Family Vacation 2017: Barf and Beach Edition

Every time my family gets together for a vacation we have an amazing time, but something unfortunate always seems to happen. For example, in 2014 when we all got together in Oahu, my brother got appendicitis and had to be hospitalized, and Elias got stung by a man of war. It’s kind of a family joke…but we wouldn’t mind if it disappeared.

Many years ago, my parents expressed a desire to treat us to a vacation together. They took my brother and his wife to Florida. They took my other brother and his family to Hawaii. Nathan and I wanted to choose a national park. At first we looked into Yellowstone, but eventually, because of the age of our children, we chose the Redwoods. My mom and I planned the trip almost a full year ago, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting it ever since.

Day One: Portland to Lincoln City

The day for our vacation finally arrived. We packed our van for a twelve day road trip and headed off for our first stop on the way down to the Redwoods. Just before we got in our van to leave home, Elias told me his stomach hurt. I thought it was odd, but didn’t think too much of it. About an hour in to our road trip, here we were:

We pulled off on the side of the road with some cows to keep us company. Elias had barfed all over the van. (Which we would have to spend much of the next twelve days in). There was nothing to do but move forward, though, and we cleaned him and the car up as well as we could and drove on. We stopped at the Spirit Mountain Casino gas station to wash hands and maybe buy Elias some gum or breath mints or something. It was a good thing we stopped because this was where barf #2 happened. After that, we sacrificed our nice travel cooler to barf. Poor Elias was so sick. Our barf count ended up at about 9 before we ever arrived in Lincoln City.

We had been planning to play on the beach while we waited for my parents to catch up with us, but with the circumstances, we decided to request that we be allowed to check in to our hotel without them. Luckily, the hotel was accommodating even though the rooms were under my parents’ names. Elias pretty much slept the rest of that day.

My parents arrived, and my dad volunteered to stay back with Elias while we all checked out the beach. Simon was immediately in heaven because of all the driftwood he could gather. He made a huge pile of sticks, and chose one favorite. Then he designated this huge log his “pirate ship” and proceeded to instruct Ama on how to get the bad guys.

Caleb had a lot of fun on the beach too!

It was pretty cold on the beach so we didn’t stay long. Luckily, the view from our room was gorgeous so we could hear the surf all evening long.

When bed time was approaching, I started to feel sick. I hoped it was just because of all the barf I had dealt with, and not because I was catching anything. Unfortunately, I had caught whatever bug Elias had. I’ll leave day one there!

Day Two – Good Thing We Planned An Easy Day First!

Not only did I get sick after Elias, but Simon started barfing in the middle of the night. My poor parents. I’m sure they felt like they didn’t want to be around us. I myself went through many stages of grief. Why us? Why now? Luckily Simon’s was a short sickness, and although he didn’t eat for almost two days, he seemed himself by morning.

We were glad we had planned an easy day for our first full day of vacation. We started out by visiting “Prehistoric,” a cool fossil shop in Lincoln City. Elias and Simon liked the moving dinosaur, but Caleb was really scared.

Then, we went to a really cool park in Lincoln City. It has wooden structures, and is absolutely huge! It is called Regatta Grounds Park, and it overlooks a lake. I tried to take a picture of it, but it was just too huge to fit in the camera. This gives you an idea, though:

We all had fun sliding, climbing, swinging, and more.

Many of us tired out quickly, though, because of all the sickness, so we went back to the hotel for some lunch and a rest. After naps, we went out to the beach to play. It was an absolutely beautiful day to be on the beach, but it was still a bit cold. The boys had to wear their robes over their swim suits.

While we were on the beach, Nathan informed me that he was going back up to the room. He had caught the bug too. Another one down for the count! We stayed on the beach and played for a long time. We even tried out Baba’s new dragon kite.

Then, we went swimming. It was freezing. Here are the boys warming up afterward.

And so we finished day two, hoping that Nathan would wake up well in the morning, and we would leave the sickness behind!

Day Three – The Aquarium

While we were down on the central coast, we thought it would be a good idea to take the boys to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Since everyone was feeling ok (although no one was really eating much yet), we decided to go for it. We welcomed my parents to the barfmobile, and drove down to Newport. (Actually I must say Nathan worked very very hard to get the barf smell out of our van, and did a pretty good job, but it just needed a bit more time to air out).

The Aquarium was a hit. We especially loved the underwater tunnel.

Elias enjoyed reading the map and directing us to all of the different exhibits.

The favorite for our boys was learning about sharks.

Another highlight was the “big bites” exhibit they have going on right now.

And of course they enjoyed the touch pool.

When we returned from the aquarium, the boys rested, and then we went arctic swimming again. We finished off the night with dinner, and the four adults were feeling well enough (finally) that we got to play some games after the boys went to bed. We had had a fun time on the first leg of our trip (we would have preferred no barf), and were getting ready for the next phase of the vacation. Stay tuned for the next episode – Family Vacation 2017: Boat Ride Edition.

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