their bellies full, we loaded them up and headed to Cannon Beach. They fell asleep somewhere in between, and Aaron and I enjoyed some uninterrupted talking time! Very Nice! When the kids woke up we bought some wood and walked to the beach. It was a beautiful day. We started a fire and roasted hot dogs and marsh mellows. Payton and I walked up and down the beach and collected enough firewood to last us until 8:30pm. That's when we decided we should drive back and deal with the heat! We arrived back at our house at 10:30 and it was still 83 degrees! It was so hot! I was grateful that we were able to get away from it while we could. Its not Disneyland, but it will have to do!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We had a very busy 4th of July! Normally we head down to the beach for the day/night, but we decided to stay in town this year as the weather wasn't supposed to be great. We first went to the 4th of July parade in Hillsboro. Here you will see my two timid children watching the parade. It took them about 30 minutes of the parade going by before they would chase down candy. They were lucky though, every time someone caught Chloe's big puppy dog eyes, they would hurl a handful of candy at them! She knows how to work it!

After we got more than enough candy, we loaded up in our car and headed for McDonalds with our $1 happy meal coupons in hand! The toys were Transformers and Littlest Petshop. I can't begin to tell you the joy that gave both my children! Oh, the little things in life!

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we drove to the movie theater and decided to watch Kung Fu Panda...with my free movie ticket vouchers. I was on a role with my thriftiness!! The movie was ok, Payton loved it. Chloe was doing tricks on the handicap poles in front of us, she was not into it.

Now by the time we got home it was 4:00pm and we were exhausted. So we decided to take a family nap until 6:00! It was soooo nice! We woke up starving though, and I still needed to go to the store! My neighbor and I decided to go together and get a BBQ started. We BBQ'd some hotdogs and hamburgers and waited for it to get dark. We were so excited to light our $30 worth of fireworks. As soon as it was dark enough we lit the first one! Hurray! Both my kids immediately ran into our neighbors house and hid until all the loud ones were done. As you can see Payton did his own sparkler at the end of the night. Chloe however wouldn't even touch hers.....yes, if you are wondering the sparkler is silent.....but she still felt the need to plug her ears! We all fell into bed at 11:30, exhausted and happy. The best part of the kids both slept in until well past 10:00 the next morning!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Girls Beach Weekend!

After plotting and planning, we finally had our girls beach weekend! We started planning almost 4 months ago, and we couldn't have picked a better weekend to do it. While it was sweltering hot in town, the beach was around 80 both days. It was one of those rare weekends at the beach that you could actually wear a bikini and layout. The brave ones of us did this, but I was forbidden to take any pictures! Almost all of us left with some sort of a sunburn. Some burns were worst than others....Jill hows that going?? Anyways, Friday night we went down to the beach and built our own fire....we felt very good about ourselves. We made some smores and just hung out. It was so nice! This picture above is all of us with my self timer camera. Its Jill, Mimi, Me, Donia, Dara (on fire) and Liz. I really wish the fire hadn't got in the way. It is a super cute picture. We could pretend that Alisa is behind it, because we all know how she feels about not being in pictures!

This here is Donia moving the log that some of us sat on because the smoke kept getting in peoples eyes. She was pretty much doing it by herself! Notice Liz really thinking about helping her here!

Nothing too extraordinary happened this time. Just the weather and of course our amazing food! Donia made us the most delicious tacos! She is so great at that! We had Emily's Shrimp Friday night with baked potatoes and Jill's Beer Bread! Oh my goodness, it was so good! One thing we do know how to do on these weekends is eat and eat good! I will now feel full filled for the next year while I lose my freedom to a newborn! I look forward to my coming out weekend sometime next August!!