Our 2-years-in-the-making road trip has officially begun.
We spent all last week tying up the many loose ends at home. We did doctor appointments, last minute shopping, I had lunch with my sisters (and cried when we said goodbye), my mother-in-law came over one day to make slipcovers for the bench seats in the trailer (a full tour is still to come!), we packed and sorted and cleaned.
Friday was the kids’ last day of school. As I mentioned in this post, we were so pleasantly surprised at how supportive our school district was in helping us make this trip possible. We filled out the forms and brought teacher gifts, hugged classmates and teachers and that was that.
Later that afternoon, the neighborhood friends threw the kids a bon voyage party which went well into our last evening at home.
Our parents stopped by, too, then Ryan’s brother and sister-in-law, then one of our good friends. All the while, Audrey was seriously in pain from an earache and up until 2am. Earlier in the day I had taken her to the doctor to get her ear checked (not an ear infection), and we hoped it would just go away (P.S. It didn’t. We’re currently on day 4 and her ear is still sore. She’s been surviving on a steady mix of tylenol and ibuprofen which is working its magic. Poor thing has been in pain and pushing through it like the brave girl she is. We’re thinking it’s just about healed up but your prayers are always appreciated!).
Needless to say, all the packing and prepping I had planned to do that day didn’t really go as planned.
Saturday April 30th was our official leave day!
We spent the morning packing, loading up the car and trailer, making sure we had everything we needed, took a few photos, hopped in the car and off we went!
From Seattle, we drove south to Oregon, stopping for dinner in Astoria. We ate at a fun restaurant with a glass floor where you can see Sea Lions on the docks below. We didn’t see any, but while using the restroom, they were barking loudly under us! The kids found that to be very entertaining.
We finished the drive and spent our first night in Cannon Beach, Oregon. My family used to vacation in Cannon Beach when I was growing up, but it was the first time for our kiddos and we loved every second of our stay.
We enjoyed fancy coffees and the best morning muffins from Sleep Monk, then took a walk down to the beach.
Haystack Rock is always so impressive – especially on this most gorgeous of all May Days.
Later that afternoon, we changed into swim suits and played hard at the beach. Our kids swim in the Pacific Ocean all the time at home, but our beaches are much rockier, with barnacles and usually we are in places without a real surf. Watching my babies enjoy the ‘real’ beach -playing in the waves, exploring the tidepools, laying in the warm sand – it reminded me on day 1 that this is why we are doing this trip: to open our eyes and experience the diverse beauty of our country.
We’re starting a few traditions on the trip. One of them is to take a sunset photo everyday. I’m posting them all on instagram with the hastag #107sunsets and I can’t wait to see the whole collection at the end of our adventure.
On Day 3, we drove from Cannon Beach south along the 101 with the most magnificient views of the ocean right outside our window. We stopped at a little viewing point and took it all in. While standing there, two whales swam by below! In all my years as a Pacific Northwest girl, I have only seen Orcas in the Puget Sound (that just happened this fall), and the vague shadow and blowing sounds late at night at our friends’ beach house on Whidbey Island. This was my first time seeing a whale out in the open waters and it just made my day.
We stopped by the Tillamook Cheese factory (not really worth it, but the icecream was amazing), then continued down the coast to Florence.
Yesterday we explored the sand dunes along the coast. We went on a half-hour dune buggy thrill ride (so much fun) then later ran down hill after hill of soft sand.
The rain held off for us so we ventured out to Heceta Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse is built up on a cliff that you can walk up to through a pretty tree-lined trail. Down below is a big open beach with caves and rocks for climbing and jumping off of.
The ocean is just so beautiful. Even on a foggy, overcast day. I know we have so many other places to visit and each one will awe us with it’s unique beauty, but goodness the Oregon coast sure is wonderful.
The Heceta Head Lighthouse was a really great stop, too. We made it just in time for a quick tour where we learned a little bit of the history of this old lighthouse. It was built in 1892, and renovated just recently to restore it back to it’s original form.
I have a thing for lighthouses and was excited to see this one and another on the Atlantic later this summer. #fromseatoshiningsea
After four days of this adventure, we can say that things haven’t gone perfectly (broken valve in the toilet! child up all night with an earache!) but we’re just so grateful for this opportunity. We’re figuring out how to live in a trailer, how to hitch and un-hitch, how to best organize our stuff, how to cook in tight quarters, how to get just enough work time in … and so far, it’s so worth it. We’re together as a family, doing and seeing cool, fun things, taking it all in one sight at a time.
Next Up: we’re headed into California to visit the Redwood Forest, San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego.
You can follow along with the day-to-day on instagram (@jonesdesigncompany).
Registration is OPEN for the Simplified Penmanship online class.