Sunday, July 17: Day Four
I literally took zero pictures this day! But I'll summarize the day quickly and plow on through.
We woke up around 7 and gathered the crew to eat breakfast in the hotel, yet again. The bride and groom joined us this time and lovely Brittany was nursing a bit of a hangover but she hung in there like a champ. The kids seemed to be extra wild this morning, probably still exhausted from the night before, but thankfully we had my parents as extra helpers at this time.
After breakfast, the kids, my parents, Tony, Nate, and Brittany all went swimming. Jon, Lois and I went to Costco to stock up on our daily staples for the upcoming week at Jon and Brittany's house. We semi-meal planned and got mostly basics (i.e. Gogurts, milk, fruit, peanut butter, goldfish, etc). Very important trip! It was fun chatting with just Jon and Lois, too--a rare combo of people!
Once we returned to the hotel with Jon's car fully stocked, we all packed up our rooms and the swimming crew returned to get their stuff together, too. Check out was supposed to be at 11 but I don't think we left until around 1.
My parents took off for their little trip around the coast and we planned to see them the next day in Florence. Then the rest of us took the rental mini-van and Jon's car to Florence, which is on the coast and much smaller than Eugene. I think the kids might have napped then, but I do remember the roads being fairly windy and I might have even slept for a bit myself.
We arrived to Jon and Brittany's house and got a full tour, since Nate and I haven't see their house before this trip. It's adorable and they've already done a lot of work to it, and they insisted that my family of five stay with them at their house for this week while Tony and Lois opted to get a hotel. I was quite pessimistic about all five of us crashing with the newlyweds but it turned out to be totally fine. We had Truman and CC in the bunk beds that Jon and Brittany recently scored, in their guest bedroom, then we had the borrowed pack-n-play for Porter in their same room. We set up white noise and also a digital clock on a laptop for the kids, so Truman could tell everyone when it was 7 am and an appropriate time to come out of the room (worked most of the time, actually!). Then Nate and I had their office (someday nursery!) and slept on a futon. We let the newlyweds have their own bedroom because I couldn't fathom having them on the futon like they suggested initially. Anyway, the house situation worked out beautifully and having all three kids in one room wasn't horrible....for us anyway! Maybe it wasn't so fun for Truman and and CC to listen to Porter fuss but whatever.
Leftover pizza from the reception was had for a late lunch and then we head to a nearby playground to burn off some energy. Oh, that's right, I have noted that the kids all took super short car naps this day and then Porter had a slight fever this night, so I was worried he was getting sick (i.e. super fussy and hot, poor guy). Tony and Lois checked into their hotel room and then stopped to get some Ibuprofen for the babe. We fed the kids dinner, put them to bed at 7:30, and then ordered Thai food for us adults. Two of Jon and Brittany's friends were also over for dinner, Steve and Anna. The only other thing I have written down for this day is 'wine.' HA! I think we went to bed pretty early this night.
Monday, July 18: Day Five
I was craving a run like woah at this point, and I apparently missed a text from Brittany the night before that she would wake up at 6 and run with me. So I got up around 6:30 and was shocked to see her sitting in the living room, and it took several hours for me to actually understand that she did text me about this earlier. Her friend, Steve, who is a big runner, met us and the three of us went out around 7am. I am told this is also when Porter woke up but...time for mom, sorry, Nate! Brittany ran with us for the first mile and then Steve and I continued for another 4.5 miles. He took me on hills and trails and sand dunes and was pretty freaking fast, but I tried to pretend like I wasn't dying because I barely knew the guy! He's the cross country coach for the high school team and I am most certainly not in high school anymore, but we did accomplish the run and I didn't even barf.
Back at home, the crew was starting to move around. We had espresso (fancy espresso maker at the newlyweds' house!) and breakfast, and we let the kids watch some cartoons. Porter's fever seemed a little better but not perfect, so cue the sense of dread from his mother. Once Tony and Lois came over, and Steve left, we all went to the tiny downtown of Florence for coffee and hot chocolates at Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters. We noticed immediately that this town is stationed on a beautiful river and is known for their fishing and their tourism, for good reason. It's also a LOT cooler on the coast compared to inland, and I had to start borrowing Brittany's jackets and jeans since I brought exactly zero items of cold weather gear. This is a hilarious fact because I'm 5'10" and Brittany is 5'4" but we happen to be the same size...so you can imagine how surprised I was when her jeans were mostly long enough as were the sleeves of her jackets! The kids also had one hoodie each and some long sleeved tee shirts but no pants or real jackets, so we made the most of my poor packing and dealt with the temps that never made it past 65.
Had to sacrifice Lois looking at the camera for the one where Nate's eyes are actually open;)
Hot chocolate by the river, cool bridge in the background.
The coffee was amazing (and hot chocolate had whipped cream AND sprinkles for the children) and then we walked along the river for awhile. We bought fresh tuna from one of the fisherman on a boat, apparently he is one of Jon and Brittany's favorite local fishermen. We also found the most amazing fruit vendor from California and stocked up on delicious peaches like nothing I've tasted before.
By the river
We dropped off the fish at the house and then headed out for our final morning destination: a dune buggy ride!
Pictures really can't show you how massive these sand dunes were, and even the videos of us on the giant buggy (picture a jacked up jeep that holds 10 people) don't do it justice. Some of the dunes were 40 feet tall and would just drop off and they are always changing each day. The dune buggy ride was pretty windy but amazing, both Porter and Truman weren't that into the loud winds but otherwise we loved it. Our driver let us get out and explore for a bit at the end of our 40 minute ride, which is when Nate, Jon, and Tony decided to run down a giant dune. That part was fine, but when they walked back up they felt like they were dying, so yeah. The kids and I liked walking around in the sand with Lois and Brittany but it was also eerie and so disorienting to look every direction and see SAND, that I didn't want the kids to get too wild on us. It was breathtaking to see these giant dunes, then green trees, and far off in the distance--the ocean. Quite the Oregon experience, I'd say!
We finished our dune buggy tour at 1pm and Porter was totally done, so we all went back to Jon and Brittany's house. We ate lunch, put Porter down, and then Jon and Brittany took Nate, Tony, Truman and CC mushroom hunting in the forest. Brittany's dad picks mushrooms for a living so she knows a few tricks of the trade, and the crew had a ball during this activity---it wouldn't be the last time they went, either!
(Here's one picture Nate took, but I brought my big camera with us the next time we all went, so no worries---will have plenty more mushroom pictures soon. They loved it! And chanterelles are delicious.)
Lois and I stayed back with a napping Porter, I did laundry, and then I went to the grocery store for a few extras not found at Costco. When I got back to the house, my mom and dad had just arrived to visit for a bit before continuing on their costal adventure. The kids and the rest of the crew came back to visit and we all hung out on the new deck, which Jon and Brittany just added to the house. Their back yard is very woodsy and green and now they have a huge deck off of the house, which just adds to ambiance. Oregon ambiance, to be sure.
Right off their deck, all that green.
We said goodbye to my parents after visiting for a bit, then Jon and Brittany's friends, Sarah and Ethan, came over to eat dinner with us, and so did Brittany's dad. Jon grilled the fresh tuna, we had rice, broccoli, a Costco salad, and a ridiculous amount of wine. It was an excellent way to christen their new deck!
After successfully stuffing ourselves silly with delicious fish, we packed up and headed to the beach for a bonfire and s'mores. It was a short drive but REALLY chilly at the beach this night, but still beautiful. I realized that Cecelia and Porter hadn't ever seen the ocean before and although it was super foggy, they loved watching the waves and running around on the beach. Tony even let them smash his sand castle that he built, grandpa of the year! We picked a spot a little further away from the ocean to make our bonfire, where the winds weren't as brutal--I swear it was about 50 degrees on the water! A striking contrast to the pictures from Wisconsin friends, where it was a heat wave of 90 degrees or higher.
So much driftwood here!
Nate's cousin, Patrick, and his wife stayed after the wedding and made a vacation of it like we did. So Patrick and Jan met us at the beach this night and we all enjoyed adult beverages, s'mores, and a warm fire. The kids approved of the tide pool water and we stayed until 9:30pm! We had to do a quick bath when we returned to Jon and Brittany's house, because the kids were covered in ocean mud and sand, but then they were asleep at 10pm (!!).
A favorite picture from our trip:
Can you smell the bonfire from here? So delicious and fall-like to me.
Had about 3 for myself.
Sunsetting, tide pool. Truman said a crab pinched his ankle here and he did have a small cut, very strange and traumatic (of course).
Nate and I stayed up with Jon, Brittany, Ethan, and Sarah while having drinks and laughs. I'm pretty sure we didn't make it past 11pm, though, because it was a pretty jam packed day.