Stub Stewart park

Don’t Even Know…

It’s Saturday afternoon as I write this. Just poured a glass of white wine after doing a bunch of chores. Listening to Kate Bush. Logan is watching Wreck It Ralph. Bella is snoring on the couch. Michael ran to the store. First the bad news.

Michael got laid off Friday morning. I guess in a way we should have seen it coming since he was a contractor and lots of people are being laid off, and lots of companies are freaking out right now. But it was still awful. We are crossing our fingers it’s temporary and he’ll be back with his same company/team when this is all over with. His team was unaware of the plan to lay him off. It sounded like an HR decision. It’s still devastating and upsetting and stressful.

Logan’s birthday party was supposed to be Saturday but we cancelled that, obviously, so we decided to go for a little drive Saturday and then hike and have a picnic as a distraction for everything and it helped.

We had breakfast and did a few things then packed the car and drove out toward the beach to LL Stub Stewart Park. It’s a great place, that we’ve gone a bunch of times for hikes and day trips.

I picked it because it was about an hour drive from our house. It got us out of our house, out of the neighborhood, and I figured that with the social distancing it would be an ok place to go to. The park is huge. And I assumed most people would go to local Portland places (like Forest Park) or out in the Gorge to go hiking. (I was sort of right.)

There was still a fair amount of people at Stub Stewart but everyone was doing a good job of distancing themselves from each other. Families stayed together and away from other people. We went for a hike in the forest and didn’t see any other hikers (but did see a few mountain bikers out there–like two pairs).We were there early enough to miss the crowd apparently. I was honestly surprised at how many people were there after we left…

It was so empty we even took Bella off leash! (And you know how I feel about off leash dogs!) She did great. We were out in the woods alone.

It was a little on the chilly side, since it was kind of towards the beach. But we warmed up with our hike. The park was free. The bathrooms were open and had soap and toilet paper and smelled like bleach, so they were cleaning. That was nice. I still used Clorox wipes after using the bathrooms.

It was really good to get out of house after working from home for 5 days, not going to the gym, not going swimming, not seeing friends or family, cancelling Logan’s birthday party, and Michael’s bad news. We all needed a reset. Fresh air, hiking, getting a change of scenery was good for our mental health!

Then we had a picnic lunch on a table in the parking lot. The picnic tables were all spaced out really far from each other, so that was good. There were more people at the park by this time and I saw a lot of people on the other trail (not the one we did), so it was kind of defeating the social distancing thing with that many people. SIGH. This was when we packed up quick and left.

It was a pretty good day, despite everything. I was glad we got out, I was glad there were no people near us. I was glad we weren’t potentially spreading anything or catching anything. We just got a hike in, cleared our heads, and went home.

We came home, unpacked, I took a long hot bath and read a book and made huli huli chicken and roasted vegetables for dinner. It’s a super stressful time and it’s hard not to resort to old patterns dealing with stress. But trying.

QUESTION: HOW ARE YOU!?!?

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!