The Seattle Area

We have marked the half way point of our trip and Happy and Sad emotions arise.  On one hand, Joe and I have already started planning our “We’re Back!” party and Loralai’s birthday party and we are so excited about Loralai starting school, and even getting back to work and seeing our parents, and being back in our house and still very excited about the parts of our trip to come too!  On the other hand, we’ve come to really like all the time together and seeing new places each week.  Every time we come to a new place, L says “Is this where we live?”  We have definitely caught the traveling bug!  The world seems a little smaller now, less intimidating, less far apart.  New possibilities are possible.  One thing is certain, we will come home changed and will have many more adventures in our lifetimes.

Our 2 weeks in “The Seattle Area” was an experience.  It was really 3 trips in one.
1. We spent the first week at Dash Point State Park in Federal Way, about 45mins to an hour from Seattle.  I was bummed to be so far from the city, but it was the closest we could find at the time.  State parks are nice since they are treed and the kids have a little room to run around and not be in the street. 
This was a stage at the ampitheater near our site.  L and Bean (mostly L) put on lots of shows for us!
Our week here was packed with events, since it was both Joe’s and I’s Birthdays!  So we spent a lot of time eating out, and shopping for birthday goodies (went to the mall and Walmart), etc.  On my actual birthday, I took the girls into Seattle and did a Duck Tour of the city where they drive you around the city and then drive into Union Lake.  It was the perfect thing to do.  Loralai got such a kick out of the driver wearing different silly hats as we went along and we got to see a lot of the city.  Bean liked the duck song and sat nicely on our bench looking around until she fell asleep.  However, after having to park our monster truck in a garage that was only 6” taller than it, and walking all around the city with a phone that was practically dead, finding quick emergency bathrooms in a strange town, and doing the tour, Mama was done and headed back in traffic to home base.  My husband had sweetly cleaned the RV (Best present you can give a woman!) and we went to Olive Garden for dinner (I was craving something FAMILIAR and was just tired at this point of “trying” things out).  Olive Garden was a good call. 
We had some fun “girl time”, playing dress up.
For Daddy’s birthday, we were all super sweet to him, made him cards, bought him a cake (cause mama don’t bake), and took him out to Denny’s since all wanted was a bacon filled waffle.  Weirdo.  And with that, our 1 day a year of being the same age came to an end. 
We also visited some local parks and the park’s Nature Center.  There was a young ranger that worked there and he talked to Loralai a lot and did a short craft with her.  She asked me if we could “go back to where that boy was” about a million times.  I think she liked him.
Our last day at Dash Point was our best!  Loralai talked me into exploring a hiking trail on a whim with Bean.  So in our flip flops, we started down the trail.  I did have some water and a few snacks with me, thank goodness.  The hike was beautiful and ran along side a stream and had lots of cool bridges.  Bean insisted on walking a lot of it, so it was slow going, but gave Loralai more time to touch the water and pick Salmon berries to eat as we went along.  Then all of the sudden, we came out on the beach!  Great beach, great sunny Friday, equaled TONS of kids and families playing!  Loralai found friends to play with in no time and luckily they had toys to play with!
Our time at the beach was short lived, since we were headed to Mt Rainier National Park as soon as Joe got off work at 2pm.  I was not very equipped or excited to climb back UP the trail to our RV, but made it somehow with two wet, hungry kids.  And off we went to arrive just outside Mt Rainier NP less than 2 hours later at the best RV park we have stayed in yet, Mounthaven!  $38 a night, but totally worth it (especially if you count the 5 magazines I accidently took with us when we left)!
You can never have too many sleeping baby photos!
2. Mt Rainer is amazing and a great national park as far as national parks go!  Most of the park is the glacier covered mountain and there are 5 major “villages” on it’s outskirts, most on the south end.  Our place was just 5 minutes from the entrance gate on the SW side.  As soon as we were parked, we got in the car and drove to see some of the park.  Waterfalls were everywhere it seemed, even more than we saw in Yosemite! 
Mt Rainer
The snow at Paradise.
Frozen Lake

She wanted to slide down this hill in her dress.
Valley of the Giants



The only village where there was snow, was Paradise at higher elevation.  The other areas were pretty warm.
Ranger Loralai
Saturday was our main day there, and we did 2 hikes, and visited all 3 main “villages” on the south end.  We stopped for lunch at Paradise and listened to a ranger talk and saw the film on the park.  We also toured a tiny museum and all the visitors centers.  Lots of driving and looking a the beautiful scenery.  We stayed in the park as late as we could and returned home to make dinner, do laundry, etc.  Sunday we just popped into the park long enough to visit the gift store and get L’s Jr Range badge and then headed to Bellvue, WA just 25 mins from downtown Seattle (Yay!) to stay at Trailer Inn RV Park (TIGHT!!!  Very small spaces and a little over budget), the ONLY park anywhere near the city, or so we thought at the time.  We later found out there was another one just across the freeway that was a lot more spread out (Vassa Resort and Waterpark). 
3. Living so close in a parking lot was not the ideal place to let the kids run free, but they had an indoor pool and playground there and WE MADE FRIENDS!!!!
Making not just 20 minute friends, but actualy real (3 day) friends was by far the coolest thing that happened to us while in Seattle.  One of the negatives of traveling like we are, is that it can get a little lonely at times.  Sometimes you need to talk to someone that ISN’T your dad or wife, or sister!  It was really nice to connect with other, equally awewome people face to face for a few days!  So how did we meet these brave full-time RVers?  L, being the awesome kid she is, is always on the look out to meet new friends.  One afternoon after being at the zoo all day, she asked if she could go outside and within seconds had met some kids that live at the park.  We ended up eating our dinner outside that night, so we could watch her play.  Bean joined in shortly after.  They had a great time and we did the same thing for the remaining 2 nights we were there.
The Friend Bait.  Works like a charm!

These girls are so sweet!
WE MISS YOU Neeley, Emily, and Brooklyn!!!!!
They stayed for dinner (shrimp tacos)!

This lady was out hula hooping everyday at our place.  This day must have been a little chilly…she usually just wore shorts and a matching sports bra.  I hope to be as comitted to exercise as her one day!


We were pretty lazy in Seattle and did a lot of just hanging out in the RV (It rains there alot, don’t you know), but we did manage to get out and see a few things!

Happy Father’s Day!  Walking back from his Outback dinner.



Freemont Troll Under the Bridge…of behind which you will find several homeless people sleeping.



The Gum Wall (My only regrete, we had no gum to add!)

ZOO!!!

Some of us were not so happy to feed the garaffe.

Great zoo!  Very educational.  $17 adults, $9 kids 3-12, and $6 to park.

Pikes Place….EXPENSIVE…but very cool to visit



Coffee?  You bet your ass!



I also managed to find a teacher store while we where here, so our RV now looks like a classroom.  :)

Pictures, coutesy of Loralai (who is quite the photographer by the way).



We also have an alphabet strip over the seating area.

Things we would like to have done and the reasons we didn’t.
1. See the view from the Space Needle.  It cost nearly $20 per adult, $12 kids.
2. Done the Underground Tour of the city.  RAIN!!!
3. San Juan Islands.  1.5 hour to get to ferry, 2+ hour ferry ride.  Don’t know my way around.  Alone.
4. Cananda.  No Passports yet!
5. Date.  Too overwhelmed to find drop in daycare and we had peeps to hang with instead!
Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed by such a large metropolitain area.  I could have spent more of our time at their award winning science center or children’s museum, but then I thought, Houston’s is just as good and I know where I can park there! 
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Our Twilight Time

Eeeeek…..I was in FORKS, WA, the home of Edward and Bella and Jake!!! 
Forks is quite possibly the smallest town I have ever stayed in, with just over 3000 people living there.  However, according to the Twilight tour I went on, (oh you know I did!) they get over 18,000 visitors a year all due to Twilight!  And still, the town is “small town” with only one stop light.  We stayed in Forks for 4 nights at Forks 101 RV Park. 
On our drive in from Astoria, we stopped at The Hoh Rainforest entrance to Olympic NP and did a short  mile hike.  It was amazing getting to hike in the ONLY rainforest in the US!
Hi Daddy!
We checked out a Little Explorer backpack that  had guide books, and bonoculers, etc  in it.  L  carried it and had fun using the tools.  There was also a game about the Life Cycle that Joe played with her later.
Here are some of our discoveries we made on our hike in the rainforest.
HUGE SLUGS EVERYWHERE!!!  We liked gently poking them with sticks.
HUGE Clovers.
Nurse Logs.  It was beautiful to see all the “new” trees were growing from the fallen  tress.  L kept pointing to the dead trees and saying, “Look, that one is doing a good job!”
Cute little noisy birds.
Waterfalls.
We also found fish bones and a dead snow mole.  Joe found the mole and it was awesome!  (no pic)
Once settled in Forks, we set out in search of dinner and arrived at Golden Gate Chineese.  Great reviews, but like most of our restaurant adventures, it wasn’t that good, fried and blah.  We have given up on finding good places to eat, especially in small towns. 
There’s not much in the way of night life, besides a bowling alley that stays open until “10pm ish”, so we headed home after dinner.  Besides, L was in a mood.
Chores are always needing to be done, so we took a day to get some laundry done and do some grocery shopping.  Oh My God…..the groceries were more expensive then I have seen anywhere!  …..In FORKS!  For example, Folgers Coffee (big one) on sale at $12 regularly $14, Bacon (small off brand) $6, lemon $1 each, coffee creamer (big one) $6!!!  I had to make some hard choices selecting items, and we ended up eating spaghetti, and lamb of all things.  Lamb was cheapish ($8 lb)!  Besides the prices, I did enjoy shopping by myself, while Joe watched the kids at the RV.  I don’t get much time to myself now a days.  I may have pretended to be Bella while I walked a few of the isles. 
The girls, especially Bean, are obsessed with playing babies this week!
Here they are combining playing Babies with Go To Sleep.

Our last day in Forks, we really packed it in!  We all drove an hour away up the coast to the North Pacific’s “Whale Tail” to see the Makah Reservation’s award winning museum.  The entrance fee was $5 for each adult, kids free.  This tribe were whale hunters.  They did not allow any photography in the museum, but it was one of the best we’ve ever seen, complete with a longhouse built inside that was built with the same tools the tribe used hundreds of years ago.  We took a moment inside the house to talk to Loralai about what it would be like to live in a house with 4 or 5 other families.  We asked her, “What if Mable’s family lived right over there at that fire ring?”.  She said she would like that a lot!  We also asked her to lay down on some of the benches with a grass mat for a pillow and tell us what it was like to sleep there.  “Not very comfy”, she said.  We all wished we could stay longer, but we had to rush back, so I could go on my TWILIGHT TOUR!!!!  The drive along the coast, back to “town” was pretty, but very windy, so I drove.  We all got our first view of Canada across the river on this drive and were inspired to get our passports!

Joe dropped me off at the Twilight store in town and headed to the bowling alley with the girls, while I waited for the tour bus.
The gang was all there!
Look what I found while at The Cullen’s house!  Taken through the window of the porch, since we were technically allowed inside.
Tour Positives
1.       It great to be with other dorky Twi-fans like myself!
2.       It was cool to learn about the town and be toured around.
3.       It was cool to see First Beach.
4.       It was cool to take pictures with Twilight stuff. 
Bella wasn’t home.
Tour Negatives
1.       I was alone, so I was asked to squeeze into an inside back seat, next to a lady that had a bum leg and every time I got out, which was at EVERY spot of course, she had to struggle to stand up and let me out.
2.       I was alone, so I had to keep asking other people to take pictures of me.  Everyone was very nice and happy to do so.
3.       The bus smelled like smoke.
4.       The guide was funny and had a lot of info, but he just seemed tired and done with this stuff.
5.       Not one second of the movie was actually filmed in Forks, WA.  And I’m not sure how the places we stopped were chosen as THE places in the Twilight books?  I have actually emailed this question to the tour guides.  No response yet.
La Push Baby!  La Push!
Also known as First Beach and gorgeous with eagles flying all around and seals and sea lions swimming in the water and tons of driftwood!
Overall, for $40, I’m glad I did it!  It was fun and THE thing to do in Forks!
Joe picked me up 2.5 hours later and said that the girls had had a great time bowling!  Bean actually just sat and watched L and Joe bowl for a long time.  They ate tater tots and talked to the owner, who was the only person working there at the time.
The next day, we packed up and drove the hour to Port Angeles, WA. 
At the beginning of our trip, we were on it when it came to making RV reservations and researching the next area we would be in, but we (I) have really slaked off on that as the trip continues!  It’s so tedious to research night after night, making sure the RV park is available, and in budget, and has good enough Internet for Joe to work, etc.  All of this often done, just to find out that the internet is not so good after all when we arrive.  So being the slackers we were this week, we headed to Port A with no idea of where we would stay.  We drove through the town of 18,000 people, and didn’t see anything that would work, so we stopped at McDonalds’ and found a place with their free Wi-Fi while the kids played; Elawa Dam RV Park.  It was a really nice place and just a little over budget at $32 a night.
Elawa RV Park
Picnic lunch on a sunny day!

“All done.”

In Port Angeles, it became even more clear that we needed our passports, being only an 18 minute ferry ride from Victoria Canada!  So, I started the journey of trying to find out what all getting our passports entailed.  Thank you to all of you who helped us via Facebook.  By day 2, Joe and I were at the court house handing over our birth certificates and putting in a rush order.  For those of you wondering how much is costs now a days to get your passport book as I did, it’s $135, plus the court fee of $25, plus $60 if you want to rush order.  Yikes!  Hopefully we will have them before we get too far away from Canada! 

More slugs!  This one we found around our RV and it had spots!

Also while in Port A for 4 days, I took L on a hike to see the dam removal that was just completed while Joe and Bean took a nap.  It’s a big deal for Olympic NP (and all of us) since it will hopefully increase Salmon spawning and increase fish populations, thereby increasing wildlife populations, there by…..  Ah, the web of life.  We are all connected.

We ate at a Vietnamese restaurant one night and Juliet made friends with the owner’s grandson.

Just about every day in Port Angeles, we went to The Olympic NP Ranger Station there.  It had a little museum with info on Native Americans that lived there once, the topography of the park, and the animals.  Most importantly to us, there was an Explorer Room for kids to learn hands-on with puppets and puzzles, computer games, and activities!  We complete some of L’s ranger packet here, and got her badge for Olympic.  The ranger who gave it to her was very nice and also very impressed with all the badges L had gotten so far!

Guess who’s the ranger in charge?
Hug the Kitty.

Badge #….I’ve lost count.  :)

Another day we went to story time at the library and of course made some friends!

Story Time Theme was Dinosaurs.
Reading in the library playhouse with a friend.
When Joe got off work one day, we drove up to Hurricane Ridge in the NP.  The drive was beautiful!  L and I got out at the ranger station there, mostly to use the bathrooms (and get my stamp).  It was snowing!  We stopped a little further down so L could play in the snow with her Daddy and do a little hike.  On the way back, we saw a black bear and her newborn cub in the grass along the side of the road.  I FINALLY SAW A BEAR!!!  Still, I think L was the most excited of all of us.  She has just told us that “Bears do not exist.”
The View
See Canada?  It’s there.
She threw a snow ball right in Daddy’s jacket pocket.

THE BEAR

On another afternoon we went on a hike to Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent.  It was a beautiful hike and we took the Explorer Pack with us.

On our last day, we visited Sol Duc hot springs, which is another entrance into Olympic NP.  We did a short little hike, before going into the springs.  $12 adults and $9 kids 3-12.  A little pricey if you ask me for what you get!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we did it and we all had a good time and even met some friends (a couple with 3 girls), but it could have been better.  It was a chilly day and the place was crowded.  Since there are only 3 warm pools, all of them small, sit-down pools, and only 1 that’s cool enough for Bean to swim in, and one of them is always closed for cleaning, we spent the first 20 minutes sitting on a bench, waiting for the “wading pool” to open back up.  Loralai had fun in one of the other hot pools with Joe and I switching off to be with her.  Once the wading pool opened, we all got in the 6 inches of water and had a good time, with L and I running over to the huge “Cold Pool” every 10 minutes or so to jump in the cold water and run back to the warm pool.  After a few trips, the cold water didn’t seem so cold to us and we just stayed in and swam around, having races, and Loralai got a kick out of being able to pick me up while in the water.  I showed her this, after remembering how much I loved to pick up my own mom under water as a kid.  Good lesson in buoyancy and changing weight as well!  So, it was fun, but crowded and cold and expensive.  Something that everyone should do at least once though if you are in the area! (Forgot to take pics)

Other than this, we spent some time playing at the RV parks playground and driving around town.  It was a cute town.  Best of all, I found gas for UNDER $4 a gallon.  And for that alone, WE LOVE Washington!  It did not offer much for Twilight fans that I could find.  There was an Italian restaurant, Bella Itialiana, but it was not the kind of place you take kids, especially our kids, and it was opened after the books and movie came out.  As for the bookstore in the movie, it doesn’t really exist in Port A.  It rained almost every day, but not ALL day.
Remeber this guy (Bigfoot)?

Sunday we packed up and drove the 2.5 hours to “The Seattle Area”.  Seattle is a big freaking city y’all!  Trying to see Seattle in a few days is like trying to see The Entire Houston Area in a few days!  But more on that to come…

Driving into Seattle…area

Our address between June 18-22nd.  Let us know if you plan to send something.

15531 Southeast 37th St
Bellevue, WA 98006
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Oregon Coast

We have spent 2 weeks on the coast, half in Newport and the other in Astoria.  It’s been really fun to share the coast with the kids!  Living in Austin, they have only seen the ocean one other time when we visited family in Rockport.  Loralai learned SO MUCH ocean vocabulary in the short time we were there!  And a HUGE bonus is Oregon State Parks (of which there are so many!!!) have a Jr. Ranger program!!!!  It’s supposed to be for 6 year olds and up, but that’s just a minor detail.  I told the volunteer she was 5 and talked her into giving us our materials.  Wahoo!  We have one badge, a pencil, and a decal so far! 
Newport is a small, working town port.  We tried to eat some local fare a couple of times, hoping to find some good seafood, but could only find FRIED, FRIED, FRIED food, so we gave up and ate at the RV a bunch.  We discovered Red Box while in Newport as well which kept us busy many evenings as it rained most.  Here are my ratings on the movies watched… 1. The Vow-Liked it a lot and would watch it again, although it’s no Notebook.   2. Drive- Worst movie ever seen in my life!!!  I will argue this point passionately for years to come with anyone who disagrees.  3. Moneyball- Okay.  4. Alvin and the Chipmunks- Loralai liked it a lot.  5. One For the Money- Bad. 6. We Bought a Zoo- Bad.
When it wasn’t raining (too bad) we made a fire and played outside.
At our first arrival in Newport, we set up the RV as quickly as possible and hurried to take the trail just a few feet from our camping spot at South Beach State Park that read “1/2 Mile to Beach”.  We were all so psyched to see the ocean!  The sign should have actually read, “Way More Then ½ Mile to Beach Through Mosquito Infested Forest”.  We moved quickly to out pace the bird-sized mosquitoes and arrived at the beach!!!!  Loralai and I immediately ran to the waves to get our feet wet, and for Loralai her legs and arms wet as well.  We all walked along the shore and to a nearby jetty.  As luck would have it, it was low tide and we saw starfish, sea anemone, mussels, and lots of other sea creatures in the rocks of the jetty.  So cool!
Later we would return to the beach and look for low points in the sand to dig up clams (never found any), crabs, and other yet to be identified crayfish like things.  We loved this!
Look what my Big Girl did!
We also visited the beach one windy day to play in the sand.  We didn’t last too long as it was especially cold and L fell in the water while wading around and we had to leave with it being 50 degrees.
Here are some of the other things we did in Newport, OR.
Marine Center- FREE!  And awesome for little kids and adults!  They had lots of tanks to view sea animals, and a touch pool and lots of marine history.  We were sure to go at feeding time and got to see them feed all the touch pool creatures and the Giant Octopus, Pearl.  She got fed 2 fish, 1 squid, and a clam.  Giant Octopuses lived just 3 years.  And there you have all of our new found Octopus knowledge.  Thank you Marine Center!  Highly recommended!
The Touch Pool.
They even have a touch pool for the vertically challenged!
Watching Pearl get fed.  And yes, we’re not happy for some reason at the moment.
Lighthouses- There are lots of them along the Oregon coast and have so much history to them!  We actually enjoyed walking through these and thinking about what it would be like to live in and run a light house.
Kitchen in a live in lighthouse used in 1874.
Super windy at this lighthouse!  How y’all lik’in Joe’s hair?

Devil’s Punchbowl
Cool to see, but this is IT and there’s really no good lookout point to even see it.

One day I tried to take the girls to see some tide pools at low tide, but while walking down to the pools, L tripped.  Face down on the cement.  I carried her (and Bean) back to the car for some doctoring.

And juice.
She did a good job of scraping her knees up.
While I took care of L, Bean kept busy eating croutons.

It wasn’t long before all was well, but L said “No Tide Pools, Mom.”

Newport Aquarium- Barely worth it and really expensive ($18 adult, $12 kids 3-12).  They had some nice tanks inside for the kids to view different sea life.  Outside they had an octopus tank (lame, octopuses like to hide you know and you couldn’t see anything), a sea lion and seal tank (pretty cool to see them swim around), an aviary of sea birds (cool cause it was mating season and the birds were doing some pretty fancy swimming and fluffing around, but small), and a sea otter tank with 4 otters.  The otter tank was the most interesting with one otter that hung out right by the viewing area and would clean himself and swim around.  We also got to see them get fed.  It kept us busy for a couple of hours.  I will say they were opening a new wing the following weekend called “The Sea and Me” that is an interactive section for kids that may make the high fee worth it?

Bare with me.  I got my money’s worth in pictures!
They had 3 of these tunnels to walk through.
Sea Lion and Seal Tank
At one point L got too close and he bit the glass.
Taken in the tunnels.
All of the Oregon Parks have a recycling program, so Loralai also learned lots about recycling as part of her Jr Ranger work while here.


For his last meal in Newport, I got Joe this Super Burger!  He was so adorably happy!
On our way to our next place on the coast, we stopped at Tillamook Cheese Factory on a stranger’s (with kids) recommendation.
It was good stop.  We learned a little about what it takes to make cheese and got some ice cream!  If IKea sold dairy products, it would be just like this place!
We also visited Astoria for a week.  This is where GOONIES was filmed!!!!  Ahhhh…..says a die-hard fan.   It was also where Kindergarten Cop and several other movies were filmed.  (Eat your heart out Maggie!)
My only regret is that I didn’t watch the movie while I was there.  It was surprisingly hard to find!
Astoria was a town of about 10,000 people on the most NW tip of Oregon, with the Pacific Ocean to the West and the Columbia River to the North.  It was nice to be in a slightly larger town then Newport.  We stayed at Fort Stevens State Park.  We arrived on Memorial weekend, which meant this city of a campground was PACKED!!!  Sometimes there were so many camp fires burning at the same time that it was hard to breath!  But it only lasted the weekend.  Come Monday, 3/4 of the park cleared out and it was like we had it to ourselves.
Driving  the Army jeep at Fort Stevens

Probably the best thing we did while in Astoria was to get clip on child seats for both of our bikes.  Fort Stevens, where we were staying, has miles of paved trails for biking and Loralai peddling up hill with training wheels and dress on, wasn’t getting us very far!  So Joe squeezed the $$$ out of me for the seats, and we had so much fun peddling the girls around to go to the beach, see a shipwreck, go to movies in the park, the ranger station, and visit the fresh water lake.  Bean was a champ on the bike, but Loralai especially loved it! 

At one point Joe stayed with the girls on the bikes while I walked up a grassy sand dune to see the beach and 3 deer walked across my path, just 5 feet in front of me. 
Ship Wreck, Peter Iredale, over 100 years ago.

Besides hangout at Fort Stevens, we also did the following while in Goonie Land…

Visited Haystack Rock with the girls where The Goonies car chase scene was filmed.  We went at low tide so we could see the tide pools as well.  Still didn’t compare to the stuff we accidentally saw at the jetty our first day in Newport, but cool.  The thing about parking along the beach here, is that you don’t get to actually park ON the beach and you can’t even see the beach behind the dunes, so due to these  things, I under shot where Haystack Rock was on the beach by at least a mile.  But after parking, unloading two kids, and walking UP a hill and the dunes to find this out, I took walking 2+ miles round-trip while carrying a 20lb baby and bribing a tired and needing to pee 4 year old to keep following me, QUICKLY, was the lessor of two evils.  The walk there was relatively easy, Bean only demanding to be put down so she could play in the sand once every 4 minutes and Loralai staying mostly on dry land.  We had fun walking in the tide pools around Haystack Rock.  As for the return, it took twice as long, but we got to the truck eventually.
Starfish!

Haystack Rock
We also found out to our surprise, that a tiny National Park exists near Astoria, The Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.  Score!  So we visited and learned a lot.  Oh, and got a Jr badge, and patch!  Sacagawea is my new hero!  When she started the 2.5 year journey, she had a 2 month old with her!
This is a replica of the fort Lewis and Clark built for their 3.5 month stay near Astoria.
Joe standing near one of the rooms fire place.
Loralai was pretending to be a “Mother” during the 1800’s and was a great hostess to us, offering us water and salmon to eat.
I also took the girls to play at Port-o-Play, an indoor play space one day.  It was inside the gym of an old elementary school.  While there, I looked into their drop-in childcare and signed the girls up for the following day.  Date!
On our night off, I got my nails done at A-Nails (Not great, but they probably won’t cut you.) and rushed back to the RV to pick up Joe.  We went to a fancy restaurant and just ordered appetizers.  Okay.  And filmed some movie scenes at The Movie Museum that’s inside the old town jail.  It was fun!  And we won the “Name That Movie” game.  Prize?…two plastic gold coins.  Score!  Then we rushed to pick up our girls who had done great!  Even my little Bean, who took an hour nap during her 4.5 hours there.
We also road the historic trolley up and down the river walk.  It was neat to learn more about the city while ridding for only $4, see sea lions, and best of all, we met some friends with a 7 year old girl wearing a sparkly purple dress!  I offered them some gum, and they offered for us to go eat with them at The Wet Dog after the trolley ride.  Awesome, Locals!  We accepted and enjoyed some oyster shooters and Joe had “the BEST beer of this LIFE”.  The girls played and ran around the table.  They walked us to our truck and we said our Good-byes.  It was so cool to meet people who would just invite us to hang out with them!  See, these people DO exist!  And it inspires me to be that person who I want to be, but sometimes am not, cause I’m told it’s so weird and I don’t want anyone to think I’m a psycho.  So if I’m hanging out with you in Austin, and we encounter some out-of-towners, don’t be surprised if I invite them to join us, especially if they have pink hair!  It really was cool.  Be kind people!  Be open!  Be friendly!
They got to ring the bell!
Loralai and Onyx
Coast
Misty, Rainy
Exploring, Playing, Wading
Taste the Salty Air
Oregon
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