Thursday, July 31, 2008

Camping: Day Four and Last Post

Lucky for all of you, this is my last post about camping, but don't worry we have been so busy this week that I have plenty of material for a few more posts. The morning of our final day Noah completed his Junior Ranger packet and brought it to the Park Ranger to receive his badge. After that they went to the class of fish where Noah's favorite part was the Ranger dissecting the Herring so they could see all the parts like the gills. While the kids were down doing that Joel and I finished breaking camp and packing up the van. We all left shortly after and headed to the Oregon Coast Aquarium (pictures below). After the aquarium we went to the Rogue Brewery for lunch and as shocking as this may seem, a beer. The drive home seemed long and I'm not sure if it was because we were sad to go or if it was because exhaustion was setting in.

Here fishy fishy.

This is a BABY spider crab, as an adult they can reach up to 13 feet in length. Can you imagine being in the water and coming across a full grown one of these?


Oliver would look but not touch.

Taking a little break with my boys.

Ty and Ollie looking through the floor in the Deep Sea Adventures part of the aquarium.

Noah showing off his new shark tooth necklace.

A family picture, oh yeah, we're looking a bit ragged.

The Pyryt Family picture.

Oliver flirting with the pretty girl - again!

I guess this tortoise needed a dental check.

I'm not sure we even made it out of Newport before this one crashed!

Camping: Day Three

Day three started much like day two, a bit on the lazy side, a cup of coffee, some snuggles and super yummy French Toast for breakfast. The kids attended the Junior Ranger program and learned all about Banana Slugs, did you know that you can fillet them and eat them?? They also had slug races - doesn't that sound exciting?!? The big event for the day, however, happened in the bowl a.k.a. the sand dune you can easily get to right off of F Loop. Stephanie and Tori had gone into town and rented two sand boards for, what else, sand boarding. Sand boarding is just like snow boarding, just a different medium to slide down on. Although it was really hot up there on the dunes everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Even Oliver sat on the board and slid down the hill. After an afternoon of hot sand boarding, we all headed down to the lodge for more swimming. After a bit of swimming we rented a pedal boat, Joel, Noah, Ty, Oliver and myself all pedaled around Lake Cleawox. The boys got bored about ten minutes into our time but we made them stay out and suffer for the full 30 minutes. Later that night John and Joel were playing cards with all the kids so Steph and I quietly slipped away for a bike ride. We decided to head over the land bridge to Woahink Lake. The lake was beautiful and quiet, despite one little crash on the way, the ride was great! I don't know about the rest of our camping cohorts but I fell asleep really fast that night. Now for the sand boarding pictures...

The hill they were boarding down.
Look close, you can see Noah going down.

Ty headed down the slope.

Oliver followed someone down to the bottom. He then claimed that he needed help getting back up the hill. Daddy was nice enough to give him a lift to the top. Too bad we all didn't have someone to walk us back up! That was a lot of work.

Go Noah go!

Tori started off well but about halfway down the board stopped and she kept going. She looked like a pro though because she gracefully jumped off and ran a few steps more. Not at all what it would have looked like had I done the same thing.

Oliver went down the hill AGAIN, claimed to need help AGAIN, but we didn't fall for it. Tori did go down and help encourage him to hike back up all on his own.

Ollie sitting in the dune grass and watching the boarders.

After a few runs, the boys went and buried Ty on the cooler side of the dune. Joel, John, Tori and Steph gave it a few more runs before calling it a day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Camping: Day Two

We got up early on day two, FINE! they got up early on day two and I slept in the warm sleeping bag for as long as possible. We had a hot breakfast then Joel and John took the kids down to the lodge to make paper as part of the Junior Ranger program. While they were busy making paper, Steph and I cleaned up from breakfast then made some sandwiches for lunch. We had planned on taking a picnic lunch with us down to Hobbit Beach but by the time we were done with the fun activities and taking the dog for a walk we decided to just eat lunch at camp then head to the beach. Hobbit Beach is a great little secluded beach that few people visit. The trail down to Hobbit Beach is a windy, mossy, treed and sometimes steep path. It almost has a tunnel feel to it at times and a few trees that appear to be a ladder for some small creature. The trail and hike down, although not the easiest, had great rewards at the end. The beach was long, clean and beautiful with coves, for shelter or picnicking and a few places to view sea creatures in the tide pools. This will be a beach that we will visit next time we are in Florence.

Trail down to Hobbit Beach, see the tree on the left that looks like it's been broken into a ladder?

Stick + Boy = Big Smiles!

Noah was down and exploring before I even got off the trail!

Just a picture that I happen to like...a lot.

Everyone but Joel and myself.

A sand crab that the kids were catching.


Sunny was enjoying the solitude on the beach too.

I'm not sure why we buy this child clothes!

Boys digging in the sand...that's a surprise.

Sea Anemones in a small tide pool.

Ahhh....for a moment at least.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Camping: Day One

We arrived at the campsite around 2:30 on Friday. The boys did great on the drive down even with a detour to pick up some wood for the campfire and a stop for lunch. Joel and I are both well organized people so setting up camp was quick and easy. We were in a campsite right across from The Pyryt campsite so as soon as we were done we headed to one of the two lakes in Honeyman. We rode our bikes down to Cleawox Lake and went swimming for the rest of the afternoon. That night the guys headed into Florence and picked up pizza for dinner. We wrapped up the evening with campfire, s'mores and a drink or two. By the way, Stephanie made homemade marshmallows for all of us and they made the best s'mores ever!

Before I upload the pictures how about a little bit of information on where we were staying...

Situated half way up the Oregon coast and three miles south of Florence on scenic Highway 101 is the second largest overnight camp in the state. There are two miles of sand dunes between the park and the ocean. Two natural freshwater lakes are within the park. Cleawox -- which is great for swimming -- and Woahink, which has a public boat ramp, is used for all water sports. Rent a canoe and explore the lake.

The campground also has a Junior Ranger Program, the kids can meet up with a Park Ranger at 10am or 2 pm each day for a different activity or topic. Noah went to the paper making class and the slug races/class. They can also earn badges (or stickers or buttons, etc.) by completing Junior Ranger packets. To complete the packets they have to go on quests, do park research, follow safety rules, etc. on their own time. They turn in their packets and get their prize. The park also did special activities at night. The first night we were there they held a bat program in the amphitheatre at 9pm. The second night they had a group called, The Old Time Fiddlers, play music at the nature center around 7pm. Later that night were also ghost stories but the boys decided that they didn't need to go to that one.

I am sure that I am missing a bunch of stuff but to wrap it up I would have to say that this was a great place to take a family camping. So many things to do in the park itself and many more things to do just outside the park. We had a great time and plan on going back next year. If you are at all interested in going next year, let us know and I will contact you when we book our campsite (probably in January). Onto the pictures...

At Cleawox Lake, the whole group except for me. In case you haven't heard, I'm a wimp when it comes to cold water and swimming. I say it's got to be at least 80 before I'm going in! I enjoyed the sunshine and cool breeze up on the dunes.

I think Noah was looking for salamanders when I took this picture.

Noah digging a hole and Ollie "helping" big brother and yes, the little one is naked. We had a hard time keeping clothes on that kid anytime we got near water.

Tori, Ty and Jack

Thinking about using this one for Xmas cards!

Water wings and sand castles, or maybe it was a sand pit to trap the salamanders in when they washed ashore.

Steph was tossing Sunshine's stick around for her.

Water cold! Daddy warm!

John throwing Tori over his shoulder.

Monday, July 28, 2008


We left for camping Friday morning and got back this evening. Jessie M. Honeyman State Park just outside of Florence was a great place to camp. Our friends, The Pyryts, invited us to join them on their annual camping trip and we are glad we accepted the invitation. Because it's 10pm, we aren't completely unpacked and I'm tired, I'm going to post a couple pictures of us around the campsite then over the next couple of days I will blog more posts with lots of pictures and tales of all the fun things we did. Have a great evening!!

Just getting there and pulling the bikes off...

The tent is almost set up.

Morning around the campfire.
I don't wake up well at home OR at camp!
Must have coffee and a few snuggles don't hurt either.

Noah and Ty planning out the day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brrring Brring

We are unable to post to our blog at this time. We will return in a couple of days with pictures and stories galore from our camping trip. Please leave a comment at the beep.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Zoo" Many Pictures

I took the boys, Noah, Jackson and Oliver, to the zoo today. It was a cool day compared to the last week or two but perfect for going to see all the animals. Instead of boring you with my usual pictures of bears, tigers, polar bears, elephants and other cool animals, Noah and I decided that we should focus on the dinosaur exhibit that they have there this summer. It's a really fun exhibit and the boys could not get enough of it. All of the dinosaurs move or make noise (usually both) and Oliver wasn't too sure about them. He wanted to be just as excited as Jackson and Noah but his cautious side kicked in. They even got to dig for fossils and each took home, what appears to be, a shark tooth. I have lots of pictures from the dinosaur exhibit but narrowed it down to a mere 12 plus a few extras of the boys.

It was somewhat chilly today so when given the choice of a warm Elephant Ear or a cool Sno Cone guess which one they picked? Can you guess what happened next? That's right! All of them complained that they were cold. I told them it wasn't my fault and to run around the lawn some to get their blood flowing.

During the summer the train ride is a 35 minute loop that goes not only through the zoo but Washington Park too. This is how we actually ended our day at the zoo.

Oliver loved the train ride and he also took it upon himself to entertain the three teenage girls that were seated behind us. He chatted them up good, played a few games, made them all giggle - I'm really surprised he didn't ask them for their phone numbers!

The first dinosaur that you come upon once entering the exhibit.
See the babies hatching?

This is Megasaurus (I think?), looks a lot like T-Rex only smaller.
Oliver refused to look at me for this picture, no way was he going to take his eyes off of the growling large mega-whatever behind him!

This Dino actually spits on you as you walk by. That was it's supposed defense, so to demonstrate this feature, it moved, roared then sprayed you with water.

These were nicknamed "Helmet Heads" but Noah thought they would be better named "Bone Heads" - because that's what I call the boys when they do something totally goofy!

The tallest dinosaur of the exhibit but it was hard to get a good perspective shot because the path wrapped closely around it.

One of the cuter ones there.

This guy was, according to Noah and Jackson, "AWESOME!" He was huge, animated and loud. As you can see, Oliver kept a few feet farther back than the older boys. I think he figured that if the T-Rex was going to attack he was going to get those two first giving him time to run.


This was Oliver's favorite, they made cute little noises and Ollie thought it was cute that the "babies" were playing peek-a-boo.

This sign needs to be posted outside my house during meals. However, the main reason I took a picture of this sign is because Noah turned to Jackson and said, "that sign says ass." Then they both laughed hysterically. Noah doesn't think I heard him and I pretended not to - it was funny!

You were warned...

A fun slide that shot the kids out at the bottom. I wasn't sure if I was ever going to get them to leave the dinosaur exhibit.