What a totally awesome time we had.
Day 1 Wednesday- We left home about 10:30 am, leaving the dogs and cats in the capable hands of our pet sitter. Amazingly they settled right in with her and I could leave knowing the dogs would handle it fine. I had never left them before and was pretty aprehensive about it.
We drove up to Seaside Oregon where we stayed on the beach at the Shiloh Inn. It was cooler than I expected and we got there about 5. We went to the beach as soon as we checked in, and the kids and I played in the sand. This was the first time Lane had ever been to a beach with sand at the ocean! He got in the water up to his ankles. The kids and I went out deeper and the water was cold but it was fun. I didn't risk my camera down by the ocean so I don't have any pics of the beach with us on it. We built several sand castles and it was fun.
Then we were all wet, so we headed back to the hotel, changed into clean clothing and headed for the amusement park rides. The kids all rode the bumper cars and the tea cups. I took Nick on both and the bumper cars were fun, but the tea cups were too much for both Nick and I! I felt like I was going to throw up. I used to like those kinds of rides, but not anymore. I think they were kind of unsafe for a kid Nick's size, no seatbelts. But it was fun anyhow for the older kids.
After the rides, we headed over to the shop we bought souveniers at last year and I let each child pick out something. Jake decided he didn't want anything. Cassie got a gel candle with shells in it, Max got a beach glass bottle with shells around the top, Nick picked out a replacement glass starfish for the one he broke from last year, and a big sand dollar. I got a big starfish. Lane didn't get anything there.
Then we went and rode the carosel, and ate dinner at the Chinese restraunt there. It was delicious. Then over to the ice cream shop for cones and back to the hotel to sleep. What a fun day! We were all tired and happy.
Day 2 Thursday- First thing we headed to the aquarium in Seaside, and then we ate breakfast, quickly took pics, checked out of the hotel and headed out on the road. We arrived at about 3:30 at the Lake, and the BBQ was in full swing. The family there included Lane's grandmother and her husband, his sisters Evana, her husband Dan and their children M and A, his sister Merissa and Katrinka and his parents Carla and Jim. The kids had a blast playing tag and Nick and A hit it off right away. A is only 8 months younger than Nick. They were inseperable for the rest of the trip :)
After the BBQ we took a bunch of pictures of the group. The only sibling not there was Lane's brother who had to work. We checked into the hotel, and for the first time got 2 rooms.
Day 3 Friday- We had lunch at Puerto Vallarta restraunt to celebrate Lane's dad's retirement. We then picked my friend Karie up at the ferry and she spent the night with us at our hotel. We went to Dairy Queen for cones and chatted for a bit. She had gotten a bad nights sleep the previous evening, so we called it a night at 11.
Day 4 Saturday- We dropped Karie off at the ferry, and then went back to the hotel. This was the big reunion day at Wye Lake. A lot of extended family came! Lane's Uncle and his family came, his aunt and her kids and their kids, and a bunch of more distantly related people. There were a lot of kids there and everything was so well planned by Lane's sister that we just had to relax and eat and take a ton of photos. We got back to the hotel about 6 and I did some laundry and the kids swam.
Day 5 Sunday- We met my good online friend Debbie and her kids at the McDonald's in Bellevue. I have known her for 7 yrs online and she recently went through chemo for breast cancer and is in remission. I was so thrilled to finally meet her! After that we headed back into Seattle to meet my friend Karie and her boyfriend at the Seattle Center. We got there and decided to go up in the Space Needle first. I had never been, so that was a treat. I took a bunch of pics with us at the top. Then we headed down, bought some things at the gift shop and went out to where the rides were. We couldn't stay more than 2 hrs because parking is attrocious. $12 for 2 hrs! We let the kids ride a few rides, took some pics of everyone and then said our goodbyes. I wish we could have spent the whole day there and next time we will plan that in.
We rode the ferry home, $42 for 6 people and a van....not going to do that again anytime soon. But the kids got the ferry experience and I got some pics.
Next we went out for dinner with family at Olive Garden and that was a lovely dinner.
Day 6 Monday- Monday we finally got to see Lane's brother. Katrinka got the pics with all 5 siblings like she had wanted for 2 yrs. It was the first time in 17 yrs all 5 were together at the same time. We had a really nice visit with Lane's brother, and the rest of the day we spent at the hotel recovering from our busy weekend. I did more laundry and started to pack it all up!
Day 7 Tuesday- We had to head out early to meet another online friend at the zoo. We got everyone in the car by 9 and checked out. It was hard to say goodbye to Evanna and Dan and the kids. A got really choked up. I know Nick is going to miss him so much too. They live on the east coast so visits are hard to do often.
We met my friend Carol at the zoo and it was really fun. Her kids were really sweet especially her son who is 13 and really a great help with little ones. We walked the whole zoo, got done by about 12:30 and then we had to head out. We didn't get out of Tacoma until almost 2 though because we had to eat lunch, get gas, find a bathroom since the gas station didn't have one! Then we drove the entire way home on I-5 and got home at 10:40 pm. What a long day! But amazing to me that it is really only a 1 day drive. We will have to do it again a lot sooner!
All in all a very successful vacation and I had such a great time. Not too exhorbitant either!