Here We Go With the Vacation Post
Friday we got back from four nights of camping in the wilds of Washington State. My husband has spent many a night in his one-man mountain tent while backpacking, but this was our summer to do it up car camping style as a family. We got ourselves a tent, a camp stove, busted out the iron skillet and got a portable french press, bought comfy new bags and sleeping pads and away we went on a Sunday night, praying to find a campsite at Twanoh State Park where sites are not reservable, and where they ended up in fact being quite plentiful.
Twanoh has incredible history for me. If you've never been to the Hood Canal in Washington, go. It's beautiful. When I was about five we did our first camping trip there, returning a few times over the years. We have some of the richest pictures of my mom, pregnant with my youngest brother, (wearing a maternity shirt with an arrow pointing to her that says MOM and the sweetest homemade plaid maternity pants EV-ER munching blankly on a carrot stick as if to say, camping is hell). But for us, camping never felt like hell. And with our little ones in tow it wasn't hell. It was really fun. (Yes, my husband did all the cooking).
Twanoh is great because it has a forested campground but on the opposite side of the road there's a big saltwater beach with oyster and clam shells aplenty. We did a bunch of "beach combing" one of the days, uncovering big oyster-encrusted rocks to reveal hermit crabs, crabs, even a mini-eel that was, uh, kind of a surprise. You can just bet that the teacher in me was EATING UP all the chances to teach the kids about stuff we saw, like the tides, and the sea life, etc. etc. There's a trail there that we explored, spotting our first ever in-the-flesh hopping frog. We also did some trekking through the sweet stream by our campground. We found another frog that mommy captured for Jooge to hold. Good times.
The second two nights we headed north for an exciting ferry ride to Orcas Island in the San Juans and camped at a site at Moran State Park. We had no clue how gorgeous it would be, no clue how we would score on our huge, gorgeous, old-growth crowded campsite, but we did big time. There we communed with deer, swam in the lake, explored Mount Constitution and overall felt at peace and in tune with the beauty. The kids were SO. GOOD. Not every moment was perfection, but I've deduced that we have ourselves some very adaptable happy campers on our hands. And can I just say, I love the San Juan islands!
On our way home we stopped in Seattle for a stay that lasted less than 24 hours. Our luck with driving was incredible, sailing into Seattle right at 5, then sailing into Portland the next day right at 5. Ironically we hit our slowest traffic near Centralia of all places. Hello! While in Seattle we hit Pike Place Market, ate a Piroshky admired the pigs everywhere. We did the Aquarium and Ivars for tasty seafood, and then the dusty trail called us home right in time for a nap that nobody was used to taking and a nap that nobody did take. It's so good to get away from home, so good to return.