Hiiiieeeeee! Hi hello! I’m back as promised, with a (seriously long, good luck!) post about what in the heck we’ve been up to lately. And why I hadn’t written anything in so long. And really the only excuse I have is that my fam and I have been taking full-fledged advantage of the long work break that Casey has been on, which has meant a lot of traveling, a lot of exploring, quite a few family naps… and not a lot of blogging. It’s been kind of lovely to disconnect a bit but I’ve really missed coming here to share ridiculous thoughts and stories. I mean, I can only say so many stupid things to Casey before he just up and leaves the room or picks up his phone to check ESPN. But here, I can say as many stupid things as I want and you just accept me! Right? Right. Wait, right?? Right. Right? Riiiiiight…
You’re checking ESPN right now, aren’t you?
So cutting to the chase, our summer has been pretty freaking sweet. Until today that is, because today is Casey’s first day back at work after his 9 week break. I really have no right to complain or feel bad for myself, do I? But has that ever stopped me before? Nope. WAAAAAA! It’s just been so amazing to have this time together as a family. We’ve made so many fun memories this summer and to have Casey home for this long, especially with Crosby at the age he’s at, has been seriously awesome. I’m super thankful, but totally bummed it’s over.
Anyhoo, here’s the part where I detail pretty much every little thing we’ve been up to for the past few weeks. I feel a little indulgent for sharing all these fun adventures… but I also want to make sure we have these memories saved somewhere. So. Read on if you please!
The Thompson Summer Summary (summery?!) comin atcha… in 3….2…
Week 1. As I mentioned before, we took the first week of #vacaseytion and basically ripped apart, and then put back together, our backyard. We’d been wanting to fix it up back there since we bought the house but never really had the time or the dolla bills to hire someone to do it. (I actually called one landscaping company and when I told the designer our budget she laughed. Hrmmph.) So we took it on ourselves, like a coupla studmuffins. We built a deck, finished a fence, tore down an old crumbling shed (ok, fine, we paid a man with a machine to do that) made a giant sandbox, planted grass, did a bunch of landscaping, and then spent 3 days blowing dirt out of our noses. I wish I were kidding. And anyways, it’s nothing fancy and there are still a few things we’d like to finish up, but it’s such an awesome spot to relax and hang out now. Here’s a quick before/after glance…
Weeks 2-4. After all that manual labor, we peaced out on a 3-week trip to Minnesota. And as a reminder, we drove there. The verdict? Guys, it was great! The dogs did great, Crosby did great, it was great! I’m not even being sarcastic. For the first time ever. I mean listen, we all got a little stir-crazy from time to time, and the drive to Minnesota was definitely easier than the drive back. But all in all, it was actually pretty fun. And I didn’t even eat any french fries or corn nuts! I KNOW, RIGHT?! (PS would anyone be interested in a blog post about our tips for a long drive with a baby? Yes, no, maybe?)
We pretty much hauled ass on the way there (24 hour drive in 2.5 days) and stayed at little KOA cabins along the way. Which I would highly recommend! Especially if you’re traveling with little ones and/or dogs and just need a place to crash for the night. Each little cabin we stayed in had a double bed and a bunk bed and was just the right size for us. There are some cabins that have bathrooms but ours didn’t, so the downside was using campground-style bathroom/showers. But, as a pretty seasoned car-camper, I can tell you that KOA bathrooms are hands down the cleanest camping bathrooms I’ve ever experienced. Major kudos, KOA. Plus the cabins are way cheaper than hotels. Plus, it’s an experience! Plus, after you put your little one to bed you can sit outside at your picnic table and drink wine from a sippy cup and talk to your next door cabin neighbor about his time in Vietnam. MEMORIES. Are we sick of talking about the dang KOA’s yet?
Once we got to MN we spent the better part of 2 weeks bebopping from family to family. It was amazing to be able to spend more than just a night or two with each of them, as we usually do on our trips back to the motherland. We actually got some good quality hang time with everyone. Let’s be honest though, everyone was way more excited to hang out with Crosby than with Casey and me, but we’re cool with it. I mean, can you blame them?
We’re always on a sort of emotional rollercoaster when we leave MN. We love love being with our families, and we honestly love Minnesota (in the fall, spring and summer), but we also love love Portland and our life here. It’s just always such a weird feeling of, which place is home?
Though you know what some people say… home is just where the wine is.
“Some people” may or may not be me.
On our drive back we stopped in Couer d’Alene, Idaho for a few nights and rented a house near the lake. That lake is killer, man. And our house was right across from it, with like, deer prancing through our yard and such. It was so beautiful, so relaxing, and so friggin’ HOT. Note to self: next time you’re booking an airbnb for your family in the middle of summer, make sure the house has AC. Rookie mistake.
Week 5. After we got back to Portland from that long-ass trip, we unpacked our bags and just sort of laid facedown on our bed for 5 days. Not to worry, we took occasional breaks to see friends, barbecue, drink some beers, and feed Crosby. In that order, but backwards. On repeat.
Week 6. Next on the list of adventuring was taking Crosby on his first camping trip. So we got back in the car, packed with somehow more stuff for a 4-day trip than it had been for a 3-week road trip (??) and headed down the coast to a campground outside of Florence, OR. I gotta hand it to Crosby, he handled tent-life much better than we expected. (Would anyone be interested in our tips for camping with a little one? Yes, no, maybe? Who do I think I am, some kind of expert?) The area was amazeball central…. we explored some sand dunes, hung out around a lake, ate a bunch of campfire pizzas, I tripped over a rock coming back from the bathroom late at a night and got a huge gash in my toe… it was lovely.
From there we traveled back up the coast to the little town of Netarts where we had rented a house for the weekend with a few friends. 3 couples, 4 dogs, 1 baby, 13 freshly caught crab + approximately 187 bottles of wine. Perfect combination for a lovely weekend. Not lovely? Crosby’s 5:30 am wakeup calls. Especially after staying up way too late playing pass the pigs and zoomie zoomie (what up, MN drinking games!). Luckily our friends were good sports about having a 24 pound alarm clock waking them up on their beach vacation.
Week 7. And so THEN! We again came home and relaxed and did some Portlandy things for a week… beer festival, splash pads, zoo, beach, beers, wine.
Week 8. We packed it all up AGAIN for another camping trip. This time we headed to Crater Lake in southern OR. Have you ever been? Good glob it is beautiful! Seriously one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been to. We camped near the lake and spent a whole day driving around it and attempting our asses off to get a decent family photo of all 5 of us, in which Crosby is looking and the dogs aren’t attempting to jump over the rim of the lake in order to catch a mother effing chipmunk. Epic fail.
But these views!
We spent 2 nights camping near the lake, which was more than enough because holy COLD at night. The daytime was beautiful but it got down to the upper 30’s both nights we were there. Crosby was such a trooper, especially because he’s been teething like a b, but he woke up at 4:30 (!!!!) both days we were there. Not okay. Understandable, but not okay.
From there we went to Bend, OR for a quick overnight trip, which was really just an excuse to hit up a bunch of their breweries. Priorities, people. After that, we had hopes of staying a few nights at Mt Hood but the campground we wanted was full/Crosby’s toofs hurt/we were all kind of poop-a-looped, so we just headed home a few days early.
Week 9. Hang time, downtime and more chillaxing. Nothing too exciting except one day we took a little day trip to Hood River to drink wine/taste beer. (If you’re sensing a theme to this summer, let’s discuss it over a beer….)
And that, as they say, is that.
I’m super bummed that Casey is back at work, but a teeny tiny part of me is also excited to get back on some semblance of a schedule with Crosby. Like I said, we really took advantage of this summer to relax and be on vacation (I took more naps in the last 2.5 months than I have in the last 5 years.) but now I feel like we’re ready to get into a groove again. I also need to feel productive again, like I accomplished something other than, hey I didn’t nap today! Weird. So here is me, putting in writing that I will (hopefully) be putting more things in writing in the near future. Whether you like it or not :)
Thanks for making it to the end! And hey, what have you all been up to!? I’ve missed you!