7.27.2014

"Spontaneous" Trip

I have been wanting to go to the coast again for a while. Who doesn't?? But we kept finding ourselves busy every weekend. Last Thursday, I couldn't fight it anymore. I told Brad we were going to the coast on Saturday. Don't make plans, it's going to happen. Giving myself two days to plan and get things ready for a small day trip to the coast is "spontaneous" for me :) 

Instead of going to the coastal town we normally go to, Florence, we decided to go to one a little further away called Newport. We've only been there once and that was for Gavin's second birthday and all we really did was go to the aquarium. Time for some exploring!
First up was the tide pools at Yaquina Head. I always loved going to the coast in California growing up and seeing all the cool stuff in the tide pools- anemone, sponges, crab, starfish, and all the other fun stuff I have no idea what their names are. I will say this- it was really cool, but a whole lot harder to navigate than the California coast. They had no sand. Just stones. At an incline. Made things interesting. The boys liked it, but James got nervous since we had let them know we needed to be careful where to walk/climb. So I think next time I'll just go to the Hatfield Marine Science Center and do their indoor tide pools where they boys can enjoy the creatures more. 
When we first came down to the beach, a guide was telling all visitors that we couldn't touch the starfish if we found any. Apparently they are getting sick and falling apart and they are trying to minimize whatever is happening from spreading. Right before we left, we saw a dead one, but made up for it by seeing about five alive ones. Better note to end on.
We then headed to a place called Aquarium Village. Online it seemed like a really cool place to visit. In person... meh. Fun pirate statues and other things to take pictures with and the boys loved it. The stores were... lacking and did not interest us at all. So we took some pics and moved on!
They were so excited to scramble about on this little ship
Aaaah, don't let it eat me! Jack nailed it
We then went over to Nye Beach. Heard great things about this beach and it did not disappoint. The boys generally only put their feet in the water so I didn't bother with swim stuff. So naturally they found a warm "pool" left over from high tide and got completely soaked and therefore they were put in their extra undies and hoodies. We be stylin'. We played in the sand and just had fun at the beach. After we changed clothes and baby powdered the heck out of the boys (seriously- miracle remover of sand) and went looking for some food. 
Beeline for the ocean!
Let's take some time to appreciate the two-year old in undies. Woot!
Ah, getting food at the coast. The hardest part is choosing where because there are so many places to try! We decided on a place called The Chowder Bowl. I had read some great reviews on their fish and chips (Brad's go-to coast meal) and bad and good reviews on their clam chowder in a bowl. I have only been eating clam chowder for the past three years. And I love it. So even though this was an iffy choice, someone needed to test it. So glad I did. It was pretty good! But I'm not picky (says the girl who just barely started eating clam chowder) :) We got the boys some fries and they then helped me eat my sourdough bowl. Also, they had the nicest staff. Definitely going there again. 
I'd say this trip got the ocean out of my system, but that's never going to happen. It was much needed and we loved it. Family day trips are honestly one of my favorite things. 

On a sidenote, pretty sure two major projects (well, i see them as major) are going to be finishing up at our house this week. And a certain big piece of furniture was delivered to our house on Tuesday. House is coming together!

6.30.2014

The Dirty Dash

Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously, if you do any race that is more for fun than running, please do a mud run. Please. It is so much dang fun. My sister, Rach, and I had talked before about doing a color run, but in January I saw that the Dirty Dash was coming to Eugene and if you signed up early, you got a pretty good deal. It was an easy decision- heck yes. The day of our dash finally came this last Saturday and it did not disappoint!

 Caution: Wide-Ass Turns... couldn't resist
The race was a 6k (so 3.7ish miles) and was held at Mount Pisgah, the south part of our city. Thinking it was late June and later in the day might be hot, we signed up for the 9:40 wave. Well, the lovely Pacific Northwest weather decided to rear its head this week and it's been chilly and rainy all week. Extra muddy, right?! No complaints, just made it a little chillier than anticipated :) We got there early and just felt the excitement... and took pictures. Finally it was our turn! There is a mud pit right at the start and people kept climbing down to smear mud on themselves while we waited to go. We just laughed- there was going to be plenty of time to get muddy, people! Just too tempting, I guess. Our time came and we all went. So many people! The race had haystacks to climb and jump down from, trenches of mud to hurdle, walls to jump over, pipes to crawl through, pipes to duck under, rope walls and a water slide, shooting mud pit, tire hopping, mud pits to slosh through, and so much more. 
And WE'RE OFF!
Poor Rachel had someone really splashy in front of her and kept getting mud in the face
Grooving through the foam
Rach couldn't resist tossing some foam at me
These inflatable hurtles were harder than they looked
So dang graceful...
The boys had gone with me to pick up our race packets the day before and I told them we were doing a mud run. I asked them if they would want a muddy hug from me and all of them said, "YEAH!" Well, I don't think they realized how muddy mommy was going to be because they wouldn't come within three feet of me!  Thank heavens, because I really didn't want to have them muddy as well!
I had wanted to slide down this, but it wasn't wet or steep enough for me to. So run we did :)
Get some good air...
... and end with a splash!
Last mud pit
Rachel seriously had to push my bum to get out of this pit. So dang slippery
Down...
Down...
Doooown we went into the mud pit
FINISHED!

We both got beat up a bit (my right shins and ankle got the brunt of it and am sporting some good bruises), but it was so worth it. So so worth it. We're back to talking about a color run... or maybe another mud run. Or who knows, maybe both. 
As much fun as the race was, I know going with my sister definitely added to the excitement and the fun. It made it special. I'm so grateful for a sister who goes along with me and understands my physical limits. She pushes me but also makes me realize it's ok to not push all the time. Special thanks to the man behind the photos, Rach's boyfriend Thomas. He was awesome and came early with us and followed us around the course taking all these amazing pictures. I can't stop looking at them, just smiling and laughing at the wonderful time we had. Can't wait for the next race!