Hi blog! Vacation is over. And has been for awhile now! It is well past time to get back into the swing of regular life again.
There’s so much to post, it is hard to begin. I want to recap as much as I can from what we did, plus I have posts I’d like to finish about how we managed to eat on the road. For now I’ll just jump in and write as much as I can for this part 1!
We started off really well – all packed up the night before except for the coolers and some last-minute items like chargers and soap. We got about a block down the road when Mr. Handsome quickly remembered the only item we all forgot (Baby2’s milk – how could we possibly forget after doing so much prep work for it?) which resulted in a slight diversion to re-position things in the cooler but after a few minutes we were off (again).
Our first stop was Mt. St. Helens. We have always wanted to get up there and see all the volcano stuff. It was a foggy day, though, so we didn’t drive up the mountain like we had planned. Instead we hung out at the Visitor’s Center just off the interstate. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was packed full of information! We spent awhile reading about the 1980 eruption, the recovery, and how the mountain has been crazy growing ever since.
Once Mr. Handsome and Kiddo1 picked up their souvenirs (we have lots of new magnets now) we were off to our second stop: the World’s Largest Egg in Winlock, Washington! It was a big egg in a tiny park nice to very active railroad tracks and a gas station. So of course it sounded like the perfect place to stop and eat lunch. At least three trains went by in the 20 or so minutes that we were there. But we added a “World’s Largest” something to our list of things we saw! And it was a nice day for a picnic: really sunny, light breeze, not too warm. The fog had lifted by then so I bet it was shaping up to be a beautiful day at the mountain! Luckily we live close enough to try another visit later.
After our two morning stops it was road time for a couple hours. The children adjusted to being in the car really nicely. Baby2 doesn’t really like the car too much but she was pacified by food at first, then toys, then a screen. A little preview of the packing post: we packed a bag of snacks for each day and kept them in a little cooler. Kiddo1 was in charge of distributing snacks (and he did a great job!). For toys I packed several small bags for Baby2 with random toys in them. She could pull out the toys one by one so she had fun not only with the toy but pulling it out of the bag and discovering what it was. That strategy worked well when used sporadically. When all else failed, though, we had the portable DVD player to fall back on. We only had to use it a couple times, which I found very encouraging!
We passed through Yakima, Washington, where I read there was a new soda fountain just added to the history museum. Of course I had to check that out. We didn’t stop at the museum because we wanted to get to our campsite early, but we made time for a little ice cream.
That night we camped along the Snake River outside Pasco, Washington. The mild conditions at the World’s Largest Egg did not prepare us for the heat of Eastern Washington! Fruit tree country is not all spring days, apparently. It was a balmy 99 degrees when we set up the tent and started cooking dinner. One of the unfortunate aspects of planning a trip to parts unknown is not knowing which campsite to pick: ours was in full sun, which did not make anything better! Beautiful views of the river, though. And the river was literally at the end of our campsite so we could go over and dip our feet in when we needed to.
Kiddo1 did lots of feet dipping while Baby2 watched cautiously. She has been very wary of water lately… we think this might be tied to a similar apprehension to uneven surfaces, like rock or grass. She’s better with grass now but when she has to walk off a nice concrete path she’s very trepidatious. But that’s okay with me for now! Especially when we were busy getting the campsite set up.
We had our classic camping dinner – sausages and hot dogs cooked over campfire with s’mores for dessert. It was very yummy after a long first day. We broke lots of our food “rules” by having white bread buns and graham crackers (and store bought marshmallows because I never got around to making my own) but it was yummy nonetheless. Plus we did good for lunch – I had packed wraps with spelt flour tortillas, ham, cheese, and homegrown romaine (little did I know how much I would soon miss my awesome homegrown romaine) with watermelon slices.
The campsite was great… but our sleep was interrupted around 2:30 (and 4:30?) AM by what we think was a warning alarm from the nearby dam. A solid tone sounded for about a second and repeated every few seconds for several minutes. The children slept right through it but Mr. Handsome and I were woken immediately. Luckily we’re on the move for this trip so we only had to get through one night near the dam. Live and learn! It was a beautiful site but we will probably choose to camp away from the dam if we were to return to the area for camping.
The next morning Mr. Handsome and I were a bit weary from the sleep interruption (Baby2 slept great, btw, right through everything) but we were excited to start day 2! Unfortunately the environment had yet another blow for us, as it was about 95 degrees at 8 or 9 in the morning when we were again attempting to cook over heat (scrambled eggs and reheated bacon – always cook your bacon before you go camping! So much easier!). Plus we were trying to break down camp. It was so hot! But, we got it all done and managed to get going to our next destination (although we were a bit more sweaty than we expected).
That’s where I need to stop for now. Tomorrow – day 2!