Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ft. Stevens & Blueberries!

We vacationed Thurs-Sun with April and her family, Su and her family, Kelly & Tim and Mom and Jenni at Ft. Stevens, just outside Astoria (one of my favorite places btw!). The weather was cool, as it often is there, but that didn’t dampen our fun!

There were 7 children and Ethan was the oldest, so they kept us hopping. The oldest 4 are close in age and everyone played nicely.

Group hug! (Gibson, Heather, Gwen and Ethan)


Our campsites. Mom’s tent was the blue, we were behind and to the right slightly (can’t see our tent), then April’s family. Sue was right behind where I took this picture. It worked very well for our group!


Waiting to go on the Battery Mischler tour.


Entering the Battery. It was damp, cold, totally dark and FREAKY. But really really interesting. I’d like to go again, without little ones who tired quickly of walking in a concrete maze and listening to a guy talk on and on.

Later that day, we went down to Seaside and had lunch. This is how we entertain our children until their food arrives ;)

Gwen and Elly did the annual ride on the dinky little train


Ethan preferred the self-propelled car


We had ice cream at Zingers again... can't recommend them enough. Delicious! A real treat and worth the 18% butterfat :)

Our campsite was mostly sand with a little bit of dirt and keeping the kids clean was a huge problem! I pretty much gave up by the second day. Elsa also hated her shoes so I just let her do what she wanted. She had such a hard time walking in the sand, but the shoes made it worse!

The kids roasting marshmallows


Backtracking a bit… about an hour after we arrived at the campground, Elsa tripped (those shoes!) and smashed her face on the picnic bench. She bit her lip and scratched her chin. She also bonked her nose and under-eye area, but luckily it didn’t bruise. Here she re-enacts how she felt about the incident.

Gwennie posing. First princess, then MONSTER!

Saturday we visited the Peter Iredale shipwreck (which seems much decayed over the past couple years in particular). It was a gloriously sunny day!


Elsa didn’t want to sit. She wanted to stand while Nana pushed her, thank you very much.


The kids were super brave and loved splashing in the icy waters!



Even Elly liked it!

Soaked head to toe

A self-portrait

She touched the sand this time!


My kids enjoy getting as sandy as possible. Its like a challenge to them… how much sand can we carry on our person?


Elsa took off by herself and we watched to see how far she’d go. We got nervous and sent Jenni after her, but she walked all the way to the waters edge without even LOOKING for us. She scares me!


After changing, we headed into Astoria to take the trolley. It was great fun and super cheap too!


We met up with Grandpa Les and Grandma Karen for some ice cream at Custard King. For whatever reason, Elsa HATED this flower. It was so funny! She’d be fine, but put that flower near her and she would get away as fast as possible.


On Sunday we were packing up when a scary thing happened. Jenni had the kids and was playing hide-and-seek with them in the bushes around the campsite. I was on top of the car loading the carrier and I heard Gwen scream. I thought at first she’d tripped or something, but then she kept screaming and screaming and I told Jason that he needed to check that out ASAP because that was her “really hurt” cry. Suddenly Jenni starts yelling, “RUN! RUN! RUN BACK TO CAMP”. Well as you can imagine, this gets the parents attention. Here come 4 screaming and crying children. Gwen is thrashing and out of control and we realize its bees! I jump off the car and rip off her shirt and pants. There are bees all over her and caught in her hair. Mom and Jason are trying to get them out while poor Gwen is just beside herself.

Finally we get them all out and I’m holding her and we start to count the injuries. 17 stings my little girl had :( Ethan had one (which he almost wore with pride… informing us that he was crying because he was scared, NOT because it hurt) and Gibson had 2. We immediately dosed her with Benadryl and people from all over the campground who’d heard what happened (from the screams and from the other little kids in the campground) came with various remedies. We laid her down in the front seat of the car and she napped while we finished packing up.

She recovered very quickly and by the time we’d stopped for lunch you couldn’t even see most of the stings.

All in all, a very fine trip even with our unfortunate ending :)

We haven’t done much this week beside catch up with laundry and recoup! So today I took the kids out to Mountainview Blueberry Farm and we picked berries for about an hour. We did pretty good, picking 8 lbs!

I made a white chocolate-blueberry mousse tart with some of them, then froze the rest. I got 2 gallon-sized ziploc bags of frozen blueberries plus the 4 cups I used for the tart for only 14 dollars. A steal!

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