Fourth of July Vacation

This year we spent the fourth of July with my parents in Florence Oregon drinking coffee, eating cookies, staring at the lake, and catching up.

But we did have a few other highlights:

On the fourth of July we walked around downtown Florence to see festivities but after a wet walk we went to Moe’s for chowder.

That night back at the house we had hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips and made a homemade berry cobbler for dessert.

We decided not to go to the fireworks show downtown. It was too late at night for Zach who had had a full day. But we did watch some in the distance and a few from docks on the lake.

Last year Zachary was too young for a boat ride, but my mom was prepared with a life jacket for this summer. We got him all set with sunscreen, swimsuit, hat, sunglasses, and even let him try on the life jacket before heading down to the lake. We decided for his first boat ride he would sit with Grandma in front of the tandem kayak while Grandpa steered and rowed.

Zach was very calm on the ride around the banks of the lake. On the way back to the house, my mom held onto him tight as he enjoyed putting his hands in the water.

The day after, we went on a dune buggy tour. Rushing across the sand in hats and sunglasses, we learned about the wildlife, vegetation, lakes, and how the sand forms with the shifting winds. We also watched ATV’s doing doughnuts and revving engines across the hills and around corners.  Zach enjoy it all but the bumping and rolling near the end, led to a short nap on the drive back.

On Friday, we went to the shore of a neighboring lake.  Luke went swimming while the rest of us played in the sand. Zach did get in the water with Luke in the shallow area, swimming happily but shivering at the same time.

That night, Luke and I were blessed with a date night to ourselves. We went to a new Hawaiian fusion place for sushi, then saw the newest Marvel movie, and finished our date with BJ’s ice cream downtown as sunset. It was the best date we have had in a long time.

On Saturday morning my Mom and I went to get a pedicure downtown along with coffee. When we came out of the salon we were greeted by very sunny skies. We decided to stay for a few more hours before heading home.

So my parents took us only a half hour or so away up a windy road. We parked at a little cove hidden away behind carved out of the rocks. Zach was excited to explore and took off walking for the ocean. We put his water shoes on and guided him towards the tide pools. There with his Dad, Grandpa and myself, he was introduced to sea anemones starfish, hermit crabs, barnacles, oysters, and other sea life hiding the small pools in the rocks. He loved sitting in these shallow pools and watching the tiny fish and shrimp scuttle by.

We left my parent’s place after dinner getting raspberry milkshakes on the way home. It was a great trip.

Turning 30!

That’s right. I am now in my third decade. I didn’t think much of turning 20, but 30 hits a little harder. You look back on the past ten years and see how far you have come and consider all the next ten have in store (with a little more clarity then that of 20). And there is so much to look forward to.

I am grateful and blessed to have great family and friends who made my 30th birthday a real celebration. My in-laws came to town on Saturday.

We spent the afternoon at Penny Playground in Chehalis, first time Zach was able to explore and enjoy the swings, slides and climbing up and around. You are never too old to enjoy a well designed playground with the children in your life.

Then to cool off we went to Fiddlers for coffee. We then came home and almost everyone decided it was time for nap. After an afternoon snooze we had a late BBQ dinner: Teriyaki Kebabs and Corn.

The next day was my birthday party! We met a few friends at a local coffee shop: Station Coffee for a Paint and Sip event put on by Merlot Canvas. We got a back room of the coffee shop all to ourselves. After talking, ordering drinks and settling in we began our group painting class. Our painting was of a misty forest at sunset.

We all did the same painting with instructions from our host. But it was amazing to see how each of our own personalities and styles came out. Everyone’s paintings turned out great and unique.

After this, we went out to dinner and came home to check in on the in-laws and Zach. We put Zach to bed then had ice cream and root-beer floats.

On my actual birthday. I got my free Dutch Bros coffee and went to the park to enjoy it while Zach was in a swing. That night we went out to eat for dinner, then went to a MOPs ice cream social at the church with our friends.

At the social my friends spoiled me with a giant chocolate cupcake filled with cream cheese and beautiful summer flowers. That night before Zach went to bed Luke gave me birthday presents including a new black fossil purse and a jewelry box.

Not a bad way to celebrate 30 years. Thank you to everyone who made it special.