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We love being home on the farm, but every now and again, we like to get away and change up the view.

When we were first married we bought into a timeshare program that allows us to choose the time and place for our get-aways. Our favorite spot seems to be Point Brown in Ocean Shores. The condo units are nicely appointed and self-contained with a full kitchen, sitting and dining areas. The views are pretty fabulous too.


In the last 15 years we have seen a lot of changes at the beach. We used to find lots of rocks and shells. Now we are seeing mostly sand as the land erodes. They are trying to protect the beachfront by dumping large boulders along the leading edge. Sadly not all of the property owners bought in to the plan and the waves are eating around the backside of the boulder blockade.  We noticed a lot of changes even from a month ago with all of the wild storms we had. I think they are going to have to invest in some serious rocks to preserve these buildings. They may have to construct something similar to the structure of the Jetty itself to stand up to the power of the water and waves.


This is almost high tide, and there is about 10 to 15 feet of water down there where we used to be able to walk.


We always bring the assortment of kites. Depending on the wind speed, different kites will fly, or not. Every trip Eric tries to find a new piece of ‘laundry’ to fly from the kite line. (I’m not making that up, it’s the term kite flyers use for the spinners and other things they fly with their kites.)


This time we were able to get the Macaw aloft, and once the breeze picked up a bit, Eric’s big power sled with the new 75′ tail. The breeze didn’t last long, but we at least managed to snap a picture of it unfurled. When we added the lightest spinner he had it was too much and pulled the kite down.


This morning, over the course of an hour, we sighted several whales heading north! We saw a momma and her calf heading south last November, so this was pretty cool.

Add a seal or a sea lion to the list of things spotted in the surf!





Part two…
On Saturday we decided to take a day trip up to Lake Quinalt and hike a few of the nature trails. This area is a temperate rain forest so the trees here are cedar, fir, hemlock, and spruce for the most part. They are really BIG trees. That seems to be what happens in a rain forest. The trees get lots of water and grow huge.

This was our first hike with the youngest member of our family. We bought her some hiking shoes a few weeks ago so she had time to break them in. Apparently they are great in the sand box at school. Who knew? She is carrying her own pack with water, extra clothes, and some snacks. We wanted her first experience to be fun, not grueling!

We picked a fairly simple trail that was just shy of 2 miles. After hiking up the big “mountains” we finally got to some cool stuff. (Five year old perspective, remember.) The creeks and rivers fascinated her. Her all time favorites were the waterfalls. The little ones were close enough to touch as they came off the banks and ran down into the creeks. The big ones were, well, awesome. She would have stayed and watched the water pour over the rocks and tumble around the fallen logs all day if we had let her. It’s been over a week and they are some of the most talked about features of our trip.

When we reached the crossing of the trails she thought she wanted to take the really long one back. We were tempted, as it might burn off some energy, but neither one of us really wanted to carry her if she tuckered out. We kept it short and had lunch by the lake, where, after her sandwich, the little Miss tried to fill in the lake by throwing all of the rocks she could find into the water. Apparently this is a favorite past time of the younger set. As there were two, slightly younger boys who were attempting to fill in their section of the lake in the same fashion.

As we sat there we noticed that the tree line across the lake looked strange. It was snow! Yep. While it was in the mid to upper 40 degree range down by the lake, snow was gracing the upper reaches. My sweet husband though that the Quinalt Lodge had the perfect thing for relaxing after a bracing hike in the outdoors. He wants to put one in our room. It would take up one whole wall! Those logs are 3 feet long! I’ll take our nice compact wood stove, thanks. Besdies, I’m not so sure we could get the Roosevelt Elk head for a center piece, and it just wouldn’t be the same without it.

On our way back to Point Brown at Ocean Shores we made a few stops. We took a side trip to a National Fish Hatchery. We were the only people there, and I think the sole employee on duty was hiding from us. Either that, or he was looking to log in some overtime. We had no more gotten in our car to leave, than he came out and began to feed the fish their supper. Since we arrived at about 30 minutes to closing and we took the self guided tour after poking around in the interpretive center, something was fishy. (Sorry)

We also decided to stop at Pacific Beach for a bit of beach combing. Our stretch of beach was fairly limited with the tides being so high. We found some pretty interesting stuff while we were there. The pair of eagles were the loudest things we saw. They screeched and chattered for 30 to 45 minutes. We also found a seal carcass, or most of one. Not really something to photograph, so you lucked out there. The smell was awful too. The seagulls thought it was tasty, but they are pretty much just rats with wings, so, one more reason not to eat seagulls. We found a couple of pretty rocks and a clam shell that had to come home with us. Considering the other things we found on the beach, good choices all!

Our weather was really quite good for this time of year. We did get some rain that kept us from going back down to our own beach at Pt. Brown on Saturday evening when we got back to the condo, but it blew through and left us with this after dinner show.

We really didn’t want to come home on Sunday, but that is the way all good vacations are supposed to be. We’ll be making more trips to the beach and the forest trails I am sure. Thanks for coming along with us!

My husband and I have our birthdays fairly close together. So we decided to take a long weekend to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and our birthdays with a trip to the beach. Not some tropical beach, but one of our lovely ones here on the west coast of Washington State. This time of year we are very likely to have rain, hail, thunderstorms, and great gusts of wind. We LOVE it! It may not make for such great beach combing weather, but we still get out there. This year we saw more deer than ever before. This yearling was out on the cliff over-looking our stretch of beach.

We started talking about going to the beach a few days before we left, and even that was a bit much for the little Miss to take. She wanted to know why we didn’t go to the ocean before we went to school.

We did have one major disappointment in our weekend. We wanted to have dinner at the local Irish Pub & Restaurant on Saint Patrick’s Day. I called about a month ahead to see if we needed to make reservations. I was asked how many there were going to be in my party and I said two adults, and a child. I was informed that unless we had a very large party that it was pretty much a free for all. So, we arrived at the condo, unloaded our car, and headed for the pub. We arrived at 5:45 and were told that we would not be seated or served since they weren’t taking kids after 6PM. We were the only ones in line, and there were empty tables. I was MAD. If I had been informed of this when I called, we would have stopped and eaten before checking in at the condo unit. I understand that St.Paddy’s day is a big night for them, and that we weren’t likely to be staying all night drinking the place dry, spending large sums on a bar tab. But, I do not see how being rude to your customers is going to benefit you in the long run. The waitress who originally made the comment was polite and apologetic. The manager who was consulted for confirmation was very rude about it. My lovely husband said no problem we’ll just go tomorrow for lunch. Oh Noo! If my patronage isn’t good enough on your busy night, then it’s not good enough at your slow time either. It is really too bad since they have amazing food. I guess I’ll just have to learn how to make Irish Soda Bread and Fo Far Bridie with Whiskey Cream Sauce over Colcannon myself. My husband would love me forever if I mastered it. What better incentive to learn a new recipe?
We did have a wonderful dinner at Las Maracas, the little Mexican restaurant in town, just to spite them.

The weather Thursday night was pretty yucky. The wind was howling and the rain came pelting down. Em was pretty unhappy about sleeping by herself in a strange place with strange noises. So I crashed with her on the murphy bed, which was just about THE coolest thing she had ever seen in her five years. Thankfully she hasn’t asked for a “magic” bed for her own room!

Friday morning arrived dry! It was a bit overcast, but no rain! The sun darted out here and there during the day. We walked out on the beach and checked out the jetty that marked the entrance of the harbor. About every 15 minutes or so the breakers would hit just right and send a huge shower up and over the rocks. I got in a few good laughs. One at my own family and another at some foolish dude standing up on the rocks. Fortunately no one was hurt, my family had rain gear on and only got slightly damp. Dumb guy got a really good soaking.

We headed into town and picked up a replacement blown glass shade for a “trumpet flower” lamp. I bought two the last time I was in town. One met it’s demise at the elbow of my husband and the second felt the wrath of a flying stuffed bunny. I have moved the lamp. We bought two more, just in case.

(I want one of these for my back porch!)
We collected a few more trinkets, including some squeezie sharks for playing in the super cool, double-deep tubby.

After a dinner with a super sunset show, we went for a night time beach walk. The moon was huge, but mostly hid behind some scraggly clouds. That did not make the trip with the flashlights any less fun. After such a busy day, a warm bath was in order, with the aforementioned sharks. A cup of chocolate fudge pudding with canned whipping cream for dessert did us all in.

Until about 1 AM. I woke up and had to go look at the ocean. Apparently the tide was in and super high. About every 20 to 30 minutes a breaker would crash into the rocks at just a certain angle and shudder the whole condo unit. I am guessing that is what woke me up. It was fairly mild out, and I stood on the deck watching the surf for well over an hour in the moonlight. Not a bad way to spend the first hours of your 40th year on the planet.

That should be enough of my rambling for now. Part two tomorrow…

I do have an update about the barn, but it will have to wait. Not much more will happen until next Monday regarding the barn, and I need some fresh pictures of it in any case.

We spent a long weekend at Point Brown, WA with my husband’s parents and CJ’s girlfriend. We had a great time, even though several of us were sick. Em & I had full snot lockers and were coughing, Eric started in with the coughing, and Molly felt pretty ucky with a sore throat & stuffy/achy ears.

We left Friday after the teenagers made it home from school, and it is about a 2 hour drive. We hit the condo, unloaded the cars, and headed out for supper. We finally tried the Galloway Bay Pub in Ocean Shores. We had been meaning to get there for several years, but with the full kitchen in the condo units, we had pretty much cooked for ourselves in the past. Galloway Bay has live music on the weekends and, looking over the menu, they offer a lot of traditional Irish (& English) pub food.

I do have to admit that I haven’t had very much of that style of food myself. So, deciding to live it up, us “old folks” decided to go with the new, and hope that the flavor of the food was as tasty as the description made it sound. Eric’s parents and I, all ordered variations on a meat pasty. Max had a veggie version, Grandma had the chicken and mushroom, and I had the beef with onions, potatoes, and carrots. They are sort of like pot pies without all of the sauce on the inside. Instead they serve the “pie” over a heap of “colcannon” (mashed potatoes with steamed cabbage blended in) and smothered in a whiskey cream sauce.

I was a bit concerned about the potato thing. It was yuuummy! The potatoes were mashed with a hand masher so they still had some texture, and what ever they did with that cabbage, you didn’t smell it, or find huge chunks in the potatoes. The whiskey cream sauce was divine. Apparently you can have the recipe for about  two million dollars, and the pub comes with it.

My husband decided to try the shepherd’s pie. That was scrumptious too! It had diced carrots, onions, potatoes, & steak in a succulent brown gravy, covered in the colcannon style potatoes, and topped with a puff pastry hat. This was parked in the oven for a bit to brown the top. I have since been directed to find a decent recipe for these items.  There were some very happy people tucking into those plates.

We waddled back to the condo and pretty much all wanted to hibernate. The next morning was bright & cold. After breakfast we headed out to hit some shops. I thought about doing a bit of holiday work there, and got one or two presents. My favorite shop had closed up, and moved north to Port Townsend or Port Angeles. In either case it was too far to make the trip that day. We hit a few other shops and headed back to the condo unit.

We went for a walk on the beach at sunset on Saturday. It was nippy, but there was no real wind to speak of. The little miss and her dad had fun chasing the waves. She did get a bit damp, but had a blast!

The next morning had a very heavy frost covering everything. The wind was a constant 10 MPH gusting upwards to 20 on occasion. We grabbed the sand toys & the kites and headed for the beach. I am not a very good kite flyer. That is the boys’ area of expertise.

I tried playing in the sand with the little one, but the wind just drove the sand into her face if she turned wrong. We were only out for about a half an hour before we had to pack it in. It was way too cold for us sickies. I spent some time trying to get the sand out of her eyes.

Our last night there the arctic weather front slipped down from Canada and put everything into a deep freeze. The temp slipped to about 19F overnight. Things at the condo faired fine. At home we had not prepared the farm for that kind of a freeze. That, as they say, is another story.

The condo was pretty good, but I think we will go back to renting the 2 bedroom units. They are at least all on one level. It is much easier on the knees that way.