Monday, May 13, 2013

My Birthday and Mother's Day: Visit to Tillamook Oregon

I decided to celebrate my birthday and Mother's Day with my family and my parents in Tillamook Oregon. My birthday was on May 10th and Mother's Day was May 12th, so we decided to go May 11th to celebrate.

My parents live in Sweet Home Oregon and we live in Rainier Oregon, so for both of us it was about a 3 hour drive give or take a little bit. My family were coming from different ways to Tillamook than my parents and so we planned on meeting at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for lunch. On their way to Tillamook...guess dad got lost (He is notorious for doing so and I think a Magellan GPS might be a great present for him for Father's Day! We have one and love it!).

While we were waiting for my parents to arrive we went and to see the Cape Meares Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge along the Oregon Coast. We hiked up a trail to see the Octopus Tree first. The hike was really nice and not too much for Teela and Zari. When we got to the Octopus Tree someone offered to take a whole family shot in front of it. We all loved the scenery and spectacular views over the cape.

We then went inside to tour the Cape Meares Lighthouse. It has a delightful little gift shop inside the bottom floor and then you take some spiral stairs up to the beacon tower lantern house. We learned from the guide that this lighthouse had some vandalism in 2010 and back in 1963 while it was vacant for a number of years to the gorgeous Fresnel (pronounced "Fraynel") lens and the building itself. It is very unfortunate that people would want to harm such a wonderful historic building and I am very happy we got to see it.

After the tour we hiked up a different trail to the parking lot and we saw the Three Arch Rocks out in the distance. The Three Arch Rocks Refuge is home to Oregon's largest seabird nesting colony. We saw a number of wildlife including a Millipede the girls stopped to look at.

Finally we met up with my parents at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and by that time my tummy was growling of hunger. My parents had brought sandwiches, chips, juice, fresh fruit & veggies and deviled eggs in a cooler. We sat around a tree on park benches and ate a very nice picnic.

Then we went inside the factory to explore. They have a lot of neat things to look at and some fun stuff to pose with. While we were downstairs briefly, before we headed upstairs, my kids posed in the plywood cow and farmer cutout with their heads poking through. Teela is a very cute moo, don't you think?

Upstairs we could watch the process of packaging cheese through a viewing window and we could also see the large cheese vats that they mixed the cheese into in another viewing area. Upstairs they also had some interactive video consoles that played the history of the factory and Tillamook city. They also had some antique cheese making equipment behind glass in cabinets that you could see.

Back downstairs again we sampled some various cheeses and then headed on over to the ice cream parlor to have some delicious authentic Tillamook creamery ice cream in waffle cones. I had black cherry and it was so yummy! The kids all had mint chocolate chip and the others had different flavors. Teela and Zari had to have a bowl under theirs because it melted quickly and was dripping...I got them a couple of spoons to help them along. Then my boys goofed off in the Loaf Love Tour Bus for silly pictures.

After lunch and dessert we decided to go see the Munson Creek Falls. We were really enjoying the weather. It had held out for us and didn't rain at all while we were in Tillamook for our day trip. Unfortunately by the time we arrived Zari had fallen asleep in the van in her car seat. My husband, Brian, decided he would stay behind until she awoke because he was feeling the ill effects of all this walking in conjunction with his Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and needed to sit for a while anyway. The rest of us walked up the trail to the Munson Creek Falls and were enjoying all the lush green around us. There was this awesome gigantic tree that had large roots nearby and I got some neat pictures of it as well as the waterfalls and creek. When we got back to where we parked we noticed that Brian had taken Zari to the creek to look at rocks because she had awoke. The kids also had fun racing leaves down the water in the creek.

Next we headed to the beach to round out the day. We saw kelp, seaweed, driftwood and sea shells that had washed up onto the sand. My boys took off their shoes and immediately waded out into the ocean waves. My girls played in the sand together with their sand toys: sifting, shoveling, scooping, packing, dumping, mixing, raking and molding. What fun! Jaedan couldn't help but love it when Delbin wanted him to bury his bottom half in the sand. My mom also got out some special treats when every one was washed up, some chocolate dipped and covered strawberries! Yummy! Brian had found some neat treasures while beach combing: an agate, some whole sand dollars, mussel shells, a piece of coral (I am going to string onto a necklace) and a crab shell.

We brushed the sand off the kids as best we could, said our goodbyes to my parents and my mom gave us a cake she made for Jaedan's birthday party (his birthday is May 15th and we are celebrating with his friends on the 25th) we could freeze when we got home and a yellow butterfly shirt (that reminded me of Fluttershy, an MLP) for my birthday.

We had wanted to do other things too, but ran out of time. My husband was eying the helicopter rides and the paragliding. Maybe next time we are in the area we can do these.

We then climbed into the van for the ride home to our dog, Prince, who was being dog sat by our neighbor while we were away. We had Subway sandwiches on our way home and when we got home we climbed into bed exhausted, but happy. Our day as a family together turned out really well. I had a really nice birthday and Mother's Day outing.

How was your Mother's Day??

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: No compensation was received for this post. This post is a personal post written by me.


Unknown said...

My Mother's Day was great too! I enjoy just spending time with family. Looks like you found some great places to visit, I will need to actually plan something special for next year. My birthday is the 6th and our anniversary the 4th so it's a crazy month. My MIL's birthday is two days after Mother's Day.

Ghada @Mama goes BAM said...

That looks like a lot of fun with both beach and forest. Happy belated birthday!