The following post was sponsored by the GM BuyPower Card from Capital One®. All opinions are my own and not directed by Capital One. To learn more about the GM BuyPower Card, click here
For our big family trip this year, Nikki and I wanted some quality time with the kids, and Oregon was the first spot that popped into our minds. It’s been six years since we visited the Oregon Coast as a family and there was something magical about how we connected as a family on our last trip. As we searched for places to stay, we felt inspired to stay away from the typical hotel touristy spots and try something more authentic. We stumbled on an old fisherman’s beachfront house in Waldport and booked it right away. The house was built in the 60’s, so it was small, but it had so much character and a big backyard with a pathway right down to the beach (that was a priority). The kitchen, dining room and family room were all in one open space with a giant view of the ocean, so it made it cozy for the rainy moments where we were all in the house playing games, reading and napping (oh yes, there was napping).
One of my favorite things about Oregon is the food. I could name so many great seafood restaurants along the coast, but our favorite on this trip was the Chowder House. It’s a cute little restaurant in downtown Newport that has a nice outside patio and amazing clam chowder. We all ordered their famous fish and chips and were not disappointed. Dinner ended up costing a small fortune now that most of my kids are ordering from the adult menu but, that was okay because we can’t get seafood like that back in Utah, plus we were racking up rewards points.
Rewards credit cards are so handy when you travel around with a big family like ours. Nikki and I have been using rewards credit cards for years to help us save for big-ticket items for the future, but did you know that with a specific type of card you can accumulate Earnings toward a new car? If you’re thinking about buying or leasing a new car (like the Chevy Suburban we used on this trip) in the next few years for a future road trip (or, you know, life in general), you might want to consider this credit card option.
With the GM BuyPower Card, the money you spend on everyday purchases, including on family road trips, gets you Earnings you can use toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. If you’re approved, you can accumulate 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year, then 2% unlimited Earnings on purchases after that. Earnings don’t expire on an open Account, and you can redeem them at any GM dealership around the country.
You can learn more about the GM BuyPower Card by clicking here
When we weren’t eating, Oregon weather is hit or miss, but we lucked out with only two days being soaked with rain. With the beach so close to our house, the kids would usually run down after breakfast to see what had washed up that night. Gracie spent most of her time combing the beach for her perfect collection of seashells. She was in her happy place. She was a little disappointed that she did not find a starfish but she did get to see a seal that was asleep on the beach one morning. Wil and Rockwell spent time digging in the sand, eating the sand (why must they do this!) and trying to keep up with their siblings. The ocean was freezing, but Nik and Zac would chase it up to their hips every day! One morning Zac was in the ocean and got bit by a crab, so he decided to go crab hunting with a shovel. I told him that he needed a crabbing net to catch them, but he proved me wrong by catching (with his hands) the biggest crab I have ever seen! Ali used her artistic ability to build fantastic sandcastles, only to have them knocked down by Wil soon after she turned her back on them.
As we explored Waldport, we quickly learned that you can rent bicycles for free to ride around the city! I ended up taking the older kids for a ride across the Alsea Bay Bridge that connects Waldport and Newport. As we stood on top of the bridge, we watched the sea lions down in the water below. Nikki, unfortunately, couldn’t come, as Wil had come down with a fever, so she stayed back with the babies and took a nap with them. I think she was in her happy place.
Usually, on family vacations, we have the hardest time getting the little ones to sleep in a new environment. And since Will has become Houdini and can climb out of any crib, there was no way to keep him in a porta crib. So we decided to set up a tent in the upstairs loft and put Wil and Rockwell in the tent together to sleep. Of course, Wil figured out how to unzip the tent in about 30 seconds, so we had to find a way to keep the zipper down so that he couldn’t let himself out in the middle of the night to wander the house. Like I said, it’s always an adventure. After the first couple of nights, they were used to sleeping together and actually consoled each other if one of them woke up too early. I actually heard Wil say, “Rocko, go night night!” There were also plenty of late night wrestling matches before they finally went to sleep. The tent worked out so great that we are thinking about trying the tent set up at home.
One of our favorite things to do in Oregon is to find tide pools, and of course visit lighthouses. We had the most epic moment as we were walking around the Yaquina Head Lighthouse looking at the ocean. We were hoping to see whales, but we were apparently not looking in the right spot. Thankfully, one of the lighthouse workers asked us if we had seen any whales and, after we told her that we hadn’t, she quickly pointed out three different whales spouting in a different direction just beyond the lighthouse. I’m not sure how we almost missed this epic moment, but we were so grateful for this worker who just happened to be walking by.
Thank you Oregon for so many great memories!