Family Road Trip: 1200 Km. in 48 Hours!

April 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm (goings-on, travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Leaving Friday night around our usual dinner time, we thought we’d eat on the road and our ten-month-old baby would just zonk out the rest of the way.  That night, he proved to be a rather unsettled car-sleeper, waking and crying often, us wondering if we were out of our minds to be attempting a whirlwind road trip with two kids.  Our six-year-old daughter pulled out a loose tooth about five minutes into the drive and had nothing for the blood save Mommy’s scarf.  Finally, with the kids both sleeping in the car, Mom and Dad had some quiet time on the road in which to discuss the wisdom of Mom committing to an unpaid (and therefore technically illegal, I’ve learned) farm internship for which she had interviewed that afternoon.  We pulled into Tumwater, WA (outside Olympia) well after midnight and, as if there wasn’t enough to do to before bed, Mom had to will herself to stay up long enough to play Tooth Fairy (good thing our rummaging for American cash before leaving the house had resulted in exactly $1 bill).

The Interstate was great for making good time to this point; now we hit the back roads.  Saturday morning we drove west toward Aberdeen.  To Raymond and South Bend–oyster capital of the world or something–and south to Astoria, OR, a beautifully run down town I could totally live in except that it’s just about too hilly for biking.  Drove for a bit admiring the old houses and downtown buildings.  Stopped at a coffeehouse in a restored old building under the bridge that had originally been a Finnish meat shop.  We needed wi-fi and we needed to ask a local where to get a memory card for our camera (can’t leave home without leaving something important behind).  Found a Walgreen’s, then headed to Cannon Beach, where Ellie got a kite, purchased from Mr. Cherry Garcia himself at the Kite Factory.

Found a playground.  Flew the Mermaid kite way up high while Henry crawled in the sand looking for tasty morsels to stick in his mouth.  Puzzled over the scene at the end of The Goonies where the ship comes out from behind Haystack Rock, which appears to be to the right, but in reality is to the left.  Ate fish ‘n chips.  Got salmon jerky.  Back in Astoria, we found the Goonies House overlooking the Columbia River where sea lions barked loudly.

Both kids asleep in the car, we drove the twisty, mountain roads once again looking at all the old houses, some beautifully restored to their Victorian colors, most not, most sagging and peeling.  Found a park with a merry-go-round, Mom insisting that Ellie get to experience the thrill of an authentic, high-speed merry-go-round like I haven’t seen since I was a kid.  The prevalence of blond hair on the playground gives away the town’s Scandinavian roots.  The Lewis and Clark expedition was stuck at Dismal Nitch (back on the WA side of the Columbia) for a week; not us–we stretched our legs, looked at the map, and decided, despite the late hour, to forge on to Long Beach, which was the original destination of our trip.  On the way, we got gas at a country bait store where the pumps were so old the price of gas couldn’t be set higher than $3.99, so they priced it by the half-gallon.

Mermaid, the kite, came with us as we strolled the boardwalk and saw an immature grey whale skeleton, “rearticulated.”  Henry learned to fall easily asleep in the car by this point.  Missed Marsh’s Free Museum, which Dad remembered going to as a kid and being freaked out by “Jake the Alligator Man” (maybe another time…).  Treated the kids to McDonald’s PlayPlace in Raymond since we’d never do it here.  Got a Big Mac.  Gross.

Back to Tumwater to sleep, Ellie so excited about bunk beds in the suite.  First thing Sunday morning, Big Box store the only place open to get swimsuits.  While Mommy and Ellie swam, Henry got a real crib nap, Daddy got to ‘relax.’  Checked out, went to Olympia Waterfront…

…got marjoram, peppermint, and bay laurel tree, cumin raw milk cheese (de-lish!), pink poodle balloon animal, and Mexican food for lunch at Farmer’s Market.  Saw port, state capitol view, decided Olympia waterfront leaves much to be desired as far as sight-seeing goes.  Henry had first ice cream.

To Snoqualmie Falls, which appears in the intro to the early ’90’s show Twin Peaks; the hiking trail was closed.  After studying the map there, Mom convinced Dad we should drive to Meadowbrook Farm Preserve, which we never found, but serendipitously came across Twede’s Cafe (exterior also used in Twin Peaks), which hosted a nice fan wall, and a motel that was also filmed for Twin Peaks.  Drove by Railway Museum, Dad realizing miles down the road that the old railroad cars had also made an appearance in the show… and that spontaneity can be fun.

Hit the road for Seattle, then north for Vancouver.  Little hold-up at the Border, but no problems bringing my undeclared plants into Canada.   Got home so late, I should have just gone straight to bed, but checked email instead, and was surprised to find (because I hadn’t expected him to be so prompt about it) an offer for a paying position at a really cool new store, The Homesteader’s Emporium.  So much for that unpaid internship!  I went to bed that night absolutely elated from the thrill of the trip followed by the excitement of this great news!  What a weekend!

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