Monday, April 19, 2010

The Tulip Festival

It's that time again... the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is in full bloom!
The kids had Friday off from school and we had planned to leave as soon as I got off of work. It didn't quite happen that way. Brian missed our first two trips to the tulip festival - the first because he was at the Police Academy and the second because a big case came up at the last minute and he had to be there to serve the search warrant. What are the odds that another big case will come up and another search warrant will have to be served on the day we're planning on going? And in our little town, where hardly anything happens? But of course, that would be the case. This year we stuck it out and hoped he would get off in time to go with us. Thankfully he finally did and we were on our way.
The weather was gorgeous and we really loved walking around the tulips.
I took pics of the kids with their favorite tulip.

Then we went to the kids favorite part... the rubber ducky races! (Bear with me ... I couldn't decide if I like color or black and white, so I'm postin both.)
We spent about an hour and a half here and while it wasn't as beautiful as in previous years, it was nonetheless gorgeous!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break Road Trip

Spring break came and with it the rain. Despite our gorgeous spring weather, the rain has finally caught up with us and it made our spring break wet and squishy. By the end of the week the weather cleared up a bit. We took advantage of it and took a road trip to the beach!

Our first stop was on the way, at the Tillamook Forestry Center. We love this place! The kids love the scavenger hunt they have and all the neat things to see. This time the fire tower was open so we climbed up the flights and flights of stairs to get closer to the treetops. It was beautiful up there!

The whole reason we headed towards Tillamook was for our next stop, the Tillamook Cheese factory!

We LOVE the cheese factory and always get some yummy ice cream to munch while we watch them making the cheese. Then we go through the cheese-tasting line before making our way to the squeaky cheese cooler. We purchase our cheese curds and a 2-foot long pepperoni stick for Chase. Then we head up the road towards the beach.

We stopped at a new beach this time, a place alongside Hwy 101 south of Cannon Beach called Aracdia Beach. It was beautiful! A quick walk down to the beach found us here...

next to a huge rock at low-tide, where we could see some amazing tidepool creatures. We saw all sorts of shelly creatures, starfish and anemones, even catching site of a few little fish in the tidepool area. It was very neat!

We took a walk around the area and found a cool little cave carved out of the rocky hillside.

Brian, Carissa and Chase all climbed the steep rocky face. They got pretty far up but stopped when the rock began to crumble. Coming down wasn't so easy, but thankfully Dad was there to catch Rissa when she got close enough to jump.

We continued walking along the beach

and I set the camera timer up so we could take a family pictures.

We were heading further up the beach and had fun playing sign bingo along the way. I walloped them all. ;)

Our next stop was Seaside. It was getting chilly and windy by now, so we were glad to escape into a few shops along the way. We didn't buy anything but let the kids ride the carousel...

before hitting our intended destination: the elephant ear counter! I *LOVE* their elephant ears! We got 2 elephant ears to share and this is all that was left after about a minute and a half. YUMMY!

We got back in the car and headed north again, stopping in Warrenton to pick up a Pizza Hut pizza to go. We took the pizza with us and drove down to Fort Stevens, so we could eat and listen to the ocean. After eating the kids decided to brave the cold and windy weather so they could see the remains of the Peter Iredale. They quickly rushed back to the van, sandy and chilly but excited to see the shipwreck.

We also took a side-track to check our the KOA, where Jimmy's family and my family will be spending a few days together this summer. I'm so excited!

By now the sun was going down so that was our last stop for the day. We loaded back up, drove through Astoria and home along Hwy. 30. It had been a long but fabulous day as a family.