Portland Day Two - The Pacific Ocean...With a Side of Cheese

 Second day in Portland...this is by far one of my favorite days of this adventure.  You can't come all the way across the country and NOT see the very same Pacific Ocean that no one in your family has ever seen, right?  So Kevin and Jill took us to the ocean!!  But first?  Some cheese.

We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese factory on the way where they, get this, make lots and lots of cheese.  It's fantastic.  I like cheese.  A lot.

I was mesmerized by the factory lines.  I think that stuff is so cool, watching how things are made and thinking about how someone really really smart had to design how all those things would work.

Totally right up John Paul's alley.  And the factory workers kept looking up and waving which was sweet.  And LOOK AT ALL THAT CHEESE.  Someday I'm going to try to make cheese with the raw milk we get.  It was interesting seeing some of the process at the factory.  And I have to add here that Brian doesn't like cheese.  That is all.

Then you get to TASTE the cheese.  So good.  I really wanted to go through the line over and over but I restrained myself.

Tillamook also makes a whole lot of ice cream and Grandpa and Grandma treated the gang to some HUGE ice cream cones at the end of tour.  Some happy campers right there!

(You are now warned that this is another crazy picture post but so necessary, I promise.)
Oh, and some of these pictures are from my sister-in-law who also has a blog you should check out.  She takes some amazing photographs.

AHHH!!  Look at this!  How amazing is this???

Doesn't this remind you of Goonies or something?  

There were some great waves and the tide was coming out.  There were even people surfing!  The water itself was frigid but of course, they were wearing wet suits.  I should totally get a wet suit for regular swimming then maybe I wouldn't be such a wimp about cold water.  Plus, I would look really rad.

We set up right at the base of this big sand dune and climbed up.  That's my mom hiking her way up.

One of the views from the top

We spent hours exploring the rocks and caves and tide pools.  Oh, it was amazing.

Some pretty sweet moments with Papa

Look at how awesome Brian is.  He spent so much time on so many days walking with two extra people attached to him.  Poor Luke looks like he's being sat on but I promise he didn't mind.  He's loved being on one of our backs for most of this trip.

They were so very busy working in the sand.

David testing out the water

Exploring.  Oh my goodness.  So awesome.

There were a ton of anemones hanging out in the tide pools!  

How cool is this?  The rocks were also super barnacley which is great for some extra strength foot exfoliation.

And when you touch the anemone, they CLOSE AROUND YOUR FINGER!!  It is so freaking awesome.  It suctions around you and feels so weird. 

Further out the rocks were covered with mussels.

And THEN...

Jill (or maybe it was Kevin I can't remember I was too excited) found some starfish!!!!  They were super hard to see and you could only get a glimpse when the wave rolled back.  There were purple ones and orange ones.  And then Brian (because he knows how to impress his beloved) got in and pried one off the rock!  Seriously, flowers are nice but having your husband brave the frigid water to bring you a starfish is so much cooler.

I apologize for all the excitement but really?!?!?!  How cool is this?  God just kept giving us all these gifts.  Sometimes I think He likes me.

Better than any science class, right?

Brian put our little friend in one of the tide pools.  I really hope it survived!  I admit, we were tempted to take it with us as a souvenir but decided it would be better to leave him alive and in his home.

And the gifts kept on coming...

God, You are so amazing. 
We hiked to the top of the dune and not only did He give us this awesome view from the top but we got to see a WHALE!!!

Jill got these amazing shots.  My camera just wouldn't cut it.

He (or she) was pretty close to the shore and entertained us for a while.  

What a shot!  So freaking cool.

Another cool Papa moment

What an amazing day.  We stayed just a bit later than Meltdown Time so it was a long drive home but still so totally worth it.

The group at the beach (minus Grandpa and Grandma)


  1. These pictures are fantastic. I can't get over how awesome this trip must have been for your family

  2. Gotta say seeing the whale had to be awesome! And your family shot is so good too!

    On the last day of our Florida vacation, when we were leaving town (literally) we quickly pulled over beside the road because there was a pod of dolphins playing and they had really young ones too! And they got really, really close to the beach, seriously, I was wondering how they got that close because I would think the water would be too shallow. The kids loved watching them and we got some good pics, the perfect ending to our trip.

  3. My hair in that last shot is a little crazy! This was such a fun day, wasn't it? Seeing the whale was definitely a blessing!

    You should have gone through the cheese line with me - I always go through twice : )

  4. Chills. Literally got the chills looking at all these!


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