Family Trip to Oregon 2014

This is the first year I have EVER had paid vacation!!  I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around it.  Anyway, we decided to piggyback one week of my vacation with the Fourth of July holiday and take a family road trip to Oregon to visit Art’s parents.

map of the 7 hour drive from Napa, California to Sutherlin, OregonSeven hours and 1 minute is not too bad, except that it does not account for traffic, construction delays, potty and food stops, etc.  Total trip one way probably took closer to 8 1/2 or 9 hours.  With four adults and their luggage crammed in a Honda Civic.  It’s a miracle we didn’t kill each other (partially due to our excitement of the trip and partially due to the fact that at least two of us were on anti-anxiety meds).

So we left Napa at about 1:30 p.m. on July 3rd and arrived in Sutherlin, Oregon at about 9 p.m.  Being the day before a major holiday, there was quite a bit of traffic.  In addition, once we got past Lake Shasta (not much of a lake in the current drought), we were forced down to one lane due to the neverending construction of the new Lake Shasta bridge.

Grandma and Grandpa had pizza waiting for us.  Mostly we were just grateful to stretch our legs and go to bed.

the author's mother-in-law and son
Bud and Grandma

The next day was Independence Day.  This was the biggest excitement of the trip because where we live in California, the only fireworks are at public displays.  Bud had always wanted to try out “real” fireworks himself.  After lunch, we headed to the local Bi-Mart to purchase a pack of pyrotechnic power!!

the author's son holding a giant box of fireworks
Bud and “his” fireworks

Usually Grandma and Grandpa’s neighborhood has a big display, but the organizers were on a trip to Europe, so we just set up in Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway and let ‘er rip.  Even Grandma and Grandpa got into the act!!

the author's in-laws smiling and holding sparklers
Grandma and Grandpa enjoying the fireworks

Willow even baked a cake to celebrate the occasion:

photo of half a red, white and blue cake with red and blue "sparkler" decorations
Willow’s cake

The next day we all drove over to the beach where Grandma and Grandpa treated us to lunch.  We went to Winchester Dunes and the Umpqua Lighthouse.  Bud and Willow really enjoyed touring the lighthouse and seeing the rooms representing different decades in U.S. naval history.

Umpqua Lighthouse
Umpqua Lighthouse

While at the beach we saw all these really cool jelly-like beings washed up on the shore.  Grandpa told us they are called sail jellyfish.

Sail Jellyfish on the beach
Sail Jellyfish

On the way home, we stopped at a viewing deck to see wild elk feeding:

wild elk feeding in the marsh

We had a few more days with Grandma and Grandpa, which were much enjoyed.  Before we left for the long drive home, we stopped at the Oregon Gift store (formerly Magic Mushroom Lamp Co), a landmark in Sutherlin, for some souvenir photos.

mushroom car with a gnome on the front
Gnome in front of Magic Mushroom Lamp Company

Here’s the info on some of the places we went:

Sutherlin, Oregon

Umpqua River Lighthouse

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area

Oregon Gifts/Magic Mushroom Lamp Co

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