July 1, 2014 Brookings to Bellingham

We started off this morning at 8am planning to stop for gas and head to Tillamook Oregon to visit the Tillamook cheese factory. We had no plans on where we were going to stay but where ever it is probably won’t compare to the RV park in Brookings.
The sun was shining and the waves were rolling in when we woke up. The area was so beautiful that we just wanted to stay but we also were beginning to get excited to be home and see Gizmo 🙂

The Oregon coast drive was so beautiful!

The Oregon coast drive was so beautiful!


We traveled up Hwy 101 on our way to Tillamook. There was a low layer of clouds that hung on the edge of the shoreline and made the views so pretty. So many lovely beaches that you could stop at and explore. Bandon was our first stop for a quick coffee and bakery treat. The salt air smelled so good and the sunshine was warm as we enjoyed our coffee at a little table outside of the shop.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream :)

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream 🙂

Continuing on our way we saw the landscape change from rocky outcroppings to sandy dunes. There were people in dune buggies climbing over these sandy hills. That is something we are going to try someday! After a seven hour drive we pulled into the parking lot at the Tillamook cheese factory. The area seemed to not have much happening besides the factory. We had intended to find somewhere to stay in Tillamook but we decided we would go check out the factory and then head a little further north and try to find something on the ocean for the night.

Factory overlook area.  They were making cheese

Factory overlook area. They were making cheese


The factory was neat. You just went on a self guided tour around the area. There were overlook areas that you could see the process of the cheese being wrapped and ready to be shipped. There was only one run going and the employees looked less than enthused to be there and be a spectacle to all these on looking tourists 🙂
Yummy treat!

Yummy treat!


After our brief tour we each got an ice cream treat and enjoyed it before heading back out to the RV to figure out what we were going to do next.
It was fun to see the factory.

It was fun to see the factory.


Scott and I looked at the map, called some RV parks that were up north in Seaside and Astoria and then decided to just head north and see what we could find. We set our GPS to Astoria so it would keep us on Hwy 101. REaching Astoria we found a Costco and got gas one last time. As we were leaving the GPS told us to turn down a certain road…Scott decided to do what it said since it said it was a business loop. We started down one road, turned up another…this was looking a bit “rural” for a business loop. I started to wonder where this thing was taking us. It said “in one-quarter mile turn right” Okay…wait, this is the city dump! It really did take us to the city dump…and it was closed and there was no through road!!! Ugh!!!! Tom Tom= Dumb Dumb!
This was ridiculous! We are 30 feet long and headed up this curvy narrow road. We drove a little further and found a little turn out that Scott maneuvered our RV into and turned us around. We were praying that no cars would come around this pretty blind corner and hit us…we don’t move quick when it comes to flipping a u-turn 🙂

This is the dump that our Tom Tom took us to when we left Tillamook

This is the dump that our Tom Tom took us to when we left Tillamook


God protected us and a car did come around the corner just as we straightened out and headed the opposite the way! Once back on the right road we decided that we may as well make the four and half hour drive back to Bellingham. We couldn’t find anywhere too exciting to stay and the lure of our own beds was too much 🙂
After 15 1/2 hours of driving for Scott we were finally home! We rolled into Bellingham at 11:30pm. The kids were glad to be home and were already looking forward to their reunion with Gizmo.
Back in Washington!

Back in Washington!


This trip has been such a huge blessing. We were all talking about our favorite moments in the RV and we all reminisced about various times we have had. The time and expense, the loss of work for Scott and the planning and packing is all worth it! We have created some really fun memories together, learned about history, experienced some of Gods amazing creative masterpieces and grown closer as a family. Our time with our kids seems to be going by so quickly so Scott and I feel very blessed that we have been able to have this time as a family. Thank you for reading about our trip and for covering us with prayer. We are so thankful for all our family and friends and look forward to connecting with you all over the rest of the summer.
Until we roll again 🙂

Advertisements

June 30, 2014 Heading north…as far as we can

When it comes to the last few days of our RV trips it is a mix of let’s get home and what else can we see before this is over? We started today at 8am in the hopes of making it as far north as we could so that our next two days would be more reasonable with the drive times.
The redwoods were a high priority for us. We had wanted to go a few years ago but opted for the straight I-5 shot down thru California for time and ease of travel. We were going to see them this time!

Wow!

Wow!

We drove out of Napa and thru Sonoma valley which was so pretty! The sun was shining and the rows of green stood out so beautifully on the hills of gold. A windy road that took us by many wineries on our way out of wine country. About four hours later we were pulling onto the scenic section of the old redwoods highway to drive thru the Valley of the Giants. The roadside area that was supposed to have a map and an auto tour guide were empty so we were going to just have to stop and see what we felt looked cool 🙂

Trying to be a "tree huger" :)

Trying to be a “tree hugger” 🙂

Okay…these are some truly amazing trees! We weren’t but 3 miles in and we were all freaking out at the size of these “giants”. We pulled off the road to climb over, in and around these huge trees. It was so mind-boggling how big they actually were. I know they say pictures just don’t capture it but you always feel like you kinda know what to expect. Wrong…we have found that pictures just don’t even come close. The experiences that we have gotten to have this June have been so priceless. We have experienced some of the most amazing natural wonders! It is so fun to see the excitement in the kids eyes. Ben, Katherine and Ellie could have stayed playing on all of these trees for hours!

Amazing how large, so many were hollow in the base.

Amazing how large, so many were hollow in the base.

They are standing inside the base of a downed tree...they look so tiny!

They are standing inside the base of a downed tree…they look so tiny!

Standing next to these trees makes you feel so small! It is crazy how so many of them are empty at the base…I am not sure why…some research ahead of me 🙂 We did learn that these trees don’t have a tap-root for water in the middle. Instead they have roots that go out from the tree about 6 feet under the ground and then a bunch of little branches off of those roots that can be over 100 feet from the tree. They said that a really established root system can only be removed by blasting it out!

So amazing how large these Redwoods are!!!!

So amazing how large these Redwoods are!!!!

Driving thru the Avenue of the Giants

Driving thru the Avenue of the Giants

We stopped and walked thru a drive thru tree…obviously our RV was far to big to fit through. I don’t know if I would want to drive through anyway…it looked awfully tight!

It was fun watching people drive thru...it was pretty tight!

It was fun watching people drive thru…it was pretty tight!

One of the drive thru trees...our motorhome would never fit!

One of the drive thru trees…our motorhome would never fit!

This is a true tree house!

This is a true tree house!

They had a couple of really cute tree houses made from hollowed out trees. They were very fun for the girls to play in for a bit 🙂

A lovely drive on the Redwood Highway

A lovely drive on the Redwood Highway

We continued on the Redwood Highway and decided that we could make it to Brookings Harbor, OR. The drive was so beautiful! Sometimes we would see the ocean and other times we were in a canopy of trees. I had to control myself with the picture taking 🙂 We arrived in Brookings around 6pm and found the most perfect RV area! Right by the beach! Our view was directly out to the water. The wind was light and the temperature was around 70 degrees…we were loving it! This is a perfect 2nd to last evening in our RV.

Ellie made a "fire pit" and roasted some sticks for us

Ellie made a “fire pit” and roasted some sticks for us

We made dinner and then walked on the beach. The kids skipped rocks and we watched a few surfers catch some waves. There were some great waves that they rode in. We saw some abandon fire pits on the beach and wanted to know if we could have a beach fire. Wouldn’t you know a fire truck drove through and Scott asked them…they said it was fine. The kids were so excited! We enjoyed the warmth of the fire, the sound of the waves and the setting of the sun. What a way to end our day.

Out door dining at its finest :)

Out door dining at its finest 🙂

Ellie took this picture from our site

Ellie took this picture from our site

Road trip 2014

Road trip 2014

This is such an amazing beach

This is such an amazing beach

DSC_0408

Beach fire!

Beach fire!

What a blessing this time has been for our family. We have seen Gods glory in his creation, spent time together and with our friends and enjoyed the beauty of this country. This year has been so different from last year. More history and visiting family and friends last year and this year has been about national parks and creation. We have loved them both! We feel truly blessed with this opportunity. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, we have felt covered and protected the whole time. We miss everyone and we do look forward to getting home in a couple of days. We love our home town and it will be nice to see everyone again!

They just love burning sticks...I totally remember loving this too!

They just love burning sticks…I totally remember loving this too!

The day is done

The day is done

June 29, 2014 Winery tours in an RV

We decided that we would try to visit a couple of wineries during our full day in Napa. Considering that there are nine of us all together we decided to roll in style…our RV 🙂 I don’t know how many people have done a wine tour in a motor home but it is a nice way to travel!

Rollin Rorvigs wine tour vehicle :)

Rollin Rorvigs wine tour vehicle 🙂

We picked up the Weston’s and headed out highway 29 towards all the wineries. I expected a quiet road with vineyards lining the sides. There were parts that were like that but the majority was a pretty busy highway. The vineyards are so pretty and it is so neat to see these lovely winery buildings tucked in the middle of a sea of green vines.

It was so hot, this fountain was the first thing they ran to at our first stop

It was so hot, this fountain was the first thing they ran to at our first stop


We were headed to the Robert Mondavi winery as our first stop. It was pretty hot outside and once we arrived the kids spotted and fountain and ran for it. Here we come Napa 🙂

A little frisbee to pass the time

A little frisbee to pass the time


The boys passed the time playing frisbee and cards. They all do such a great job listening and getting along. It is very easy to hang out as families…such a blessing. We love that our kids just love each other!
In the cellar of Robert Mondavi winery

In the cellar of Robert Mondavi winery


We took part in a 30 minute family tour that told us a little history on the founder and they showed us the processing area and the cellar. It was pretty interesting.
These girls have fun together no matter where they are!

These girls have fun together no matter where they are!

Relaxing at the Robert Mondavi winery

Relaxing at the Robert Mondavi winery


It was nearing 90 degrees and we found shade when we could. Relaxing in a place like this is rather easy 🙂 We were surrounded by the vineyards and it was really peaceful and quiet.
DSC_0090
We then headed to this castle on a hill. I forget the actually name of the winery but we just called it “The Castle”. This place looked just like an old world castle. The guy who built it apparently brought all the bricks that were used on the floors from Italy and the rest of the rocks used in the building from the property. It took over 14 years to construct! We did a basic self guided tour so we didn’t get to see the torture chamber on our tour but that may have freaked the kids out anyway. It even has all the tunnels and huge doors!
DSC_0103
When we walked to the castle we found a little barn area that housed some pigs so the kids thought that was fun. We walked over the draw bridge to enter and a little orange cat was sleeping in one of the holes in the rock wall. It was so cute, the kids loved it! We climbed up the stairs to walk around the turrets and catch some magnificent views!
DSC_0106

"What's the password?"

“What’s the password?”


We explored the chapel (they hold weddings there), the courtyard and other rooms that held a store and an informational video then we headed down a floor to the tasting area and retail store.
Fun experience tasting and learning a little about their wines

Fun experience tasting and learning a little about their wines


We stood under a ceiling that was concave so that you sounded like you were talking into a microphone! I had never experience that before. We had a guy tell us about the wines we were going to sample…well he told us a little. He was mostly a show man it seemed and liked to crack one joke after another. You really couldn’t tell if he was serious or not so it did get a little old. We were there to learn about the process and have fun…it was fun, just not much learning. They had a table for the kids to color at which was really nice.
DSC00571
When we were done tasting we decided that the kids wouldn’t want to stop anywhere else and it was 3:30 pm at this point and no one had eaten lunch. We all jumped back into the RV and headed to a diner that we had passed on the way out. It was super hot outside and the table we chose had a little shade but that didn’t help the heat! The food was really good but we were all melting so we made it quick and headed to the Weston’s hotel for a dip in the pool!
Another resident of this amazing castle

Another resident of this amazing castle

We saw a peacock while leaving the castle

We saw a peacock while leaving the castle


Willows aunt lives in Napa and her neighbor girl offered to watch our kids so we could go out to dinner that night. It was great that we could have a little time with Rob and Willow and the kids had a fun time together…as usual! It was super nice of Willows aunt to even drive us the restaurant and pick us up so we didn’t have to drive and park the RV in downtown Napa.
Fun times traveling in the RV with the Weston family

Fun times traveling in the RV with the Weston family


Napa was really fun and also not what I had expected. It is funny because it has a small town big town feel. Lots of restaurants in the older part of downtown and then a random Khols store. On the outskirts of the downtown area there are all the big stores like Target and things. It was fun to visit though and the vineyards are just so very pretty!
Tomorrow we are headed out of Napa to either northern California like Crescent City or southern Oregon….we will see how far we get. Our main goal is to visit the Redwoood Forest on the way and be wowed by some huge trees 🙂 Only a couple more days of travel left…bummer. We are looking forward to home too though…and of course seeing our Gizmo again 🙂