On Monday, it was the 4th of July! We got up and had a yummy (free) breakfast in the hotel's restaurant. Then we headed to the Portland Temple. It was, of course, very beautiful and peaceful.
After the temple, we got in the car and enjoyed the beautiful drive to the Oregon Coast. We waded in the water (it was too cold to swim!), watched a dog having the time of his life as he ran/swam into the water to catch a ball his owner threw out to him, enjoyed walking along the beach, and the kids played in the sand. Gabby, especially, had a great time playing with a couple of pieces of driftwood and digging in the sand.
We had lunch at a little Mexican restaurant about a 1/2 mile from the beach. Then we headed back to Portland, enjoying another gorgeous drive.
The girls were dying to swim in the hotel's pool, so we spent an hour swimming. Then we headed over to Vancouver, Washington to see what is supposedly the biggest fireworks display west of the Mississippi. Not sure if that is true, but it was quite amazing! What a fun day. It was so fun to be somewhere new on the 4th of July, to enjoy the beauty of this beautiful world (beach/ocean, forests, river, waterfall, flowers all in 2 days time!), and to be together as a family. It was just about a perfect vacation. Alfredo said that maybe he'd like to make this a new family tradition...to take a short trip somewhere in the US each year for the 4th of July. I don't know if we really will or not, but maybe. Definitely, we both want to take our kids to see some of the amazing places in this country and perhaps other places in the world as well. Let them learn about geography and history and culture through experience, not just through reading and schooling. :)
More pictures to come soon (the rest are on Alfredo's cell phone...I need to download them still!