I hope everyone is prepared for a massive photo dump. Sorry for that....
Steve and I had planned all summer to take a week in August and head to the Oregon Coast with the girls. The last time we had been there Mckayla was only 4 or 5 months old, so we were excited to see our wild child go nuts on the beach. We had planned to visit some aquariums and different museums, hit the beach, etc. Then Steve's school district totally changed up his paycheck that month. We were worried if we could make the trip work at all, but had already promised the girls we were going, so we changed our plans a bit, from aquariums and restaurants to being beach bums and packing sandwiches and headed out anyway.
August 12th we packed up in the morning and drove to Beverly Beach State Park in Oregon. We'd camped there before and it's a great facility (one of the only ones in the area) and has direct beach access. We were all pretty excited to be at the ocean.
The next day we had breakfast in camp and Steve made laps with Kassidy to help her nap. He did a lot of this through the week, and we have a LOT of pictures of her napping in the Bjorn where she was so little.
It was so strange compared to just a couple of years ago. There is a virus, they believe, called Seastar Wasting Disease, which has been decimating starfish populations up and down the coast. When we came here with family a year and a half earlier, we saw starfish everywhere. This time, we didn't see a single one, and you could tell it was already affecting the tide-pools.
After a long morning at the beach, we headed back to camp to find these gorgeous little camp robbers called Stellar Jays. We enjoyed throwing bits of cracker and watching them where they were so stinking beautiful!
That night we headed back out to the beach. Mckayla had much more fun this time, running and playing in the sand with Ellie.
Thursday the 14th we packed up our tent and headed to the Hatfield Marine Science Center. We had waited to come here till Thursday late in the morning just for the octopus feeding, but the girls didn't last very long and we left before it happened. However, we had a lot of fun there all the same.
We had discovered that we would be camping close to each other around the same dates, so we had made plans to meet up and spend a couple of nights with them towards the end of our trip. Thursday we set up our tent next to their trailer (after buying two new types of stakes to get something to go through the rock and gravel bed we were on top of) and made camp at the Pacific City Thousand Trails campsite.
We were just down the road from a fabulous beach called Cape Kiwanda State Park Beach. It had loads of sand to explore, dunes if you were crazy enough to climb them (with three kids - hah!) and loads of rocks and little coves during low tide. Steve and I only wish we could have explored more, but that's an activity for people who don't have 3 small children in tow.
The girls had so much fun in the sand here, especially with the buckets and shovels Grandma and Papa had brought with them.
Grandma and Pap were kind enough to build them some castles since the girls were having trouble with the concept of packing sand in the bucket.
We actually came back here each day we were in Pacific City. Friday we actually caught some of low tide, and even a bit of sunshine. There were so many more rocks to investigate for critters and for the girls to play around.
Later Friday we went and explored Munson Creek Falls, not far from camp. It was just a really short hike even the girls could make from the parking lot to viewing the falls.
Sadly, that brought us to Saturday. We all had to pack up and head our separate ways. Dad and Kerry to their next campsite, and us home. We did go hit our nearby beach one last time before we got on the road home though.
The beach was littered with these little sail-like jellyfish type creatures.
Yeah, it was a fairly broke trip. Dad and Kerry treated us to Mo's one day, which was delicious as always. We mostly hung out on the beach or did free things. It wasn't a very long trip. And, it was probably one of my favorite family trips we have ever taken. Steve and I both agreed after that perhaps we try to plan too much into our vacations and spend too much. The girls loved just being able to roam the beach and play in the sand. We loved watching them and just spending time together and with Grandma and Papa. In the end, we were glad we hadn't been able to take the trip we originally planned, because this one was way better. Isn't it fun when life works out that way?