Earlier this week, we returned from a week-long trip to visit Brett's family in Oregon. Below you'll find some details about our trip as well as lots of pics. If you're not interested in the details, feel free to skip over them. But, make sure to check out the pictures -- there are some cute ones of Ella!
We flew to Oregon last Thanksgiving but hadn't made a summer road trip there since Ella was 6 months old. After that horrendous drive with a nursing infant, we had no great desire to attempt it again until now. We decided to go ahead and buy a portable DVD and it was worth every penny. Ella was transfixed by various DVD's for the vast majority of the drive. It made the trip much more enjoyable -- as enjoyable as a 14+ hour drive can be.
On Monday, we went directly to visit the Mathios Family at their home in Albany. It was nearly 8pm when we arrived so Ella had a little time to play and get her wiggles out before it was time for bed. She had the special treat of sleeping on the floor in her big cousin Olivia's bedroom. On Tuesday morning, she was in heaven. Their backyard probably seemed like a park to her with its swingset, small trampoline and grass. She didn't bother to get dressed but ran around barefoot in her pajamas for hours playing with her cousins Simon and Olivia.
After a lazy morning hanging out at their home and shopping at Old Navy, we piled into our cars and headed north to visit the rest of the family in Salem. We met Grandma Bonnie (who was visiting from California too) and Aunt Dawnie at a local park to play and go on the indoor carousel. Afterwards, it was off to Aunt Dawnie's house to meet up with Aunt Darcee, Uncle Karl and cousin Kameron for a tasty dinner.
On Tuesday night, we stayed at Aunt Dawnie's house with Grandma. Wednesday brought sleeping in while Grandma took Ella to the grocery store for doughnuts and then to the park to play. When they got back, Ella walked up to the front door and exclaims, "I'm SOAKING wet, but it's okay!" She was indeed soaking wet. Apparently, there was a bit of a mishap with a fountain at the park! But, the two of them seemed to have a nice time together so what's a little water?! Eventually, we mobilized and headed off to Super-Walmart to get some food and camping gear for our family trip to Suttle Lake. I have to say, Walmart is cheap...but it takes far too long to shop there. It's so big and takes forever to walk from area to area and find exactly what you need.
Thursday through Saturday we all headed about 2 1/2 hours away to camp at Suttle Lake. We got an early start on Thursday so that we would be sure to get a camping spot since we didn't have any reservations. It was cold when we left Salem but by the time we made it to the campsite, we had warmer weather.
From the moment we got out of the car, Ella was again in heaven. The campsite was full of dirt, dirt and more dirt! She had rocks to climb, sticks to pick up and her cousins to chase. Within a very brief time, she was covered in filth...and pretty much stayed that way for the next three days. Honestly, she looked like a chimney sweep from Mary Poppins!
Camping was a great way to relax and get some time away as an extended family. Ella really got a chance to spend some special time with her Aunts and Uncles -- they took her for adventure walks, boat rides, time at the lake, and gave her lots of treats!
Saturday we stopped in Sisters for dinner and to shop before heading back to Salem for the night. Sunday morning we headed back down to Albany for "Family Day" and then stayed there for the rest of our stay. We were able to visit the house that Bonnie and Randy are buying for their retirement and went berry picking. In Rachelle's neighborhood, blackberries grow wild along the wooded paths surrounding the development. Ella had never gone berry picking before so Auntie Ray, Olivia & Simon showed her how to do it. She quickly learned which color to pick...but didn't quite have the eye for the big sweet ones. But, she had a great time picking and eating them.
This concludes my long and drawn-out post about Oregon. Hope you enjoyed the pics!