Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Summer We Didn't Stay in Taos

Wow! We have had such adventures this summer! We just got home from a fantastic family vacation: reunions in Idaho and Oregon and then a week of camping in Olympic National Park, WA. It was SO nice to be able to spend time with family. We loved seeing everyone. So here's a bunch of pictures, starting backwards.

While in Olympic Natl. Park, we were able to use our passports (a first for our marriage!) and take a day trip to Victoria, British Columbia. Here's a view of the harbor. We took a ferry from Port Angeles. Very neat to watch all the boats and sea planes. Victoria is a bustling, beautiful place!

My kids are so photogenic. You take this gorgeous picture spot and...well, just look at them. Good thing they're so lovable. They did so well on our Victoria day. We had to leave camp early to catch the ferry. The boys especially loved walking around outside the ferry. We had the most beautiful, sunny, warm day and all got red faces to prove it! We went to an undersea aquarium and then walked the kids all over downtown Victoria: souvenir shopping, waffles at "WannaWafel" (coolest restaurant ever! Can we get one here?), beautiful Beacon Hill park (Victoria has such gorgeous flowers EVERYWHERE. It's amazing), childrens' farm and petting zoo, and out to dinner. I can't believe we did so much in one day. You would think the kids would have crashed on the ferry ride back to Port Angeles. Nope. They were bouncing off the walls! Too fun. I hope we can go back someday. There's still so much to do there.

Keiger actually took this picture in front of the Parliament Building. Pretty impressive, eh? Does it look like we hadn't showered in days?

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic Natl. Park. We were so excited to be able to climb up here and see the Olympics--if only the weather would cooperate. From our campsite miles below, it looked as if all the mountains were socked in with clouds. Thankfully, we took a chance and drove up anyway. One corner before we reached the visitor center, we literally climbed above the clouds and had these amazing views. SO pretty, especially with all the wildflowers, which you can't see here. Sorry. The kids loved climbing the trails, especially since they got to play in snow! Everybody loved seeing the deer all over. It was so cool to be able to look down on the clouds. Wish the pictures did it more justice. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

This deer must have really liked our van.

Any trip to Washington wouldn't be complete without a stop in Forks. Time for the Twilight tribute! Here's Bella's truck, the one and only from the movie.

Had to wait for a chance to get this picture. Forks and Port Angeles were hiliarious with "Dazzled by Twilight" stores. Forks had a big black Twilight bus that took you on the Twilight tour. Should have got a picture. The visitor's center had life size pictures of the characters all over. Should have gotten the "TEAM JACOB" license plate.

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic Natl. Park. Mosses; ferns; huge, tall trees; slugs everywhere. But no Bigfoot. Next time.

Camped at Kalaloch Beach, WA for a couple of nights. The kids could not get enough of the beach. Good thing it was just a few minute's walk from our tent. And it pretty much only rained during the night, although if anything got wet, it took FOREVER to dry out. So much moisture in the air. Check out the boys' air. Nice.

Ruby Beach, WA. Finn was the only one who'd pose with me. Well, I made him.

Kids loved throwing rocks into the water and exploring around the sea stacks. Sage got trapped in a little sea cave. I looked in to find her standing on her tiptoes on the last wee bit of sand that wasn't covered by waves yet. Her shoe got wet while she escaped, and yes, it took two days to fully dry out.

Discovered tide pools full of sea stars and anemones. Too fun to explore.

Kalaloch, WA -- We love the beach!

Lincoln Beach with the cousins. Could not get Keiger and Talon to leave! All the kids got soaking wet and had a blast.

Berry picking outside of Salem, OR. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries....a dollar a pound! I'd move to Oregon just for that! We got to visit the Smiths during our time in OR. Great to see them and their darling girls. Thanks for the heads-up on happy hour for pie. Yum.

Island Park, ID Young Family Reunion. Sage knocked her head on the bottom of the hot tub, and her tooth fell out! I will write a book someday about the funniest ways to lose a tooth. Sage keeps coming up with them. Great to see everyone at the reunion. And that's just a few of the pictures we took. We had such a good time on this vacation. We're all so grateful we were able to go and see all the family and let the cousins play together. Great memories. We love our family.

More Lagoon fun with Luke and Logan this time.

Cars 2 party with friends. Painted a cars mural; played "pin the lightning bolt on McQueen;" the kids all got a car frozen in ice--they had to thaw it out (most kids just sucked on it) to get to the car. Then we all went to the movie. We all took up most of the theater too! We were quite the crew.

Boating with friends. Way fun swimming in the lake!