Sunday, September 6, 2015

Camping at Twin Harbor State Park in Washington

In the middle of August we took one last family weekend trip. It was a spur of the moment camping trip. We learned really quick that if you want to camp at all in the Oregon area you really need to plan way ahead. Spur of the moment does not work since we found out that all the camping areas near us were booked. We eventually found a place up in Washington. That sounded good to us since we've wanted to explore some of Washington.

Now shortly before our camping trip, the van died and we had to say goodbye. We crossed our fingers and hoped that we'd get everything into Nate's car. As I began packing and watching the piles of stuff grow, I began to have serious doubts. We did have one good thing working for us. Even though we were headed on a camping trip we didn't need our tent. The sight we were headed to only had some small cabins available for rent. 

The pile of stuff next to Malakai that I was going to attempt to pack into our small Ford Fiesta....

After about 15-20 minutes I got everything we'd need packed into the car... including the potty. I did have to unpack a bag of jackets and just cram those into the nooks and crannies but I managed to get it all in there. I briefly thought about leaving the training potty at home but with Malakai in the midst of potty training and me not knowing exactly how close we'd be to the bathrooms I felt more comfortable having the small potty along. And it did come in useful.

Everyone had stuff at their feet. Thankfully the kids aren't very tall so that didn't but them at all.

Once the stuff was in it was time to buckle in the kids. (This is my biggest pet peeve at the moment. With our van the girls could buckle themselves. But in the Fiesta the seats are so close that the girls struggle to get their seats belts buckled. So now I'm back to needing to buckle 3 kids every time we use the car instead of just one kid.)

We headed to Twin Harbor State Park in Washington. We had a wonderful time while there, but most likely won't ever return. The cabin was great! The mosquitoes were awful. And we were quite thankful we weren't in a tent since all the tent sites were really close to each other. It was also a 3 hour drive that ended up taking closer to 5 hours. We got stuck in traffic just outside Chehalis, WA and it lasted until we passed Centralia, WA. It took forever to get through since we were just inching along. I have no idea what the hold up was.

The cabins were spaced a decent distance apart. The tent sites were right across from where our car was parked. Once inside the cabin you really couldn't hear what was going on outside. We had no one in the cabins on either side of us, so that was really nice.

The inside of the cabin had a bunk bed, a futon, and two tables. One was large enough to eat at (but we just ate outside). The second table was a small end table where I put our suit case.

We were there for 2 nights and spent the majority of our time at the beach. It was surprisingly warmer than we expected.

On the path to the beach the kids found a cool tree hideout.

Besides playing at the beach, the thing the kids were most excited about was roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores. Since the weather has been so dry and hot out here this summer, there was a ban on having open fires at the camp ground. We were allow to use our little cooking stove but that was it. The kids didn't seem to mind. They quite enjoyed catching their marshmallows on fire and then blowing them out!

By our last morning, I finally started to get the hang of cooking on our cook stove. We enjoyed some yummy pancakes! Pancakes really seem to taste better when cooked out doors. Most of the food I made ahead of time since I didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking.

I was really surprised at how Layla and Malakai both jumped into helping wash our plates and utensils after meals. They LOVED it! At first they fought over who got to do the washing, so we divided things up so it was even. Malakai would even look around for more things to wash. Unfortunately, the excitement over washing dishes did not continue once we got home. Maybe I need to set up a sink outside to encourage them to help with meal time clean up....

Near our campsite were some fun climbing trees that the kids spent time playing on. Luckily, we were also really close to the bathroom! The building just behind the tree was the bathroom! There were 2 showers and 2 bathrooms on our side (and then the same number on the other side). There were more bathrooms spread out among the campsite but I was excited to be so close to one.

Our last morning there, we packed up and then drove in to Westport. It was the nearest town to us. We figured we do a little sightseeing. We also wanted to find a different beach to explore. However, most of the beaches along there were state beaches and one thing we learned about Washington was if you didn't have a Discover pass you couldn't get into a state park. While camping at Twin Harbor we had access to the state parks since that cost was built into the cost of camping there, but our pass expired at 11am. So it was a little frustrating trying to find beach access that wasn't part of a state park. We did manage to find a spot and spent another hour or so at the beach before heading home. Thankfully, our drive home did not take 5 hours and we had very little traffic to deal with.

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