Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Camping Trip

On the weekend of September7-9, we met our friends Joey and Sam (with children Cecilia and Mallory) of Olympia and Tracy and Dan of Portland for a two night camping trip.  We planned on staying at Maryhill State Park but upon arrival there were no sites available.  Luckily our backup site, Brooks Memorial State Park, was only 20 miles away and had plenty of open sites.  We finally arrived just after 2PM and managed to find a single site that would fit three tents and three cars!

We had a great time camping - introducing Claire to everyone, meeting Mallory for the first time, watching the kids interact, catching up on everything, and just being outside!  As always, we had many great meals and enjoyed the various park amenities.  The park was mostly quiet (and surprisingly empty) although there was a bit of highway road noise audible from our site.  Thanks to the dry summer, camp fires were banned which was disappointing.

We left around noon on Sunday and made a pit stop in La Grande where Claire played in a park for a bit.  We arrived home at about 8PM very proud of Claire for completing her second camping trip!

September Camping Trip Pictures!
Claire in a Rocking Chair Video
Claire and Cecilia Play With Dirt Video
Scenes From Camping Video
Cecilia Loves Claire Video
Claire Likes Ladder Golf Video 
Katie With Mallory and Claire Video
Claire on a Slide Video
Claire on a Swing Video

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baby's First Camping Trip!

***Disclaimer: I've added some pictures into the text of this blog post, but there are lots more pictures (and videos!) at the bottom of the post!***

On the morning of Sunday, August 12th, we loaded Claire into the (already-overloaded!) car & headed out for a camping trip of epic proportions! Not only was it one of our longest camping trips to date, it was also Claire's first time camping - that's a recipe for success, right?! Well, it ended up being a fun trip, and Claire was a champion camper & road-tripper for the most part. Yay!

Sunday was a loooong day of driving - we left Boise at 7am local time & didn't get to our Bed & Breakfast (Inn at the Lake) in Newport, WA until 7pm Washington made for a 13 hour day, but there was one highlight to the day! Since it was our 8th anniversary on August 12th, we stopped in Spokane, WA for an early dinner, at The Flying Goat & had some absolutely delicious food! We started with their Focaccia, which had fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic & goat cheese...

This was SO good & a great start to our meal. For our main course, we decided to share a pizza, and did a half-and-half, since we couldn't choose just one pizza - everything sounded yummy & it was hard enough to choose two! We ended up with 1/2 "Waikiki":
Waikiki - Zoe's sweet coppa and artisan ham, caramelized pineapple, roasted jalapeno, house cheese blend and plum tomato sauce
...and 1/2 "D Street"
 D Street - Yellow Coconut Curry, chicken, potato, jalapeno, carrot, house cheese blend, cilantro, sriracha and lime juice
 Yep, you read that right - we had Yellow Coconut Curry on a pizza! And, as unsure we were about it, it was absolutely fantastic! The Waikiki (basically a fancy Ham & Pineapple with jalapenos added) was also delicious, but we both agreed that the D Street was our favorite - the flavours worked really well together, the heat of the sriracha (which is a Thai Chili Garlic hot sauce) was a great kick at the end, and the cheese (which I was worried about, in combination with the other flavours) wasn't out-of-place, it just added a little something & played well with of the other toppings. We'll definitely be going back if we're in Spokane again, and will recommend it to anyone we know who is going there! Oh, and Zach loved their beer selection...and Claire liked looking out their window..and eating bits of pizza crust!
Ok, now that my food reviewer duties are complete, let's move on, shall we? After dinner, we stopped at Audubon Park in Spokane, so that Claire could crawl around & play a little before the hour-long drive to the B&B. She had fun on the swings, and crawling in the grass - they even had a little water park, but she wanted no part of that!

The B&B that Zach found for us to stay in was absolutely gorgeous! Here's the view from the dock, towards the back of the house.
 It was right on a lake, and the back of the house (that faced the lake) was pretty much all windows! Claire spent lots of time crawling around & stretching her legs after being in the carseat, and slept pretty well that night. Zach was even able to fit in a little kayak on one of the B&B's hard-shell was a little too short for his long legs, but at least he was able to get out on the lake & paddle around in the morning!
The breakfast, prepared by the owners, was delicious - a Southwestern quiche with tomatoes, bacon & chives; fruit & yogurt parfait; fresh orange juice; a small piece of coffee cake and the star of the show - freshly baked biscuits with homemade huckleberry butter! I'm pretty sure we both would have eaten huckleberry butter with nothing but a spoon, if we could have - it was outstanding.

After breakfast on Monday morning, we were on the road again. We crossed the border & made our way to Nelson, BC, where we stopped for lunch (A&W, which we ate at a sketchy park that was populated mainly by homeless people...lunch was eaten quickly, needless to say!). The views on the trip up were beautiful:
We made it to the campground at McDonald Creek by 4pm & started the camping extravaganza!

It was a wonderful week of camping - we got to spend lots of quality time with my immediate family, as well as my Auntie Margaret & my Mom's sisters, Cathy & Barb, and 2 of Barb's kids, my cousins Graham & Allison. It was so nice for us to get the chance to introduce Claire to the extended family! We wish we could have spent more time with Auntie Cathy, since she wasn't able to get there until Friday & we had to leave on Sunday so Zach could get back to work, but at least she & Claire got to have some quality time.
During the week, we celebrated Mom's 65th birthday, as well as Margaret's birthday - unfortunately we had to leave before Allison's birthday on Monday, but we were thinking of her! The rest of the week was spent splashing in the lake (Claire wasn't a fan of the cold water!), hanging out in the sun (or shade!) and eating lots of good food. Here's a shot of the lake early one morning:

Claire also got to experience sand for the first time, and seemed to be pretty intrigued with it - she kept grabbing handfuls & letting it fall through her fingers. She did (of course) try eating some, but figured out pretty quickly that it was gross.
Zach also got to use his inflatable kayak & paddle the lake - my cousin Graham gave it a try, too.

Since the weather was so gorgeous, some of the crew decided to go for a hike one day - Zach, Megan, Greg, Graham & Allison hiked up to the peak of Saddle Mountain - the pictures are absolutely breathtaking, and it looked like quite a stunning hike, both on the way up, and at the peak. Maybe next time Zach can take Claire in our backpack carrier!
For the Arts & Crafts portion of Camp, my Mom came up with the great idea of making Claire a rattle out of an empty can & some rocks - the top was sealed with duct tape...we (of course) used an empty beer can (because we're klassy like that), and Claire LOVED it! It kept her entertained for minutes, which in Baby-World is basically MONTHS!
Then Allison, Emily & Matthew made Claire an amazing beer can mobile, with sticks, embroidery floss & (you guessed it!) beer cans (we had a few empties hanging around). It was beautifully trashy, and again, Claire was fascinated with it - I was disappointed that we didn't have space to bring it home with us! Thanks again for all your hard work, guys!
We were sad to have to leave everyone on Sunday, Aug 19th, but we had to drive to Pullman, WA, so that Zach could work at his corporate office on Monday. Zach worked all day while Claire & I entertained ourselves - we spent some time hanging out at Sunnyside Park so that Claire could get some exercise & fresh air in preparation for our final leg of the journey home. We picked Zach up at work, grabbed some dinner & hit the road.

Our trip home was long, and made a little longer by some road construction delays, but Claire was (once again!) a road-trip champ & slept pretty much the whole way home. We got home at 2am & passed out!

Now we're getting ready for our next (and final) camping trip of 2012 - we'll be spending a couple of nights in Oregon, with our friends from Olympia, WA. We don't get to see them very often, and they have a 3 year old & a 4 month old, so it will be fun to see the kids interact!

Sorry for the LOOOOONG & rambling post - clearly I have a problem being concise!
Enjoy the pictures & videos!

Summer Camping Trip Pictures!
Claire Crawls Around Audubon Park Video
Claire In A Swing Video
Claire Climbs a Step Video
Claire Beer Can Rattle Video