Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ocean Shores Vacation: Days 1 and 2

Can someone please put the brakes on time, just for a little bit, so I can catch up? It doesn't seem possible that we've been back from our week in Ocean Shores for almost 2 weeks, yet I haven't blogged about it yet. So, here goes!!

Day 1:

The first day of our vacation started as most out-of-town adventures do: with massive amounts of last-minute packing, potty reminders, and many "what have we forgotten??" conversations. Eventually (and on time), we loaded ourselves into the van and headed south.

Road-trip Annika, at your service!
 We made a pit stop in Tacoma to check on my mom, stretch our legs, grab some lunch, and then continued to Ocean Shores. We made it to the timeshare without incident (but with countless "are we there yet?"), were assigned a top-floor condo with a stunning view (woo hoo!!), and started getting settled in for the week.

We had a comfortable two-bedroom condo with a full kitchen, dining area, two bathrooms, living area, and balcony. To hear the ocean waves crash, all we needed to do was open the sliding glass door to the balcony... it was music to my ears!! (Let's just say, that door was open a lot during the week!!)

Surprisingly, we had daily deer sightings. Apparently, there is a game sanctuary in the neighborhood, and the local deer saw the timeshare grounds as part of their territory. We saw a few different groups of deer, including a few babies who still had their spots.

Because our first day was all about getting there and getting settled, we didn't try to take on any activities. We pulled out the decks of cards, checkers, and dice and played games ... all to the sound of the oceans just outside our door. Ahhh...

It was on this day that we discovered Conor is VERY fond of Checkers. Every morning, as we rolled out of bed, Conor was asking everyone if they'd play a game (or 15) with him. He loved the strategy, thrill of victory, and joy of shouting "King me!" ... losing, not so much his favorite part.
Conor taking in the view while lounging on our balcony
Some of our regular visitors

Lots of gulls were there, too

Part of our view

More of our view
Gearing up for sunset

Annika and Conor playing "Go Fish"

Conor, future pro-Checkers player
Most nights provided us with breath-taking sunsets

Annika at sunset

Saying good night to the sun

Day 2:

On our second day, we decided to explore the area and find the fun things to do. We decided to start with with bumper cars and mini-golf, both of which were a lot of fun. Because we arrived at the bumper cars shortly after they opened, we were the only people in the bumper car area, giving us the time and space to help the kids figure out how to drive.

After our time bumping into each other's cars and perfecting our best "evil professor" laughs, we climbed out of our bumper cars and made our way to the mini-golf course. OF COURSE, as soon as the kids saw the mini-golf was attached to an arcade, we HAD to stop to play some games, too.

Conor and Annika, just like their parents, love air hockey!!

Eric lining up his shot

Conor showing off his putting prowess

Annika prepping for the mini-golf  version of the LPGA ...
would that be the LPMGA??

"This is how it's done, kids."

Before we knew it, the call of the pool was ringing in our ears. We headed back to the condo, changed into our swimsuits, and headed downstairs to enjoy some time in the pool and hot tub.

Snorkel Boy raring to go

Snorkel Girl happy as a clam

Eric and the kids enjoying the hot tub

Daddy Circus Trick, part 1

Daddy Circus Trick, part 2

And if that wasn't enough for the day, the kids and I decided we also needed to explore the beach a bit before the sun went down. After all of the kid flipping in the pool, Eric was ready to shower and kick back for a bit. So, we left him with his book while we figured out the best way to get down to the beach (we were on a bit of a bluff, so it wasn't a straight shot to the sand and surf.)

The kids had a marvelous time working on their sand castle building and hole digging skills. I had a great time practicing my silhouette and reflection photography skills. We watched the waves crash, the sandpipers run from and toward the waves, searched for sand dollars,  found pretty rocks, and enjoyed the feeling of the sand below our feet. Before we knew it, the sun began to set, which signaled we'd better get going back to the condo.

A shell

Small kids, big ocean

Conor collecting wet sand for his sand castle

Run, little sand pipers!

Annika's family heart (our names are all printed within it)

Dig, Conor, dig!

Annika giving her sand creations a big ol' thumbs up

Our girl enjoying the feeling of the ocean on her bare feet

Practicing my silhouettes and reflections all in one shot
We found a relatively low spot in the bluff, scampered up, wound our way through the tall grass, and found ourselves back at the condo... hurray!! Didn't even need GPS. :)

Before long, we were on the balcony doing a family count-down until when we thought the sun would dip below the horizon. Rarely were we accurate, but it was a fun nightly ritual we adopted over our week away.

Day 2's sunset

Bonus Photo: Daily Deer Sighting

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