Camping at Grayland Beach (III)

Well, we did it. We continued our annual tradition of camping with the Kizers by spending our third year at Grayland Beach – now with 50% more humans! This time around, we opted to stay somewhere with an actual roof and room for baby sleeping arrangements. After some research late last year, we landed on renting two yurts at Grayland Beach Campground. This place ticked all the boxes – it was under three hours from home, had roof/walls in case of rain, electricity, fire pits, and a proper bathroom including showers. It doesn’t necessarily meet my criteria for proper camping, but it was a great compromise given we had two infants with us.

The campsite was actually pretty great – quiet, a short walk to the beach, and everything you could really ask for when rolling the dice like we did. On the whole, Dom did pretty well. We didn’t do a whole lot, other than explore the immediate area and spend time away from life with friends. He didn’t sleep particularly well in his pack-n-play and we ended up getting somewhat creative about sleeping arrangements. We came back way more tired than we left, but I’m glad we made the effort. Things will be a lot easier when Dom’s sleeping in something that better resembles a bed. I think we have a bit more time before we’re all tent camping together and even then, maybe we put the boys in their own tent so the parents can get some personal space. :-)

We’re just a few months away from planning next year. There is talk of RVs…


Oregon Coast

We finished out June with our first family road trip to Bay City, Oregon. Given that Dominic is used to car rides under 30 minutes long, it was not surprising that the four hour drive took eight hours. In addition to stopping to eat and stretch our legs we also visited Astoria, Oregon. Astoria is the location of the Goonies House and the jail house from the movie opening. We rented a house in Bay City and spent most of the week relaxing at the house. The first day we were there it was in the 90s so Dom tested out the kiddie pool in the yard. The rest of the week it cooled off so we took a few short walks up the hill behind the house in between naps.

Adventuring beyond the house we started with a short hike out at the Cape Meares Lighthouse, then visited Tillamook the next day. Dom saw chickens for the first time and ate Brie at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. Then after lunch we stopped by the Tillamook Cheese Factory for ice cream.  We saved the longer car ride up to Cannon Beach for mid-week. It was about an hour drive North and Dominic’s reward for the time trapped in the car seat was finding a new friend at the playground. After lunch the sun came out and we all went to the beach. Dom LOVED playing in the sand and watching the kites, so it was a successful day.

Our last adventure before heading home was a short hike over the sand dunes along the Bayocean Spit. Once again Dominic had a blast playing in the sand. The beach was almost empty and not too long of a walk from the parking area so we would recommend checking out the beach to anyone visiting the area.

After an enjoyable week away we returned home. We learned lessons on our drive down, and the drive home went much better. It only took us six hours, with lunch at Wendy’s and a stop to crawl about at Starbucks on the way. Dom will never remember this adventure, but I am glad we started traveling with him early so he will be used to it as he gets older.

Lunch out with Fry

Exploring at the house.

Making friends

Ready for a hike.

Eating sand



Three months ago*, we took our first family trip/vacation to Napa. We wanted to get Dom on a plane early and we like to travel, so we picked a place that was the same time zone and only a few hours away to minimize the chance of making a horrible mistake. The good news is Dom did about as well as we could have hoped; we also learned that he’s entirely too big to be a lap infant.

Napa itself was a nice break from a pretty crappy spring in Seattle. It was in the 70s and 80s over the course of our stay and we got to soak up the sunshine to recharge our batteries. I think it’s a nice place to visit, but I’m not sure it’s somewhere I’d have to go again. I don’t know if we’d have a different opinion if we didn’t have an infant with us, although I will say we did get time away from him thanks to our fantastic nanny riding along for a few days. We even managed to treat ourselves to a private winery tour sans Dom, which made the most of a few hours of grown up time. The rest of the week, we relaxed in our apartment and at various locations around the valley. There’s really only so much you can do when you’re limited to three hours between naps. Mostly it was just a way for us to spend time together as a family. In that sense, we were very successful. We learned about traveling with a kid, we got to spend an uninterrupted week together, and we have these pictures where Dom already looks so young compared to how he looks today.

I’m not sure Dom will remember any of it, but we will. Oh, we went to Morimoto’s restaurant – it was awesome.

*It took us a year to do Vietnam, so we’re improving… right?