Van2San Roadtrip 2015 [Pt.1]

Earlier in the year Mackenzie and I signed up and joined a group from Gracepoint Community Church, to travel to Mexico with One Life One Chance Ministries. We started to plan out our trip, what we would bring, where we were going and how we would get there. The entire team itself was flying down to San Diego and then driving in to Mexico. Mackenzie and I were talking about the trip with some friends one night after a dinner date and we ended up planning an entire road trip with them that centered around Mexico with a road trip on either end of it!

 

Highlight’s of Van2San Roadtrip 2016
  • Catching a chicken
  • Notebook doodles – pictures
  • Tilamook Cheese Factory + ice cream
  • The Oregon Coast
  • DIY memory cup
  • Devil’s Punch Bowl
  • Oceanside Murals
  • Redwood Forest
  • An engagement

The group of us definitely made the most of this trip and mapped it out accordingly. I am so thankful for Chelsea’s organization skills; our trip, budget and accommodations were all flawless! We started off planning by thinking about the coast, what hot spots we would like to hit and which ones were actually doable, while sticking to a backpackers budget. After all this was decided, we got together,  compared lists and mapped out the route, planning campgrounds, mealtimes and tourist stops.

We were SO grateful to my friend Melissa for opening up her family’s home in Woodenville, Washington for our first night of rest while on the road. When we arrived we were welcomed with open arms, enjoyed some time in their pool and in the morning, walked right out to the chicken coop and grabbed some fresh eggs for breakfast! What a DREAM.

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Side project I started at the first starbucks we stopped across the border. I kept all my trinkets I found along the way in here!

We were soon on our way  to the coast, stopping in Washington one more time at a park on the side of the Columbia River, it was so beautiful! Overlooking the Columbia River and Astoria just within arms reach.

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Finally we made it to Cannon Beach! The long awaited and much anticipated beauty. We set up camp at Wright’s for Camping Campground, grabbed a mug of hot cocoa and headed straight for the beach! After constantly looking up Cannon beach on the internet, hearing friends talk about it and watching the rolling, endless waves out the window, I was here! The way people describe it and cameras capture it truly does not do it justice. My toes were in the sand, the wind was in my hair and I didn’t have a care in the world. What a moment of pure bliss.

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Keep your eyes peeled for more little doodles of add-ons throughout the trip! There’s quite the collection!

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It also did not disappoint that Ryan is very handy with a camera and took these absolutely breathtaking photos of Kenz and I on the beach!

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Our next stop on the map was the Tilamook Cheese Factory, as per Chelsea’s dream and request, but also to our enjoyment. There was so many different styles, smells and variations of cheese here, I didn’t even know this place existed, but thanks to Chels we got to enjoy cheese, ice cream and even some jerky! (One of these pictures you’ll see the first time ‘Operation Donut’ photographed)

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WAIT FOR IT…..

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….where’s Ryan?

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OPERATION DONUT

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Tilamook Country Smoker – The boys dream – After venturing through the cheese factory we started to walk towards to car and then we hear, “JERRKKKY” There was a factory beside the Tilamook Cheese Factory called the Tilamook Country Smoker. It was thoroughly enjoyed.

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Devil’s Punch Bowl is part of a state part just outside Otter Rock, Oregon. This view was breathtaking. I had read about this spot before our trip and it once was two separate caves that gave way and became one. It is centered on a large bowl naturally carved in a rock headland which is partially open to the Pacific Ocean. Waves enter the bowl and often violently churn, swirl, and foam. Definitely a site to see and something not to miss when you’re travelling through next time!

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Port Orford

Welcome to California! We made it! We finally made it! Now off to find the Redwood Forest & Operation Donut – don’t worry it’s coming, you’ll soon find out! Now this forest specifically was another item to check off that I was excited to see and walk through. With trees reaching to the very tippy top of our atmosphere, it’s hard not to feel small, unless you’re hugging one of the infant trees. (Scroll up and check out Kenz and Chels huggin Redwood’s) We ventured on into the forest, looking up, feeling small and hugging every tree in our path.

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“LOOK! I’m hugging a Redwood” – Chels *Kenz follows along*

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Then there it was, behold, the tree of love. (or as Mackenzie and I knew it; The big ‘O’) time for operation donut to commence. I can’t quite recall who started it but one of the two mentioned climbing up into the tree and taking a picture in it, and Ryan being the gentle-tall-man that he is, offered his hand in marria-err – assitstance to Chelsea. As she was getting settled on her perch, she turned to help Ryan and there he was. Waiting eagerly for her response, Operation Donut was in full bloom, “Will you marry me?” With tear filled eyes, Chelsea says,”GET UP HERE!!”

Now that was intense! Mackenzie and I were set up at different angles to capture the moment for them and there couldn’t have been a better set up because we were already walking through the forest and taking pictures of everything we saw. So climbing up in a big tree was a no-brainer! Excited for these two and their journey together. They are actually to be wed THIS Saturday, we cannot wait to celebrate with them!

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Redwood Forest Campground is where we camped overnight, this is where we enjoyed several card games and left our mark in the table along with many other visitors throughout the years. #VAN2SAN2015

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Celebrating their engagement with Party Poppers!

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Paul Bunyan & Babe

TRIP CONTINUED ON TO NEXT POST >>> Van2San Roadtrip 2015 [Pt.2]

BEACH READY – From Head to Tote.

Now that the sun is out in full bloom and is not showing any signs of going away (*happy dance*) I’ve gathered together my favorite pieces that are tried&true to enjoy the rays with and would love to share them with you! To start things off, here is my go-to, large-enough-to-carry-your-baby-in, spacious and beautiful, BeachBag.

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Beach Bag

H&M – It is always essential to have a generously large beach bag to keep all your essentials in one place. I found this one at H&M and am in love!

Sunscreen

K’Pure Naturals – Protect your skin! Make sure you’re lathering up with sun screen half an hour before you’re heading out in to the sun. K’Pure Naturals has recently changed the name of their miracle-screen, so when you’re looking to put it in your cart, make sure to search for ‘Beach Babe.’

 

this one

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Lip Balm

EOS – When I spend a day in the sun, I find that your lips tend to dry out, even if I’m staying hydrated! So I make sure that I’ve always got lip balm on hand.

Sunglasses

Bluenotes – Usually when I am heading out on any roadtrip, day trip or beach day, I always bring my sunnies. Even in the thick of winter you can find me wearing a crown of shades lol! That white snow is bright! Check here for these heart shaped beauties. HeadtoTote08

 

West Coast Round Towel

Tofino Towel Co. – This beauty will be my summer go to for sure. The classic Tofino towel has a nice weight to it that it’s not going to flip over the second you walk on it, this is a BIG plus. The wide circular shape of their towels allows additional space for magazines, snacks and large sun hats but ALSO large enough to cuddle under the stars for those dreamy summer nights.

Wide-Brim Sunhat

Even though you are most likely already lathered up in sunscreen or tanning oils, a big hat is always a good idea. Whether it be to hide your crazy beach hair, cover your shoulders or provide shade for a snooze, go big or go home!

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Water Bottle – Stay hydrated!

Free Reign Campaign – There are so many bottles out there that have different lids, textures and prints to fit anyone’s style. One of my favourites is this one from Melanie at Free Reign Campaign. The JOURNEY style bottle has a narrow top, therefore minimizing the amount of sand that may find its way in while at the beach.

Hand Sanitizer

Bed Bath & Bodyworks – Even though we swim and lounge in the river and sea, I find that when I come back to the towel for a snack I always give my hands a quick clean. Have you tried the relax-eucalyptuses line they have? Omigoodness!! Go now.

Snacks

Craisins & Granola Bars – Everyone can always use a little snack here and there, especially if you’re spending some time in the sun. Here are some ideas for quick snacks on the go that don’t need to be prepped or refrigerated; Craisins, Granola bars, fishies (yes, the little crackers), trail mix, apples, grapes, you get the idea!

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Trinket Pouch

Essence – I found this little treasure at Shoppers Drugmart- Make sure you’ve got a pouch that zips to place your jewelry, watch or phone in to make sure that they aren’t buried in the sand, misplaced or drenched in salt water!

Hair Ties

Plum Polka Dot – One of my most frustrating things about having long hair is the summer time sweat that it brings. Keep that hair off the back of your neck by tying it up with one of these adorable knotted ties from Plum Polka Dot.

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Hair Care

Bumble & Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Protective Primer – This is another thing I have recently made sure I have on hand, leave in conditioner ‘Hairdressers Invisible Oil Protective Primer’ or ‘Surf Spray’ from Bumble & Bumble. These have been my saving grace on crazy beach days that turn in to summer night BBQ’s. You spray it in your hair when its damp and let is air dry or you can add a little to dry hair get that texturized beach babe look.

Head phones / Wireless Adapter

Outdoor Tech/ Bose Speaker & Portable Charger – When I go to the beach, or at least used to go without child, I would spend some time basking in the sun, heating up and then plunging in to the water. I have recently discovered this AMAZing product from Outdoor Tech. It is a small device that makes anything wireless. Yup, you heard me, anything. You could go the route of wearing headphones and that’s cool, but you could also go the route of plugging in your OT piece to wireless speakers and having your phone tucked away safe from water and sand in your bag. Genius if you ask me.

Also – don’t forget that portable charger if you’re planning on doing an all day trip or your waterproof zip for electronics!

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Notebook/Calendar

Chapters Indigo – Obviously something I love to do and am always thinking of is my blog. Jotting down ideas, inspirations and people I want to partner with on this journey! I go nowhere without it. I tend to find my most inspirational moments when I am out of the house, whether it be a walk in the park, laying on the beach, or coffee with friends (this last one if a big one, you guys inspire me so much!). If this isn’t your jam, no big deal, bring one of your favourite books along for a good read and some sun time.

Swim Suit

Nettles Tale – I cannot say enough good things and happy vibes about this company. This suit specifically carried me through the fourth trimester. When I was only a couple months postpartum this suit allowed me to still sun bath in July and have my little one close in a PeaPod up at camp. It is versatile, hugs and loves every body type, and is reversible. My favourite part about these suits is the bottoms though, their magic bottoms. Pulled those panels all the way up after just having Ez and it was like suddenly I was comfortable and confident to be in a bikini.

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Flip Flops

American Eagle – I now have two pairs of flip flops from American Eagle and I am obsessed with them both! The pair I’ve chose for this haul are my beautiful nude flip flops. I just love how neutral and dainty they are. The other pair I have that I hardcore love are a criss-cross leather style (I have bought two of these pairs and will continue to do so lol). Come to think of it, I actually bought the nude flip flops when Payless was having a sale – great deals!

I hope you have found this post helpful and maybe even discovered some new items to add to your beach bag this summer! I would love to hear from YOU and what your never-leave-behind items are on beach days. This year with having a little one I don’t plan anything to go as expected and I’m okay with that. We’re summer ready and I’m excited about beach bums, sandy toes and summer nights.

Take care lovelies & enjoy the sun ❤

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