Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pacific Beach, 2011

Last year, we made our first family trip to Pacific Beach with our friends Alison and Rhett. We camped at the state park and spent lots of time letting Stella and their dog Bisou run around in the sand. This year, Alison asked if we wanted to join them again, this time renting a house instead of camping since we both had little ones. (Fun fact, Alison had her son Oliver two days before Otto was born!) So, with a house rented, a good weather forecast, and our car packed to the gills, we set off on our first family overnight trip since Otto came on the scene.

Me and Otto hanging with Alison and Ollie!

We stayed in a little house a few blocks off the beach called the Salty Dog, and I think we'd all agree it was a little...salty. Clean and adequate for sure, but I don't think there was one 90-degree angle in the entire place. But it was a fine home for four adults, one toddler, two babies and one dog for two nights.

View down Pacific Beach--we were happy to get some sun, but we also love the more typical moody Washington coast

And we got there to beautiful sunny weather. The only downside? Infants and sun don't really mix since they can't have any sunscreen at this point. And, despite the sun, there was a fierce wind blowing when we made our first attempt to the beach. Shortly after we got to the beach, Otto decided to get hungry. Seeing as there wasn't any way to shield him from the elements while he ate, I walked the thankfully short walk back with a screaming baby while Stella and Tyler had some fun playing.

The next day was more of the same--sunny but windy. We went down for another visit after breakfast and had better luck. Stella, remembering Mexico perhaps, insisted on wearing her swimsuit--and only her swimsuit--out, but fortunately agreed to add on the layers we'd insisted on bringing along and had a good time building sand castles. Well, she quickly tired of the sand castle building and then ran around Tyler's castle fortress and added decorations she found in the sand.

Otto, geared up for the elements, including a sun hat and fleece blankie. this time he stayed blissfully asleep so I could have some time by the coast!

Stella, starting to build sand castles until she decided it was more fun to....

decorate ones built by...

Tyler, sand castle fortress builder extraordinaire

Queen (or probably princess) of the castles! Notice the swimming suit under the more weather appropriate clothes....

Later that day, we decided to try one of Alison and Rhett's tricks--driving onto a part of the beach further north from where we were staying so we could enjoy the view without all of the elements. And we were excited to have a chance to put the new car to use--four wheel drive and a nice big back we could sit in. Unfortunately, when we got there a sweet but abandoned dog wanted to make friends. Though he was friendly, he scared Stella who then refused to play or sit in the trunk. And the dog's sad situation made the rest of us depressed. So we hung out, briefly, with a little bit of kite flying before heading back to the house.

The new Subaru on the beach

Not exactly how we thought we'd spend that beach trip...

At least someone got to enjoy himself...

Not too surprisingly, between the babies and Stella, we spent a fair amount of time just hanging out in the Salty Dog. Here you can see the fate for newborns of this day and age:

Baby in one arm, iPad keeping the hands busy....

On our last day, we struck beach "gold": it was cloudy but warm and surprisingly calm. We made one last trek down enjoying the moodier Washington coast before it was time to head back to Seattle.

Last visit to the beach, at least for this year! (Otto slept through the whole thing.)

coming back from feeling the icy cold Pacific on my feet. Stella still found it "too loud."

Before we left, we thought it would be great to get a family portrait since we don't often have an easy way to have all of us in the picture at one time. Sadly, the kids didn't seem to be in the mood to cooperate:

Two crying kids, two worn out parents...not quite the portrait we had in mind...

But we did make up for it a bit at the beach:

Family self-portrait. No tears!

Fortunately, Otto was a great traveller, even though he's often a pretty fussy car passenger. And Stella kept up her enthusiasm for being in a "new house" as she calls any hotel or rental, and enjoyed having other adults to pepper with questions. (queue Stella ad nauseum: "Alison, what are you doing?" Lucky for us, Alison and found this cute rather than annoying.) And it was surprisingly calm and easy considering we had two babies about six weeks old in one house!

Already looking forward to next year's trip!

1 comment:

Curtis and Emily said...

I'm so impressed you guys already ventured out on a family vacation! Love the beach photos and congratulations on your new car! C and I got engaged at Pacific Beach, it's one of our favorite places!