We spent a few days in Oregon over the weekend. We didn't have a particular reason for going; I just like it there. It was fabulous, as always.
We stayed in the Willamette* Valley, at my aunt's house, which was full of good food and lovely people. On Friday we drove out to Newport, on the coast, and spent the day at the ocean. Oregon State University has a marine science center there, complete with petting tank. Really. Here's me, petting a baby skate:
Peach wasn't so sure about the whole fish-petting idea. She petted the anemones, but declined touching the starfish - "It looks pokey." Everything else in the tank was moving, and she was not OK with that.
The aquarium gift shop had a poster on display which, in retrospect, I probably should have bought. How often do I find a poster with my actual name on it?
The kids loved the beach, and would fain have played in the ocean all day and all night.
But since the water temperature is around 38°, we made them come out after an hour or so.
The cousins I played with as a child now have children of their own, who are about the same ages as my children. Peach is still figuring out how extended family relationships work, and hasn't quite wrapped her head around the fact that her aunts and uncles are her parents' sisters and brothers. Under the circumstances, I didn't think it would be useful or efficient to try to explain how the various people she met were related to her, so I just told her the kids were her "cousins." Although it doesn't look like it in this picture, she is having quite a good time.
Link and Peach traveled surprisingly well, and we made the trip there and back without incident. (OK, there was one little incident. Words you never want to hear from the back seat of the rental car as you're heading up I-5 on your way to the airport: "I'm throwing up now.") Link is big enough now to carry his own clothes in his backpack and tote his booster seat as well. Peach's backpack wasn't big enough for all her clothes, so she carried a toy duck in it instead. Here we are buying tickets for the train in Portland:
It was a really nice trip. We had no internet access for five days, and we didn't even bring our computers with us. There was nothing I could do about my thesis, so I just didn't think about it. I read cheap detective novels and watched "Jeopardy" and ate as much as I wanted and never had to cook. I really didn't want to come back.
* It's pronounced will-AM-it, if you were wondering.