Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gone Yurting

Spring break is usually a week of pancake breakfasts, lounging in pajamas until lunchtime, board game battles, playdates with our busiest friends, popcorn and movie nights, and Brent complaining about the rain while the children slowly succumb to cabin fever.

But not this year. Oh, no. This year would be different! This would be there year that we set out on a quest to satisfy our thirst for spring break adventure. This was the year of the yurt!

Sometimes I think this blog is simply a collection of beach photos. Today's entry will be no exception.

Yes, it's true that we spend a lot of time at the Oregon coast. And for good reason. Many times when the valley is shrouded in grey drizzle, one needs only to drive west to find that the beach has been hogging the sunshine all along.

And yet, as we loaded the kids and the dog and the snacks and the games and the sleeping bags and the camp stove and the rainboots- just in case- the sky pelted us with angry raindrops and I knew we were not going to be driving out of this spring break deluge anytime soon.

Kids bickered in the car as we parted curtain after curtain of downpour with our windshield. Brent complained about the rain while I tried to distract everyone with snacks.

"Well, let's just make the best of it," I chirped about five thousand times as we arrived at the campground and found that yurts are actually pretty small. The sky brightened and we briefly explored the campground and ventured down to the beach before the rain started up again, sending us scurrying back to our tiny shelter.

Jack was bored, he informed us. About five thousand times. "This is the worst spring break ever!" he wailed theatrically. Sawyer coped by annoying everyone with his loud voice and disregard for personal space. Brent complained about the rain. I opened two beers.

Clementine was the happiest camper in our troop. She kept busy by unpacking our camping supplies and stomping in mud puddles, oblivious to the fact that this was "the worst spring break ever."

As night fell the rain intensified. The sleeping arrangement was less than ideal and it took awhile to get everyone settled in. There was a lot of complaining happening at this point and somehow the yurt seemed to be getting even smaller. "This is impossible," Brent informed me as we attempted to get Clementine to sleep.

No one was interested in my make-the-best-of-it gospel, so I just kept quiet and finally, AT LAST, after many trials and tribulations, we managed to get everyone to bed. And then we tossed and turned all night long as the rain and wind assaulted our yurt. Sometime in the night Brent turned to me and we whispered a plan to leave the next morning if the weather didn't improve.

But, miraculously, it did.

We drove south through Reedsport and Coos Bay. Sunset Bay sounded appealing and the clouds broke, giving us nearly an hour of sunny beach exploration.

We had beers and root beers at Seven Devils Brewery in Coos Bay. We picked up bubble gum and propane before returning to the yurt.

Brent strung up a tarp and the kids roasted marshmallows. Sawyer joined Clementine's puddle stomping party. Brent poured me a beer. The sun set and we cozied up in our yurt and watched Wallace and Gromit on the laptop. No one complained and there was no talk of going home early. There was a lesson here about making the best of things and toughing it out, about seeking the silver lining even when it's raining too hard to see the clouds. It's a lesson that we seem to have to learn over and over again in our family. But instead of seizing this teachable moment, we slept as the light rain drummed soothingly onto the roof above us.

The next morning we woke to a torrential downpour. Fuck this. We loaded up the car in record time and got the hell out of there.

Spring break was drawing to a close, but would not be complete without a rock star themed birthday party for one of Sawyer's friends.

Guess who won the costume contest?


  1. the little punk rockers.

  2. Good morning!, After I stumbled too quickly over the initial sentence reading "porn movie night" in place of "popcorn and movie night", I slowed down, re-read and felt sorry for you against the complaining. When I read that Brent strung up a tarp, I knew everything was going to be ok. That's how we survived the bush and rain as kids, dad would string up a tarp. We were normally in tents, and a yurt would have been considered luxury :-) ... All about perspective. It's great to read of the experiences you're giving your kids!

    1. Ha ha, Ali. Maybe porn movie night is just what our spring break has been missing!

      Yes, it is all about perspective. I agree that the yurt SHOULD have seemed like a luxury (we did plenty of tent camping in the rain when I was a kid, too), and hello? Watching a movie while camping?! My kids have no idea what roughing it is all about.

      But at least we went somewhere. :)

    2. For me, I think my version of luxury was being somewhere where although it was raining, there were no leeches! But I was lucky, I had a best friend little sister, and our two big brothers were always looking after us and coaching us up trees, across rivers, etc, AND a big sister to keep us all sensible, so we didn't even know how to spell "bored". Ever. Looks like you're back to camping on the next rainy weekend, then they'll be begging for the yurt!! :-)

  3. When things were good, did Jack theatrically say, "This is the best spring break ever!"?

  4. This is awesome, haha. Funny how the things that go to hell often make the best stories. Of course, you had that wonderful middle part - how cute is that yurt?! I love the scenery in all of your photos, it's so...Pacific Northwest-y. Makes me want to go on a road trip. =]

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