August 23, 2012

Oregon {the Final Chapter for the year}

This is the final installment of vacation photos and it's probably going the be the most photo-filled because the Oregon coat is too beautiful to not take a gazillion photos of.  In fact, Joe's been looking at property there to retire to.  LOL!  I'm not sold just yet, since everything in our price range lacks an actual structure, but we're won over (again) and just want to dream of being there every day of our lives.  It's absolutely the retirement plan.  As if, at our age, you can have a firm retirement plan.  But we're dreamers, I guess.

 When we left Badasht, we headed to the coast and Jeanine rented a sand board for the kids and some of the teenagers that came with us from Badasht to try out.  Hunter did quite well.

Hannah Jane had a bit of a harder time, but you can't tell in this picture.  She looks like she's carving up the hill.  Despite her frustration, I think she had fun.

Joe did way better than I expected.  Better than I had hoped, actually, because being too old to learn a new trick was going to be my excuse when I flopped but then there was Joe, a few years older than me, picking it up in no time.  His success gave me hope for when my turn came.

Haven found his sport!  He was so tiny and so good at it that random people that we didn't know were cheering and whistling for him when he went down.  He made it all the way to the bottom, still on his feet, every single time.  One complete stranger actually got out her video camera and said, "Make him do it again!  My friends aren't going to believe this!"  He was the hit of the sand dunes!

And then there was his mother.  I was the the hit of the dunes as in, I hit the ground every time.  I told Joe to get a picture quickly before I fell so I could at least fake not having stunk at this, but those pics were all blurry and the only one in focus was this one.  Me on my rear.  But that's the most accurate portrayal of my time on the board.

This was more like it.  Sitting safe and still in the shade, cheering for my kids as they rocked the dunes.

Then it was off to Heceta Beach.  How pretty is this?

The tide was out when we were there, so there were all of these small cliff caves to explore.  We've  been to that beach maybe 15 times and we've never gone exploring in the cave area.  Fun!  That's Hannah Jane and Jeanine (their god mother) in front of one of the little caves.  Don't they look all matchy-matchy in their black puffy stuff?

See why we want to live there?  It doesn't get any more beautiful than that!

We headed back to the Taylors' home after camping for 2 nights and then it was off for our own coastal adventures while they were back at work.  We visited with Joe's childhood friend in Corvallis for a bit, and then headed to kill time at Alsea falls until our dinner with friends who used to work with Joe in UT, and moved to work at OSU.  Alsea falls ended up being a surprise hit!

Joe had some serious fun in the water.  This is his live action shot, diving into the one area deep enough for actual swimming.

There were giant upturned roots to climb...

And downed trees to cross back and forth on.  This was a LOT of fun!  We crossed back and forth a thousand way on these logs and managed to leave unbruised.

Next stop was the Hatfield Marine Science Center.  This was easily my favorite science museum we've done with the kids.  It's small, and you'd never guess it would be as great as it is, but it had just the right displays.  The kids rarely want to sit still and actually learn something in the museums.  But these displays were so well designed that each of the kids found something that they wanted to sit down and actually learn more about.  And the touch tank people were really informative and attentive to the kids' observations, listening to their discoveries and then guiding them to the next level with a new, related factoid.

Haven was at this display for about a half hour.  It was an interactive computer program designed to let him guide his submarine to different underwater volcanic sites and then he could watch actual video from those spots.  It taught him how they use a thing called a rumble-o-meter to record data from these volcanic sites.  He really loved it and he would repeat back phrases that he heard.  I was so pleased with the way this captured his imagination!

Here he is with an actual rumble-o-meter.  It was thrilling to touch a real one after  "operating" one in the display.

Next with was off to Yaquina lighthouse.  This is in the interpretive center.

This was the only pic I snagged from in side the lighthouse.  Haven had my hand gripped so tightly that I didn't dare try to go photo overboard!

Here I am with  my crew in the steps of the lighthouse.  The last time I was there, Hannah Jane was still a baby in a backpack.  We left her with Joe's parents so that we could go up to the top, and from the top, we looked down and said, "Oh, no!!!  They're trying to shield her from the sun with an umbrella and it's poking her in the head and they don't even realize!"  We ran down to save her life, because she was our first and we were insanely overprotective still.  If that same scenario had played out with Haven, we'd have laughed about his pathetic situation with the umbrella to the brain and continued to loiter atop the lighthouse and enjoy our quiet time.  My, how things have changed!

"How am I supposed to walk on this stuff?"  We managed to hit the tide pools beneath the light house at just the right time.  We saw and touched it all!  Urchins, anemones, starfish, and crabs.  It was all there!

Joe caught this baby crab and passed it around for all of the kids to have a turn holding.

And then, of course, he said, "Take a picture of me with it on my face!" and then proceeded to freak out.  So glad I captured that moment.  And while I'm pretty sure he's going to kill me for posting this, it's totally worth it!  I love having an 8 year old at heart for a husband!  So much fun!

And that's about it!  We went to Enchanted Forest with the Taylors the next day, but I didn't even take my camera.  I decided that I have enough pictures from that place and I wanted to just enjoy it.  And I did.

Can't wait 'til next year!  And now, it's back to real life for us!  The kids are on day 3 of full time school work and they're gearing up for new adventures.  haven starts piano lessons tomorrow and Hannah Jane and Hunter begin gymnastics next week!  Today was our co-op party at the park, which was a total blast.  And next week we start choir again to work on our Fiddler on the Roof production.  So lot's to look forward to and lots to prepare for.  It's good to be home!

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