Saturday, June 28, 2008

My favorite pictures from Ocean Shores

I guess my pixel count must be high because I had a hard time getting these pictures to work with the last entry. Rather than spend another hour trying to make it work, I will just add them here! Coming soon...Natalie's high school graduation party!

Ocean Shores, WA

We spent two nights at a condo on the beach in Ocean Shores, WA, about a three hour drive from Portland. Here are some views from our patio.

It's a sleepy little beach town on a 2 mile wide and 6 mile long penninsula. I find it particularily interesting there because on the western pacific side, the land is flat, sandy and wind blown. The dune grasses and petrified wood are a beach combers delight. I love how the sand is blown into waves themselves and wood is half buried in it. The shoreline here has little distinction between sea and land.

At the jetty's southern most point and east, the terrain changes to rainforest. The trees are covered in moss and lush ferns grow over and under everything. The wind dies down and at times the only sound that can be heard is the birds singing among the vines.

There are only two main thoroughfares running north and south down the penninsula-Pt. Brown and Ocean Shores Blvds. There are no stop lights in town, just four way stops. The only ones who really have a right of way are the deer. Hundreds of them. And they are practically tame. They just look you in the eye, and continue on their way.

There are also 23 miles of canals that all lead into Duck Lake a lake that is 3 miles long and about 1/2 wide. The canals are all fresh water and are useable for watercraft. We didn't have a chance to try our luck, but apparently the fishing is good, too. If you ever venture out that way, be sure to stop at the visitors center at Pt. Brown Blvd and Discovery Way. The docents are friendly and there is lots to do. Dante even enjoyed the full 90 minutes we spent there. Oh yea-and lots of good letterboxes in the area, too!

These are pictures from the western pacific side of Ocean Shores. The beaches are so much wilder and wider than ours in Southern California. The people are cationed to never turn their backs to the water as sneaker waves can come up the shoreline at any time without warning. The rip currents are vicious and the water is always frigid. The storms are a sight to see and the dunes and wildness of it are a wonder.

Some views from the Bell Canal-one of many canals that run through the town.

View from the community club on the Eastern bayside of town. It really is amazing to me the microclimate of this little finger of land that juts out into the sea.

Some parting images of our time at the shore in Washington.

Last stop: Santa Cruz KOA

Last stop before our trek becomes just another memory! We had a great time relaxing and watching the kids have fun at our 'camp' site. . The KOA's are a great organization. They are family oriented, have lots of kids activities and have great customer service! If you haven't been to one since the 1970's (along with those Up with People concerts...) I highly recommend them. Especially if you have small children. And you're a city girl/guy at heart. They are usually within minutes of local tourist attractions.

The kids having fun and relaxing at the Santa Cruz KOA. We stopped here and stayed for two nights to get a bit of a 'vacation' from our vacation. The boys loved it and made fast friendships.

The boys rode the KOA train around the campground about 1/2 a dozen times. Both boys love trains, but especially Jonah. He talked about that train most the the way home.

The jumping pillow was a big hit with the boys...with all the kids at the campground, really. As long as it was inflated, there were gaggles of kids jumping all over it!

The boys had a great time on the mechanical bull at the KOA in Santa Cruz. Since they weren't offering beer and there wasn't a country band in sight, I declined.

YUM! After two summers of camping out, we finally got the boys to roast the marshmallows AND eat them!

The boys loved staying in the Kamping Kabins at KOA. I can't really call it camping, but we did sleep in sleeping bags, roast marshmallows,and walk to the bathrooms. However, we did have electricity in the cabins, and a space heater. Ahhh, the comforts of home withouth the square footage...And aren't those hanging plants and front porch swing just adorable?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kindergarten Graduation June 10th 2008

Wow! So big he has a mustache already!

the family

with ana and emily

getting his certificate from Mrs. Witowitch

Dante walking to Pomp and Circumstance

proud dante

tante omi, onkle opa and jonah with the proud graduate

Dante is offically a "Big Boy" now. He graduated from Kindergarten at St. Francis of Assisi Parch School yesterday. It was a lovely ceremony. The childern marched into the church two by two to "Pomp and Circumstance." They assembled on the alter steps and sang a few songs, read from the podium (yes READ! in Kindergarten!) sang some more, received their certificates, and then filed back out to the hall for some cake. I was so proud of tears! I was sure I would cry, I even brought kleenex with me. But Dante had such a proud look on his face the whole day that all I could do was smile. After we had cake and punch, we invited some of his friends to join us at Chuck E Cheese to continue the celebration. After all, even Big Boys are never too old for Chuck E's!.