Thursday, July 3, 2008

And Now, The Rest of the Story

At the risk of boring you all to tears with yet another post about our vacation I offer you the following:

As I mentioned yesterday, the afternoon on Saturday brought us to Tillamook. Actually more accurate would be a very small town called Garibaldi. It was here that we climbed aboard one of two open air rail cars being pulled by a 1910 Heisler Steam Locomotive. In a few moments the engineer blew the whistle and we were chugging along the tracks on a short trip (an hour and a half total) up the coast.

The boys were in hog heaven. There's just something magical about boys and trains. Come to think of it, it made me feel like a kid again oohing and aahing over the whole experience. I took about a million photos along the way and even managed to get a couple that were worth keeping. I particularly liked this one of the boats in the bay.
The boys met a couple of other kids and became instant best buddies. Isn't it amazing how kids will warm right up to each other in a matter of minutes, but as we become older that seems to be more elusive? What a shame. The other boys had a couple of marshmallow guns and all four of them had a grand ole' time pelting each other with those micro sized marshmallows.
When we got off the train we put a couple of pennies on the track and watched as the train flattened them. Which one of us kids do you think came up with that idea?

After returning to our campsite it was time for some dinner and then back to the beach for a little tide pool exploration. It was just past low tide so we had plenty to see as we crawled and climbed around on the rocks. It's amazing how much you can find in a small pool of ocean water when you slow down and take a close look. I told the boys that looking in these tide pools was kind of like diving on a really small scale. That definitely got their curiosity flowing.

I stepped back and took a few shots of each of them as they pondered all the mysteries unfolding before their eyes. This was one of the many highlights to the trip.

As the tide started coming back in I found an interesting angle of the incoming surf. Thought you might enjoy seeing it too.

Back to the camp site we went and built a small fire so we could have....what? Smores of course!

After that whirlwind of a day we settled in and it took each of us about thirty seconds to fall fast asleep.

Sunday was met by some obnoxious campers next to us who insisted on doing their best to wake up everybody within a hundred mile radius of them by talking really LOUDLY at about 6:30am . I really wanted to get one of those air horns in a can like the boaters use and wait until about 11:00pm then sneak over to their camper and let it rip, but Lisa insisted that would probably not be the Christian thing to do. Maybe not, but it sure would have been fun!

We made another day trip, but this time about twenty miles to the south to Lincoln City. After a trip to the beach where we'd found loads of sea shells the last time, we headed back to town empty handed this time around. Bummer.

They were having the annual kite festival, so we stopped and watched for a while. It wasn't terribly exciting, but we had fun none-the-less. As you can see from the picture of the giant squid kites the weather was a bit more gray this day. Overall though still pleasant.

After lunch in town we headed back to the campsite where I made the announcement that for the next two hours I was going to take a much needed nap. I put my earplugs in and it was lites out for Jeffy. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

After I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes we headed back to the beach and climbed the sandstone/dunes at the end of the beach. The view up top was breath taking. The fog from earlier in the day had lifted and you could see for what seemed like miles. Very cool.

It was now Monday morning and the boys were begging to stay for another day, but like all good vacations they eventually have to end...or do they?

On the way home we stopped at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnvile. We'd driven past it many times before and always said, "We should go there sometime." Today was that sometime. This is home to the Spruce Goose built by Howard Hughes. Reading about the statistics or looking at pictures of it is amazing, but seeing it in full living color is absolutely mind blowing! There are several dozen planes around it and under its wings and they all look like Tinker Toys by comparison.

I took several pictures while we were there, but decided not to post any of them. You can click on their website link above if you want to look at some of what we saw. It was incredibly difficult to get good shots for some reason. Once again we all had a great time checking out all the cool displays.

After a few hours it was time to pile back into the truck and head for home. Hope you enjoyed taking a stroll through our vacation. If you're ever looking for a fun place to get away, the Oregon coast has quite a bit to offer.

Oh, one last thing, the best part of the whole trip was this. My oldest son Anthony brought his PSP (hand held video game) for the trip. When we got out of the truck, he picked it up off the floor board and announced, "I guess I didn't need to bring this after all." (He never turned it on once!) That simple statement spoke volumes as to what a good time he and Matthew had.


Jeni said...

I've been following your vacation post from beginning to end and they all made me wish I'd been there to see those things in the flesh. But since I wasn't, couldn't now, probably never will get that far west, I'm sure glad you allowed me to tour with you -in a virtual way!
Great posts Jeff!

Mel said...

Trains, little boats......sand, surf and KITES!!

<--extremely envious

I gotta get me one of them squid kites!


Dana said...

I had such a good time reading this - it brought back some of the most fond memories I have as a child - camping on family vacations.

Jay said...

LOL .. Yeah, if the kids didn't turn on the video games they must have had a fun time!

I didn't know that the Spruce Goose was housed up there. I must go see that sometime.

Great trip report dude.

Jeff B said...

Jeni- I'm glad you enjoyed it. We all certainly did. Happy 4th to you.

Mel- They were pretty cool. Probably 6+ feet wide and fifty feet long.

Dana- Good to know there were some happy memories for you to relive. I think the boys will count this one as a keeper too.

Jeff B said...

Jay- When I tell them, "We didn't have those games when I was your age," they look at me in awe like, "How did you survive?"

Bond said...

Family vacations...ahh I do miss them when Matt was young...

And your last statement did say a MILLION WORDS in one simple sentence.

Glad you had a marvelous time.

katherine. said...

nothing boring about boats,trains, tide pools, kites, smores...and marshmellow guns???? I so want a marshmellow gun.

And I am guessing YOU are the kid who wanted to flatten the penny.

I remember camping as a kid and making friends in the campgrounds...roaming in packs. Great Memories.

I was lucky to tour Spruce Goose when it was in Long Beach. Funny uncle has been touting McMinnvile to me for about ten years...he thinks I should move there....

Jeff B said...

Bond- I'm sure when Lisa and I are old and gray we'll reflect back on this trip and hopefully many others like it too.

Katherine- I'll have to do a post about the marshmellow guns with a picture and a how to make section. They are pretty cool.

I can not imagine you being happy in McMinnville after being in Santa Cruz. Not that its that bad of a town, but it doesn't hold a candle to the views you are blessed with.

Travis said...

Sounds like one for the memory books. Thanks for taking us along!

Rhea said...

Oh, what a wonderful statement by your son (about the PSP). I live for those moments, totally!

Your trip looked just amazing. Trains are so much fun, especially steam engines. And, that picture of the boats in the bay is gorgeous!

I know YOU came up with the idea to flatten pennies. I've never done that, how cool.

This looked like such a fun, relaxing yet full vacation! I'm soo jealous. Thank you for sharing it with us. The pictures were wonderful.

mjgolch said...

Dude,thanks for allowing me to vacation with you! that's my story and i'm sticking to it!

Jeff B said...

Travis- Anytime. Glad to have you along for the journey.

Rhea- As busy as it was it managed to be quite relaxing at the same time.

Mike- Thanks for checking in.

Mel said...

FIFTY feet?


Yup...gotta get me a squid kite!

<--has marshmallow gun!


(not that I'm gloating or anything.......)
(k....might be a bit......LOL)

Ron said...

What a wonderful narrative to go along with these photos, Jeff!

I felt like I was actually there with you guys!

Ok...I'm a HUGE train lover. I love trains more than my own life!
There's something about the way a train moves, that's so relaxing for me.

Sounds like you all had the BESTEST time ever!

(and that obnoxious camper, would have annoyed the crap out of me too)

Oh, well...there always has to be ONE asshole!

Thanks for sharing your vacation with us, Buddy.

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Dianne said...

I love the train photo - thanks!!

and your kids are great! but that doesn't really surprise me :)

Jeff B said...

Mel- You have a marshmellow gun? Way cool.

Ron- The boys lit up like 100w bulbs when they climbed onto the train. Thanks for tagging along.

Dianne- (looks at ground, scuffs feet) "Ahh shucks"

Kimmie said...

Hey Jeff!
I completely enjoyed this whole trip with you and your family. Thank You So Much for having me along. You did such a great job it truly was like being right there with you all. I could even taste the s'mores. ;-)

buffalodickdy said...

That really looks like a cool part of the world...

Jeff B said...

Kimmie- Funny thing about marshmellows is that I usually detest them, but there's something about a roasted one over a campfire that makes them OK.

Buffalo- It really is. Let me know if you ever head out west and I'll try to point you in the right direction for activities.

Desert Songbird said...

Sorry - I'm very late in coming by. It sounds as if you had a truly relaxing and fun trip, and that's all that matters right? Lovely photos, Jeff. Truly lovely.

Jeff B said...

Songbird- No worries, it's always nice to have a visit from you.