Our Trip Northwest
We decided last minute we needed an adventure and Paul had 4 days off for 4th of July. So, we quickly planned a trip to the Redwoods, Crater Lake, and then Bellingham.
Redwoods was probably was on my favorite places we have taken the kids so far, other than the insanely long and twisty drive there.
horrible dinner stop at a tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere and crazy hot.
We didn't have to camp and could stay in a hotel that was 5 min from the park entrance, which was quite convenient. Plus, Ruby puked in the bed the first night, so it was quite a relief to have clean sheets to put on and a place to do laundry in the morning.
We did Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek.
There was never a shortage of tree bridges to walk on.
or trees to look at.
We even found an unexpected lunch/swim spot. Kids had a blast jumping off the little bridge into the river, even though we had no towels or bathing suits.
Best place we found was Fern Canyon.
Plus, this sign was everywhere, which everyone found quite entertaining.
Fern Canyon is one of those places that makes the entire trip worth it.
And we were actually prepared with water shoes for everyone so, we were able to hike much further into the canyon than most of the tourists and had the place to ourselves.
Then right outside The Fern Canyon Trail was the beach, which made for an amazing lunch spot.
I remember visiting the giant Paul Bunyan Statue when I was younger, so I was beyond excited when I realized we were going to be driving right by it.
We then headed up to Medford, OR...This turned out to be the kids favorite night of the trip. We ate at Big Bear Diner, which was in itself a huge event for the kids. We never take them to sit down restaurants. Then a nice couple paid our bill, which the kids thought was the about the nicest the thing in the world. After that we had the entire outdoor pool to ourselves and since the water wasn't actually nasty, I swam too. Then they had their own hotel room (connected to ours).
Since we were semi close to Crater Lake, we figured we should stop, since we didn't know if we'd be back this way.
It was FREEZING when we first pulled in.
Luckily it warmed up as we made the trek down to the lake.
Water was freezing. Kids had intentions of swimming, but no one could be convinced to go any deeper than their knees.
Miles has been buying these animal field guides at all the national park visitor centers, so anytime we come across some sort of animal on the trail he pulls them out and identifies them for us. In this picture we are looking at a lizard.
Then we made the trek up to Bellingham through horrendous Portland traffic and all our kids vowed they never want to see Portland again. :)
Bellingham was my kids #1 thing the entire summer.
Even if we made them hike 5 miles after hiking the previous 3 days. :)
Just a reminder, this is not a National Park. This is just Bellingham. it is obvious everytime I go back why I have trouble seeing the beauty that is here in Utah.
Ruby whined the ENTIRE way up and down. Most she has ever whined. We ended up abandoning our other children at the top and take Ruby back down to the car since she wouldn't stop screaming and crying and people were trying to enjoy this incredible view.
Luckily the other kids were fairly content to be hiking with some of their favorite people.
One of my Bellingham requests was to get out on Lake Whatcom.
Just as paul and I were about to jump in the water to double knee board the boat died. So, we got to row back instead.
The rest of the time was just non stop cousins.
This trip was good for all our souls. I miss these people and this place. it felt good to be back and get to soak it all in for little bit.
Washington weekend 2
After doing some laundry and showering, the first item on our agenda was visiting Larrabee State Park to find some crabs.
Larrabee never disappoints.
My desert dwelling children though had forgotten about how slippery seaweed on rocks is, so they all took a turn or 2 falling.
They were slightly more cautious after that.
We found all sorts of treasures...hermit crabs, shells, jelly fish, barnacles, fish, and of course LOTS of crabs.
The highlight though was the giant crab Uncle fished out of the water with Macey's net.
This crab put up a fight, but Christopher powered through and became a hero is these kid's eyes. :)
Don't worry we set him free and made sure he could swim safely away before we moved on to the next discovery.
It was well worth leaving the Olympic National Park a day early so we could get a little extra family time in.
And these little stinker cousins escaped outside when they were suppose to be in bed.
The actual reason we came back to Bellingham for the 2nd weekend was due to this girl getting married.
We've been best friends since we were 6 years old and I was so happy we were all able to make it.
This is a little montage of pictures our moms made for us when we graduated high school.
A few other Bellingham hightlights:
- Getting to stay at Grandma B.'s and having her make breakfast for all of us.
- Christopher took Paul on a real mountain biking ride.
- We got to have a little birthday party for Crew.
- And this girl was obsessed. She was constantly yelling "My Nana!" or "My Pop-Pop" and would then run in for a big hug. She was quite popular.
All in all it was a pretty perfect trip.
We decided to be brave/stupid and drive straight from Orem to Bellingham with a newborn, toddler, and a Miles. There was lots of throw up and stops, but much less whining then anticipated. It took us just less than 17 hours. Paul and I pretty much felt like we'd just been through a hard fought battle when we arrived.
The main reason for the trip was a Reid Family Reunion
. It was busy, crazy, and fun. There were a few moments where I didn't know if my anti social hormonal postpartum self was going to survive but, thanks to Paul's help and lots of cousins to entertain, I made it through.
On the 4th we just hung around in my parents backyard playing games and catching up.
The water balloon launcher
always provides plenty of entertainment. Even GiGi had to get in on the action.
Ruby loved being the only baby around and soaked up all the attention.
The next evening we got together to play games
. This proved to be extremely entertaining.
I loved watching the four toddlers run around together.
We also had time to visit a few of Bellingham's amazing parks
The density of the trees always catches me off guard. Macey had her tree obsession year when she was about 3. That was this visit for Miles. He finally noticed the difference between Utah trees and Bellingham trees. He kept referring to the trees as a jungle. Many times we had to explain that this was what a real forest looked like.
Miles' was thrilled his favorite destination, The Touch Tank
, was on the agenda. He made best friends with the worker, Katie, and followed her around asking question after question. She was extremely patient and answered them all. He even had to run back in and give her a hug when we left.
To ease the pain of skipping Pearrygin we got to spend an afternoon on Lake Whatcom
. I wish we would spent all day there. My kids are always best entertained and well behaved when a beach and water sports are involved.
We of course had to do a family GTX ride, minus Ruby.
GiGi got all the great grandkids these adorable towels and I am pretty sure there was always at least one kid wearing one at all times.
My favorite part of the day was when Miles "fell" (jumped) in.
When the boat drove by him he yelled up to us with the biggest grin on his face, "That my first time falling in! Me love it! Me want to do it again!"
. When we tried to just make him swim to shore, he yelled, "No! You have to rescue me!"
Love this kid. And so we spent the next 10 min. watching Christopher try to get all 3 kids onto the GTX, only to have them jump off again.
There was of course lots of time spent just hanging out.
Macey was thrilled to be reunited with Rio and is certain she is his favorite of the grandkids.
have enough time to do and see everything and everyone I would like when I visit. So, I guess that means I'll just have to visit again soon.
Another Trip to Washington
For the first time in my entire life I decided NOT to go to Pearrygin (my family's annual camping trip in Eastern Washington), and instead just come out to Bellingham so Paul could do things we don't really get to do in the winter. Besides hanging out with our family, here are some of the things we squeezed in:
We watched the boats and salmon at Ballard Locks
. Macey got to try out her leash too, which worked liked a dream for a girl who is constantly running.
It was quite cold in the morning at Woodland Park Zoo
, but luckily it warmed up. Macey loved all the animals and you could tell which ones were her favorite because she would cry when it was time to move on.
We found the Fremont Troll
. It was pretty crazy how it's just right there on the side of the road. Macey was roaring at him.
Macey loved Birch Bay! She was running everywhere getting extremely wet and dirty. Here's Paul catching her after one of the many times she ran away. If you look close you can see all the seaweed hanging off her shoes.
Paul had never been to Larrabee State Park
in Bellingham. So we hiked around the rocks there and Grandpa found Macey lots of crabs to look at.
On our way out of town we stopped at Seattle Center. Once Macey spotted that fountain she wanted to get as close as she could.
It was very sad to fly back into Salt Lake and see all the brown, I just don't think I'll ever get over how beautiful it is in the Northwest. The trip was a success though, because Paul admitted how much he loved Bellingham and how he wouldn't mind living there (someday). Check out our Family Website
for a photo gallery.