Our Family Vacation - East and West Coast Herman's
the recap - it's a long one
I always get hung up blogging after a trip because it feels a little overwhelming to write a post that does the trip justice. But if there is one thing I have learned as a not professional blogger, it is that it is better to post a post not doing an event justice than to wait, or not post at all (ahem, Lily's 5th birthday party!).
Lawrence's parents and his brother arrived with the twins in tow on Friday afternoon, my sister-in-law and oldest neice arrived on Friday night and we picked up 2 rental cars for our caravan to Sunriver. Saturday morning (Day 1) after loading a trailer (and I do mean TRAILER)full of stuff, a quick trip to VooDoo Donuts, and packing up coolers of food, we were off. When we were pulling out of our driveway, Addie said, "Okay, evwebody, weddy to wok and wool". Very funny, little girl, who desperately needed a nap yet only slept for 30 minutes of the 4 hour drive.
We all arrived at the house a little before check in, about 3:30pm. The kids got on the bikes straight away, and we all unloaded and claimed bedrooms. The house had 5 master bedrooms and we figured out sleeping arrangements that worked for everyone. Bryson was happy in the closet of our master, and the girls were thrilled to sleep in the kids bunk room with their cousins.
Tyler was thrilled to finally have a boy to hang out with. Though I think a year from now he will love it even more. He was hoping to teach Bryson how to pee standing up. We got half way there, Bryson DID learn to pull himself up fully to a standing position this trip! We couldn't resist getting cute boy cousin pictures in matching clothing. Bryson was even happy about it!
Day 2, since the temperature was forecast to be a high of 69, included a trip to the High Desert Museum. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was cool. Lily really enjoyed the presentation about the Birds of Prey and was taking a million pictures with her camera. There were a bunch of neat interactive type exhibits and I was impressed with the types of questions she was asking. We ran into some friends from Portland, which was funny and unexpected. The kids ran and played and got dirty. They also enjoyed an exhibit where they got to scrub the wood floor of an old farm house. Go Figure.We tried to push Addie through her nap without luck, she fell asleep in the stroller for a few minutes only to wake up a screaming monster version of her self. Good thing we were on our way out of the museum as it was. She screamed the rest of the way back to the house, (about 20 minutes) and when we got there, I took advantage of her overtiredness to give us both a much needed nap, cuddling together. I guess Lawrence, Julia, and the in-laws had the rest of the kids, but I was so busy snoring and drooling in Addie's hair that I couldn't say for sure. At around 5:30 pm I knew I needed to wake her or she'd never go to bed that night. So I took the opportunity to take some sleeping photos of her. Lawrence came in to wake us both and found me awake, standing on the bed snapping photos. :)
That night before bed, Lawrence, Lily, Julia, Addie, and I took a long bike ride. It was nice. I hadn't ridden a bike for a while. Fun. Addie rode in the trailer, Lily rode on her own (still with training wheels) and Bryson stayed with Grandma while we relived bike riding childhood memories with our girls.
Lawrence and I managed to have a lot of fun together on this trip. We got along awesome and were both in a very good frame of mind with a relaxed attitude. See what taking away work does for the soul?!
Day 3 started like most others, Uncle Mark making yummy breakfast sausage for everyone while I fumbled with my coffee, and dripped vanilla creamer all over the floor due to a mutilated lid. :) Then we bathed the children, who managed to get dirtier and dirtier earlier and earlier as the week went on. A surefire sign that fun is being had. It was COLD in the mornings, as low as 29 degrees one night, so the coffee and fireplace in the morning was great. Lawrence even went for a run and then jumped in the hot tub after that day. Something I planning to do each night but was collapsing with exhaustion after kids were in bed, so didn't. Exhaustion and dry skin! I was, we all were, very under packed in the lotion requirement department. High dessert. Cold and dry. A few times I spilled water on the kitchen floor and Lawrence was able to just mop it up with his dry feet. His joke, not mine. Anyway, that day, we also went to the park, sans our two little napping guys who stayed with Julia, and had sports fun with Lily.Jayme and I beat Lawrence and his dad in a soccer scrimmage (and that is REALLY sad considering I was wearing flip flops)! We played track ball, did the parachute, and once the little guys were awake, Julia call and we all packed up and went to the North Pool in the afternoon, Came home, had dinner and then did S'Mores that night.Bryson reading books with Grandpa before bed
Day 4. Tuesday. Overtired Addie asked to take a nap at 10:30am. Since we didn't want to see the screaming monster inside our 25 pound blondie, we let her and I stayed home with her (can you say quiet house!) then she and I met the rest of the fam at the pool (we discovered the much better and WARMER South pool this time) after a solid two hours of sleep. Bryson again LOVED the pool, when I arrived he was just falling asleep and took a nap, wet, in his bathing suit, wrapped in towels in the stroller. Man, he was cute. When we got back to the house, we all got showered and ready for family pictures. Devin Miller arrived a few minutes early and we had 2 hours of photos taken. They were good, especially considering we had 6 kids and 7 adults, and it was hot and kids were tired and hungry. She had her work cut out for her, and everyone was rewarded for sort of smiling pretty with more S'Mores that night back home. Uncle Mark also found an old style popcorn popper with a big pot/crank and made some home made popcorn. It was yummy and we all agreed popcorn just tastes better when it's made that way!
Day 5 - Bikes, Pool, Picnics, Bikes, Pool, and not much else. We had a very good day. And that night, Mark, Laureen, Lawrence, and I had a night out. THANKS JULIA! It was fun to have some kidless time with them, and to be able to sit and talk uninterrupted. It's been 2 years since we had that with Lawrence's brother and his wife. Way too long. I think Day 5, Wednesday was my favorite day of the whole vacation. No plans, beautiful weather, good family, I thoroughly enjoyed it. We aren't at a stage of life where vacation is relaxing.
It's fun, but it is not restful. This would be the day that was the most restful day if there was one.
Day 6 - Played in PJs all morning with cousins. Addie and Tyler still have a really cute special bond and they can't get enough of each other. I found them playing school and reading books together in the loft, just the two of them. After naps, McMenimans's Francis School for happy hour in Bend. I might have given Bryson his first tater tot, and he might have really liked it. Before bed Addie asked me how many more nights left, I said, 2 counting tonight. She said, "But I tot we have a whole week". The boys smoked cigars after bed time and tried to soak it off in the hot tub.
Day 7 - Celebrated our niece's 10th birthday a day early. Happy 10th Birthday Jayme!! In the morning, she went with her dad on a horse back ride, and our nephew gave everyone a scare with what ended in an urgent care trip for what turned out to be an asthma attack caused by partially by altitude sickness. Otherwise, the day was awesome. We played games, rode bikes, pulled the wagon, played ping pong (Lawrence REALLY enjoyed playing with his mom), foosball, and finally ate birthday cake and MORE S'MORES!! Before bed, I told Addie it was the last night, and she said, "But I still have one more pull up left". Ha! That was her Advent Calendar of the 7 nights of vacation. But she didn't bargain for us bringing an extra.
On the last day, we packed up - headed to Sunriver Lodge to take some pictures and then hit the road for the 4 hr drive home. We had one more dinner with Lawrence's family before they got on the red eye back to NJ.
At around 9pm that night I was beat, and I certainly was not jealous of the rest of the family who was just boarding, 4 tired adults with 3 tired kids. We were glad to have Sunday to clean up, do laundry, and regroup for the week ahead.
Thank you so much to Lawrence's parents. As the family grows and life gets busier and more expensive, time passes and it is difficult to see each other. We truly appreciate what they do to put a trip like this together for us all to see each other. Lily and Addie were broken hearted on Saturday night. Goodbyes have been plentiful as of late, and this one wasn't easy for them. They've looked forward to it all year and they loved the time with their cousins so much.