Thursday, July 31, 2014

Making up for yesterday. (5th stop)

The next day started off on a better note. One major bonus, my stomach hurt a lot less. I'm telling you I made sure to make good food choices for the rest of the trip! Lesson learned, again. ;) So it was either a way better day or I took a ridiculous amount of pictures to try and make up for the day before. It did end up being a long travel day because we were trying to find a good dunes spot that we could stop at with the trailer in tow. Ended up being trickier than we had imagined. A lot of failed attempts/side trips that ended in disappointment because there was no where to park or the down hill incline was too steep to go down with the trailer (knowing that we would have to go back up again). In prior trips we had one vehicle and it was no problem finding a spot. Our last time at the dunes Banden was a baby and the others obviously weren't there, so we really wanted to show them the big dunes and they had been looking forward to it the whole trip. Sigh. Really puts the pressure on.

Pit stop on the side of the road. So pretty. :)

So we finally found a place to stop that didn't have a no trailers sign. We were suppose to have a pass but accidentally passed the spot to pay and didn't see a good way to turn around. So being as we were desperate at that point we just went for it. I was stressed out the whole time that we were going to get a ticket so it sort of took a bit of the fun out of it for me.  But not the kids, and that's all that mattered at that point.  I loved seeing their little faces when they started climbing the big dunes and running down. They were so excited! :)

By the time I made it to the top these boys had already run down!

Somebody was a daddy's little girl for most of the trip. ;)

These girls loved stretching their legs on the beach! And they deserved it, such good road trip partners! One nice thing about little dogs, hardly anyone cares if you accidentally drop the leases. ;) No one was even on this beach so it really didn't matter. They had a blast!

It was super windy, can you tell? We all had so much fun, but we kept the trip short because of the whole don't want a ticket thing. ;) Also we had already been on the road for a while and needed to get to our next stop. I wish we had been able to camp by the dunes but it didn't work out schedule wise. One day we will come back and make our destination the dunes. :)

The long steep trip back down. And I'm happy to say, no ticket was waiting for us. Phew! Dodged a bullet on that one. ;) We stayed at state parks the whole way back so I didn't feel too guilty about not paying for day use for an hours time.

Made it to Beverly Beach State Park! This park was crowded but it had all these really cool octopus trees! So I'd rate it as didn't hate, didn't love. ;) It was well taken care of and clean so that is always a bonus in my book. It was a long way to the beach though, and since we had already been running up and down dunes we drove to a parking spot just to get to the beach. It would have been a really, really long walk. Which my kids can do, but we were just not up to it.

They really loved the octopus trees. And learning all about them. ;)

The beach was worth the drive. Very pretty. It was crowded close to the entrance, so we wandered down the beach a ways. 

Oops I dropped the leashes again. ;)

Stretching those legs!

Vicious poodles!! ;)

The boys spotted this and it begged to be climbed. ;)

This girl found some really amazing rocks on the trip, made a mother proud. :) She found one at Rogue River that had crystals on the inside, it was beautiful!

Almost to the top!

In all honesty I was getting a little panicky about Atty just because he's a bit of a klutz (in the clumsy way) and I was worried he would slip and tumble all the way down. This picture doesn't do justice to how high up they were.

What is the logical thing to do when you've reached the top and your mom asks you to come back down? Slide!

Oh dear! He saw his brothers slide and turned around and started from the top. My heart dropped! But by the time he was half way down I was laughing so hard! I don't think he realize what he was getting himself into! It was a bumpy ride on that side, but he made it safely down. :)

And they all headed back up again. Of course!

Then we headed toward the water. Time for chasing waves!

Here's one way to get a group shot. ;)

Once again Atty chose to hang out with me on the nice dry beach. ;) Drawing in the sand. He drew pictures and sweet words for me.
He wrote, "Mom (heart) valentines" and was super excited to show me. Adorable. :)

After we left the beach we headed back for a campfire dinner of hot dogs and chili with carrot sticks.
Atty decided to roast his carrot as well. And it was on!

Roasting carrots, we aren't the only ones are we? ;)

This was by far our favorite treat of the trip. Roasted apples. We pushed a skewer into them when they were done and then rolled them in cinnamon honey and ate them like a candy apple. Only over a plate because no one wants hot apple in their lap! So, so, so, delicious!

We got in the habit of after dinner walks, which was awesome and I wish that happened at home. Unfortunately at home dinner usually becomes a rushed affair before bed. Anyways, at this campsite there was a little walk beside a creek with lots more of the octopus trees.

"Look mom a beetle, take a picture!"

Following the leader. If you haven't noticed yet Ira likes to be first. ;)

This is how we all felt at the end of the day.

Next stop, Fort Stevens State Park! Our last stop in Oregon.

Friday, July 25, 2014

There will be days like this momma said (4th stop).

After we left the redwoods we headed to Bullards Beach State Park on the Oregon coast. On the way there we stopped at Bandon Marsh, Banden's namesake. :) My husband lived in Oregon for a little while a long time ago now. While he was there he visited Bandon Marsh. Years after that (but before we were even close to having kids) we were sitting on a beach watching the sun set and he mentioned that if he ever had a boy he would like to name him Banden. I loved it, and from that moment on I knew that our first born son would be named Banden. We changed the spelling obviously. 

Had to get a picture with the sign of course. :)

I attempted to take a family picture, and failed...

Tried again and failed again, sigh. It's hard to get us all squeezed into a photo! This one would have been so cute if I had just angled it a little further over. At least Atty got one eye in. ;)

I love this little group. The boys are sporting their redwoods t-shirts, Leiella got one too, but she of course stained it immediately. That girl is so rough on her clothes! At least she's having fun. ;) 

He's growing up way too fast, my baby boy. He volunteered himself for this picture. :) His shirt says, "May the forest be with you", ha ha! Everyone but Atty and Leiella got that shirt. Atty got one with an owl on it, of course, and Leiella wanted a pink shirt with banana slugs on it. She cracks me up! I sort of wanted to force everyone to get the matching shirts, but I like to encourage individuality and that would have been going against everything I'm always teaching. So I let it go. But it would have been pretty nerdy cool to get a family pic in matching shirts. Actually this is the first time Ryder and I have ever owned anything matching and we even wore them on the same day, unplanned. And I realized it wasn't as cool as I thought. I felt like those dorky couples who you can tell picked out completely matching outfits on purpose. So yeah things are often not as awesome in real life as they are in my head. ;)

So anyways on this day we decided to stop at a laundry mat because one of my adorable children had a potty accident overnight for the first time in a long time. And it wasn't the youngest. I didn't want to be lugging stinky bedding and clothes around any longer. I had packed enough clothes so as to avoid laundry stops but such is life. We were running behind schedule because of a few stops along the way, so it was late by the time we got close to the park. Ryder dropped me and the laundry off at the laundry mat and proceeded to go set up camp and come back for me. I had a most uncomfortable, miserable experience without them. I got to sit in a laundry mat while a young mother (and grandmother) yelled and screamed and ranted and raved at her four kids. The mom and daughter pair would not stop saying the ugliest meanest things to the kids. I just felt sick. Truly sick. And helpless. Like I'm sure the kids were feeling. I was alone there with them and hadn't a clue what to do about it. At one point the littlest boy came and sat by me. I smiled at him and looked down at the book I brought with because I foolishly thought I would be relaxing at the quiet laundry mat while the clothes washed. She started shouting at him to, "Get up and quit staring and leave that lady alone!" I looked up and smiled and told her I really didn't mind, I have four kids and I'm used to being stared at, trying to lighten the mood. But it didn't really help. I smiled at the boy and my heart hurt for him. By the time they left it felt like a weight was lifted from the place. I felt like I failed somehow after they left, like I should have done more for the kids but I honestly didn't know what more would have looked like. Anyways I really, really wanted my family back. I was so relieved when Ryder called and said they were headed back my way. I had to fight the urge to run out to the suburban when it pulled in and squeeze them all up! I'm not the best mom in the world, but I'm glad that we don't live in that kind of turmoil in our family. It was eerie seeing the relationship between the grandma and the mom, you could tell where the mom picked up all her lack of parenting skills from. It's sad to witness a cycle not begin broken. 
So in light of that I was feeling pretty emotionally taxed and my stomach was killing me because I had cut some corners diet wise and ate food I know I shouldn't. My stomach hurts so bad now when I eat corn, and gluten too for the most part. We are talking doubled over grinding crunchy pain. And I get super uncomfortable bloated as well. Takes the fun right out of things.
Since we were already set up we headed straight to the beach after eating  dinner. It was already pretty late in the day, but we knew we wouldn't have time the next day. It ended up being a way longer walk than we thought. And as I mentioned my stomach hurt real bad, so I was struggling along.

Notice if you can the tiny speck that is Ira at the front of the line, it's not like that on the way back. He went from the front of the line to the wayyyyy back, dragging his feet turtle style. More on that later.

The walk was worth it though, the beach was beautiful. Soft silky sand. Crashing surf.

The boys made a bee line for the water. Chasing waves is one of their favorite things. :) Well I should clarify it's one of Banden and Ira's favorite things, but Atty joins in sometimes. He really doesn't like getting cold though so it doesn't last long for him. I can totally relate. Usually it's Atty and I hanging together while the rest of them act like crazy fools. ;)

So speaking of chasing waves, Ira eventually fell in, even though I repeatedly reminded him not to go too far in and to be careful not to get too wet. I knew that it was getting colder as it got darker and that we had a long walk and he would be miserable if he had to walk back wet. But they had been cooped up a lot that day and were restless and I also wanted him to have fun. That fine balance. Well the balanced tipped and he toppled over into the waves and got drenched. So as predicted the walk back was miserable. And slow.  On top of that Leiella desperately needed to poop. Yes, poop. The walk was a couple miles long and she wasn't going to make it. She was desperate. So we eventually had to crouch in the bushes it was that bad. In fact it was so bad that she had started to go in her pants. Why do things like this, random and unusual things, happen when you are not at home. She was a much happier girl after the potty pit stop, and I was just happy that no one stumbled upon us in the middle of it all. After that madness Leiella was ready to run all the way back so she took off with Ryder and Atty while I tried desperately to coach on a miserable Ira. I'll admit I got a bit grumpy. Just hurry up all ready!!! Atty eventually came back to walk at a slower rate with us (Atty is generally my shadow), but Ryder and Leiella soon disappeared way up the trail. As we trudged on I soon realized that we seemed to have walked too far on the trail. I had missed the turn off somewhere. At this point it was pitch black, and once again I have no flash light. You would think I'd learned my lesson from last time right. Wrong! What a day!!! The first time I got lost it was sort of funny, this time I was pissed. I'm fuming about Ryder leaving us in the dust, fuming about practically dragging Ira along while he whines and complains, fuming about the day in general when it dawns on me that I don't even remember our site number, so I can even ask a campground host how to get back. I wasn't there when we checked in and didn't even think about it. I'm stomping back and feeling desperate and near tears when I hear Ryder's voice bellowing out in the camp ground. "Where are you guys! Hey! Hey! Where are you guys!" I should mention it's well past 9pm at this point. I'm sure everyone loved us. If they'd only known that Leiella also crapped on the side of the trail. Wow, we are winning! At least we didn't have to curl up in the bushes to spend the night. ;) 
This is probably needless to say at this point, but this was not my favorite day of the trip. The beach was beautiful though, and the campground was nice over all. The next day did get better, but I'll leave that for another post. :) It's funny how when you think about a trip you are planning it seems as if everything will just be blissful the whole time. I mean it's a vacation after all! But the reality is life goes on and life is messy and there will be days like this mamma said… even on vacation. ;)

I randomly break into that chorus in real life, because sometimes it's just needed. And it makes my kids smile when I break into song and dance. Yes, even dance. When the kids are whining or complaining I start singing, 
"You don't always get what you want
 you don't always get what you want
 but if you try sometimes
 you just might find
 you get what you need!" 
And I end on a really loud note. Always changes the mood for the better. Anyways now I'm just rambling and way off topic, time for bed. ;)

Oh and that night I was super thankful for the shower in the trailer because Leiella really, really needed it!