Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Monday, May 30, 2016

Oregon Trip Part Three - Portland

After our little getaway to the Beach House, we came back for another fun-filled few days in Portland!

This included story time with Great-Grandma...

More card games (cribbage for Anna Kate and Go Fish for Caroline)

And performances on the "stage" that all the Burgin kids have used for the past almost four decades!

On Saturday morning we headed on a drive up the Columbia River Highway. First we took the girls past my childhood home. Just a few blocks away from there we stopped by the cemetery where my baby brother, John Christopher, is buried. We placed some pretty Easter flowers there and talked with the girls about the hope of the Resurrection.

After that, we headed to Crown Point for the most beautiful view of the most beautiful river in the world :)

Our next stop was Multnomah Falls. It was a little bit rainy, but magnificent as always!

After that, we headed back for an afternoon and evening at Grandma and Grandpa's. And enjoyed a fun visit with Aunt Patty!

The girls were excited to learn that she knew how to play cribbage, too!

The next day, we planned to go to the late service at Grace (my home church) so that we could have a big Sunday morning breakfast. And plenty of time for more visiting.

And of course, a few more pictures before we had to leave. The girls thought Lucy-Doodle needed a bow too!

We really enjoyed the service at Grace and the girls thought it was really neat to find Grandma and Grandpa on the missionary board up in the children's wing!

After church, we came home for some quick naps before our big cousin reunion! My Uncle Gary, and my cousins, April, Evie, and Sophie, along with their husbands and kids, were all able to work out schedules and long drives to come up and see us. It was such a special time to have 12 out of 18 great-grandchildren together in one place!

Nine greats with Grandma and Grandpa

They created all kinds of fun (and noise...which is why we sent them to the garage)!

These girls...6, 5, 5, 4. And they just LOVED each other.

A little while later, three more cousins arrived, for a total of 12!

Thank you all for coming to see us!

We woke up the next morning a little sad that our last day had arrived. We did have one more adventure we wanted to experience with the girls. A MAX ride to Powell's Books in downtown Portland.

It's the largest independent bookstore in the world, you know. 

We looked around for a little while, bought a book or two (Caddie Woodlawn for Anna Kate), and then headed back on the MAX to Grandma and Grandpa's.

We took a few more pictures that afternoon before it was time to say goodbye and head to the airport.

This may not be the best photography in the world (self-timed camera), but it is a picture that will be treasured.

After some tearful goodbyes, we made it to the airport. With ALL the things for ALL the people.

Goodbye, PDX. Until we come again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Oregon Trip Part Two - The Beach House

I was so excited to take my girls to the happiest place on earth. No, not Disneyland...the Burgin Family Beach House! Well, that's what it feels like to those of us who have enjoyed it for the past 40+ years (or 31 in my case!). My grandparents had the house built back in the 70's and it's been a place for memory-making ever since. 

The trip there is about a three-hour drive from Portland. The girls thought it was pretty neat that we started in Oregon, crossed the Columbia into Vancouver, Washington, crossed the river again from Longview, WA, back to the Oregon side, and then crossed again over the Astoria Bridge into Washington. The Astoria Bridge is over four miles and is the longest bridge west of the Mississippi. Anna Kate was impressed!

When we first arrived at the beach house, we had to take a quick walk down to the beach. It was drizzling a little. And then it started raining. And the wind started blowing! The girls got a good taste of a hurricane-force Pacific coast storm that night.

We didn't stay out too long before coming in and building a fire!

And eating s'mores!

The next morning was still cold, but no rain, so we headed out to search for some clams. 

After that we headed over to the bay side of the Peninsula. We poked around Oysterville for a while and got some pretty views of the Willapa Bay.

We visited the Oysterville Church and sang some hymns.

That afternoon turned out to be absolutely gorgeous! The weather forecast didn't show much sun at all, but God gave us some anyway!

Anna Kate felt like she was on top of the world!

We played baseball in the yard.

And then went down on the beach.

Caroline loved the sandpipers.

Anna Kate loved running from the waves!

My girls and the beach house! Ours is the one with the pointed roofline, just to the right of the American flag.

We stayed on the beach long enough to see an (almost) full sunset before it was covered again by clouds.

On our last morning the girls had fun playing marbles with Daddy. 

And playing up in the loft! 
(Don't worry, Eleanor was not up there unsupervised. I was actually just out of the picture, but within arms' reach. I don't think those railings would pass a 2016 safety inspection...)

Finally, I saw some people down on the beach who seemed to be having some success, so I went down and got a couple! Grandma's theory was that they were all driven down too deep in the sand because of the strength of the storm. So...not enough to clean and cook, but enough for a little science dissection and observation!

Then it was time to say goodbye to the beach house...always hard to leave.

Luke humored me and moved the patio furniture all over the place so we could have a couple pictures taken on a timer!

We even saw a few deer in the yard as we were loading up! They were in our yard, but then headed across the street before I grabbed the camera.

On the way back to Portland we made a few stops. The first was the North Head lighthouse and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco. This was the point in Lewis and Clark's journey where they saw the Pacific Ocean for the very first time. It was here at the mouth of the Pacific that Clark wrote in his journal, "Ocean in view! O! the joy!"

We had a great time doing a little homeschooling on vacation!

As we headed back through Astoria, we stopped to go down to the docks. We had been told that sea lions were overtaking the docks and were quite a sight to behold. That was an understatement. These pictures really don't do it justice, but we saw hundreds and hundreds of sea lions. Sea lions on the rocks, sea lions on the salmon boat docks, sea lions everywhere. And so loud! Anna Kate had just recently studied pinnipeds in her Swimming Creatures co-op class, so this was perfect!

Eleanor wasn't sure what to think. 

It's a bit cloudy, but you can see the Astoria Bridge in the background of this one.

The girls thought this was pretty interesting. It's a cage-like contraption that they've constructed to catch a few dozen sea lions at a time and take them out to sea. Maybe down to California? The problem is the same ones keep coming back (they know because they've been branding them like cattle). The fisherman just want to get rid of the problem altogether, but the environmentalists (who comprise no small number in Oregon) are fighting to make sure it's done humanely.

In any case, we enjoyed getting to watch them. Here are the girls sticking up their noses in the air and barking like sea lions!

After that, we headed back to Grandma and Grandpa's. Oh, but we did see a bald Eagle in a nest while crossing the bridge in Longview. Unfortunately I couldn't grab my camera fast enough. Oh well!