We knew that by visiting the PNW we would be able to spend the majority of our time outdoors which is exactly what we wanted. When we go on vacation we try to pick destinations where we can still be really active, enjoy our time with the kids, and do things that we know they both love to do. Here, we could hike and then we could come back and build sandcastles on the beach.
That is what we ended up doing on several days. This day we went to Oswald West State Park and hiked part of the Cape Falcon Trail where at one point there is a split for Short Sand Beach or Cape Falcon. We knew the kids would much rather go to the beach than see the view from Cape Falcon.
The moment we entered the forest, Gray looked up to the top of the trees and said Whoa. These Red Cedar and Sitka Spruce trees were the biggest he had ever seen. I walked (and wore) with Olivia most of the time while Graham and Gray hung back and took their time. Gray told me many times that if I walked too fast that I would miss all of the bugs and really cool stuff. They brought their magnifying glasses and he was so into exploring, stopping every few feet and to check the trail or look for bugs. He found quite a few and was excited every time.
I was really surprised at how well Gray did with the hike considering he wasn’t feeling 100% but he didn’t complain about being tired until we started to head back to the car. Once we got to the beach both kids wanted to climb everything. Short Sand Beach is a hidden in a cove with these huge cliffs and trees on both sides. It’s really popular with surfers and we had the chance to see some of them (in their full body wetsuits) surfing.
That afternoon we headed out to the beach for some sandcastle building. The tide started coming in and when it did Gray discovered he could find shrimp crabs if he dug in the sand. Once he knew that all he wanted to do was catch shrimp crabs which turned into Graham catching them and Gray grabbing them from his hands. He built castles for them and couldn’t get enough of catching them. This of course meant that they were all out in the water, the cold water. It didn’t phase them a bit. By the end of their shrimp crab catching expedition, Gray and Olivia were soaked and loving it. Olivia would grab our hands, run to the waves and then run back to the shore. Over and over. The laughter coming from those kids was amazing. I got some of those pictures on my phone but not my camera.
Our evenings at the beach may be my favorite parts of the trip. The kids were covered in sand from head to toe but so happy.