Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Day 3: Olympic National Park part 1

one thing that was really weird about Olympic was that first of all, the park was HUGE!!  but there were no roads that went all the way through it.  so you would have to drive around it and go in on a road, then back out, around a little more to the next road, and then back in to see what was on that one . . we've never been to a park quite like it!  I think you would have to be a backcountry hiker to see most of it, but what we were able to see from the highways was really pretty!
 the road that went up to the hurricane ridge visitors center was about 15 miles.  it was twisty and turny and climbed over 5,000 feet!  it was crazy to start at sea level when we left our hotel to the tops of the mountain peaks when we got to the end.  it felt like we were at the top of the world!
 there was a picnic area at the visitors center towards the end of the drive so we hopped out and had a picnic before we headed to our next destination.  it was a beautiful area!
 can't you just tell by looking at that bird that he is just going to be a naughty little sh**!?  he's just got that look about him . . . or maybe it's just because I found out firsthand how naughty he was!
 we were sitting at our picnic table, and all of a sudden he swooped out of the tree and grabbed someone's pb&j and knocked it onto the ground.  I picked it up  and shook it at him as I cussed him out, and all of a sudden he came flying at me from out of his tree and ripped it out of my hand!  it scared the crap out of me!  needless to say, I dropped it on the ground, but I told aiden that i'd try it again to see if we could get a picture.  and sure enough!  I waved it in the air at him and he flew right back to me and started eating it out of my hand!  he grabbed onto my arm with his sharp little claws and started ripping chunks out of the sandwich and eating them, it was crazy!  we were all laughing so hard!  of all the critters we've seen, these were by far the  most aggressive, it was unbelievable!  
 one of them even flew by and knocked over one of the kids' apple juices and started drinking up the puddle of apple juice off the table!  dang crazy critters anyway!
 it was such a fun drive and beautiful area!  after our picnic, we drove back out and decided to go to the northern part of the park to a lake called crescent lake.  there were a couple hikes near there that I thought we could go on with all the kids without killing everyone off.
the first one was called Madison falls and was on a paved trail that was less than a half mile roundtrip.  it was perfect for our first hike, and the waterfall was so pretty!
 the second hike would prove to be quite a bit more challenging, mostly because the lying sign said it was 1.5 miles and it was over 2!  it was pretty steep towards the end and the kids were getting tired.  not to mention we got a stomach bug that got passed through pretty much the whole fam during the vacay, and on that particular day neither trav or aiden were feeling super great!  it was probably a good thing that the sign lied though, because if we knew it would be that much longer, we might not have gone on it!  which would have been sad because it was a really neat hike!
everything was so green, it was like a rainforest! it was so pretty!
some of the trees were so huge!  we figured some had to have been some kind of redwoods, even though they weren't quite as huge as the ones in redwood national park!  they were still gigantic!
I thought this area was so pretty!  about halfway up, there was this bridge over the creek where the kids could run around and play, they loved throwing rocks in the water!
the waterfall was so pretty!  and definitely worth the climb even though the hike was a bit longer than we thought!
these were the bridges that we crossed, there were two of them and they were super cute!  the kids loved them!  the one at the top made me a little nervous though because the creek was really far down and I was so scared that colty was going to fall off it or something!  being a mom is so hard sometimes, you always picture the worst things happening!
the best part about this picture is that I totally didn't tell them to do this!  they really do just love each other, Lol!!;)
after our hikes, we drove back to port angeles and still had some time before we would have to head back to our hotel.  we decided to get some dessert and go find a beach to sit on and play in the sand, but that proved much harder than anticipated!  we did find an area that was near the beach, but the shore was rocky and had some pretty sheer cliffs, but we did find some picnic benches with sand around so it was good enough I guess!  the kids actually had a lot of fun and it was a really pretty area!  we even found a few blackberry and raspberry bushes and picked a few berries to eat, it was so fun!
I loved these views of the beaches, I  just couldn't get over how diverse the scenery was, and it was all so pretty!  these purple flowers were everywhere, I loved them!
we also had our first EAGLE sighting on this drive!  I had no idea there were so many eagles in Washington, we saw a lot of them but it never got old . . . I seriously love eagles so much, I just think they're so cool!  I couldn't believe I was watching an eagle fly over the ocean . . . so awesome!
and that was it for our first day in Olympic!  we'd head over to the other side of the park the next day and stay in forks, and then make our way down the coast from there.  our adventure was just beginning, there was still so much to see!

Oregon coast 2017: Day 1 & 2

I can't even believe how excited we have been for this trip to Washington and Oregon!  we've been so excited it's not even funny, it feels like we haven't been able to do anything FOREVER!!  and it's just not like us to be cooped up!  we live for road trips and camping and getaways, and we just haven't been able to go hardly anywhere or do hardly anything since we moved home to Idaho.  when we decided to send me back to work full time, we knew that's how it would be, and we were ok with that because trav wouldn't have any days off for awhile anyway, so we just decided that we'd dig in our heels and work our butts off for awhile.  but let me just say that knowing it had to happen sure didn't make it any easier, Lol!  we've been DYING to get out and go on an adventure for months, and we knew that this one would be EPIC!!!  mostly because i'm pretty sure this is the longest vacation we've ever taken other than going to Denmark and Hawaii once.  we set aside a whole week and planned it all out (and by we I mean me . . . ;)  although I have to give trav some credit, he was really looking forward to it and helped plan some of it too which was fun.  we made a good team, and when it was all said and done, there really wasn't much we would have changed.  the kids had a blast and we saw so many cool things, it was a much needed and much anticipated getaway that we all enjoyed so much!
our plan was to leave on a sunday night after I got off work, but it ended up that we didn't have very many patients that weekend, so the house supervisor just told me she'd take me off the schedule that day so we were able to leave sunday morning instead!  it was like getting a whole extra day which was so fun because trav had some big plans for us and a special surprise for the kiddos . . . 
I went shopping and got them a whole bunch of fun road trip things to keep them busy because it was going to be a 14 hour drive up to Olympic national park which was where our adventure was set to begin . . . and I didn't want a car full of bored children on a 14 hour car ride, no thank you!  they were all so excited to go and had so much fun, they really did great with the long drive! . . and they look pretty entertained if you ask me!
we got this hilarious dog for colty for his birthday and gave it to him as we were leaving.  it's name was feisty and it was this funny little dog that usually has the dopiest look on it's face and then you squeeze the back of its head and it turns into a teeth baring, snarling demon dog . . . probably one of the weirdest toys I've ever seen, but I knew he would love it.  and he did, he laughed so hard at it, and so did we, it was hysterical! 
we didn't know how far we would make it on sunday, especially since we thought we would be leaving pretty late, so I didn't reserve us a hotel anywhere for that first night.  we thought we'd probably only make it to boise or something like that, but because we got such an early start, we made it all the way to Yakima, which would mean that we would be able to get to seattle pretty early the next morning and we'd be able to spend some time there before heading towards Olympic.  it ended up being so fun and we spent quite a bit of time there before trav surprised the kids with his plans to drive the van onto a ferry boat and ride it over to Bremerton.  what a fun surprise, they loved it and we'd never done anything like that before!
  but first, we had some fun things in seattle to see!  we thought they'd like the Fremont troll so we hauled them over to it first
 then of course we had to head over to pikes place!  It's so crazy but I love it there!  you can't go to seattle and not go to pikes place, can you?!
 next, we went over to the gum wall and colty was so disgusted that he couldn't stop staring at it even long enough to take a picture . . . Lol!!!  the look on his face was priceless, he didn't know what to think about that!
and this ad of the missing 8 1/2 year old burrito unicorn named Pablo made us laugh our butts off so I had to get a pic . . . so funny!
you also can't go to seattle and not walk along the boardwalk if you ask me!   trav was loving it because he was so familiar with all the places there from when he'd go on his business trips with emc, he'd been to a lot of the restaurants and stores and it was so fun to go back again!  we spoiled the kids with the most expensive ice cream I think we've ever bought (it was like, $35 for everyone to get a single scoop on a sugar cone, good grief Lol!!;)  but we  just couldn't pass up walking along the boardwalk with an ice cream cone in hand, it was just too perfect!
then we had to get a couple pics with the wheel in the background, we almost went on it but didn't think we'd have time, which it ended up that we really wouldn't have so it was good . . . but next time great wheel!  it's still a cool and fun part of the boardwalk even if you don't actually ride it!
it was so much fun getting to spend so much more time than we had planned in the city before we hopped on our ferry, we had such a fun day and ended up getting on the boat at about 3 pm.  the kids had so much fun getting to run around on the deck, they found jellyfish in the water and liked watching the seagulls fly so close.  it was a blast and i'm so glad trav thought of it!  we drove off into Bremerton and then just wound our way over to port angeles, which was where we would stay for the next 2 nights.
 we had no idea what we were going to do once we got there, but we decided to check into our hotel and then see if we could find a beach to take the kids to for a little bit.  we ended up finding an area that was really pretty and the kids had a great time wandering around looking at the tide pools and wading in the water!
there was this cool world war II  bunker near the beach that we found, it was super cool!  but kind of creepy . . . we drove by and shined our flashlight into some of the doors, but that was as much as we cared to explore them inside, Lol! 
 we got to be out there for the sunset and it was just beautiful!  I could never get tired of sunsets on the beach!
and that was the end of day 2!  the next day we would go into Olympic national park to an area called hurricane ridge.  our vacation was off to a great start and we couldn't wait to see what the park was like!