Summa Times: Arch Cape

Each year since Rob and I got married we’ve made a point to spend a few days at Arch Cape.

My mom’s friend and co-worker owns a house there and rents it out to us for a fabulous rate. The house is located about a 2 minute walk from the beach. The beach itself is never crowded and is sort of a dead end beach, meaning there’s a giant cliff wall that you can go around and explore when the tide is low. It’s perfect. And two years ago when Rob and I and a bunch of friends went there for a few days we named it Beach Club.Mom, me and Max drove down on Saturday afternoon and that evening Cameron, Jared, Brady, Jared’s girlfriend Timothy and her friend Sarah joined us. Rob had to work that night so he came on Sunday.Rob and Katie arrived Sunday afternoon and we all made our way straight to the beach where there was sandcastle building (and destroying on Max’s part) soccer ball tossing and general beach shenanigans. My favorite beach activity that day was to find dead washed up jellyfish and throw them at the boys. I threw one in Cameron’s face so he tackled me.When the tide was low enough we went around the cliff and explored the tide pools. Max was less than thrilled to be pulled away from them. But! He was so tired (NO NAPS ON VACATION MOM!) that when Rob carried him back wrapped up in my moms jacket, he fell asleep! In Rob’s arms! That never happens! You know what else never happens? Getting a decent family photo with a toddler.The children built a beach fire in the fire pit they dug, Max did baby beach yoga and I photographed it all. Then I went inside and watched Independence Day because why not? Also, Jeff Goldblum is a fox.

While I had a good time on this trip, I really felt the whole “vacationing with a baby is not a vacation” thing. Because it’s not. In fact, it’s more work to go on “vacation” than it is to stay home. I love my little Max but he sure doesn’t make traveling easy. I sort of missed our trip last year when he was just 5 months old. I especially missed our trip there just days before I found out I was pregnant two years ago.

I know doing things like traveling with him will get easier with time (right?) but it makes the present really difficult. Someone tell me this is true. It will get better right? All that aside, I really did have a good time. It was really nice to spend time with my little family (and extended family) in such a beautiful location.

Until next year, Beach Club.

Check out previous trips to Beach Club here (2009), here (2010), and here (2011)


Our Astoria Getaway

Last Thursday Rob and I packed up the kid (and the literal ton of things he would need for 3 days), dropped the dogs of with Rob’s folks and headed for the coast, where the temperature was going to be a nice 75 degrees as opposed to the 100+ degree weather Portland was having.

I had been eagerly anticipating this little trip of ours for a while.  Rob and I both needed this, to be alone together and not in our house where there seems to always be something going on.  But I was harboring my fears of being away from the comfort of our own home for Max’s sake.  The one and only other time we’ve traveled overnight with him was last summer, and it didn’t go very well as far as sleep.

I knew he would be fine otherwise, you know throughout the day and all.  But man, was I dreading bedtime.  And thankfully, I worried my silly little head for nothing because he did GREAT!  Our second day there he even took a solid 3 hour nap!  It was a vacation miracle!


Our time spent there consisted of blueberry picking and eating, naps, playing with cars and puzzles, throwing cars and puzzles, antique stores, May Flies, sunglasses, piano playing, corn on the cob, and an impromptu Elvis dance party.Thank you for a truly lovely visit, Christi and Greg!

Summa Times: Cannon Beach

It’s a known tradition that when Katrina visits we will go to the coast.  Both this trip and the last one the weather was beyond perfect.  The only difference between this trip and the last one was that Max loveloveloved it this time.  LOVED.Rob eased him into the sand, and then the water.  The kid was covered head to toe, all over his face and in his hair and mouth, in sand.  And he didn’t fuss once.In fact he assisted Katie in digging a hole (and by assist I mean maniacally laughing while throwing sand back in), because when you go to the beach someone has to dig a hole.And then someone has to get in it.We’ll call this one Beach Club 2012.

Beachy Fun Times!

My very best and favorite Katrina and her Ian were in town for a long weekend (she was bringing him here to convince him to move here).  Boy did they pick the right weekend to come.

Monday morning we packed up the Max into their rental (four adults, not including Rob who had to stay home with the electrician, and a very large carseat don’t fit so comfortably in the old Prius) and headed for the coast.  Max slept most of the way there, which was nice.  We ended up at Oswald West after searching for Short Sands for a while.  None of us had ever been there.  In fact, this was Ian’s first time being further west than Texas.

There’s a trail to take to get to the beach that’s lush and full of the most perfect Pacific Northwest wooded beauty, with a creek running through.  The trail opens up to the white sanded beach, with the creek running into the ocean and a rocky cliff to the left.  The sky was blue and the air was warm.  Perfection.

I plopped Max down in the sand and he was in little boy heaven.Oh, how he loved the sand!  Last time we were at the coast he was 5 or 6 months old, and not too keen on the idea of sand and sea.  This time, I learned that my boy loves the beach.That is until sand gets in places where sand doesn’t belong.  One minute Max was digging his fat little fingers in the sand and babbling along happily, and the next…well he was screaming.

I decided to take him back to the car to change his clothes and wipe the sand off, and man I just couldn’t get there fast enough.  We stopped at the public restroom on the way back to the car and I attempted to wipe him down with the rough paper towels and cold water (seriously, there was only a cold water faucet).  As you can imagine that didn’t go very well, so it was back to the car and fast.  Luckily I had Joy put an apple juice box in her purse to take down there and that occupied him.Once we were at the car I started wiping him down with wipes and quickly realized that that wasn’t going to work.  I stripped him down and Katrina gave him a bottled water in the parking lot bath.  It was at this moment that I was mentally kicking myself for not bringing a towel.  WHO DOESN’T BRING A TOWEL TO THE CAOST?  Me, that’s who.  I dried him off with my sweater.  Ugh.  I felt so bad.  He was fine once he was in a clean diaper and clean clothes.

After that little adventure we made our way to Cannon where we grabbed some lunch and showed Ian the great little town that is Cannon.We had pizza for lunch, which Max loooves.  He’s a boy after my own heart.  I swear I could eat pizza every single day for the rest of my life and be perfectly fine with it.  Anyhoo, while Max was sitting on my lap enjoying pizza, Joy noticed something on my pants.  I looked down.  I checked Max’s butt.  We had a problem.  It’s a good thing I packed two extra outfits.

After Max’s second costume change we made our way down to the beach.  I refused to put Max in the sand this time because I had no more clean clothes for him.  We didn’t spend a lot of time there because Max was getting fussy, but it was definitely worth the quick trip down.Bringing Ian to the coast was definitely the right Idea.  He was stunned.  I think it swayed him a lot more in the direction of moving here.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to live here?

Weekend Fun

It’s July, which means it’s finally summer time here in Oregon.

This last Saturday we packed up the kid and headed to the coast.  We met Rob’s parents their friend Ellen and Rob’s Aunt Christi and her husband Greg in Seaside for lunch.  After lunch we checked out an antique store and book store before heading to Del Ray Beach.  I had never been to this beach before and I’m not sure I’d go there again.  As we approached the beach Greg, who we were following, drove past the parking lot, right onto the beach.  There were tons of cars parked on the beach.  Something about that seemed so wrong.  Once we got there, I wanted to get Max out of the car and dip his tiny feet in the ocean.

He had napped a little bit in the car, so he was already a little pissy.  This just threw him over the edge.

I don’t blame him for being upset.  The water was pretty damn cold, and if someone had made me put my feet in it against my will, I’d be pissed off too.  But it was all worth it for the photos.

Aren’t we just the cutest?

Christi and Greg

After our 10 minutes spent on the beach we hopped back in the cars and made our way to Astoria where Christi and Greg live on their super cool houseboat.  We spent the afternoon lounging on the deck basking in the sun.  It was perfect.  Max and Grandpa Joe

We drove home that evening with an extremely fussy baby.  We took highway 30, a way we hadn’t taken before and it was gorgeous.  If I wasn’t the one driving I would’ve been snapping photos from the passenger seat.

Sunday we spent the day cleaning our backyard with a little help (ok a lot of help) from my good friend, Joy.  She went to town weeding our incredibly neglected garden.  (Thanks Joy!)  We also picked a  bunch of strawberries that had ripened.  We planted them last year and they’ve taken over the garden this year.

I used those strawberries to make a strawberry cake for our 4th of July barbeque (It was pretty damn good.  Katrina you missed out!).  Last year we hosted a barbeque and did so again this year.  Our friend Tony smoked some ribs and they were deeee-licious.  We had a ton of food including multiple homemade pies, Rob’s deviled eggs, my strawberry cake and baked mac n cheese.  And of course we had the great company of our friends.

Finally found a carrier Max can handle being in.

Our old buddy/roommate, Milo and his lady Amy were in town and spent the evening with us.

We had such a good time.  Once everyone left and the neighbors started up with their fireworks Rob and I were so afraid of Max getting woken up.  Luckily he didn’t.  But with worrying about that, I realized just how different my life is now.  I was showered and in my pajamas by 10:00, while the young couple across the street were hosting a party complete with fireworks.  I felt old, but not in a sad feel sorry for me way.  Just in a, I’m not a kid anymore way.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend.