Sunday, July 31, 2016

Salmon River hike

We headed toward Mt Hood on Saturday morning, with Anne and Camille, to hike a section of the Salmon River trail and splash in the river. It's been hot in Portland this week.

We hiked about 3 miles on a trail that followed the river through glorious old-growth forest; Seb hid in trees and stumps and cracked us up with his funny faces. The kids pretended they were characters in Paw Patrol - Seb created his own narrative plot in which he and the girls were the protagonists. We ate lunch and got in the water, more or less. (Anne and Liesl more than the rest of us!) Seb practiced skipping rocks and managed to get five skips, a personal record that made him very happy.  It was a gloriously beautiful day to spend with friends.

playdate with Nina

Liesl's sweet preschool friend Nina came over to play with us on Friday. We picked her up from her mom's office at PSU at 9:30 and she played until we dropped her off at 4:30. It was a wonderful day for the two girls and hopefully the first of many more playdates to come - I'd like to encourage this lovely friendship to last. (It's interesting to me to realize, as a parent, how much we are responsible for who she gets to play with - I have to commit to the friendship too - make the arrangements and do the driving and supervising. She gets to decide who she likes, of course, but it's up to me to connect with the parents and allow the friendship to flourish outside of school/class situations. I don't think that as a child I really understood how much influence my parents had.)

Our first stop was at Blue Star, where the girls split one blueberry and one chocolate doughnut. Big messy grins all around.
Then we drove up to Washington Park to play at the playground - some hide and seek, some following the leader, the swings, clambering around.
Then we came home for lunch - grilled cheese and blueberries and carrots with hummus - and the girls disappeared into Liesl's room for a few hours. They played with their babies (I think) and were happily tucked away up there, chattering away. I got some work done and Sebastian got to watch Paw Patrol (a Nickelodeon show about dogs solving mysteries, which is their current screentime obsession). And then, because it was 94 degrees out there, we turned on the sprinkler and they got to jump through and spray each other with water guns and dump water on their heads and everything else.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sunday morning at the beach

Sunday morning dawned just as early - we fed the kids a quick breakfast (learning from Saturday's oversight) and headed back down to the beach again. It was gorgeous out there, not windy at all, and sunny.
Serving up ice cream cones!
Sebastian made a make-shift surfboard from a piece of plywood.
Found a crab scuttling back under the waves and sand.
Post-beach - roasting apples and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows!
On the way out of town, we stopped in Depoe Bay at the whale observation deck and got to see a bunch of orcas in the bay. It was a cool last experience before the drive home - everyone fell asleep about an hour in and the kids slept nearly the whole way - the late nights and early mornings finally caught up to everyone.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Devil's Punchbowl (and more beach time!)

On Saturday, our kids woke up at the crack of dawn (seriously, before 6), and in an effort to keep them from waking up everyone else in the campground, Anne and I walked and the kids rode their bikes down to the beach. They clambered on rocks, dug holes in the sand, splashed a little in the water, and were as loud as they wanted. When we finally returned to eat breakfast, everyone else was awake and the bike riding re-commenced.

Afterwards, we drove a mile or two north to see the Devil's Punchbowl at Otter Rock. It's a naturally formed cavern/hole, filled with water at high tide, but empty and open at low tide. It was so cool to walk in there and be surrounded by a huge, high rock wall.

Two little crabs, scuttling under the rocks to get away from the light and us. And a starfish.

After eating lunch, and making our way through a sunscreen-induced meltdown, we walked over to the campground amphitheatre and entertained ourselves by putting on a show. Liesl was the announcer/instructor and the rest of us the more-or-less willing dancers.
A creek ran alongside the campground, right behind our tentsites, and there was a trail following its banks. We walked along and watched as the kids played in and on and under the enormous trees and their roots. They were playing a game in which Sebastian was the owner person and Liesl and Camille were Honey and Cookie, two dogs (or cats), that he gave directions to and led off in explorations.

We went back down to Beverly Beach in the late afternoon to try out the water and waves again. It was incredibly windy, which made everything a little more difficult.
The wind was so strong that we periodically retreated to this area under the highway bridge to escape from it. We only stayed a short while and then went to Newport for dinner at a seafood restaurant called Local Ocean. We walked along the wharf and saw a sea lion, and then returned to the campground for more s'mores.