I'm going to attempt to participate in Think Out Loud, a weekly meme hosted by Thinks Books. I've been meaning to participate in this for awhile (all because of Robyn's strong-arming ;) but always seem to lack inspiration. I know that sounds silly since it's meant as a place to say whatever, but still...so here goes.
When we moved to Colorado, 14 years ago, we knew that much of our vacation time would be spent travelling back to Texas to visit our families. But at the beginning of this summer, as we were planning trips to Texas around driver's ed and band camps, James and I had a startling realization. We realized we only have 3 summers (maybe) left to take family vacations before our oldest will be off to college. Gah! How did that happen??? So we decided to plan a trip for us all that wasn't to Texas.
Since our oldest daughter is interested in a college in Seattle, and since James and I had traveled there before and the kids were interested in visiting there, that was our chosen destination. It was a whirlwind tour of the area. We wanted to give the kids a taste of everything around the area - well, as much as we could fit in within our time frame. We had an amazing time, so I thought I'd share a few photos from our trip.
The kids playing in the Skagit River, near Marblemount, WA.
Hiking in North Cascades National Park
On Hobuck Beach, Neah Bay, WA
Hall of Moss, Hoh Rainforest
Olympic Peninsula, WA
Tidepooling on Ruby Beach
Olympic Peninsula, WA
On a bridge in the Quinault Rain Forest
Olympic Peninsula, WA
Meeting one of my favorite authors and friends, Robyn Jones :)
Visiting the Seattle Aquarium
All of the kids have decided they would like to attend college in Washington now. :) I'm looking forward to planning another family trip, that's not to Texas, for next summer. We're thinking maybe somewhere in the Southeast.
Oh wow, I am so happy that your family got to take such a great trip. And I'm a little jealous!ReplyDelete
My husband is from S.Texas, so a lot of our trips are there, and we desperately want to do something else! lol
Thank you for sharing the gorgeous pictures!
Thanks, Andrea. We hadn't taken a single family vacation (outside of Colorado) unless it was to Texas. It was shocking to think we have so little time left and so many things we want to share with them! We really had an awesome time - the best family vacation ever! Hopefully we can go somewhere next summer too. :)Delete
I love the pictures! You guys looked like you had so much fun. Wasn't that water cold? We play at the coast several times during the summer and it's freezing! What a wonderful family vacation and Washington certainly went all out giving you sunshine for your trip. Your vacation had me thinking of all the places I want to take the boys, Disneyland...okay, Disneyland has taken over my thoughts, but I know there are tons of places I want to share with them. I love the pic of us after our lunch date. That was so much fun!ReplyDelete
Great Think Out Loud, Brandee!!
Thank, Robyn! We DID have so much fun. It truly was the best family vacation we've ever had. And heck yeah, that water is ICY! LOL But my kids can't NOT get in the water...they get in the icy water here too. I'VE never been to Disneyland but since I don't handle crowds too well, that's probably not a place we'll visit. (yes, I DO suck the fun out of everything! LOL)Delete
Hope you're having a great week, Robyn!
Isn't it so strange to see your little ones grow up? It's almost impossible to imagine the little baby who is now almost adult! At least it is for me :)ReplyDelete
I love the pictures, and I can totally get the fact that you guys wanted a vacation to somewhere else than 'home'. Since I'm Norwegian, but have been living in Switzerland for the past 23 (!) years, I know that I don't want all my vacations to be taken in Norway.
I hope you'll be able to plan a trip to Europe one day - I know this really nice place in Geneva, with friendlies you might be able to stay with ;)
Very good subject for your first Think out Loud :)
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
It is, Lexxie, it is... We were sitting at breakfast one morning this week and I got teary thinking of them all as toddlers. *sniff* I don't know where the time went!Delete
My oldest wants to go to Europe for her graduation gift - yeah, good thing I have time to save! ;) But she wants to go with just mom. Oh, and my husband and I may go in 2015...I'll keep you posted though! ;)
Yeah, my oldest just turned 18 this summer, and it's SO strange! Sometimes, when she talks to me about her boyfriend, I have to blink my eyes, like Steve Martin in the "Father of the Bride" movie :DDelete
Hey, Europe as a graduation gift sounds great - and it's a good thing she wants you to go with her, you can keep all the Willems away from her ;)
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
LOL I haven't experienced that YET...but I know it's coming. :) Ugh. We want them to talk to us but at the same time...well, you know what I'm saying.Delete
Yes, I'm really looking forward to a trip with my daughter - and keeping all the Willems away. LOL I'm grateful for the close relationship we have so that she wants to go with me. :)
Yes, having a close relationship with our kids is really important! I'm going to London with my oldest daugther in October - it's her 18th b-day gift :) And her best friend + mother (who is one of my best friends) are going as well. We'll have a great time, I'm sure.Delete
Thanks for sharing such personal photos, you have a beautiful family, Brandee!ReplyDelete
I can relate, I only have two summers left before my boy starts college! Scary! I never thought I'd be the empty-nester type but I'm so totally feeling the pressure. Just thinking about it sometimes makes me teary and sad much to my kid's embarrassment (for me) and confusion. I only have ONE so every little thing, good and bad, counts. I don't have other chickies to do "make-up" with.
I've only been to WA once and it is such a pretty state. If your daughter goes I'm sure you'll have more time and the perfect excuse to go exploring.
Thank you, Braine!Delete
Yes, it is very scary...I don't know what I'll do with myself when they leave. My youngest 2 will leave at the same time. *sniff* And I completely relate to being teary...I got teary when the went back to school this year. ;)
WA is gorgeous and it would be a wonderful place to visit should one of my kids end up there.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Welcome to the Think Out Loud Meme! So glad of you to join us. I know my parents still have plans for the fam to go on a trip together over these past ten years, which still hasn't happened. And now the youngest in the fam is in the last year of high school. We would probably never be able to go on a trip as a fam all together but maybe one day us kids will be able to provide for the trip for the fam. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Kipha! I hope you whole family gets to take a trip together at some point. :)Delete
It looks like it was a wonderful trip Brandee and I'm so happy that you all were able to go. You're family is beautiful!ReplyDelete
It was such a great time for us all, Traci. Thanks so much! :)Delete
Your photos are beautiful, and it looks like you guys had a great time! I'm jealous you got to meet Robyn, lol. I agree with Traci above - your family is beautiful! I really want to visit there someday. :D Welcome to Think Out Loud!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jennifer, and we did! Yeah, meeting Robyn was one of the highlights. ;) I hope you get to Washington one day...it is gorgeous. Maybe I can meet you there - and visit one of my kids in college too. LOLDelete
Wow. I have always wanted to go to Washington. I live in Oklahoma so it's a little hard, lol. Great pics and awesome family too!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Think! I know all about how hard it is to travel. I'm from Texas and until I got married, I'd only been out of Texas - to Missouri - twice. Someday you'll get there...Delete
Your family is gorgeous. Don't worry, kids rarely leave completely - I moved out years ago and I still have a 5 min daily chat with my mum.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Vilia. I think they're gorgeous too, but then I'm biased. ;) Thanks also for saying that about kids leaving. I know it's part of life but I wish it wouldn't happen so soon. :) My son used to tell me he'd always live with me. Alas, he wants to go to college in Washington now, and that's several hours away! ;) I'll just focus on enjoying every minute I have.Delete