we live on the Puget Sound, which is basically junior varsity ocean. we love it, completely, but our water is surrounded by land on 3 sides so it’s kind of like an unruly lake. that might be an understatement, but the point here is, it’s no beach. at least not the kind that greets you when you role into Copalis after driving through dense rainforest and turn the corner to find miles of sandy beach, 6-8 foot crest and the coolest kind of quiet created by never ending crashing waves. time it right and arrive at sunset and it will knock your socks off. (totally planed. nothing to do with stopping for McFlurries.)
the ocean is one of those places where jake and i both know we’ll never be able to live very far from. to stand at the edge of your corner of the country and look out to where the sea meets the sky and breathe in salty air… oooh take me back. it’s healing in the deepest way. nothing has actually changed, but the space, the open, the vast. you instantly realize just how small you are. and while humbling, there’s something very peaceful in that too. October was the craziest month i’ve maybe ever lived. Jake was out of state for a week, something i’m super used to with one baby. but two? not as much. both of my computers crashed. and then my external hard drive broke. my sister moved across the water. my part time job got a little more full time. there’s even more but bottom line, we needed a serious unplug + reconnect.
are you like that? maybe it’s because stay at home moms see the same 4 walls ’round the clock, but when it’s been hard and heavy, the fastest way to take the weight off my shoulders is to pile in the car for a road trip + head to new destination i’ve never been. get me out of my world. my head. my problems. and for just a few days, no distractions from soaking up the family + blessings that I’ve been so gifted with. it’s magic. after learning this about myself, jake and I purposed to plan a few overnight trips every few weeks/months, just small and only a few hours away, just to reconnect as a family and remember what’s at the core of what we need + believe. i highly recommend it.
Quinn is such a little trooper. I don’t know if it’s a common second baby trait, but she’s just the chillest! we’ve packed her up and taken her on an impressive amount of adventures in her short little life and she’s been so adaptable and sweet along for the ride. however, and I do mean this from the bottom of my heart when I say, i’m not sure what I would have done without the 4moms bounceroo. it’s so lightweight and battery powered that it’s completely portable. we’ve thrown it in the back of the car pretty much anywhere we’ve gone! Quinn gets to be cozy and comfy but still a part of what’s going on, and Jake and I can have both hands free to make meals and play Candyland. it doesn’t hurt that it puts her right to sleep 9 times out of 10. traveling with kids is one of those things where being able to bring along the right gear makes or breaks the trip. it may be small, but this bouncer is a big part of that for us!
the PNW is one of those parts of the country that is on almost everyone’s bucket list. i’ve lived here every single one of my 10,292 days and am ashamed to say i’ve seen such a tiny chunk! we’re slowly checking them off, but near the top of the list was one of Washington’s most gorgeous stretches of coastline, Copalis Beach. having had such an incredible experience in Friday Harbor and considering ourselves seasoned family travelers at this point ;), we knew what we were hunting for in lodging. we found the most incredible resort made up of 28 individual, newly renovated cabins, fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen. guys, these kinds of places are family lifesavers. we pack all the foods that our family needs (pre-made dinners, snacks, bacon and eggs, popcorn, the works) and when you arrive, it’s like your own little mini home away from home. with babies, it makes traveling such a breeze!
Iron Springs takes accommodations one step, okay maybe five steps, further than most. instead of a simple registration office, they have a General Store that feels like you just stepped into Trader Joes. there’s local and organic everything-you-need-and-then-some on shelves and in a small refrigerator section. just in case you forgot s’more sticks, like we did, and weren’t about to miss a chance to roast mallows over the fireplace inside your cabin, they’ve got you covered. with a shelf of board and card games to check out as well as beach toys and volleyball nets, we were more than well taken care of! (and i didn’t have to lug sandy beach toys all the way home. winning!)
we took our mini vaca the week before Halloween and Zoey had just decided to be Cinderella. she found a Little Golden Book version of the story and we’d read it 43 times a day. i’d been dying to show her the classic Disney movie, but since my mom only had it on VHS and we live in a streaming world, i’d been out of luck finding a way to show it to her. well wouldn’t you know, Iron Springs has the largest wall of dvd’s to check out and bring back to your cabin! 14 pages of movies and right under the C’s? you guessed it. Cinderella. so sweet. we maybe had to fast forward through the majority of it, Disney movies are scarier than I remember! but all we really cared about was the bippity-boppity-boo portion anyway 😉 and the ball, of course the ball.
we did leave the beach for a minute to venture 20 minutes south to the summer hot spot, Ocean Shores, for some of the best. pizza. i’ve ever had. I could almost recommend this get away based on Cruiser’s Pizza alone. Jake and I attempted to split a medium and were each stuffed. but who gives up after two slices? so of course, we had to hit ice cream at Peppermint Parlor. the cutest gal behind the counter talked us into half a dozen maples bars that she made to order and i’m still dreaming about them. okay, so this is starting to sound like we maybe ate our way down the coast. don’t judge us. Ocean Shores really is the cutest little place. It’s a little ghost-town-ish in the off season, but that just means less crazy for us 😉 if you’re a fan of cafes painted in every color of the rainbow and beauty gift shops on every corner, throw in some super yummy restaurants and the best wind to fly a kite? put it on your bucket list.
this trip was so peaceful and relaxing, like the best version of camping without worrying about over packing and the massive clean up when you get home. is true what they say, sometimes you just need a little Vitamin Sea and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner for our ocean lodging. we do our absolute best to only recommend what believe in, tried and true, and we genuinely add Iron Springs to that list. if you need a little peace + quiet or enough cabins for a family reunion, please look them up. super special thank you to Effie and the whole team at Iron Springs! you’re the best!