Sunday, October 26, 2008

washington and oregon

I think when you travel with small children, the majority of your time is spent under a certain amount of stress, but every once in a while, a gem of a moment occurs that makes it worthwhile. Here's one of them — a rainbow over Lake Crescent, in the heart of the Olympic Peninsula.

We drove around the entire Olympic Peninsula, with two nights in Port Angeles. That's a lot of driving — more than we anticipated — but it was so beautiful, and Ben and Daniel held up fairly well most of the time. (We spent about five minutes passing through Forks, the setting of the popular Twilight Series vampire books, possibly the darkest, grayest, rainiest spot on earth.)

Here we are on top of Hurricane Ridge, a spot about 5,200 feet above sea level with magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains range.

We had a minivan all week, and I must say it was nice and roomy.

After six long hours or so on Pacific Coast Highway 101 Monday, we arrived in Seaside, a little beach town about two hours outside of Portland where I used to come with my family and friends when I was growing up. Our hotel overlooked the ocean, so we got to see some gorgeous sunsets from our room.

There was a swing set right on the beach, too, much to Daniel's delight.

Just after I took this picture below, a rogue wave caught Daniel's feet. He turned around and tried to run away, but he tripped and fell face-down in the ocean. Cold, wet and frightened, our boy had no desire to go back near the water after that, but he did have fun playing in the sand later in the day. I hope he doesn't have recurring nightmares of falling down while trying to run ... like I do.

My sister Ellen and her dog Arthur came out to spend the afternoon with us. They're in the background of this picture.

The end of the week was spent in Portland with family, like Daniel's 5-year-old cousin Teresa, and friends, like Susan and Charles, whose kids had a good time playing with Daniel and Ben.

Here are 19 members of my family — aunt, uncle, parents, cousins, husbands, wives, siblings, nieces and nephews and children — piled together for a group photo. It was great to see them all!

The biggest downside of the trip was that my hip took a significant turn for the worse in the last couple of days. I don't know if I overused it with too much walking or baby carrying, or if the tumor that area is growing, but it is now extremely painful for me to walk, and I cannot straighten my leg all the way. I needed a wheelchair to get through the airports on the way home, and I could barely walk down the aisle of the plane. I am worried that the tumor might have wrapped itself around a muscle, and I'm scared about what this might mean. Do I have to start thinking about using a wheelchair? Maybe some more radiation? I'll ask my doctor Monday, when another round of chemo begins.

At any rate, it was a good trip, but like all long trips, it was good to be home at last. Daniel slept in our bed last night, and as we were going to sleep, we talked about the events of the week — the exciting airplane rides, the beach, seeing grandma and grandpa, going to the Portland Children's Museum, playing with Teresa and his new friends Colin and Phoebe.

"What was your favorite part of the trip?" I asked Daniel.

"Umm ... home," he said.

P.S. On catching up with the blogs today, I learned that my friend Vanessa has had quite a dramatic week herself. Congratulations, Vanessa and John, on the birth of your baby son, Solomon!


Amy M said...

Hi Emilie - I'm glad you had a great vacation. Thank you for sharing it with us. Your photos are beautiful - you have a real talent for capturing life as it happens.

I'll say extra prayers tonight for your hip pain. Good luck this week.

All my best, AM

Sue said...

Welcome back! Sorry you're in so much pain. I hope your tumor is not spreading and that your MD visit goes well tomorrow.

battynurse said...

Beautiful pictures. The trip looks fantastic. I hope that the MD visit goes well and that your hip pain gets better.

Barbara said...

Wow, what amazing pictures! Especially the rainbow--maybe it was a message to you from God that He's watching over you. :-)
The big family picture was great too.

I loved Daniel's answer to your question about his favorite part of the trip. It says a lot about you and Steve as parents that his answer was "home." What a little honey!

The hip pain must just totally, totally suck. I know what it's like to live with chronic pain but I've never had to use a wheelchair. (Well, not for long, anyway.) I hope and pray the pain gets better. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow when you go in for your next round of chemo!

I admire you more than I can say. Hang in there, honey.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Emilie! I love the photos! My favorite is the one of Daniel standing in the shallow, reflective water. Lovely.

The trip really sounds wonderful. I'm glad your hip held up until the last couple days. You'll find out tomorrow what could be up, but I hope this is a temporary flare-up and nothing serious.

Did you see any tidal pools and starfish?

--Laura S.

Julie said...

How wonderful for you to get to spend time with your family! I'll bet they were glad to have you there. Your photos are AMAZING. The one of Daniel right before he fell looks like he's walking on water. Beautiful! You really have a talent.

I hope your hip problem is something that will be easily fixed. Sorry it's giving you so much trouble.

Hope you're able to rest now that you're home, but it sounds like you got to see everything great the NW has to offer.

Jen said...

Emilie - I love your photos. They are each so powerful on their own and your words just add even more to them. I am glad you had a wonderful trip, I'm sorry to hear about the hip pain. Hopefully it was just over use.

loribeth said...

I've been to Cannon Beach, just south of Seaside, several times in the last 15 years, & dh & I both absolutely love the place. Glad you had a nice vacation. I hope the hip pain is just vacation-related.

Marketing Mama said...

Welcome home! That picture of Daniel in the water is amazing.

That sucks about the pain... good luck back at the doctor tomorrow.

Alex and Jill said...

The rainbow picture is gorgeous.

Praying for you...that your doctor's visit goes well.

LutherLiz said...

Looks like a beautiful vacation! I'm glad you guys got some time away. I hope Monday goes well and that your hip starts to improve with a little rest...nothing more serious than overexertion. Thinking of you!

Not on Fire said...

I used to live in Portland. I loved the Children's Museum and I have been to Seaside. I am jealous of your time there.

I am praying that all goes well for you and your family.

Christina said...

That is, by far, the most stunning, inspiring rainbow picture I have ever seen. It reaches so very long!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography.

Jamie said...

That looks like a wonderful trip! And I sometimes agree with Daniel, the best part of vacation is coming home again :)

Betty M said...

Just gorgeous photos. Yet another part of the world to add to the list. I hope the appt went well today and your hip was just suffering from overuse on your trip.

Roxy said...

what a wonderful vacation. The pictures are beautiful!

I hope you just over-did it a bit.

Ahuva Batya said...

What beautiful memories, and so wonderful that you could be with so many family members. I love your photos, as always. They caputure so much. I worked for a summer at Sol Duc hot springs, on the Penninsula and it gave me such a twinge of memories to hear all the places I used to go to again.

I truly hope the hip has just been overused and is crying out for a break.

Jo on the go said...

Em, your vacation sounds as lovely as traveling with kids can be. I'm sorry your hip is worsening, that sucks so much. I hope the Vicodin is helping, and sorry for being such an insensitive dork on Facebook. But I know it can give you a hangover, too. Jeez, if it's not one thing it's your mother. I'm thinking of you bunches. Love, Jo

darcie said...

Welcome home Emilie - Your trip looks amazing - you took such beautiful pictures! Breathtaking!
I hope you are feeling a bit better today and that the doc had good news for you - thinking of you - xoxo

Tonya said...

Hi Emilie! I found my way here via Julie's blog. She is one of my great friends. I have read through your blog and gotten myself caught up with your happenings. I am glad I did. Sorry about all the yucky stuff happening in your life right now. I am amazed at your positive outlook. Glad your trip to Seaside was a good one. The Oregon coast is so gorgeous, but I just can't stand it when it's windy! Wow! A trip through Forks? Sounds interesting. I've heard that it's somewhat of a tourist attraction there now. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you and your sweet family will be in my prayers.

Piccinigirl said...

Em, those pictures, all of them are beautiful. I am so glad you had such a nice time visiting and traveling and being loved.

hoping the hip is just tired. I'll be praying.

love all the pics and sharing those with us, THANK YOU.