For many years while I was growing up, my family had a tradition of weekend camping trips with my grandparents. It was the highlight of our summers; making smores on the campfire, swimming in the pool at the campground, riding bikes and fishing in the rivers. Year after year, we’d pack up and drive to one of the campgrounds my grandparents and parents were members of and spend a weekend or so meeting new friends and spending time together. I learned to line dance at the one in Chehalis. My brother and I hiked trails with Pooh Bear (our golden retriever) at Rainier. I made friends at Bend almost 20 years ago, whom I’ve gotten back in contact with thanks to Facebook. Each campground holds memories for me that I’m finally getting the chance to share with my daughters.
Last week, we packed up for an extended trip to Newport Oregon. I hadn’t stayed at this particular campground and it had been almost 6 years since mom, Emi & I had driven through on our girls road trip back to California where Emi & I lived at the time. Doing a bit of research before we left, I learned we were only minutes away from the Oregon Coast Aquarium; one that we’d stopped at on that road trip in July 2011. Knowing how close we were, mom made sure we planned to go visit. So we packed everyone up on Friday morning and headed out for lunch, then the aquarium.
Money can’t buy happiness but it sure can pay your way into an aquarium, which is kinda the same thing. The girls had a blast looking at all the fish, and touching the animals in the touch tank. Gracie tried to convince Opi that the anemone bit her, but really the spiky little guy just wanted to give her a “hug”. Some of the animals seemed very in tune to the people there, and one seal even tried to eat a gal’s purse through the glass. I’m excited to add some of these photos to our gallery wall at home and had a blast getting to watch the girls take it all in.