Just as the post-vacation sheen from our time in Minnesota was beginning to wear off, we packed our bags and headed out again, this time for a week in Central Oregon with my parents – I love August!
To break up the seven-hour haul to La Pine, we spent last Friday night in Portland. Bonus: a quick catch-up with Morgan and Elise!
My dad was in town and joined us for a brew-pub dinner with the kids.
These girls may have had one too many beers…
We enjoyed a leisurely Saturday morning at the house, soaking up the cousin time.
And then Shane strapped on his bike helmet, packed (and repacked, and repacked) his bags, and tossed me the car keys – my stud of a husband set out on a four-day 200-mile bike-packing trek from Portland to Bend!
See you on the flip side, hon!
Meanwhile, my dad, Jules, and I made the relatively short (but still sooooo long) four-hour drive to La Pine. We were greeted by my mom and Bernie and quickly settled into life among the trees – evening strolls in the woods and subsequent bucket baths to wash away the dust that sneaks between your toes.
Sunday was warm and sunny, so my dad and I took Juliette to the Sun River Aquatic Center for a dip in their pools.
She dug it.
So did I.
We dined that night at La Pine’s finest Mexican joint and then hit the local playground for a sunset romp.
As we turned onto my mom and dad’s street that evening, we spotted a deer and hopped out to say hello.
It’s so nice to let this little spitfire run free on the traffic-less open roads…
We came back from our deer hunt to find a campfire roaring in my parents’ backyard. This is the face of a kid that knows without a doubt, fire=marshmallows.
Jules and I woke on Monday morning to the smell of fresh coffee and sizzling bacon (thanks, Mom!). I think this guy wanted in on the breakfast action:
Fueled by caffeine and home cooking, Juliette and I headed out for a morning run/deer hunt. No bucks spotted this time around, but we did encounter a very sweet bunny and several bushy-tailed squirrels.
We spent the afternoon out at Cultus Lake, paddling and floating and splashing. This may be my favorite of the several Cascade lakes we’ve visited – a large, shallow bay with ultra-clear water and then the prettiest rich turquoises as you paddle further out.
She’s a great first mate.
We’re still making use of the cheap little floaty boat we bought for Juliette two years ago – she cruised around the shallow waters for nearly an hour.
We missed having Shane around, but…mama-Jules time was pretty special. We’d start out each naptime laying side-by-side, and then Juliette would snuggle a little closer, and then put her head on my chest, and eventually just stretch out her whole body on top of mine, whispering, “I want to be close, Mommy!”. Homegirl is gettin’ heavy, so I eventually had to roll her off of me in order to catch my breath, but those few minutes brought back such sweet memories of her baby days.
Post-nap, Juliette “helped” Grandpa man the grill for dinner…
And post-chicken, savored one more gooey s’more.
This is the point at which I realized I was in for one heck of a bedtime battle…
Juliette got her final wiggles out with a bike ride to the neighbor’s house to deliver some leftover chicken and then we called it a day.
A fun-filled, dirt-packed, joyous kind of day… Someone fill a bath for this kid, stat!
Tuesday morning we had one main objective: head to Bend and FIND DADDY! We met up with a tired, slightly scruffy Shane at Drake Park around 11:30. Jules shouted “Daddy! Daddy! My daddy’s here!” as he rounded the corner and then bounded into his arms – it was quite the reunion.
We sat on a park bench for a few minutes to have a drink and hear the major highlights.
Shane had rocked his ride, covering 200 miles and some serious elevation gain with his tent, sleeping bag, and food strapped on the back of his bike. I’m so proud of him. And so glad he got his adventure-fix – it’s good to have him back with us!
We laid low in the afternoon, tossing the ball around with Jules and letting her roam a little on her bike.
The weather was perfect for a river-side stroll, so after dinner we drove over to Wyeth Campground to watch the sun go down on the Deschutes.
Juliette did some bird-watching while her dad skipped rocks.
I love the pine trees and the water and the frequent deer sightings, but man, that Central Oregon dust makes for some seriously grimy feet!
Jules spent a little quality time with Bernie on the back deck when we got home, and then there were baths/books/bed and a morning good-bye to La Pine as we set out for part 2 of our vacation, at a rental house in Sisters, Oregon. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a perfect few days at Grandma-Grandpa camp!