Monday, May 20, 2013

First Trip, Day 3

Day three of our trip found Nate up and about before anyone else and wishing the camp stove were Outside so he could make coffee without waking anyone. I got up shortly after and we hung out outside and chatted for a while until the boys woke up, all three at once :) 
After breakfast and coffee we sat around on the benches chatting. Our conversation got into some pretty deep subjects and more than once Nate caught my eye and grinned. His expression said, This!

Eventually we meandered down to the beach. Everyone was pretty tired by now ( I told the boys the day before "Most trips we won't be 'going' this much" Good, they said :) ). 

Brannon was thrilled that the wind was just right for flying his kite.

Blaizen wanted to fly his mini kite too.

Kites are dangerous though!

Joshua is impressed by the height of Brannon's kite.

Success! Briefly...

Trying again...


Meanwhile... Joshua found a good place to start a fort.

Every time we go to the beach and Joshua gets down in the water he gets into his own world. It is fascinating to watch :)
He'll do a series of fighting stances
 Run from waves
 or not...
And whisper to himself the whole time...

Blaizen enjoying the water

Brannon's, um, innovative? way of holding his kite...

Nate's reaction...

Joshua fought a losing battle trying to get this piece of driftwood back into the sea...

The boys were ready to quit the beach after only and hour and a half. Brannon really wanted to go into town and look around at some shops. We went into a great little place full of antiques and a few handmade items. Lots of cool ship lanterns and steering wheels. And pirate flags :) We went into another shop that had some skateboards with Large wheels. All the boys were fascinated and discussed saving up for one together ($300 to $400 yikes!). 

After our long walk in town Papa made an unspecified detour which led to a playground :) Happy boys. 

We had quite and adventure looking for a place to eat dinner. Long story short we ended up back at the first place we'd seen, The Hungry Clam. I had glanced in the window and didn't see anything promising on the menu. The next place had nothing but beer-battered everything, not gonna work for gluten-free folks. On and on and back to The Hungry Clam. 
Joshua and I went inside and asked if their seafood only came battered. Nope, we can grill anything but the clams in the clam basket. We asked to see the ingredients in their clam chowder (wheat and soy). Then the lady behind the counter told us she had gluten-free bread and buns. Somehow I'd overlooked that on the menu board.
It was a very excited Joshua who ordered a grilled crab and shrimp melt on gluten-free bread :) All the food there we had was super yummy. And all the ladies serving and guys cooking were charmed when all our boys went up to the counter after eating and thanked them for dinner.

We were all very glad to climb in the bus and head for home. A little over halfway home Nate realized we hadn't taken any pictures with our bus. So we did.

Our first step toward our dream of long-term traveling with our kiddos was as wonderful as could be. So many times my heart and spirit were singing and overflowing with joy. There are lots of things to be figured out (like how to afford gas for our monster lol) but, one step at a time we will get there. :)

First Trip, Day 2

We woke up at a leisurely pace Friday morning after a warm night's sleep in our bus. The big boys were delighted to have "slept in" while camping, since usually they are up with the birds :) 
After breakfast we headed down to the beach. With boys on scooters :)

Of course, Joshua was climbing the first high thing he found. I tried to get a series of photos to make a vertical panorama but just as I was taking the pics Joshua accidentally slid down! And he was in every shot, lol!

On to the tide pools...

Nate and I were excited to show the boys the neat rock formations at this beach...

Sharing finds and knowledge :)

Lots and lots of crabs

I was fascinated by these snags full of nests and birds swooping all around. I wanted a closer view but this rock wasn't visible from the tide pools.

Sandstone. Fascinating stuff.

After lunch we packed up the bus and drove down to Bandon to see the Washed Ashore art display (

The sculptures are made from plastic washed up on shore. The artist who began it was trying to think of a way to inspire people to pick up all the plastic trash along the tide-line instead of just ignoring it. 

While we were at the beach we kept our eyes open for any trash we could donate to the project. Joshua has the only piece of plastic we found in his hand. 

Some of the pieces are interactive. This giant starfish can be played with "drumsticks" (lengths of plastic pipe) or the bottles can be blown on.

At this sculpture you are encouraged to walk through and imagine what it would be like to be a fish trying to swim through the swirling mass of garbage...

Oil spill. Brannon said it would be Scary to be a sea creature and see this huge black mass come spreading toward you

Masks made from bits of plastic that are too brittle to be used in larger sculptures.

Styrofoam compressed by the pressure of the ocean makes great drum sounds

A dead coral reef

More drumming

A giant sea jelly. The kids are encouraged to walk through it and grab the tentacles and swing it around

Another fun thing about the Washed Ashore project is the workshop that is set up for anyone who wants to spend some time helping out to work on some of the bits that will go into new sculptures. 
 Joshua had his piece of plastic to donate and gave it to the lady running the "front desk". A few minutes later she brought it back to him and said the artist who began the project, Angela, was actually in the gallery today and would Joshua like to meet her and give the plastic directly to her. He thought that was a great idea. So, with me in tow, he walked up to where Angela was talking to a couple of visitors. 

When she was done she turned immediately to Joshua and introduced herself. They shook hands and he showed her the plastic he found on the beach. Angela said, "You know, this would make a great penguin feather." 
Angela showing Josh the pieces that will make the penguin.

Then Angela suggested that Joshua drill the holes in his piece and wire it to one of the bases. He happily agreed and they gathered the tools needed then Angela showed him how to drill the necessary holes...

Brannon, Joshua, Nate and I worked on some of the other pieces as well. We wove soda can strips through wire grids for a parrot fish, made "kebobs" of plastic and foam bits for a sea horse and a star fish. Stuffed styrofoam into water bottles for the ice for the penquin...

Brannon weaving plastic strips for the white penguin feathers

Angela had to leave shortly after helping Joshua with his bit of plastic, but her meeting was in the gallery. A few minutes into it she called Joshua's name. She introduced him to the engineers and other artists who help make the sculptures a reality (this is so-and-so he makes sure our sculptures can withstand 100 mile an hour winds...).
My heart, already full, overflowed. Angela was so kind and wonderful. And she treated Joshua like a real person who mattered. These are the experiences I want for our family :)

After we were done at Washed Ashore we went next door to a lovely little coffee shop and got drinks for everyone (Angela was there too and greeted us again:) ) 

Then we climbed into our bus and headed south. We planned on stopping at the Prehistoric Gardens but found out it would cost us nearly $50. We talked to the boys and told them that we didn't have the budget to do both the dinosaur walk and dinner out (Joshua had Really wanted to eat at a seafood restaurant for part of our trip). We gave them the choice and they chose dinner. As we drove away from the dinosaurs Joshua curled up on his bed and shed a couple tears. He was So disappointed. But he understood the need to pick and choose and stood firm on his choice of dinner out. 

At our next campground we got to choose a site right next to the playground which made for some very happy boys. After some delicious "tin foil" dinners and hot showers we settled in for another warm and comfy night's sleep.