Thanksgiving at the Beach in Newport, Oregon

Thanksgiving this year was a week-long event that included a stop at my mom's house on the way north to Newport, Oregon, where we spent five days at a huge holiday gathering of our immediate and extended family. It's a very large group now; so many of my cousins have married and a few have had kids, so all together we needed three houses to accommodate everyone. The drive up from the Bay Area to the Central Oregon Coast was long. And I mean looooooong. If we didn't have a DVD player in the minivan I do not think we could ever do such a drive. Wow! What a trip. The kids did pretty well considering the amount of time in the car. The rain the whole way north wasn't ideal either, but we made it through. Of course, it was worth it to see family.

Unfortunately, the pouring rained continued nearly the entire time we were up there, which did no favor for our kids' behavior. They did not like to be cooped up in such a new and exciting place, but we did the best we could to keep them entertained. Honestly, they were wound up to the hilt because of the excitement of seeing family, a complete lack of routine and the inability to run around outside to get some of that energy out. It was outside the norm to say the least. Paul and I were a bit stressed about it, which made the whole situation worse. Oh, well. Live and learn.

Still, it was a good trip and I would do it over again in a heart beat. Next time, instead of being away from the "house of kids" beach rental we'd like to be in it, so our kids could have playmates the whole time. We'd also love to be near that fabulous park that we missed playing at because of the rain. Oh, yeah. And a little less stormy weather would be good, too! I hear we may have another chance to return in the summer and that sounds perfect! We loved the Oregon Coast Aquarium and would love another chance to explore it. Also, more beach time would be wonderful! Still, during the breaks in the rain we got in a few good portions of outside time as you'll see in the following pictures.

This our "Thankful Tree" that we made for one of our November art projects. Each of the leaves has written on it something for which one of us is thankful.

Lucy wrote one of the first leaves. All the kids helped cut the leaves. I helped Sammy and Annabel with some of the writing.

This is our tree after Thanksgiving!

Paul and Lucy the first night in Oregon at the Rogue Brewery.

Grandpa Red and Annabel at Aunt Anna and Uncle Mark's Olive Street house in Newport's Nye Beach District.

Annabel playing with Noel, my cousin Eric's daughter.

Nona with Annabel and Sammy.

Grandpa Red and Aunt Anna at Olive Street.

Sammy playing with my cousin Gina's son, Lucas.

Cousin Kim, Aunt Anna, my Mom and Uncle John in the foreground. Owen, Cousin Mike and Cousin Eric in the background. This was taken at the beach rental house one block west of the Olive Street house.

Grandpa Red and Uncle Mark after our lasagna pre-Thanksgiving dinner at the beach rental.

Uncle Pete and Brent, my cousin Kim's fiance.

My mom and her dog, Pookie, with Uncle John in the background.

Lucy, Annabel with Nona, their great grandma.

Paul playing with Sammy.

My cousin Mike's wife, Brianne, with Gina's second son, Austin.

There was a break in the storm the afternoon of Thanksgiving day, giving the kids an hour or so of outside time. This is near Aunt Anna and Uncle Mark's condo, right on Yaquina Bay. That's the Yaquina Bay Bridge in the background.

Lucy and the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

All three kids and the bridge.

Sammy and the bridge.

Harbor seals were hanging out in the bay. The seas were really rough because of the severe storms pounding the coast that week.

Annabel playing with Noel again at the beach rental house right before Thanksgiving dinner. Annabel really loved Noel!

Lucas and Sammy playing with cars and Lego.

Annabel with my Mom at Thanksgiving dinner.

After Thanksgiving dinner we played some games. Here is a picture of me, Annabel, Lucy and Aunt Anna playing Monopoly Junior.

Lucy at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Annabel at the harbor seal and sea lion tank.

Lucy at the hands-on tide pool.

Annabel in front of the sea otter habitat. There is one floating in the upper left portion of the pool.

Annabel, Lucy and I went for a walk to the beach while Sammy napped. Another break in the rain was so welcome!

Walking through the sand dunes. See the waves breaking in the background? Rough seas for sure.

Lucy had a great time jumping down the sand dunes.

Harbor seals (a bit hard to see them) resting on the rock jetty in Yaquina Bay.

A photo of my mom and the kids I took for her Christmas card this year.


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