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Weekend on the Water

One of my favorite memories as a younger person was when I drove to Montana (from Portland) by myself to hang out with my friend Rachel. She lived near Glacier National Park and it was very cool and empowering to go on a road trip all by myself (I think I was like 23 or so at the time). I drove for hours in my Buick LeSabre (classy) to Spokane, Washington, spent the night in a motel 6-type place and then the next day drove the rest of the way to see Rachel in Montana. It was a GREAT trip with lots of stories (some we will never share with anyone πŸ˜€ ) and it was just me on the road with good music and my Road Atlas (yes this was before GPS and smartphones).

(The above photo was me in Montana!)

Over the weekend I got to spend some quality time with my bff Rachel! A few months ago we made plans to have a girl’s weekend somewhere half-way in between Portland and Seattle. I’ve been looking forward to this for months! A weekend away to do girl stuff and recharge…sign me up!

We booked a really adorable guest house on AirBnB. Rachel found it and I highly recommend it!Β It was pretty remote–you are about 30 minutes from anything, like if you forget your chocolate (like we did), you to have drive 30 minutes to the nearest store. But despite not being near anything, it was the ideal location. It was right on the water on Harstine IslandΒ near Shelton, Washington.

You cross over a bridge and then you are on the Island (probably 30 minutes or so from Olympia?) and you are surrounded by trees and the water and quiet waterfront homes. We barely saw anybody out, maybe a few fishermen on the water, that was it.

There was one bedroom and then a loft bedroom.

There was comfy furniture for movie watching.

The bathroom was nice, but slightly weird. πŸ˜‰

The deck overlooking the trees and water were absolutely amazing! And the house had all these big, beautiful windows overlooking the trees and Sound.

There was a pool that Rachel and I were really excited to use but sadly, it was closed up for the season by the time we got there. Bummer!

Friday afternoon I left Portland and unfortunately I a) didn’t get to say goodbye to Logan because he was still napping when I left and b) hit rush hour Friday traffic trying to get out of Portland so it took longer than expected to arrive, but it was fairly nice and easy drive once I got out of Portland/Vancouver.

Rachel had already checked in and was doing some work remotely and just relaxing. When I arrived we cooked dinner (steaks and baked potatoes and lots of wine) and stayed up way too late gabbing and catching up.

I got the bedroom downstairs and the bed was glorious and so comfy! I might have slept at an angle, taking up the entire bed, because I could. πŸ˜‰ I slept so good. It was so quiet and peaceful and comfortable.

Saturday I got to sleep in!!!!!!!! Wooooo hooo! I slept in until almost 8am. The bed was so comfy and I didn’t want to get out of bed but Rachel made coffee and I could smell it so…yeah I got up. πŸ˜€ We had breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon, coffee, juice) and then we went kayaking!

I didn’t take any photos of us kayaking, which I’m bummed about, but I was worried about my phone so it was just better to leave it behind. Rachel went in on a kickstarter years ago with Oru Kayaks, which are kayaks that fold up into something compact and easy to transport. So it was pretty fascinating to watch her put together these kayaks that were essentially folded up into boxes. It’s a pretty ingenious idea!

So it took about 30 minutes to put the kayaks together and then we were in the water. I can see where the process of putting them together could be kind of a pain in the ass…Rachel admitted that it’s her least favorite part of it and has discouraged her from using them more often, but also admitted that when her and her husband used to go all the time, it was a lot quicker to put the kayaks together because they had more practice.

I can see this being a good alternative to people that don’t have an ideal way to transport or store, traditional kayaks.

Anyways, we got in the water right in front of where we were staying. The sky was perfectly blue, the sun was out, the air was cool but not cold. The kayaks worked great and we didn’t sink or tip over (even though they were a little wobbly) and we didn’t get wet at all. We kayaked around for about an hour. It was really fun and kind of the perfect way to spend the sunny morning. We saw some gray clouds off in the distance so we decided to turn around and head back. We literally missed the rain by like maybe 10 minutes!

The beach was rocky and had a little bit of sand. There were tons of oyster shells and barnacles, lots of seaweed.

We had lunch outside on the deck overlooking the water. We made big, crunchy salads. It was delicious. The water was calm and there was a light breeze mixed with some rain sprinkles.

Then we kind of spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the couch watching chick flicks and watching the alternating sunshine and rainy stormy weather outside the windows. It was really chill and relaxing.

Dinner was baked chicken and baked potatoes. Then more chit chatting and hanging out. πŸ˜€ It was great!

It was such a good way to spend the weekend. It was definitely chill. I didn’t really work out. The kayaking was fun, and sort of active, but not really a workout. I could have maybe gone for a run, but I didn’t feel like it. It was just nice to relax and honestly do nothing for a change.

Sunday we had a leisurely morning. I made breakfast, we drank a ton of coffee. I walked down to the water because it looked like the tide was out and I wanted to explore a bit. The tide was WAY out! The below pictures was right where we were kayaking the day before!

A lot more seaweed that morning. It was a really quiet morning. The water was like a mirror and there wasn’t anyone else out on the water or beach but me. It was so nice.

I wish we could have spent a little more time relaxing Sunday morning before packing up. It was such a delightful little spot to spend time!

So we packed up and refolded the kayaks and hit the road. We decided to make this weekend an annual thing. We’re going to alternate who picks the spot each year. I have to say, I’m already super excited for next year’s weekend!!!!!

First Camping Trip

There was a bit of a dark cloud over my August. But summer wasn’t over, yet, and we had some stuff that we’d planned a long time ago, so that was a nice distraction from my sadness, too.

We did some camping in the Stub Stewart Park. We rented one of the rustic cabins and friends joined us. This was the first time we went “camping” with Logan and Bella. We’re hoping to go actual camping next summer! It was nice to get out of the house.

We’ve been to Stub Stewart park a bunch of times for day trips/hiking/picnics and it’s super cute and fun! We booked a cabin back in February (they book out far in advance!). The cabins are really cute. They are sort of private. They are pretty rustic–there’s electricity and a ceiling fan but that’s it. There was a bunk bed and a futon with mats on it, so it was better than sleeping on the ground.

We got cabin #8 at the end and it was a more private spot and it was pretty shaded, too, which was nice because it was in the 90’s again.

So I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Yes, the pictures and videos I posted looked good and we had fun but……….camping with a toddler was HARD WORK. Logan was into everything. He was fascinated by the fire pit and got covered in ash. He did not want to sleep in his crib in the cabin and we basically spent 2 days just chasing him around the campsite. Gone are the relaxing days where I get to sit back in a camping chair with a book and a beer and relax. πŸ˜‰

Despite the hard work it was to chase Logan and keep him out ofΒ everything, he was obviously having a fabulous time and loved every single minute of it! That was kind of cool to see and made me happy. It will be a little bit easier next year, I think, when Logan is a little bit older and understands more stuff.

We were there Sunday–Tuesday. Our friends joined us with their dog (which Bella loved having a playmate around!) and their 4 year old daughter. Logan LOVED chasing after the big kid! There was a trailhead right by our cabin and the kids just ran up and down the trail in a loop. πŸ™‚

On Monday it was going to be 95 degrees and since Logan wasn’t sleeping great in the cabin, we knew he wouldn’t nap so we decided to take a day trip to Seaside. It was a great idea. Logan got a 1 hour nap on the way there (perfect) and we hung out in much cooler weather on the beach!

This was the third beach trip this summer! Logan is now an expert. πŸ˜‰ This time he didn’t try and eat any sand! But he did discover how much fun it is to dig around in wet sand and get all dirty.

Logan loved running around on the beach, chasing daddy, chasing Bella…

It was so cool to see how much fun everyone was having! Bella was having a blast, too. She loves the beach. This time we brought her ball and let her off leash. She’s been doing so much better off-leash, so she got to run amok and wear herself out.

It was kind of the perfect day. We had a picnic lunch on the beach, had some beers. This was the most fun (and most relaxing) part of the camping trip. It was just fun to chill out and let the kids and dogs go nuts on the beach.

After that we got ice cream in Seaside then drove back to the campground. Logan got another nap, perfect timing! We got back and took showers. The facilities at Stub Stewart are really nice! It felt awesome to take a cool shower.

Monday night was hot. We had planned on going on a hike all together but it was just too hot for dogs and babies to hike. So we took it easy. We had burgers (with goat cheese, grilled figs and arugula) for dinner and sat by the campfire until pretty late. It was another rough night with Logan. He didn’t want to sleep.. πŸ™ It was just hot and weird and out of the norm, I guess.

Tuesday morning we had pancakes for breakfast, lots of cold brew coffee for this tired mama, packed up the campsite and our friends left and we did a quick (and short) family hike in the park before heading home.

I think our hike was just over 2 miles. πŸ™‚ Logan crashed immediately. And then when we put him in the car to head back to Portland, he slept the whole way too!

Man, that first shower at home after camping was so amazing. πŸ˜€ Even though it was hard work, it was a lot of fun and I am already forgetting the stressful moments and only remembering the happiness on Logan’s face. I know it will get easier next time!