So just to bring you up to date....
We arrived in Portland and there was much rejoicing! yea! Ez and Hadley had made us cute little signs (yes, I'm claiming myself in the "us" because an Aunt can dream ya know ;) Cousin excitement and fun was so sweet to see. They all got along marvelously, especially considering that there was no such thing as down time while we were there. Sure Hadley could escape for a little tiny nap, but even then I napped with her one day (which was awesome and precious and she's the cutest and sweetest nap partner ever, she didn't kick me in the face once like some other "not-to-be-named" children who live in cincinnati) They had sleepovers every night that culminated in a giant sleepover our last night camping where both families slept in the same tent. Best sleepover EVER according to my children. but I have leapt ahead too far.
We ran around Portland a little, taking the kids to do fun stuff like play in a splash park, and eat ice cream at Ruby Jewel's. But we also gave them plenty of play time at home (which was Alyssa's favorite part, even to the point where she grumped a little about going out). The girls loved playing chicken farmers and practically reached under the chickens to get the fresh eggs. They loved getting the "still warm" ones. they had meetings in the chicken coop to plan defense strategies to defend the chickens from I'm not sure what, and they built forts in the kids rooms.
We did drag them out to Mt. St. Helens one day. we did the Jr. Ranger program at the Visitor's center and had a nice afternoon there. They all got their badges and were proud Jr. Rangers for a day.
It was a great visit in Portland, and then the best part was that when it was time to leave, it wasn't really like leaving because we all went! We camped in mosquito-ville near Crater Lake the first night and then drove and camped in the Redwoods the second night and then d-r-o-v-e to Santa Rosa and camped on Bodega Bay the 3rd night. For the record the 101 takes longer than a freeway and I'm pretty sure the Redwoods are so big that you don't really process the time passing as you stare at them. The great news is that while we have gone our separate ways today, we'll get to see them again in a couple days and that has made saying goodbye easier on the kids. I'll post pictures to go with this part of the trip tomorrow night when I'm with my SD card.
some street fireworks were very fun and exciting.
The OPs at the rose garden. (that's old peeps, for you unhip peeps like me who needed an explanation from Ali)
come hide and giggle in my cabinet with me. ok. (slight paraphrase, but that's what they did)
Helping Aunt Lee cook. V is going to be a cooker when she grows up.
Making a small earthquake at Mt. St. Helens
Cousin Jason! Yea!
Lunch at the splash park
Kettle Corn filled to the brim!
|Ruby Jewel Ice Cream.|
We found frogs at Diamond Lake
Crater Lake is crazy blue. Gorgeous!
Family pic for Oma
Mamas making lunches.
While the kids find trees to climb in with their Dads.
The minivan wouldn't fit, but Uncle Jeff's Land Rover drove through the tree.
|And all the kiddos got to ride through too.|