Friday morning, we got up and packed up our stuff. We met a few photographer friends at Voodoo Donuts. The kids all had M&M donuts… well, Lia just picked off the M&M’s. They conned us out of some quarters so they could play the pinball machines. I had forgotten how much fun pinball machines are!
After we ate our donuts and chatted for awhile, it was time for us to head out of Portland. We took I-5 South towards Grants Pass. I taught the kids how to play rock-paper-scissors a few days ago, so they were trying out their new game quite a bit. Max and Ava added dynamite, which blows up everything and double scissors, which also beats everything else.
We ate sandwiches in the car while we were driving, but by the time we got to Eugene, Oregon we were all starving and ready to get out of the car. I got a chicken quesadilla at Chipotle (which, by the way, it seems like our kids have outgrown their distaste for Chipotle’s white cheese… yay!). Josh found a juice bar in the GPS and we tried to find it, but couldn’t.
I  checked the Yelp app and was able to find a juice bar called New Odyssey Juice & Java, so we made our way that direction. The guy running the place was super friendly and we ended up getting three smoothies. The best part was, they made the kids’ smoothie with all the same ingredients as we make it with at home. And they used all organic ingredients. It was exactly what we needed!
After we drank our smoothies, we continued down I-5 to Grants Pass, where we met up with our friend Sabrina. We cooked dinner at her house and then took the kids out to burn off some energy at the park near her house. They loved the playground, which was really big, and had slides, swings, AND tractors to play on. They were exhausted by the time we got back, so we gave them a quick bath and put them to bed.
We got up early on Saturday morning and made our way out to the Out N About Treesort. We stayed there last year in a treehouse and loved it! Max, Ava, Josh, and I all went ziplining there.
When we went on our Disney Cruise in January, there was a place in Puerto Vallarta where the kids could go ziplining. I mistakenly thought that the minimum age was three, so I got Lia super excited about it. When we got there, they wouldn’t let her do it because the actual minimum age was four.
Ever since then, Lia has been dying to go ziplining, so we added it to our summer bucket list. In our family, Ava is the fearless, super-adventurous kid. She’s not afraid of anything. Max wants to be adventurous, but he often has to be talked into it. And Lia, well she’s the youngest and typically our scaredy cat. But over time, she’s becoming more adventurous. She rode the roller coaster at Worlds of Fun. She went parasailing in Mexico. And now she’s gone ziplining.
So, anyway, we showed up at Out N About and headed down to the ziplining area. I thought we were going to have big problems right away. One of the guides came over to get Lia’s gear on and she was having none of it. She got her dragon face on and hid behind my leg. It took me a few minutes, but I talked her into getting her stuff on.
Once we were all geared up, we made our way up the hill toward the trees. We had to do the practice line first and I was pretty nervous about whether Lia would actually do it or not. We made it through that part successfully and climbed the ladders up our first tree. Josh went first for our group, followed by Max, then Ava, then Lia, and I went last to make sure Lia would go. The first line is tree-to-ground, so Lia was able to go alone.
When I got to the bottom, Lia was happy and everyone had fun, so we made our way up to the second tree. For that one, you go tree-to-tree first and then tree-to-ground. Lia had to ride with the guide for tree-to-tree, so I had to leave her with the guide and zipline ahead of her. I was REALLY worried about that. I told the guide, “Her name is Lia, she likes princesses, and she’s a hitter. If she freaks out, just grab her and go.” Luckily, she did totally fine. And everyone had a fabulous time ziplining!
After our morning adventure, we drove Highway 199 toward Crescent City, California and the Redwoods. The last time we were in the Redwoods, we had a bunch of grumpy kids, so we decided we wanted to have a better experience this time around. We ended up parking at the same place we stopped at last year.
There were some trails, so we decided to do some hiking. We saw a sign that said Ellsworth Loop .2 miles, so we decided to try that one. It turns out, the sign must have meant that the trail started in .2 miles. We were out there walking the trail for over an hour! We had so much fun exploring, but at one point we were seriously concerned that we might have gotten lost.
The kids saw their first banana slugs, picked up caterpillars, had a sword fight with sticks, climbed on the fallen trees, and played some Ninjago game they made up. It was a great hike and so awesome because it’s surprisingly quiet back on the trails. The kids did great until about the last ten minutes when they started whining about being tired. Luckily, we made it back to our car and continued on down the road.
When I managed to get an internet signal on my phone for more than two minutes, I pulled up Roadside America and searched for something interesting. I came across the Legend of the Bigfoot gift shop and knew immediately that we would have to make a pit stop. We found it not too long after that and stopped to stretch our feet and take a photo with the giant bigfoot statue. The kids spent their money on bags full of rocks, which kept them entertained for 30 minutes or so.
We continued driving and stopped at a Round Table Pizza in Ukiah, California for dinner. Round Table is one of my favorite pizza places! We decided to camp for the night somewhere around Santa Rosa. Unfortunately, when we started driving, we could not find ANYWHERE to stop for the night.
Every single campground and motel/hotel between Santa Rosa and San Francisco was completely booked for the night. I found one place that had rooms open for $269/night. So the kids were exhausted and crying, but we had no choice but to keep driving. We eventually found a Motel 6 in Alameda and stopped there for the night.
throwing pillows in portlandkids portraits in portlandvoodoo donuts in portlandfamily road trip through oregonfun times at a park in grants passkids playing in grants passkids playing in a grants pass parkfamily playing at out and about treehouses in oregonziplines at out and about treehousesfamily ziplining in oregonfun at out and about treehouses in takilma oregonfamily walking trail in the redwoodstrail walking in california redwoodsfamily walking the trails in the redwoodskids playing with bugs in the redwood forestfamily road trip down the coast of californiafamily road trip

3 Comments

  • “This is Lia. She’s a hitter.” Best line ever! Looks like so much fun! Glad Lia got to do it this time. The photos aren’t all loading for me, but I love the ones that are. I’ll have to look again later!

  • Looks like the kiddos are tired 🙂 but so much fun can do that?! Yay for Chipotle cheese! You are definitely getting to see some really cool stuff. So awesome!

  • The rest are loading! Yay! Hana would LOVE that slug. She LOVES slugs, even our nasty run-of-the-mill ones we have here. They are so gross. My friend always threatens to put salt on them, and Hana FREAKS out. What is that other thing? Looks like a millipede. I don’t mind bugs, but I wouldn’t have messed with that sucker. It creeps me out.

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