There was a ton of stuff to do for the trip, especially since part of the reunion involved camping, but I really didn't mind. The kids didn't seem to mind, either. I was extra busy the week before we left making loads of English muffins to make breakfast-for-dinner-sandwiches for the whole extended family and they were happy to give them a taste-test. Such a hardship.
We were all super excited to get started on our Oregon adventure. All smiles at the crack of dawn is a dead giveaway.
I have to admit that a lot of the scenery on the way there isn't my favorite. Thank heavens there are other things to look at.
Big and Edith fell in love with a little family of bears at an over-the-top truck stop. Hugs and kisses all around...
Edith got to watch Toy Story for the very first time as the drive dragged on. I'm not sure if it was the creepy next door neighbor kid that did it, but she was really unimpressed.
We were all happy when the scenery started to become greener. Getting closer...
We made a pit stop for the night in Portland. Eating at Burgerville for dinner was a definite must. Ginger made the announcement that we needed to stay forever and eat every meal there. Guess she likes it. Pen was just overjoyed to have red meat. I was pleased with the seed packets that came with the younger kids' meals instead of a lame toy. We all were happy with the vegetarian options and, of course, the Mocha Perk. The girls are addicted.
The next morning we headed out on the last leg of our trip to the reunion. One of my favorite drives is definitely the drive from Portland to the coast-- totally made up for the brown, cow-stinkiness of the day before. There really was a lot to see. Well, my kind of stuff, anyway.
This mannequin with the mechanized arms was awesome! So much better than wasting a paid employee to wave the sign. The best part was the guy dressed in a cloak who was walking by and looked at us like we were weird for stopping to take pictures and video of it. I love Oregon.
And having to stop for construction in the Van Duzer Corridor totally didn't make me sad.
I didn't take a lot of convincing from the kids to head to the beach that first afternoon when we got there even though all of the family had yet to arrive. I also realize now that it's the only day I hauled my big camera down to the sand with me, so I missed a few people with it. I did make use of my phone camera on the other days, though. I mean, come on! Would you be able to resist once you saw this?
It really was too bright for good photos, but I had to document Edith's first beach experience! A huge momentous occasion. That I was late for. After I got everyone suited up and slathered in sunscreen they were too anxious to wait for me to do the same. So, by the time I caught up with them, Edith had already touched the sand and had a sneaker wave do what they do, getting her feet and ankles wet before she was ready. It didn't help that she fell on the driveway and skinned her knee on the way there.
It didn't take her too long to warm up to everything, thank goodness. Well, except the waves. But that's okay with me-- one less kid to keep an eye on in the water. My brother, Rib, helped Big get comfortable in the water and he was having a blast in the waves in no time. I'm so glad my kids love the beach like I do.
Okay, still a little nervous.
The other kids are having no such trouble getting into it all. I guess I'll just focus on them.
Wait! Is that Edith I see in the background, bending down to touch the sand?
I knew she'd get there.
Okay, a few more photos..
Hey, look! Edith progressed from squatting to actually sitting on the sand.
I really have so many more photos, but I'll try to pare it down for you. It's probably a good thing I didn't take my big camera with me to the beach every day. Ha!
I think the egg sandwiches ended up being a big hit. Admire my pile 'o cheese (Tillamook, of course)...
The first day of our reunion was so much fun, with a beautiful sunset to cap it off. Just about perfect, I say.