February Mini-Break-A-Palooza

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So early last week The Lovely Rhonda decided that we just don’t have enough chaos around here and booked a beach cabin for the weekend.  And we packed up the minivan, Moby Titanic, with everything we own that would fit and off we drove.

(But first!  The washing machine died.  Nothing says “relaxing beach vacation” like spending the evening beforehand wringing sopping wet unmentionables out on the back patio and hanging them to drip in the bitter winds of Vancouver.  At least it had the decency to die on the very last load.)

So first thing Saturday morning we bundled up the Collective Spawn and hiked down to the beach.  The tide was either coming in or only just starting to go out, in other words high tide, and I warned the girls about sneaker waves.

About five seconds later, and I am totally not exaggerating there*, a sneaker wave nailed us and took the two older girls down.  TLR and the youngest were able to scamper out of the way but  I had to wade out and get the middle child.  They were right by me and not in any danger of being washed out to sea, to the point that I didn’t even have to jettison my latte, so it was more of an adventure than anything else, but it sufficiently terrified the youngest child that she freaked out anytime we got within a hundred yards of the waves for the rest of the weekend.

(*okay maybe just a little, but really it was nearly immediate)

Sneaker waves are so sneaky!

Note how relaxed and carefree the youngest looks. NOT.

So we went straight back to the cabin and got cleaned up.  There was about a pound of sand in Delia’s pants.

Later on we met up with some friends who also happened to be at the beach and we all enjoyed the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  Sadly, we didn’t get any photos of the actual friends, but rest assured that we have friends and we saw them at the beach.  No, really.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

They have a cobblestone beach there, made up of delightfully smooth round rocks that make a distinctive sound when the tide is washing them around.  There are tidepools down there at the cobble beach.  We made our way down to them and discovered that delightfully smooth round rocks ranging in size from golf ball to softball sized are the very devil to walk on.  Nevertheless we pressed on and saw anemones, sea urchins and sea stars, along with seals and hermit crabs and other such creatures.

*poke poke*

TLR’s oldest got a new hat since her old one washed out to sea so dramatically that morning.

These cobbles aren't that great to sit on either.

The rangers at the lighthouse have a “junior ranger” activity for the kids, which they all embraced earnestly.  Delia was a giant pain in the butt quite task-oriented in this regard.  On completion of a rigorous handout, the children got to take a vow and receive their junior woodchuck ranger badge.

Check out our badges!

At one point the kids — ours plus our friends’ two girls, for a total of five in all — discovered a small patch of sand along the trail by the lighthouse and descended upon it like prairie dogs.  Because, you know, sand is such a rarity at the beach.

OMG SAND!

The next day we went to what the youngest called “the safe beach.”  This was at Siletz Bay.  The bay is sheltered from the waves and has some areas that leave nice fingers of calm water perfect for splashing in.  Best of all, the beach is a treasure trove of agates, shells and pretty rocks.  We spent a long time here goofing off and picking up little bits of this and that.  It was not windy enough to fly kites, although we tried pretty hard.

Across the bay at top left of photo, the gray shapes are seals!

It was a pretty nice weekend at the beach.

Will be adorable for candy!

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