Every summer we end up going to oregon coast for a beach trip. I’ve written previously about how it has been a good routine every summer. This year we are taking two weeks and going to on a slow moving road trip to Las Angels. It’s funny how kids thing, that they are most excited about ended up in LA, seeing Hollywood, and that sort of thing. Arianna is sure that she will meet a director and has been developing a movie sales pitch for some sort of fancy director she is going to meet and tell how they need to do a reality TV show about our family. She has also been using the GoPro to record VLOG style videos rating activities we have been doing, with Alexander acting as the camera man. I’ll hopefully get to editing the footage at some point and make a video from it.

The first leg of our trip was to Coos Bay Oregon to which South Bend might actually be the larger city. I don’t believe I’ve ever been there before, but it was nice. We stayed in an AirBnB, Downtown Warm House Apartment. The house was ok. It had everything it said it did but a pretty bare-bones house. The trip down actually went pretty well. I even found an audiobook I could get the kids to listen to. I think we will finish it before we get to LA, but it is fun that the story’s hero’s are going to the same place as us.

On the trip down, we made a stop at In-and-Out Burger, so that the kids could order off of their not so secret menu.

photo of a girl wearing an In-N-Out Burger hat
Arianna Excited with her In-N-Out Burger hat

The greasy fast food wasn’t enough junk for for lunch. The kids got so excited when we told them they could pick out their own TV dinners. I think they don’t ever get to have them and it just isn’t something we keep at our house they were super into it. The next morning, we made use of the amazing Dunes in the area. We ended up driving back up to Florence and using Sandland Adventures to go on a tour of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, as well a go-cart ride. We road on a giant dune buggy with 20 other people. The scenery is gorgeous

Photo taken in the Oregon National Dunes depicting dunes and the flora around
One thing I did not expect was in doing a tour of the Oregon Dunes was how much flora and greenery there was.
Photo taken in the Oregon National Dunes
There is also hundreds of feet deep sand that has been blown into the area over the last 100,000 years

The tour was good. I really liked the guide we had, as he gave interesting facts, information about the ecology, and giving suggestions about what to do if we came back with our own Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV). I was reminded of high school, the little Chevy S-10 pickup I had in high school, and all of the off-road driving I did in the Point and around the Tri-Cities. We didn’t end up going on the more intense and faster tours that they offer for a higher price, but we did get a couple of everybody squealing with excitement moments going down some of the larger dunes.

After lunch at the International C-Food Market Seafood Restaurant, we went to the Hobbit Trail for a short hike just down to the beach. We didn’t follow the route to the lighthouse but went straight down to the beach. After walking through a thicket, it is a beautiful reveal to walk out into a secluded beach where we played on some giant rocks looking for marine life.

Photo outside of Florence Oregon of a beach with a hilltop in the side
I find the looking at the ocean and scenery to be encouraging
Photo outside of Florence Oregon of a beach with a giant rock and kids on it
Exploring around rocks at the beach can be so much fun

We spent the next afternoon exploring a few of the national parks near Coos Bay, eating a packed lunch of sandwiches at some picnic tables overlooking the ocean at Cape Arago. Then we took a hike Shore Acres State Park along a cliff side. The kids were enammered watching some sea lions and seals laying around.

Three kids looking over a cliff
The kids watched hung out at this cliff for like 30 minutes just watching the marine mammals.
Photo of rocks in the ocean with marine mammals
The Marine Mammals we were watching

That evening we went and hung out at Mingus Park, wandering around until we were surprised by the local library holding a summer event. They brought a magician from Olympia, Jeff Evans, who put on a pretty great show. Both Mateo and Arianna ended up going on stage with him.

Yesterday we made our way to California and Crescent City. After the long travel day we just spent a little time going to the Beach, and I actually went and hung out at Sea Quake Brewing to do an online supervision session for a couple of MSW’s that are working on obtaining their LICSW with me. It made me think about how interesting it could be to do more remote work, although I still really love working in person with people. There is a big freedom to being able to work from anywhere.

I’m still not sure the best way to share an album of photos. I’ve added a bunch of photos to 2023 Summer Family Road Trip - The First Leg: Sand Dunes and Family Fun that you can check out.

2023 Summer Family Road Trip - The First Leg: Sand Dunes and Family Fun