a day at the oregon coast

last sunday we got up early to head to the coast with ryan’s sister and her family.

we made a breakfast stop at camp 18 and explored some of the additions they have made to the grounds to showcase the history of logging in the pacific northwest.

i could have walked around for hours taking photos of the old rusty stuff.

this train car was particularly fascinating to me…
coast 1

wooden doors…rusty metal…chippy paint…

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the exterior was beautiful turquoise bead board…

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isn’t that rust spot just perfect?!

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i can just imagine the stories that the old walls could tell…

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there was a swallow nest on one of the walls, and the mom and dad were eagerly waiting to return to their babies, but were keeping an eye on the stranger peeking in at their home…

coast 6

not sure what this was used for…transporting animals was my guess…

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the ferns and moss seemed to find it a good place to call home…

coast 8

we decided to take a drive to ecola state park instead of just driving to cannon beach.

our kids had never been there, so it was a first for them, too!

coast 9

goonies never say die…

{random fact about me: did you know that goonies is the movie that put a move to oregon in my mind? when i saw the movie in 4th grade i remember thinking, “i want to live there someday.” here i am, many years later living my dream.}

coast 10

beautiful haystack rock at cannon beach just after low tide…

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there was a spring of water coming off these rocks…the moss was like a carpet…

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we ended up setting up a spot at indian beach and exploring for a while…

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it was a perfect day for the coast.

i really liked visiting indian beach again. it’s small, not crowded and has tide pools to explore and surfers to watch. the last time i was there was with oakie.

i hope to make a handful of day trips to the coast with my kids this summer. if you live in portland and want to meet us there, leave a comment and i will put a list of e-mails together to let you know when we plan to do another day trip!

home is…at the oregon coast

wishing it was summer break

I woke up this morning, tried to figure out what day it was, and wished that it was summer break.

Reece wished for the same thing when I reminded him that it was a school day.

Just a few weeks ago our summer was WIDE open.

No plans.

We had a summer full of travel last year thanks to Ryan having extra time off between jobs, but this year we thought we would just stick close to home for our adventures.

Within the last week or so our summer calendar has begun to fill up…all road trips within the Pacific Northwest (except for Ryan’s cross country trip to New York for a wedding).


A couple of weeks ago, Ryan’s parents booked their trip to visit us in Portland. They arrive the day after the kids get out of school and will stay for a week! I am hoping they will get some nice weather during their visit as June can be a temperamental month here in Oregon. Some of the adventures during their visit may include a trip to Multnomah Falls and a visit to the Historic Timberline Lodge up on Mt. Hood. As always, a trip to Powell’s, a brewpub, coffee consumption, and Nana’s awesome kid activities will ensue.


This week, our 3rd annual trip to Lake Pend Oreille with my parents and my sister’s family came together. My aunt and uncle graciously open up their summer home on the lake for family to come play. My parents rent a house for all of us to stay in and we head over to my aunt and uncles house each day to have fun at the beach, sail, kayak, fish, jet ski, and explore the lake by boat. It is definitely a memory making trip for our family.


Yesterday, with both kids up before 5:30, I booked a beach house on the Oregon Coast. It’s been a few years since we have had a vacation at the coast and our day trip during spring break “sealed the deal” for me. The kids are at a perfect age to get out and enjoy what the coast has to offer. We have stayed at a few different locations over the years, but tend to like Bella Beach. We have stayed in 3 different houses there and I booked a different one for this stay. We usually spend time on the beach, explore Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, and head to to Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.


The Pacific Northwest offers so much during the summer. In between the big plans we will have a lot of small adventures:

It’s going to be a good summer…we just need to get through the last month of school!

home is…making summer plans.




{summer rewind} bella beach

My post from yesterday about our road trip to Idaho inspired me to catch up on some of the fun adventures we had over the summer that I did not have the time to post about…because we were having too much fun!

Anyway, I think I decided to bend the rules sometime in June so I have some catching up to do!

I’m going to start with our trip to Bella Beach with Meme and Topher to celebrate the 4th of July and the little guy’s birthday.

Here it goes… On Friday, July 1st Ryan picked Meme and Topher up from the airport, drove them to our house, we had lunch, and headed to the beach! The kids napped on the way. The boys beat us to the house (we had to drive separate cars since we were bringing the dogs) and were already checked in and unpacking when we drove up. We settled ourselves in and headed down to say hello to the ocean. My dad loves seafood, so he ran to the store and they grilled these for appetizers. After dinner, Ryan, the kids, the dogs and I took a walk down to the beach. After a halfway decent nights rest (we did have trouble getting the kids to sleep and had an accident with the safety gate and a baby girl falling down the stairs) we were all ready for a day at the beach. Topher and I drove in to Newport to get a few things at Walmart and then we were ready to go! We played in the sand, flew our Elmo kite,fed squirrels that live in the rocks, and finally got baby girl to take a little nap in the Ergo!

I believe we also saw the first (and only) whale that we have ever seen on the Oregon Coast! We watched it swim down the beach for a long time.

After our fun at the beach we went back to the house for a little “quiet time” before drive to Lincoln City to find a kite store and have dinner. I think a couple of us sat in the hot tub, some washed beach toys, and eventually we all got cleaned up to head in to town. We found some kites, ate a lot of fried seafood, and stopped to have some ice cream. We all slept a bit better after a full day and a big meal to get ready for a trip to the aquarium. Meme, Topher, the kids and I went to the aquarium while Ryan stayed back at the house to get some work done. It was a quick trip. The little guy was cranky and baby girl only wanted Meme to carry her. So, we got them in the car and met Ryan at Rogue where we picked up a growler for later. We also made another stop at Walmart (it’s amazing how there is always something you “need” at Walmart)!

It was foggy and misty when we left the house and by the time we returned the sun was shining and it looked to be a perfect day to spend at the beach! We took our supplies down to the beach…lunch, blankets, towels, umbrella, sand toys, and our new kites! Topher got the kind that you fly using both hands…he figured it out pretty quick and it was fun to watch. We got a box kite that was easy to fly!

The dogs also got to come down to the beach for a while…they were very happy.

After our fun at the beach baby girl fell asleep on Meme’s lap around 6 pm and slept until at least 6 am the next morning. Ryan, the little guy, and I went down to the beach around 9:30 pm to see if we could catch one of the official fireworks shows on the beach. There was still sun on the horizon at almost 10 pm. The wind and the smoke from the campfires and non-official fireworks was getting to me, so I headed back to the house while Ryan and the little guy tried to light a few sparklers.

Eventually they made it back to the house and we all went to bed to the sounds of fireworks.

The next morning Topher headed down to the beach early to set up a spot for all of us. The boys drove in to Lincoln City to look for some fresh seafood and get more kite string for Topher’s new kite (Topher also came back with a second kite…he LOVES toys!).

In between our beach fun we also played with some of the new toys that the little guy (and baby girl) was getting to open each day to celebrate his birthday, the dollar store toys that I brought along (bubbles, airplanes, etc.), and a cool t-shirt craft that Meme taught us!

We made a lunch while the guys were out and headed down to the beach to celebrate the 4th of July. We flew kites, shot water guns, played in the sand, and people watched.

Once again, baby girl fell asleep before dinner. No naps and lots of fun will do this to an almost two year old!

We decided to celebrate the little guys birthday on the 4th since we would be leaving the next morning to head back to Portland and Meme and Topher would be going back to Denver, too.

The little guy declared his 4th birthday a “Batman-Lego-Mario” birthday, so a lot of his gifts followed that theme. As well as the decorations (superhero) and cupcakes.

Baby girl woke up from her “nap” just in time for cupcakes!

As always, we enjoyed great food and wine (and beer) with Meme and Topher, but what I loved sharing the most are the memories that we made for ourselves, and especially, the little guy and baby girl.

This is why I write this blog. So our loved ones can be a part of our adventures whether they are with us or not. And, so the little guy and baby girl have a record of our adventures when they might have been too little to remember.

Our last morning was spent packing up the cars and taking one last walk down to the beach to say goodbye…or in our case, see you next time!

home is…creating memories.

{You can read about our other visits to Bella Beach here, here, here, here, and here!}

{summer in snapshots} week three

I am participating in the {Starfish} blog Summer in Snapshots again this week.

We spent most of week three getting prepared for a visit from Meme and Topher that included a trip to the Oregon Coast to celebrate the 4th of July and the little guy’s birthday. We left for Bella Beach soon after Meme and Topher arrived from Colorado on Friday and were at Bella Beach through Tuesday. I am going to do a separate post about our Oregon Coast adventure, so I included shots from our week prior to Friday.

Between packing and errands, we went to the pool, played baseball in the backyard, had a bit of mommy time, made up our own games, checked the forecast, made the playhouse patriotic, ate dinner outside, and went berry picking.

I think we even crossed a couple of things off our summer list!

home is…making the most of the summer.

{nana and bops visit} day 4

This post should have been written a month ago…sorry for the delay. Better late than never, right?!

Day 4 of Nana and Bops visit was Saturday, May 21st!.

This was our full day at the beach.

After getting to bed late on Friday night, baby girl woke up crying at 2 am. I ended up sleeping with her upstairs and at some point the little guy joined us in the bed, too.

I cooked breakfast for everybody while the kids were occupied by Nana and Bops and Ryan was taking the dogs out for a walk on the beach.

We had eggs, bacon, fresh fruit and english muffins.

Then we got dressed and headed down to the beach to hit low tide.

We spent almost two hours playing on the beach with buckets and shovels.

Baby girl was exhausted and I took a little extra walk around the neighborhood before heading back to the house for lunch. She fell asleep on my back in the Ergo and had a little bit of a nap.

We had lunch and then Ryan and I headed out to get some fresh fish for dinner.

After taking a drive through Lincoln City and buying some steak and other supplies at Safeway we headed south back towards Mojo Coffee. We grabbed a Stumptown and stopped at the Crab Shack to get some fresh halibut for dinner.

We had a great dinner of fish, corn, roasted potatoes, and salad.

After dinner I headed out to try to get baby girl to sleep in the ergo again, but she didn’t want to miss out on anything. So, we said goodnight to the ocean with Nana, Bops and the little guy and headed back up to the house where Ryan had a campfire ready for roasting marshmallows…well, almost ready. We waited a bit while he worked on the fire and then roasted marshmallows.

I put baby girl to bed and Ryan took the little guy on a late night walk to say goodnight to the ocean again.

I have an interesting story to tell about what I saw in the sky when they were gone, but I will save that post for later.

Here are some photos from the day.

I made this collage using Picasa and the tutorial from Emily at Jones Design Company. I am thrilled to be using my old friend Picasa as this will make blogging with photos so much easier for me!

home is…finally catching up with my blog posting (now we’ll see if i ever get our 2010 photo album done)!

{nana and bops visit} day 3

I told you we were going on an adventure.

Well, we’re here.

Life’s a beach.

We’re visiting Bella Beach, Oregon. You will find the link in the left sidebar under in the “where i get inspired” section.

We came here with Nana last October to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

We liked it so much we decided to come to Bella Beach again when Nana and Bops said they wanted to go to the beach during their May visit.

We are staying in a different house this time…it’s right next to the one we stayed in last fall.

It’s amazing.

Ryan’s parents have the entire first floor to themselves…including a huge family room, bedroom, full bathroom and one car garage. The main floor has a big master suite with a king sized bed, the kitchen, powder bath and great room. Then the 3rd floor has a huge bedroom with two sets of bunkbeds and a queen sized bed, a second bedroom with another queen bed, a full bath, and a reading nook. Outside there is a wraparound porch with ocean views, a hot tub, huge fenced yard, and a fire pit with seating.

I could stay here for a while…

Really, I would take any of the houses in this little development.  For a full-time home or vacation home.

We could sleep 14 in this house…there are 6 of us.

We have an extra bedroom…do you want to come stay with us?!

The weather isn’t perfect, but Ryan and I sat in the hot tub tonight.

Well, it was perfect for sitting in a hot tub with a glass of wine.

We’ll probably have a fire and roast marshmallows tomorrow.

Baby girl walked in the sand for the first time tonight.

She’s also sleeping in a big bed for the first time by herself.

The kids are also sharing a room.

I am so excited to experience more family vacations like this. This is what life is all about.

The little guy is really into winning right now. So, he wanted to beat the girls (we drove two cars since we brought the dogs and don’t have room for all the gear, dogs and 6 people in just one car) to the beach house. Ryan was busy closing deals on the drive down, so the girls actually won (and we got to stop at Mojo Coffee in Lincoln City for a cup of Stumptown). Once we arrived at the house Nana answered a call on my cell phone…it was VERY important to the little guy to beat the girls to the house. So, I got in the car and drove around the corner while Nana took baby girl to the playground. We waited for the boys to “win” and then showed up at the house after they had gotten out of the truck

Here are some photos…including a couple of the boys celebrating their “win”.

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(I did them in a slideshow because internet is S.L.O.W. here.}

And, we will have some downtime for a couple of days before the fun starts.

Remember the “behind the scenes” action I was telling you about. Well, it’s still going on.

By the way, have I told you how much I love living in Oregon?!

Last month we were enjoying our last day out on the slopes on a perfect Spring skiing day and now we are out at the beach.

It’s gonna take a lot to convince me to ever leave this state…

home is…a little down time at the Oregon Coast.