Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pastries, diggers and arcades

Today we split up and Josh took Frost to movies (Hellboy) and arcade in Seaside while Wren napped and then went on a walk with me to do some shopping and exploring. We were lucky enough to find some road works and building going on and spent a while watching a forklift and skid-steer carrying construction materials about. A larger excavator had left its bucket by the road and I told Wren he could get inside. Here is a picture of him with his favorite toy - the "tongs" we found in the kitchen of the rental house. He and Frost have tong wars in the afternoons and he likes to walk around the house and alternatively pick up toys and pinch the family with them. Frost is particularly satisfying because he runs away screaming when Wren comes to "pinch" him.

Outside the grocery store there was a mechanical horse which Wren noticed and wanted to ride. Here is is looking serious as he clings to the 'neigh'. Unfortunately, a car alarm started to go off before the horse stopped bucking from our quarter, so we had to rush inside and do our shopping. Wren chose some corn and an apple. I chose a chocolate bar.

Frost had a fabulous time at the arcade. He is collecting quarters from all the States and found a few new ones. However, the highlight of his time at the arcade was when he was playing a torpedo shooting video game and by a pure stroke of luck struck the fast moving rainbow coloured ship which triggered the jackpot of 106 tickets. He loves to tell this story in almost unintelligible detail bubbling over with excitement. He spent his ticket bonanza on candy.

This evening he asked to go to sleep early because he wants to wake up early on his birthday Eve (tomorrow). I mentioned I might let him open one present on his Birthday Eve because we will be traveling home on his birthday on Friday. This has now evolved into 'A Promise' and he is hoping to nag me to make it a Birthday Eve Morning gift instead.

We shall see.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Up to his neck in it

Today Frost received his wish to be buried up to his neck in sand. For some reason this was an idea he has been nurturing for a while. We went for a short hike through the Sitke Spruce forest of Oswald West State Forest down to Sand Cove beach. It was another brilliantly blue-skied day with a hot sun and a cool breeze.

The cove is very popular with surfers and boogy-boarders and I enjoyed peaking at the hot bods and trendy gear of the sub-culture while shepherding Wren and Frost around the beach. Wren was afraid of seagulls (which he calls "eagles"). He kept yelling out "EAGLE!" and running towards my safety crying when seagulls landed nearby to beg for scraps.

Frost loves being in the water, no matter how cold, and waded and splashed in both river and surf despite the icy temperatures and cold wind. He deeply appreciated his fleece when it was time to walk home.

Anyway, here is the picture of Frost being buried in the sand and Wren enjoying the chance to drop sand in his face without retaliation.

Manzanita Monday

Manzanita, Oregon
This week we are staying in Manzanita, Oregon. We have a vacation rental within walking distance of the beach and after a long drive down here yesterday (I suggested a short cut and will not say more) we have enjoyed settling in. The house is very comfortable with three bedrooms close together so each kiddo has their 'own' room. Frost didn't like the squeaking of his antique spring bed so he slept on the floor on the duvet.

Wren also slept well last night and so he and Frost woke at almost the same time which is unheard of (Wren was up twice before then, but that doesn't count).

I was keen to get out so after a quick breakfast of wicked vacation cereal we were the first family on the beach. At 7.45am it is populated by dogs and their walkers with the occasional retired couple striding purposefully along. The beach was absolutely still which was a contrast from yesterday evening when the sea was covered in white horses and kite-surfers jumping the waves. It was so windy last night that we decided not to set foot on the sand.

Anyway, this morning was warm with a slight chill and we had a fabulous hour and half building sand castles and a driftwood fort which included a 'tree' which Wren climbed.

Wren climbing the 'tree'.

Both boys were exuberant to reach the sand and spent 10 minutes running around and throwing themselves down in the powdery fine sand. At first, Wren was a bit anxious. He said "scared, big" and "no no, home" and then when he felt the sand announced it was "cold, snow".

Running and falling.

The sand was very cold at first, much colder than the air, but the sea was far out with a wide flat beach to run around with islands of soft powdery sand where the water had not reached.

Later, we drove to Tillamook and ate icecream at the cheese factory. Wren ate many blocks of cheese samples and we did some grocery shopping.

I think that we will go down early tomorrow again and spend more time on the beach with Josh.

Here are a few pictures of the log 'boat/fort' and the sand castle.