Steve's parents Ray and Reva came to stay with us for a few days from October 13th through the morning of the 17th. We decided that since Steve had a half-day on Friday, we would go on an overnight trip to the coast. So, on the 15th we headed out. We decided to take the scenic route to the coast and head up through Pinchot National Forest, which was beautiful, to where you can see Mount Saint Helens and then stay the night. Well, the windy roads and a toddler meant we didn't stop to take any pictures in the national forest. And unfortunately, the sky was so cloudy and glum that we couldn't see the mountain. Here is a picture from our one quick stop on the road.So, we arrived at our hotel in Kelso, WA just glad to be done driving and ready to enjoy relaxing in our rooms. While we were in the hotel, Ellie kept us plenty entertained. She played with remotes and pushed the TV buttons since everything in a hotel is within reach of a one year old. She fell off our bed and split her lip. She played with Grandpa's hat a bunch.And found out that sinks are just her size for sitting and talking to one's reflection.
The next day we hopped back in the Durango and headed to Oregon. Our first stop was Astoria. We wanted to show Ray and Reva the big bridge that spans across the river there, and Reva even did great driving across it multiple times despite her dislike of heights, water, and confined places. After driving across the bridge we headed to the Astoria Column, which we missed on our trip back in the summer. This place is AMAZING!
Here are a few pictures of the column itself. We just happened to have the most bright, beautiful sunny day for our trip! Isn't the detail on the column amazing? The column was built in 1926 and then restored to this beautiful state in 1994. I was totally in love with all the art on it.
So not only is the tower beautiful, but the view around it is pretty great too. Here we are at the base of the column with the famous bridge in Astoria behind us. According to their visitor site, the Astoria-Megler bridge is 4.1 miles long! It crosses the Columbia River and takes you from Astoria, Oregon into Point Ellice, Washington. It's pretty amazing.
And if that wasn't enough, you can also climb up to the top of the tower for an even more amazing view. The entire inside of the column is one big long spiral staircase with 164 stairs - they have pins at the gift shop saying you climbed all 164 - or if you failed to. And once you get to the top, here's a little look 125 feet down.Given her fear of heights, it was a pretty amazing day for Reva - crossing the bridge AND going to the top of the column. And she smiled the whole time. We grabbed a few family shots while we were up there as well. I know that Ellie isn't looking at the camera in the second one, but it was so bright out that is the only picture where I don't have sunglasses on, and I knew my sister Julie would scold me if I only had sunglasses pictures. So there's proof that I tried.This was my favorite part of the view from the top of the tour. I loved the river and rock formations in the background.
And to end, probably the best picture of the day. If you look in the bottom left corner you can see what Ellie was so thrilled about. Ray found this guy heading into the giftshop and the caterpillar crawled right up his shoe and pant leg, so he showed Ellie the critter before placing it safely on a bush. The joy she finds in things each day makes me so ridiculously happy.