Life, unedited. Take Three.

Summer has arrived! We had big plans to kick off Elliotte’s birthday with a road trip to Calgary to visit my sister but the great flood happened and road conditions were not ideal for time-limited travel with young children. So we did a little rearranging and found ourselves in Oregon, again. Year after year, we drive south on the I-5 and head for the coast after we make a stop in Portland for some good eats at the local food carts, must-have coffee from Stumptown roasters, and uhm yeah, tax free shopping!

Once we hit the coast, we always make Cannon Beach our base, where the beaches are flat for miles, dogs roam free, and park and viewpoint pullouts are every other mile, it seems. Nothing to complain about, or really any reason to leave, but there’s a special place at the Oregon Dunes that Derek and I remember being so magical when we first discovered them ten years ago. The viewpoint from the top of one of those dunes is simply breathtaking. Summer isn’t quite summer until we squish our toes in the dune sands. Talk about time-limited travel with children? We thought it would be a good idea to drive the almost four hours there and back in one day. P’shaw to schedules and clock-watching! We have activities and timelines all.the.time. to avoid meltdowns and tantrums and they still happen. So who cares. We are just going to embrace all the messy moments and stretch our kids roll with it because the  dunes are calling. A regular day in the office can just wait awhile.

So let’s do the math. Eight hours of driving time, plus a must-see stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for ice-cream and lunch, and a two hour play time at the dunes. A climb up to that viewpoint only to be turned away by whipping winds and swirling sand near the top. Disappointment. Get back in the car and drive back to base again. Throw in some incoherent tantrums, fights for who gets the iDevice, constant whining for snacks, interrupted cat naps, a thousand “When will we be home?”, and it’s a party in the car. It was 10pm by the time we pulled into our spot. Yikes! Time for the regularly scheduled program tomorrow? Nah. We’re still on vacation. Rest can wait until we get home.


The 20 month old refusing to follow the pack.


She decided this was the BEST place for a downward dog.


It’s WAY too windy for this!


Yes, we made it to the dunes and we’ll do it again!


And gone at 930 pm after much whining.


Finally! The lights of town!

Now please click over to check out my very talented and dear friend, Catherine McAteer, and her version of Real Life.

  • Gina said:

    Ah, I can relate to the looks beautiful, in spite of the wind and blowing sand. I adore the downward dog photo--so priceless!

  • Catherine M. said:

    Felicia - I loved reading your post this month. Your photos of your family always look so joyful and peaceful I am glad that the back story is more like our "real life" :) I really, really love the perspective, leading lines of the footsteps, and depth of field in the one of your dog running down the dunes. And that you included the last one as a "the end". So glad to be in a blog circle with you, my friend!

  • Ana said:

    Fun! I love the pictures in the dunes and how the shots from the car capture every day!

  • VR said:

    Loved these photos, specially the downward dog! Ah, the joys of traveling with little ones...

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