Wednesday, August 13, 2014

camping menus!

Okay here goes. Planning menus for a nine day camping trip, with all of our food restrictions was daunting. But I figured it out and I was really thankful I took the time to plan it all out so carefully. And food prep. Lots of food prep. I even figured out when we would need to stop and refuel food wise, and where to stop at. Fred Meyer of course, because I know they will have what I need. :) Some of the items on the menus only worked for certain people, and I just made changes as needed. For example, lettuce wraps instead of bread, and other grain free options. I had a back up plan for everything. ;)

Big batch of homemade grain free granola for breakfast cereal. :)

Day one:
Breakfast- Muffins (almond flour, made ahead of time) fruit
Lunch- sandwiches (lunchmeat) veggies, fruit
Dinner- hotdogs, potato salad (made ahead of time) watermelon, sparkling juice
It was the 4th of July, so we had to do it up big. ;)

All of the kids had their own refillable water bottles for the car.

All packed up for the trip. :)

Day two:
Breakfast- homemade granola with almond milk and freeze dried strawberries on top, bananas
Lunch- Boiled eggs (made ahead of time) crackers, cheese, veggies, fruit, olives
Dinner- Homemade chili (made a big batch ahead of time and froze half of it for later), toast

Day three:
Breakfast- Scrambled eggs and potatoes with toast and fruit
Lunch- Left over chili, corn chips or rice crackers, carrot sticks
Dinner- Hamburgers, melon, potato chips

Day four:
Breakfast- Homemade granola with almond milk, bananas
Lunch- Egg salad sandwiches (boiled eggs ahead of time), veggies, chips
Dinner- Baked potatoes, crumbled bacon, cheese, chives, sausage

Day five:
Breakfast- Oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon/honey (scrambled eggs for Atty and I), apple slices
Lunch- Almond butter and honey sandwiches, fruit, veggies (meat sandwiches for Ryder and I)
Dinner- Hamburgers with grilled pineapple and toppings, sautéed broccoli

Day six:
Breakfast- Scrambled eggs, toast, oranges
Lunch- Tuna sandwiches, chips, veggies
Dinner- Hotdogs, beans, carrot sticks

Roasted carrots, yum! Not on the menu, total Atty improv.

Our favorite treat. We didn't have a treat every night, but I did plan on a few spread out over the length of the trip.

Day seven:
Breakfast- Breakfast burritos- tortillas (spelt and rice), scrambled eggs, turkey sausage pieces, veggies, cheese
Lunch- Rice (pre-made and frozen to last), frozen peas, and shrimp dish, oranges
Dinner- Taco salad (cook extra ground beef for tomorrows lunch) lettuce mix, avocado, tomato, green pepper, cheese, corn chips, beef

We bought this on one of our stops, so yummy!

Day eight:
Breakfast- Homemade granola, fruit, almond milk
Lunch- Bean/meat burritos, corn chips, salsa
Dinner- Bacon wrapped chicken with pineapple and apple pieces on skewers, coleslaw

Our favorite dinner.

Day nine, our last day:
Breakfast- Big turkey sausages, panfried eggs, toast and fruit
Lunch- Meat sandwiches, chips, veggies, fruit

So there you have it. There were little adaptions along the way, but for the most part I followed the menus to a T and everything went as planned. :) That's always nice. I also packed extra snacks for in the car, and gum which is a special treat. We also stopped on the hottest day for some coconut ice-cream bars. It was a must. We did not eat out even once, and hardly made any unscheduled food stops. I did buy a tapioca/rice bread for Atty to try, because it just made things easier. He has been eating some more rice produce with success, very plain ones. But the bread was a bad idea. Too many other ingredients. He ended up having two potty accidents and his attitude went down hill. First signs for us that something is wrong. Thankfully we didn't get to the eczema flare up stage. About half way in it became glaringly obvious the bread was a no go. So much to Atty's disappointment the bread had to go. We probably ate way too many chips with our meals, but we were on vacation after all. ;)

Wrapping it up, 7th and last stop of our vacation.

 This bridge, wow! Since we followed the coast all the way back we had to take this bridge to get from Oregon back into Washington. It was exciting, but I'll have to admit I was a bit of a nervous wreck. It's a very, very, very long bridge!

I had the nervous giggles for the majority of the time, and I might have said a prayer or two. ;)

I felt much relief snapping a picture from the other side! 

We are officially back in Washington. Oh Washington how I love you! It's fun to visit other places but my heart will always belong to good ol' Washington. :) Every time we leave I feel such joy and peace when we get back.

Barbecuing photo bomb! ;)

Okay this last stop on our trip was the worst! Such a gross campground, we will never be back. Very disappointed, since as I just declared I love Washington and was looking forward to some nice camping. There are many, many wonderful campgrounds in Washington… This was not one of them! Lets put it this way, the kids entertained themselves by putting on gloves and picking up trash in the bushes. Gross! But proud of my little conservationists. ;) So anyone in this area on the peninsula, do not camp at Potlatch State Park. Unless you just go camping to party and get drunk… then you might fit right in. I was once again very thankful for the trailer, and a door that locked. We decided to make the best of it though, and we did enjoy our favorite meal of the trip here. :)

Ira showing off his finger. 

Can you tell I was feeling a little clingy after the whole finger incident. Yeah, I hardly let him out of my sight for the rest of the trip. I went a little over board with all of them. I became a helicopter. ;) 

He on the other hand was super proud of his unfortunate adventure and subsequent bandaged finger. And very, very excited about the prospect of a scar and telling the whole story to anyone who would listen. Sigh.

Taking pictures with Ira of course lead to all the children wanting to take pictures with me, ha ha! So we had a little mini photo session. Thank you to our family photographer Ira. ;) He loves taking pictures, well they all do, but Ira is the best at it right now.

Me and my redhead. I love that he still has those adorable cheeks.

I love how these all turned out, but I wish I'd thought to take pictures of just the kids, they would have turned out so cute. :)

Love this silly, full of life, vibrant girl. :)

I love, love, love that we caught his amazing natural smile in this picture. He looks so grown up!

Of course I need a picture with Ryder as well. :)

Can you spot the photo bomber in this picture? :) Clue… bright red hair!

This dinner was awesome. Bacon wrapped chicken with pineapple and apple pieces on a skewer and a simple coleslaw. So, so good!

After dinner we headed out on a walk, to keep up our traditions of after dinner exploration. It was an okay trail, not all that exciting. But it did start out straight up hill, wow.

Pausing for a moment to breath. Leiella felt it was the perfect opportunity to try and stick a leaf behind her ear. ;) It didn't work out very well.

Sweaty after dinner hikes, probably should have let our food settle a bit first. ;) I was trying to get a picture of me with the awesome big ferns behind me, didn't work out so well, ha ha!

I think it's funny that you can tell how done Ryder and I were from the pictures at this campground. We didn't really recover all of our vacation sparkle after the whole Ira incident. Plus in this picture all the kids decided that they couldn't make it back to camp and just had to use the disgusting outhouse bathrooms in the campground. They were hot and the smell was seriously overwhelming and I was already sweaty and it was just overall nasty. The whole campground could probably hear me telling the kids to Not Touch Anything!!! Over and over again. 

When we made it back I surprised them all with marshmallows to roast. :) Atty roasted his banana, a favorite of his. One last camping campfire. It was a must have. ;) My kids declared the roasted apples by far better than the marshmallows, but that didn't stop them from stuffing themselves with them, haha! 

The next day we headed to Port Townsend to take the ferry to Coupeville. We got to Port Townsend early (Because we left first thing in the morning, didn't want to hang out at Potlatch SP longer than necessary!) so we headed to Fort Worden and the Point Wilson lighthouse.

It was just what we needed. Lifted our spirits right back up again. :)

It was really nice to end with a ferry ride instead of heading back toward I5. It was really expensive so my husband was thinking about driving around, even though we had talked about the options when planning the trip and he agreed to the ferry. I eventually talked him into the ferry ride (again) and in the end he was really glad we went that way. It as a nice break for the man that drove the Whole Way!

I think they were tired of me snapping so many pictures of them, ha ha!

Goodbye ferry, hello our neck of the woods. :) Getting closer!

Deception Pass bridge, not as intense as the Astoria bridge, but very narrow and high up. I've been over it a few times though, and survived, so I wasn't as freaked out. ;) Beautiful views!

Back home to my glow in the dark garden. Ahhhhh, so good to be home.
Over all we had an amazing experience. The suburban worked hard pulling that trailer and did not disappoint. :) I am totally and completely sold on trailer camping vacations. :) 

Now to start planning out next adventure. I'm thinking maybe destination Utah? We could hit parts of Oregon, Idaho and Nevada that we've never been before. I'm not sure if we can do that next year, but I'm definitely keeping that in mind for our next really big adventure, might take a few years to save up. :) We really want to see our friends in Texas, so for now we are saving for that. We might just fly, for the first time ever with the kids. I'd rather drive, personally, but that would be quite the undertaking. Even though it's ridiculously expensive for us to all fly there, it will still be cheaper than a road trip. We want to go this year, because they weren't able to come visit us again this summer and we really, really miss them. But we already had the Redwood trip planned and reservations made, so we couldn't change plans at the last minute when we found out they couldn't come. If it's possible we might go in December. Banden has decided that that would be the best Christmas present ever, and the rest of us agreed. But that means we wouldn't be spending much on anything else this Christmas season and probably wouldn't be doing any big trips next summer as well. So we will see. If we wait until next summer to visit them it will be over three years since we've seen them last, and I can hardly stand that idea. It's hard to have your best friend move away. Or I should say best friends as Banden and my best friends oldest daughter were really close as well. Leiella misses her younger daughter a lot as well and talks about her all the time. Anyways enough of that, now I'm getting sad.

Next up I'm posting our menus, I personally love getting menu ideas, especially for camping. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Our sixth stop on the vacation, and a close call.

This ended up being my second favorite place to camp on our trip. :)

After settling in we drove down to the beach because it was a ways away. There are lots of nice trails there though, around the park and down to the beach and when we come back (which we definitely plan on doing) we will bring bikes and go exploring. I didn't get any pictures on my camera, totally forgot to bring it, so I took all the pictures with Ryder's phone. Even though I've asked many times he has yet to down load them, so I'm doing this post without those pictures, for now. Maybe I will be able to add them later. :) There was an old shell of a boat there that the kids thought was pretty cool (wreck of the Peter Iredale) and the beach was very nice. We saw a bald eagle fly low over our heads and we were in awe! There were quite a lot of cool birds to be spotted. At the campsite there was a playground right by use and the kids thought that was really awesome. I could see it clearly from our campsite so I let them run over there and play without us.

This boy. Oh this boy. He tried to cut his finger off! Let me elaborate.

After dinner Banden and Ira asked about a fire and Ryder said they could help. I didn't really think anything of that and went about my business cleaning up, then decided to go check on Atty and Leiella who had headed back to the playground. I was only gone less than five minutes. I went to walk back into the trailer and got quite the shock. There was blood everywhere. I panicked. Ira was standing there silently and I kept asking what happened and he wouldn't answer me. I noticed a paper towel wrapped around his pointer finger so I asked him to show me. He pulled the paper towel back and I just about fainted. It looked like he had cut all the way down to the bone and it was bleeding badly. I started screaming what happened to Ryder and he told me he had no idea, Ira had just told him he needed a drink of water. He came rushing into the trailer and we both were shocked by what happened. Apparently Ryder had let him try with the ax and had showed him a safe way of doing it and it seems as if Ira didn't do it that way (although he swears he did) and he slipped and sliced his finger. Thankfully it was at an angle and not straight down and not as bad as I thought at first. But still bad enough that we weren't sure if he needed stitches or not. Ira didn't cry this whole time until we mentioned stitches. Ryder left to go ask a camp ranger where the closest hospital would be and Ira just started bawling. He did not want stitches and was more upset about that than the cut. I was fighting being really, really angry that Ryder wasn't watching him closer, or that he was even letting Ira try with the ax in the first place. One of those situations where mom definitely would not have let that happen but dad thinks they are old enough to try and lets them. Sometimes he is right and I need to let go a little, sometimes he is wrong. The problem is when he is wrong sometimes it goes terribly wrong. I'm just glad Ira didn't completely chop his finger off! Ryder would have had a hard time getting over that guilt and I don't know if I would have forgiven him so easily. Not to mention that would have been a horrible way to end our vacation! Hopefully this situation showed Ryder that I am overly cautious for a reason! Anyways in the end we decided after looking closer at the cut and weighing everything out to not get stitches. We cleaned it up, put medicine on it and wrapped it up really well. He will have a scar, and a wild story to tell. Needless to say this put quite the damper on our night. I could not go to sleep for hours, I just kept thinking about what I would have done if I had walked back to the campsite and saw his chopped off finger just laying there. I couldn't get those sorts of images out of my head. I kept thinking about Ira too, how he was willing to endure great pain silently simply because he didn't want to admit he messed up. He is such a perfectionist. He worries me on so many levels. But he is brave, and strong, and always striving to be the best. If he can channel this the right way he will go far in life. He is also impulsive and a thrill seeker and likes to do things for shock value, take it one step further than everyone else. I am not going to be able to sleep all through his teen years. ;)

Anyways the next day we went to check out the shorebird conservation area before we left. This campsite is a bird lovers paradise. :)

Ira's poor finger. Bandaged and taped.

Over all we still had a great experience at Fort Stevens, despite the accident. This is one amazing park. Not only is there a beach to explore, there is also Trestle Bay, and two lakes, Swash Lake and Coffenbury Lake. As well as a museum. We only explored a fraction of this. We will most definitely be back. :)