Saturday, September 24, 2011

some vacation fun

this year we were not planning a post-labor day family trip...until three weeks before labor day when andy declared he needed to get away and decided where he wanted to go. two years ago we went south, camping our way down the oregon and northern california coast. we saw redwoods, plenty of beaches, san francisco, and santa cruz, ending our trip with a visit to the jelly belly factory. last year we went north, exploring in seattle before camping in olympic national forest. this year, my husband declared we would go east.

on labor day, we finished our packing early and set off for oakridge, oregon. i had found a mostly secluded campsite in the packard creek campground that looked like it would work well. had we known about the roofed picnic table area, we would have brought a couple hammocks. andy biked almost every day we were gone, finally getting his fill of mountain biking after a long absence since leaving colorado. we hiked, explored, and had the parks nearly all to ourselves (the secret reason why we vacation at that time of year!).

israeli couscous with cucumbers, walla walla onions, feta cheese, and heirloom tomatoes from our garden.

it is obligatory that we have hot cocoa every morning while camping. ;)

off to explore the woods and beach

driftwood fort we found, with mary playing inside.

looking for whatever is making the bubbles...

 content to throw rocks at every water source. ;)

the end of andy's long mountain bike ride.

making donuts. originally, the trader joe's biscuits i brought were to be cooked over the fire (like we used to do when camping at scott county park growing up), but when i forgot the roasting sticks plans changed. everyone was very impressed. ;)

after leaving oakridge, we stopped at a salt creek falls. a short 1/2 mile hike and we were at the top of the waterfall. after coming down, we walked around the stream that fed the falls and the kids threw sticks and rocks for almost an hour. 

after eating lunch by the stream, we continued east and south to diamond lake. camping after labor day is walk-up only, so we drove around and found a GREAT campsite on the lake with a little area someone had placed rocks around to make a shallow area for kids. if you ever go and book through reserve america, i highly recommend campsite K6 at diamond lake campground! even though the lake temperature was pretty cold, everyone (except me) played in the water. before setting up our tent we went for a 10-mile bike ride around the lake. my rickety cruiser made it a little more challenging, but still fun. ;)

 the pile of blankets is jeremiah. ;)

after breakfast the next morning, we drove to crater lake. that place was AH-mazing in every sense of the word. the boat tour with drop-off on wizard island is worth the money and time. unfortunately, the battery in my camera was mostly dead before we started the day and died completely when we were on top of wizard island. at least we got a few pictures on the way... 

andy jumped off of this cliff after we went on the boat his carharts (because we didn't know to bring swimsuits).
the water was so blue and so clear it was unreal. you can see almost 150 feet down!

mary led us most of the way up the island (1 mile hike to the top).
there were times she was practically running...probably because
 i kept encouraging her with how fast she was going. ;)

nathan did so well on this hike (no fussing or complaining) that he earned andy's dessert for the night.

picnic at the top, right before the airhorn started blowing to tell us to come back quickly...a storm was blowing in and they wanted to get us off the island.

nathan was so asleep on the boat ride back that andy carried him fireman-style for the one mile hike up from the dock.

dirty, dusty clothes and shoes from all the day's adventures.

the drive back to diamond lake was pretty quiet...everyone was tired. NOT too tired for s'mores after dinner. ;) the next day we had breakfast and began tearing down the tent and packing all our camping equipment for the last time. after a stop at the shower house we left for bend, all clean and ready for civilization. we found lunch once we got into town and did a little walking, driving around, and even stopped at a riverfront park to play catch and eat watermelon. by the time we could check into our hotel, the kids were ready to swim. andy went off on a bike ride and i lounged by the pool while the kids went back and forth from the pool to the hot tub. a late dinner capped the night, with me keeping children awake with jo-jo's (trader joe's oreo-style cookies) on the short drive back to the hotel.

the next morning while killing some time before the goody's icecream/candy factory tour, we bought a little digital camera (to replace the one lost/stolen at our last ballet performance). we learned a bit about how chocolate was made and then got to see the kitchen making everything...AND we got to sample a lot of things along the tour. 

isn't this old stool cool? wishing i could find four or more for my house. ;)

after the goody's tour we walked around downtown bend, ate lunch at the mcmenamin's st. francis school, walked around some more, and had icecream at the downtown goody's store before heading back to the hotel for some swimming.

that evening we went in search of a mediterranean restaurant called kebaba. nathan was not happy about some of the things on his plate, but was motivated enough when the peppermints came out with the check.

then there was frozen yogurt at the cuppa yo across the street. we have not been to a shop like this before, so everyone was very excited about this. while there, mary lost her other front tooth.

after all yogurty goodness was consumed, we played at a different riverfront park in the dark on the way back to the hotel before calling it a night.

the next morning we were off to mt. hood. all week we had been keeping a secret. we were going to do the A.S. at S.B...that was the clue andy gave the kids on the way out of town. each day he gave them another hint. in the end, they were skeptical about whether or not it would be fun to do the alpine slide at ski bowl but within one ride down they had changed their minds and LOVED the rest of the day.

jeremiah braves the human hamster ball on a steamy day

the video showed up sideways, but should show mary doing the flip she learned.

trying to flip, but can't quite get over. ;)

and...finally...he goes over!

 even mommas like to do the bungee trampoline.

minigolf...and "i have to pee" that cut minigolf short.

 back on the alpine slide...

not knowing their hours had changed, we left around 5pm to go grab pizza. when we got back a little after 6pm, everything was closing for the day. a few disappointed children protested, but in the end we had had a full, fun day. driving home, most of them were falling asleep. andy supervised late evening showers while i quickly unloaded the van. the next day was monday...our first day of out-of-home classes. everyone was tired, but what a great way to kick off the school year!