Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Vampire Hunt and Back-Seat Madness

It's summer vacation time and we just had a good one - to the town of Forks made famous by the bestseller "Twilight." We had a family reunion near Mt. Saint Helens in Washington, and then we extended the trip by continuing west to the Olympic Peninsula. Now that we've been home several days, I can say that it was a good trip - there were moments during the long drives that I was ready for blood (I can say that since the book is about Vampires.) We fill every seat in the minivan, and the back seat mischief and problems had me at the edge of insanity a couple of times.

The boys like camping, so I think we got a lot of "mileage" out of this trip with them. (We actually camped four nights and spent three in motels.) We had two tents, and it helps to separate a couple of the boys off into the second tent. We all slept quite well, considering. I still prefer our Tempurpedic mattress at home.

As my lovely wife pointed out in her blog, we have a special nostalgic feeling for the Olympic Peninsula, as we spent some time in the area during our engagement. The dense forests of tall evergreens, the heavy undergrowth, and the rugged beaches with rock monoliths and literally thousands of tons of driftwood littering the shore - it's a scene from a fantasy. We have talked about moving up that way, but it might lose the nostalgia if it became too familiar.

We had a blast at several beaches. This is no Caribbean paradise, however. It has a completely different feel. The water is icy cold, the beach is not made up of perfect white sand, etc. But it is paradise for little boys who like to see cool chunks of driftwood, hop out onto rugged rocks in the water, look at sea critters in the tide pools, examine dead crabs along the beach, etc. They were surprisingly "immune" to the water temperature, although I have an image engrained in my mind of #3 crawling through a warmer patch of sand after he got particularly cold. He looked like Robinson Crusoe. Too bad I didn't capture that on film...