It has always been important to me to pass on family traditions to our kids, especially since we do not get to spend a lot of time with our extended family. I try to incorporate some of my husband’s family English traditions as well as some of the special things I did growing up. I’ve learned to make an English Trifle, Scotch eggs, and a variety of holiday foods that my husband grew up eating. From my side of the family, we have incorporated family game night during those long winter evenings and cooking up a huge Thanksgiving feast. I even started some traditions of my own by making a holiday themed meatloaf the week before the big holiday meal. It is important that my kids have concrete memories of fun things we do as a family, especially with moving to new houses and having to make new friends all the time.
One of the easiest traditions to continue is that both of our families often went on Sunday afternoon hikes when the weather was nice enough. These Sunday adventures are probably a large part of why we love the outdoors so much. We want our kids to appreciate and enjoy nature as much as we do, so it is very important that we set aside time to spend outdoors as a family. This past weekend, the weather was HOT for the Pacific Northwest, it was 80 degrees or more. There was a 10 mile an hour wind in the forecast though, so although I suggested going to the beach before Brickman got his plaster cast, we decided a hike would be better. My Husband did a little research and scoped out some geocaches for a hike in Ecola State park.
I packed a picnic, some sunscreen, and the geocache trinkets before loading the kids and our dog Suki into the minivan and heading out. When we got to the park, the area we wanted to explore was closed, so we just rolled with the punches and went walking on a trail we saw. We figured we would just hike for a while and see what adventures could be had. The trail we took had some pretty steep up and downs over coastal headlands that gave us some AMAZING views of sea stacks and the Pacific Ocean. We continued on the trail and ended up at THE BEACH! We decided to just go with the flow and let the kids play in the sand and surf. Our poor old dog Suki was tired and needed to relax a while anyway, and the wind wasn’t bad at all. We found out we were on a beach called Indian Beach that had a lot of little rock outcroppings that made shallow little pools of water that the kids, especially Baby, loved to play around in. My husband was playing around on the beach and does what he describes as “a common human mammal performing a mating ritual for his wife of 12 years. Although he has effectively secured his privileges he still feels the need to impress her.” I’m bummed I didn’t get a picture of Baby trying to imitate him and having her legs and arms flailing in the air while getting her head covered in sand. We finally decided to pack up and hike back out to where we started. The views were once again breath taking and had changed with the tide going out. The kids also took time to explore a huge root hole left from a tree growing on a nurse log. They were both able to climb into it and have room to play around. we were running low on water though, so we finished the hike and refilled our water bottles at the faucet in the parking lot.
We drank all of the drinks I had packed, but we didn’t end up eating the picnic since we were so warm. Fortunately, we were driving past our favorite gelato shop, Sea Star Gelato, on the way home so we hopped in to partake of a cool tasty treat. Everyone must have had the same idea, because parking was a nightmare in Seaside, so the big kids and I jumped out to order our gelato as my husband drove around with Baby and Suki in the van. I didn’t get a picture of our delicious frozen treat because it was melting so fast and I had extra cones to carry back to my husband… I guess we will just have to make another trip soon so I can show you all just how good this stuff is. Hmm, maybe monthly gelato can be a new family tradition? On that note, I must go do some dinner preparations before Brickman and Fancy get home from school and Baby wakes up from nap.