Troy dressed up with his boys.
And everyone had a great time. Later that night we met up with Troy's good friend, Tony. We had dinner with him and stayed the night at his house in Salem.
The next morning we headed to the coast. Half the family stayed in a rented beach house and the other half stayed in Troy's sister's mother-in-law's beach house. We all spent the majority of the days together so there was a lot of cousin play time. We celebrated three birthdays (Gracie's, who turned eight on the 14th, Garrett's, who turned five on the 20th and Jadyn's, who will turn seven on the 28th). Matthew ate a celebratory cupcake.
These seven spent a lot of time together. (Clockwise from the left--age at the time of the picture: Cooper-7, Kian-9, Gracie-7, Jadyn-6, Garrett-4, Colby-5, Sawyer-5. Not pictured are the two oldest and the youngest. Alexis-17, Kaylie-14, and Matthew-2).
Troy took a picture with his sisters, Jolene, Jana and Julie. I will not tell you their ages at the time of this photo because I would like my sisters-in-law to continue speaking to me. I will say that Troy is the oldest. He's forty. The rest of them, well, they're not a day over 21. Honest. You believe me, right?
We figured we'd take an "outlaw" picture since the siblings were getting chummy.
On our last day at the coast, we went to Pacific City and climbed the giant sand dune (or, as Garrett calls it, the sand "dupe"). From the top we got this picture.
Later the boys climbed a tree. Well, all except for Matthew because mama don't want her baby in a tree. Mama wants her toddler to keep all of his limbs. Mama kept her baby inside where it was nice and safe and made her older nieces play with him. Okay, actually, Matthew spent a great deal of time outside with his cousins, he just didn't get up in the tree. Probably because he wasn't quite tall enough.
We left that night and drove to Biggs Junction, Oregon which is probably not even big enough to be considered a map dot. It's a map speck. We put the boys in their jammies and drove into the night, but not before snapping a picture of them with their grandparents.
We stayed at a little motel just off the highway in a town of 50 people. It was one of the nicest tiny-middle-of-nowhere places I've ever stayed. It even provided us with a continental breakfast before we got back on the road.
The last night of our vacation involved a teepee in Mountain Home, ID. We should have switched the boys in this picture. We should have put the pastiest pasty white kid against the opening to the teepee and the chocolaty boy against the white canvas of the Native American dwelling place. But alas, we did not.This is what it looked like inside. Thin little piece of carpet. Leaves, human hair, dirt all over. When we got there they offered us an air conditioned cabin for no extra charge instead of the teepee. But we were in it for the experience. We didn't even pull out our sleep pads--they're only about an inch thick anyway. We just threw our sleeping bags down on the carpet, which had ants scampering all over it, and called it a night.
There was a gap of about four inches between the ground and where the teepee canvas stopped. When Troy suggested that we all come up with good Native American names for our evening, I replied, "She Who Hopes She Won't Be Sleeping With Mice." It was a fun adventure though and the boys loved it.
We had a great time on our camping road trip and I hope it was the first of many such trips.