To pass the weekdays between Pop-Pop's brithday weekend and Adrienne's wedding, we decided to head down to the Peninsula and check out The Olympic National Park.
We got many looks of "you are crazy" when we told people our plans of camping with 4 kids in a cold/wet rainforest.
We also got many comments and looks from fellow park visitors. Most were along the line of "your kids are so cute", "you've got your hands full", "We saw you guys yesterday...", and my favorite was while passing people hiking we got lots of, "how many of you are there?" :)
We stocked up on rain gear, brought our winter clothes, boots, lots of socks, clothes to layer and invested in a very good tarp.
The preparation worked and even though it rained everyday and night, we all stayed dry and warm. Which resulted in very happy campers.
This trip never would of happened without Paul. I am not much of a camper, but he made sure we were prepared, he stayed calm when things got a bit crazy, and he got up and started breakfast each morning while I mentally prepared to exit our comfy and warm bed into the rain.
Since most Washington schools were still in session, our camp ground at Lake Cresent was practically empty. Gave the kids plenty of room to roam and explore.
We had a pretty sweet set up.
I had brought cards and coloring books to pass some of our downtime with, but there was so much exploring to do we never pulled anything out.
This is Miles being a gnome one night. It was very entertaining.
We soon realized we were about 2 years early on perfect ages for this trip. Meaning, Paul and I never got to sit down and relax, because Ruby always needed adult supervision and was everywhere.
and she tended to get a little cold at night, because she has a hard time keeping clothes on. :)
All in all though, she was a pretty happy camper.
We did some exploring around Lake Cresent (where we camped) and would of spent some time swimming and hanging out more if it was actually above 60 degrees.
It was absolutely gorgeous though.
And our view out the tent door, is kind of hard to beat.
We visited Hurricane Ridge, where it was snowing.
it was gorgeous and almost kind of erie up there. Made sense why some people think Vampires could live in the area. :)
We hiked to Marymere Falls, where it rained on us the entire time.
eating lunch in the car before the hike.
This hike was a blast though. Trees to hide in, bridges made out of tree trunks, and a river...all before we made it to the waterfall. I don't think any of the kids complained, which is a first for us.
Ruby loved touching the moss on the trees.
We spent our last day visiting the Hoh Rainforst.
Where is actually didn't rain, but when we got back to our campsite we learned that it had rained all day there.
We could not get over these trees. They were so tall and completely covered in moss.
Slugs were a huge highlight of this hike. Slugs are not something my kids are familiar with, so we had to stop EVERY TIME one was spotted on the trail.
We learned about Banana Slugs at Northwest Trek, so apparently that meant my kids thought all slugs were named after fruit. We found green apple slugs and blackberry slugs on the trail. :)
This was the trip of balance beam tree walking.
The trees also proved to be nice resting spots too.
The last stop was Ruby Beach.
It was amazing.
There was driftwood everywhere and the Pacific Ocean was just right there on the edge of the forest.
Wish we were prepared to spend all day there.
We had planned to spend a day in the Sol Duc area, but the weather was suppose to be perfect in Bellingham and the kids were really sad we didn't find any crabs at the beach. So, we decided to head home a day early, skip Sol Duc, and find a beach in Bellingham to explore.
It was a good choice. But, I am hoping to make it back there again one day when kids are older.
My parents came to visit, so we decided to explore a part of Utah none of us had been before.
Holy Crap. Might be my new fav. National Park.
It was amazing to hike down into the canyon and see all the changes in the landscape.
There were tons of places to climb around and play.
Crew liked to make his own Hoodoos every time we took a break.
The kids were awesome hikers and there was actually very little complaining once we got started.
And I could not stop taking pictures. It was just too perfect.
Even the hike back out wasn't too bad.
And Raffy joined us for the first time. He loved it. And that is Thor's hammer behind my head, a favorite part of the hike for the boys.
(it wasn't as cold as this picture makes it look. Ruby would not allow Paul to put his hood down.)
The 2nd day we checked out The Grand Escalante Staircase at Kodachrome State Park.
I think the kids liked this place even more than Byrce.
There was barely anyone there and just open space to explore.
They loved climbing and playing on the slick rock.
One reason I love hiking is the kids can be as loud and crazy as safety allows. They get to be free and I don't have to stress about the glances of other moms wondering why I can't keep my kids under control. :)
I think Ruby liked it better here too, as she didn't have to be in the hiking backpack quite as much.
Crew was a little worn out, due to all the hiking the day before. So, on the last hike of the trip Pop-Pop and I had to take turns carrying him.
To me it seemed like a mix of Bryce, Zion, and Arches.
We already are making plans to check out some different areas of Grand Escalante.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays, I think because it's so low key and involves some of my most favorite foods (ham, jello eggs, & chocolate). And not to mention new beginnings and the resurrection. :)
I planned to do a few Family Home Evenings on why we celebrate Easter, but my current state kind of got in the way. Luckily the church released this awesome video, which we watched and talked about multiple times.
Gina and I organized our annual Neighborhood Egg Hunt. I swear every year the kids multiply.
4 Years Ago
Crazy, isn't it! Luckily I don't mind the crazy crowds...most days.
And could these 2 be any cuter? They've pretty much been bff's since they were 2.
Crew was in heaven...he'd find an egg, eat the candy and then move on to the next one.
Pretty sure they ate all their candy before we came inside. Which is the way I like it.
I was tempted Easter Morning to make them wait until after church to find their baskets, since we had church at 9:00. But, I realized that'd be pretty lame, so instead I just set my alarm for 30 min earlier than normal. Totally worth it.
The favorite candy this year...little chocolate bunny. Apparently the Easter Bunny had never brought them before.
We even had a few minutes to spare before church and got a few pictures snapped.
Easter Dinner is probably my favorite holiday meal...but due to my nausea and tendency to puke, I had to keep it simple. Meaning store bought dessert, no deviled eggs, only 2 flavors of Jello eggs, and Company Potatoes instead of mashed. The short cuts worked and I was mostly able to enjoy it. Plus, eating on the deck maybe it even better.
The poor kids didn't even get to dye easter eggs this year, but did they even ask or care? Nope. Thank goodness, because the last thing I needed was to feel mom guilt. :)
We weren't planning on doing the Alpine Slide or Alpine Coaster at The Park City Mountain Resort, as we didn't want to leave Crew out. But, once we showed Macey the Alpine Coaster online, she convinced us we had to go.
Paul took Miles on the Alpine Slide, since there was no way I was riding that ski lift up with him. Pretty sure I would of had a heart attack before we got to the top.
The first thing Miles said when he climbed off, was "Again!"
I then took Macey on the Alpine Coaster, since it pulls you up the mountain, vs. having to ride that ski lift.
Macey made me push the handles all the way down the whole time so we went as fast as possible! She loved it.
Macey of course ended the afternoon with dipping dots, which she happily shared with all of us.
So glad Paul suggested a trip, it made me feel like I wasn't letting summer slip us by! Best trip, with the coolest people I know.