Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope your weekend was good. We just got back from a week-long camping/beach rental vacation and, while it was a blast, I am so happy to be home. My bed! My kitchen!

Fort Stevens State Park was amazing. The campsites were shady and large, there were great bike paths, the lake was gorgeous, and the showers, while slimy and gross, had plenty of hot water. The one bummer? While the Fort Stevens Museum was interesting, the actual Fort Stevens military site was incredibly boring. Everything is preserved, but empty. No signs, no context, no information at all. It was like walking around a huge, empty basement.

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I give camping with a baby a C+, maybe a B-. The Pack N Play was essential, both as a clean place for her to hang out in outside, and as her crib. However, while we have a six-person tent, it was a tight squeeze for the three of us plus Sarah in her baby cage. Plus, she kept waking up in the middle of the night and crying. Since crying it out isn’t really an option when you’re surrounded by people in tents, I was up the majority of the first night and finally put her on the air mattress between me and Scott.

But! To get to the point. With all the camping stuff we had to bring, plus all the baby stuff, our (borrowed) truck was super packed. I think next year we’re going to book one of the Deluxe Cabins and forgo tent camping until Sarah is a little older. Plus, I’ve always had a thing for log cabins.

I was actually (for once) pretty good about not bringing too much food on our trip, and making stuff that was tasty, too! We did Hawaiian Grilled Pizzas (note: I actually made them in a skillet), and they are my new favorite camping food.

Wall art at HWY 101 Burger.

Wall art at HWY 101 Burger.

Our next stop: a house in Lincoln City, OR, where I lost myself in the bliss of laundry. My affection for the smell of a campfire goes up in smoke (c’mon, I can’t help it) as soon as we break camp. The house was great, but the real highlight was a trip to HWY 101 Burger. They really are the best, and the closest thing we have to In-N-Out. The meat is fresh, never frozen, the special sauce is solid, and you can get grilled onions on your 101 (one patty + one slice of cheese), 202 (two patties + two slices of cheese), 303, or even 404 (you get the picture). Plus, the man who runs it is great with kids. He got Sid’s name and called it for our order, wrote his name in ketchup in a boat of special sauce, and even gave him some quarters for the video machines and pool table because there was a wait. Sid was psyched.

Sid and Scott at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Sid and Scott at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Weirdly enough, our trip ended up having a shipwreck theme. It started when I picked up a copy of my favorite childhood book, The Swiss Family Robinson, to read to everyone. Then, there ended up being an actual shipwreck of the Peter Iredale on the beach near Fort Stevens. Then later, at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport? The Secrets of Shipwrecks. I couldn’t have planned it better myself!

Phew! I definitely want to write about camping and vacation food, but I have more laundry to do . . .

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