The last of our Summer in the States 2013 posts! While visiting Zac's family in Seattle, we always (almost always) go down to Southern Oregon for a big ol' extended family camping trip. Along the Umpqua River. Z's clan has been doing this since he was an itty bitty guy. I didn't actually take a lot of pics CAMPING, but I have way too many of river shenanigans, thanks to my cool underwater camera. So. That's what we'll be seein' here. To open with... Nuala's amazing flip! She and Bran (mostly Nuala, though) were doing lots of flips off this one big rock, and my camera is just SO awesome that it caught this perfect shot. Of course, I DID push the button, but still... ;) Isn't she amazing?
One the way down to southern Oregon, we stopped in the Portland area for the night. We stayed at Sari's house, and early the next morning, when we all headed out, our fam was able to stop and see Susan and the girls!!! Susan, Curtis, Mia, and Ivy are our wonderful friends from Bulgaria. They live in Switzerland now, and we got to see them!!!! Well, not Curtis, sadly, but all the girls. They were visiting Susan's mom and did I mention that we got to see them?!?! It was so great. We love them.
Ivy and Maeve. They went through baby/toddlerhood together.
Everyone loves Mia!
I was just grinning all day, getting to see them. They're like family, they are!
And then we went the rest of the way, and camped for 4 days? 5? I think 4. We swam in the cold, clear water, and had a blast. The kids LOVED it.
Bran is a total water babe. So's Nuala. These 2 are absolutely fearless. But usually in a smart way.
Maeve did not like getting dumped out. Luckily she sucked it up and went again. And got dumped out again. But she went again... again... She did like it... Just not as hardcore as N&B were at her age.
Bran telling me all about his bodysurfing-the-rapids experience. There's N in the background... woohoo!!
Here comes Sari! Taxiing out Mia, Mathias, and Preston.
Maeve and I, going again.
Hunter and Riley.
Mathias was pretty die hard, too. Just kept going, over and over!
Maria hitched a ride!
A bunch of us ladies (haha) going... I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to put McKenna and me both on one tube. Oh yeah, I do. Maria.
Hehehehee... Here Heidi hits a rock underwater...
And now Maria hits one! Apparently she had a nice bruise, but we all took her word on that, on account of where it was located...
Nuala can totally get lost in that hole, but she loved using the giant tubes.
Bran Man and Uncle Randy. Bran loved him. Randy's a fun fella.
Hmmm... ANOTHER pic of Nuala. Did she get a hold of the laptop? Anyway. I think having these little wetsuits that we bought out here in Okinawa helped the twins a LOT. They didn't turn blue nearly as quickly as before.
And Nuala's over!
Here Z is launching Bran ONTO Nuala's tube, to try and capsize her. See? Lots of fun.
Nuala leaping into the river.
Definitely happy here!
Not exactly sure about this one... Screams of delight... maybe...?
See? She's happy when she stays in the tube!
Cute Hunter. Who (of course) used to be the size of Bran and Preston and Mathias, like, yesterday. Why does time go so fast?!
Cute Z. I think he's not too thrilled with having to stop for a picture. There's a river that needs playin' in!
They're always coming up with stuff to keep it interesting.
Thias. Wouldn't stop. He kept going, going, going on those rapids...
She is pretty dang cute. Indeed.
Here are... the FALLS. Bran and Nuala went off these falls for the first time when they were 2. Maeve is a very brave, independent, super-climby girl, but drew the line at attempting these. She can be very stubborn, too, so the whole bribery thing didn't even work.
It was a fun day at the falls. N&B had a good time, we all had a good time. I think they liked this big rock a little farther down the river better, though...
First I was standing here. That's Bran doing a flip. I don't think he made it all the way around on this go... Anyway, then cousin Sheldon told me about the SWEET spot for rock-jumping pics...
...so I moved. And look! They ARE way cooler! Nuala running...
Oh, yeah... the flip one. I might not have mentioned it, and you might not be able to tell, but I really like this one... ;)
Nuala Boola Snicker Doola.
Muffin Man. He decided not to flip for me again because he slapped his face on the water one too many times. Kinda hurt.
There's this kinda mossy incline going up to the falls. Sometimes, if the water is deep enough, you can zoom down on a tube. Usually a grownup ends up pushing the child in the tube in spurts down the hill. Not too awesome for the pusher, fun for the pushee.
Uncle Eldon gave Bran a ride down on the boogie board. That was actually kinda zoomy... And there we have it. A semi-abrupt end to a... semi-lengthy... post... We had a great summer. We're very lucky to be able to go see our family every year. We DO have a pretty awesome family. We were sad not to see my sis, Tara, and her family, though... Usually we go through DC, where they are, but since we now come from Asia, we didn't make it all the way to the East Coast. Sadness. Well. That's a great note to end on. Let's get some happy stuff in here... Rainbows! Cornnuts! Kittens! There.