My parents invited their posterity to join them at the Oregon Coast in Lincoln City last week for a reunion. They arranged two big houses for the 31 of us who came to stay in (just missing Jeff and his son). We stayed three nights and it was wonderful to spend so much time together visiting, laughing, and letting the kids play in the dirt. That said, here’s a LOT of pictures because that’s how I have fun, taking pictures of the fun (but I had real fun too!)
First night at the ocean. We didn’t play that night because we didn’t have much time. We headed to dinner at La Roc Mexican Restaurant between Lincoln City and Newport for fantastic food with my mom while everyone else went to Mo’s for seafood. Andy and I went to La Roc about five years ago when we went to the ocean alone.
My sister likes to take selfies. We had a nice walk by the ocean the first night.
Abby’s first time at the ocean! She’s been excited about visiting the Pacific Ocean for over a year. She used to say Atlantic Ocean. One day we’ll visit there, but probably not until she’s 12 (the plan is to go to NYC then and do Temple Baptisms in the NYC Temple.)
Loved spending so much time with my family, especially these two hard workers. So grateful to them for putting the plan in action and inviting us.
The first morning we were there we went on a drive in the backroads between Lincoln City and Newport. We saw a sign that said “Boat Slide” and had to turn around to see what it meant. And then we tossed a few rocks off the bridge into the river below (which at least one of our kids mentioned was their favorite part of the trip when asked on the way home.)
Picture of the Boat Slide. There’s a pulley attached at the top on the bar that is tied to a boat to ease it into the river while someone walks along beside it down the steps.
Vincent picked up some trash to do his Cub Scout duty (and because I told him to and I control the snacks…)
I don’t know if you noticed yet, but Andy’s always loved bridges. We walked down to the Newport Bridge too. No rocks thrown from that one because it’s much busier there.
There was a little welcome center info building that we stopped in at to learn more about the old bridge and the designer and other interesting facts. The designer created bridges all over the world.
After this we had lunch at Subway since the kids wanted to go there the night before and it sounded good to us non-seafood people.
Kids jumping picture (we haven’t ever done this before…maybe you can tell.)
Kites on the beach! Olivia helped me pick out kites at Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and they were well worth the $4 spent. They held up much better than the ones I had growing up with the wooden dowels that always broke. The wind was so strong they didn’t even have to work hard to fly their kites, but that was fun for them.
Elizabeth’s kite had a storm trooper from Star Wars.
Vincent’s kite had a minion.
Olivia’s kite had rainbow chevrons.
Abby wanted to find shells before flying her kite.
Vincent LOVED running along the beach with his kite.
Look, a picture of me, taken by Andy.
Cousins and an aunt came to join us at the beach after a bit. Did I mention there were NINETEEN kids there? Some babies were sleeping during the main water playing time.
Abby finally asked to fly her butterfly kite. She liked to show it to everyone walking by.
Vincent discovered that if you dig a little hole deep enough water fills it in and it’s warm. The ocean sure is pretty, but it’s COLD!
Janessa and I teamed up for dinner this night. We made chicken alfredo with marinara sauce as an option since some kids don’t like alfredo and one is allergic to it. We also had corn, french bread, watermelon, salad, and popsicles.
The next day we went towards Newport again, but with a brother and his family along. We stopped at the Yaquina Lighthouse which is a National Park. We paid $7 to get in and then spent a few hours at their kid’s museum area, walked to the lighthouse, and down at the tide pools. There were even seals sunning on rocks further out.
Vincent and Abby with me by the lighthouse.
My brother with three of his five kids down at the tide pools.
I opted to sit further up on a big rock to take pictures instead to walking down the big slippery rocks to the bottom because I didn’t want to sprain my ankle.
Andy took Abby down to check things out and find all the creatures that were left after the tide went out (and to make sure she didn’t hurt any of them or bring them home.)
Olivia liked looking at everything down there.
Elizabeth was Vincent’s buddy. I really enjoyed the break sitting and watching them.
My brother’s family wanted to stop at a beach on their way back to the houses and have a picnic, so we moved along to Izzy’s Buffet for lunch. It was yummy there. They had a soft serve ice cream machine and baby ice cream cones to put it in that I think was our kid’s favorite thing to try there. This is the view from the restaurant.
We went back to the houses and then headed down to the ocean to play some more. My parents came down to find us and my dad joined Olivia getting soaked by waves. It was really funny to watch them. Olivia looked like a surfer.
Abby even gave it a try with Grandpa Paul.
Our family at the ocean.
All nineteen grandkids who were there (just missing one who lives in Ohio.)
My oldest two brother’s families were in charge of dinner the second night and made meatball subs. Then we headed back down to the water for campfire s’mores. I love s’mores!
Many of the grandkids played football in the sand. Some were already back at the houses having bathes or going to bed.
Gorgeous sunset! These seagulls were only there because there were two or three homeless looking guys feeding them microwave popcorn sort of close to us.
My mom brought a craft for everyone to participate in. Details on her blog
. We each decorated a fabric square that had an ocean shape on it (sea star, octopus, seahorse) and when the paint dries, she will take the shape off to show off our decorations and she’ll make it into a quilt.
We played games one of the nights for a little bit and had ice cream with just the grown ups both nights. My nephew turned sixteen on the first day of our trip and was ordained to the office of a Priest the last night.
After packing our stuff and cleaning up a bit, we went to Tillamook Cheese Factory for the self-guided tour with my oldest brother and his family who were headed up to see Andy’s parents on their way home (and we decided to take them there and visit for a bit too.)
Tillamook cow cut out.
Olivia wanted a turn to be a mooing cow too. Doesn’t she look content?
Hanging out above where the cheese is packaged.
We had the cheese samples and got some ice cream. Olivia and Vincent both chose Mint Chocolate Chip.
Andy had plain chocolate, Abby chose strawberry, and Elizabeth had blueberry.
I had Mudslide and it was terrific.
We had a quick lunch after getting through Portland’s traffic and then checked in with my brother who said they were about an hour behind where we were so we detoured to the old highway to see some waterfalls and stopped at the Vista House on Crown Point.
And then my brother told us he was at the meeting point twenty minutes further from where we were because he told us the wrong town that he was passing through initially. We hurried to catch up and then called him and told him to go when we were turning off and ended up just two cars behind him at the turnoff to head back to the Washington side of the river.
The kids played with the four-wheelers for a bit and on the playground set and George and Shirley fed us hotdogs for dinner. My brother is going to be rebuilding their deck at their new place and adding more soon. They sold their house in Kennewick and will be up there full time the end of July.
What a fun trip we had! In a few years, we are thinking about everyone going to Wallowa Lake for another reunion. Seven years ago we went to a house outside of Boise. We are also thinking about an adults only cruise in five or so years.
Back to laundry, dishes, and jobs….