Friday, June 15, 2012

2012 Vacation

 The Family vacation!  We went to Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. We packed 9 into the Suburban ready for camping, hotels, beaches, hiking, Mt. Rainier, Ferry rides, Seattle, Haystack rock, TREES, TREES, TREES, waterfalls, snow, birds, campfires, marshmellows, drive, drive, drive, Rain, rain, rain, conversations, random laughter from the movie watchers, city parks, parking lots, camp grounds, sounds of the ocean, the dam, jumping fish, and wow...we made it!

 Our first camp at camp Wis, Wis.  Yes, Isaac just had a blast with this name...
 We camped amongst the trees, birds, and well, the Ewoks.  We were on the Endor Star Wars.
 Me and my little Ewok.
 Marianne loves to jump around in the tent.  She would run in and out and run in and out until she fell asleep.
 I think you can see Big foot right behind me...look right behind my left ear...
 My camping friends...Margaret loved the fire, so did Isaac and they just loved to keep warm by the fire.
 LOVE the Height of these trees.  We just wanted to give you a perspective. 
 The Blue Jay who kept stealing any food he could swoop up on.  He was successful...poor Virginia had her smore taken right off her plate.

 Here is the River that ran through our little camp.  Beautiful!
 Standing and sleeping among the giants is a wonderful experience.  I love the feeling of creativity and of a far away planet with the way that our camp looked.  I am amazed at the creations of this world.

 Here is the first test shot of the Family picture.  The space between the girls and myself is for Scott.
 WOW!!  Look everyone (ok except for Rhetten) is looking towards the camera and they are actually smiling!  I guess this picture business is getting better and better!
 FUN times with the family!
 Time to play....
 Play and Play and Play....climb and climb...loved it!
 Strike a pose!
 Me and the and smile hold them all night and well, make it work.  There were some long nights on the "trail" with Rhetten.  He would only sleep if he was being  held...because he was sooo cold.
 My left arm bicep is huge after this trip.  Holding the kids for long stretches at a time has totally bumped it up!
 First of thousands of waterfalls.  They are just so beautiful and can pound down so much power  that will eventually cut away all this rock into a gorge.
 This crow totally stole the sandwich out of the hand of the people two row over. 
 I just wanted to give you the perspective of how much snow there still is even in was so cold and deep.  Cool times!
 I had to take a picture to show that we really were here.  We really did camp on the Volcano, and when it blows up, we will have the before pictures to prove it.

 We saw signs like this all over the place. I have to tell you that it was a little unnerving.  I had to say that my brain was working on ways to get out as fast as possible just in case... 
 This sign will explain it all...
 Family picture on the Ferry!  This was a total surprise by Scott.  The kids LOVED it.  I was loving it too...and Scott was all smiles as well.  I mean deep big smiles!

 Daddy and Marianne on the boat.  He loved running around taking all the pictures.
 Me and by baby!  Rhetten was getting blasted by the wind (as you can see by my amazing bangs).

 We finally got to see the mountain/volcano that we camped on...we had to go all the way to Seattle to see it, but was worth it!

 She loved to run out on the deck and then back into the glass room, then back to the deck, then back to the glass room. 

 The Family picture!  See what I mean by the biggest smile Scott has ever had!

 Good times.  You know Scott had a feeling to take a turn and go North and stay in WA instead of heading down the OR...I'm glad he followed through with it...we all were so happy because of it.


 Kellis never left the deck once.  He just stood out there and took it all in.  I'm happy that he got a moment to himself and to just enjoy something that was for him.  Good times!

 He loves this city.  He served his Mission in WA and he knows all the neat places to go and visit.  We (just Scott and myself) are headed back to Seattle this year to have our own vacation.

 This is Mt. St. Helen's.  We were finally able to capture a picture of it.  The Volcano eluded us because of the clouds.
 We had an interesting night after Seattle...we went to Cape Disappointment and were FREAKED out.  We had a very heavy strange feeling there.  We meet a Ranger and he didn't help the feeling at all.  it was like a Hitchcock movie...strange!  We got out of there and pulled into a KOA at midnight.  Next day we went to Ft. Clatsop...even more strange feelings of heaviness and depression...very eery.
 The family...let me know how you feel about it Kellis...a little bored are we?

 Struggle to keep Marianne in the picture.  Hog tie her down!  So silly...
 !This woman was amazing to me.  She not only did all that she did to help Lewis and Clark, but did it pregnant, the delivered the baby, and then did everything else with the baby on her back...she is my kind of woman!

 Happy Flappy boy!  He loved to sit and sit on this little bench and smile and smile.  I was grateful because I needed a break.  My left arm was killing me.

Look at the diameter of this tree.  Virginia is there to help give a perspective on the mass...

 We walked down to the canoe landing zone, and found another eery feeling there.  I think we were all haunted by ghost of Lewis and Clark, and by all those who had ever lost their lives in pursuit of exploration.  It left Scott and I down in the dumps...hard to describe it other than that.

 Haystack rock.  Marianne's expression is that of, "what the--"  She did not know how to react to such a sight.  Then a wave camp down behind her and knocked her on her butt...she was always a little leery of it after that.
 I just love the reflection of the kids in this shot.

 Mom and Rhetten...I loved sitting on this beach.  We had time to play in the water, time to have a snack, time to dig holes, time to take pictures, and just time to enjoy the wonders of God...

 Marianne is chasing the birds with her stick and is in dry clean clothes...she was just having a blast!
 This smile is worth a thousand words.  I love how it expressed her love of the beach.  At first, she was not that interested, but she really needed to take time with it and she fell in love with it.
 Viginia is soooo cute here.  She is loving it as well.  She loved collecting shells.  She and Margaret collected a ton of them.

 My two WET kids.  Margaret is really a fish and she is sooo happy to be wet...wet....wet!  I love having her be so happy.
 The kids at Haystack rock.  Hey, where is Virginia?
 ok...I see her now.  I was worried for a bit.  Silly kids.
 Rhetten loved to eat and eat and eat the sand.  I tried to stop him, but in short of holding him for the full three hours on the beach, I had to put him, yum yum.  Hey,  what's a little fiber anway?

 We were able to capture some of the best sky-scapes ever...

 Back in the water again.  Isaac, Kellis, and Margaret got out in the Ocean again.  I have to admit it that this beach caused me a bit more nervousness then I'm used to...the waves were just pounding and if they had to be rescued, then it was going to be a tough thing to pull off...but we were protected...

 AFTER playing in the water for another hour, the strom started to come in and we eneded up not getting a fire that night, sitting in the tent from 8 till the morning time, and so I passed the time by reading "Little House on the Prairrie"  to the kids.  (Kellis even endured the was too cold to do anything else).

 Here is the last place that we camped at: Cape Lookout.  It was nice, but still the feeling of depression followed us here.  We had a family fight, got rained on, and well, we were on each others nerves.  Sounds like a real vacation, overall it was great, it was just interesting how this piece played into everything.
 Our Camp at Cape Lookout...

 This sign was unnerving to me as well.  I think because of the two big Tsunami's that have happened within the last years that this sign did not help me to relax.  We were one of the first camp sights off the I kept thinking how I was going to grab the kids and run for it up the hill...
 The Dam on the Columbia. 

 If you look hard enough you can see the fish climbing up the fish ladders to their spawning grounds...interesting isn't it!

  So the Family vacation was very interesting.  This is the best of the family, so I'm sticking it in here again.  It is nice to see a happy family!
 You might be wondering how we fit everyone into the Suburban...these pictures show the tight quarters and how we pulled it off.  Happy Marianne!  She was happy the whole time!
 Just to get a perspective on how we travels with all of the stuff PACKED into the car.
 Garrett had a nest in the back.  That is how we made it 2 in front, 3 in the middle, 3 in the back, and 1 in the cargo hold.  Garrett called it his nest and he did great.  Sometimes you just have to do what you can do to make it work...
 Finally, some sun!
 Happy dad driving home.  Our drive away from the coast, through Salem, Portland, the Dalles, went through a lot of emotions, but in the end, by the time we left the dam, we were able to talk and figure out plans for what we want to do for our next family vacation...we'll chalk it up to a learning experience.  Lessons learned!

We ended up driving straight through to home.  We left at 10am and arrived home at 6:23 am the next day.  It was a long nearly 24 hour stretch.  We did take a few stretch breaks at the dam, at the city park for dinner, and at a rest stop for 45 min nap, but we made it home.  Safe and sound...WOW!  We need a day from our vacation to rest.  We were played out.