We left Sunday afternoon and had the pleasure of spending the night with Sam's friend Peter and his wife Mary-Ann in Bend, OR. The view of the mountains from their home was beautiful. Mary-Ann fed us wonderfully and the kids had a fantastic time helping Peter water his fields and finding treasures with the metal detector, haha. Thank you for housing us!!
Day 1, hello Sunriver! We arrived at our super awesome cabin in Sunriver, OR at about 2ish. We wasted no time exploring The Village, window shopping, having some fun on the bouncy houses, rock wall, bumper cars, and of course, ice cream at Goody's! - definitely a must!
Monday we strictly window shopped, getting an idea of what there was. Since we knew there was going to be some serious shopping going on, we let the kiddos open up their birthday cards early because we knew they'd be getting some spending money from friends and relatives (THANK YOU!!). Timothy also had birthday spending money saved up, so everyone was well outfitted with some cash to spend. Ohhhh boy, fun!
After exploring The Village for a while, we prepared dinner back at the cabin and ate outside on the porch. The kids helped cook and set the table, it was nice. Afterwards we took a little bike ride and ended the day with a dip in the hot tub!
Day 2. Happy 10th Birthday, Anthony! Birthday stocking, breakfast, presents...yay!
The day before when we were window shopping, Anthony saw that he could pan for gems at the Rock and Gem Shop, so that's where we headed first! We rode our bikes into the village and the kiddos got their hands wet panning for gems!
Of course we had to do the bounce houses and rock wall again. We also added in the power jump and a train ride. We spent a good deal of the morning and afternoon letting the kids shop around and spend their birthday money. It was nice to have a full day just to hang out and explore The Village.
Birthday ice cream! Goody's ice cream is sooo delicious. Anthony had a double scoop of mint chocolate chip.
Anthony also chose to go to Live Laugh Love Art. Here you could paint pottery, paint a canvas, work with glass, or paint a wood sign. The kids all chose to paint pottery. Timothy painted a rocket ship penny bank while Anth and Mols painted mugs. I loved watching them pick what paint colors to use and decide how they wanted to paint! And no mess for this Mama to clean up was totally great! ;) I'm thinking Sam and I should have painted something too! Good job, kiddos!
One of the perks of staying in the cabin we chose was that it came with 4 Sharc passes (we only had to pay for Tim.)! The Sharc has 2 water slides, a lazy river, a kiddie pool, a regular pool, and also an indoor pool and hot tub. The water felt wonderful, it was either slightly heated or the sun just really did it's job warming it up! Anthony and Sam really loved the slides. Molly and Tim were too short, so I mostly hung with them, with the exception of going down the slide with Anthony once! The lazy river was my favorite. We loved just floating along the loop a million times over, lol.
After our swim, we enjoyed a bike ride and then dinner out, followed by some relaxation back at the cabin before bed. We hope you had a super fun birthday, Anthony!!
Day 3. Happy 8th Birthday, Molly! Birthday stocking, presents, and breakfast for you too!
Molly decided, since she got in a whole bunch of birthday shopping the day before, she wanted to go to the Lava River Cave (aka Lava Tube)! Good choice, birthday girl!
The Lava Tube was amazing and we definitely want to go back again! The hike was 2 miles round trip, at a chilly 42*. We were in pants and sweatshirts, but for sure could have used a coat. ;) We rented 3 flashlights and everyone got to take turns being in charge of one of them. The kids sure got a kick out of being underground in a lava tube! Eekk! Hiking the Lava Tube was hands down my favorite part of our vacation. It was just so interesting, awesome, and creepy! If you click the link above, you can learn more about it.
I remember stepping out of the Lava Tube and being like, dang! It's hot out! Hahaha! Who would have known deep underground? Molly requested lunch out, so we headed on back to The Village and grabbed a tasty bite to eat.
After lunch, we hopped on our bikes and took a bike ride to the Nature Center. It was a bit further than we had ridden thus far, so we were feeling the burn for sure, but it's awesome that you really can ride your bike all around Sunriver. The highlight of the Nature Center were the owls. The kids just really thought they were cool. We saw them shortly after mice had been dropped in their cage to feed them. Those stinkers, one of them picked one up but refused to eat it in front of us. We turned the corner to check out another bird, then turned back about 2 minutes later and the mice were gone. Haha
After the Nature Center, we continued on our bikes to check out the Marina. That was a nice ride. We got some shirly temples with chips and salsa as a snack before heading back to the cabin to mop up our sweat from that bike ride, and then continued on to The Village for Molly's birthday ice cream! Double scoop of oreo cookie for Miss Molly!
Last on Molly's birthday list was some more time spent at the Sharc! The kids played so nice together and had a blast swimming! I wish we had a place like this in Goldendale!
Day 4! We took a drive to the Lava Lands Visiting Center where we learned about volcanoes, heard a presentation from Ranger Bob, and took a bus to the top of Lava Butte so we could look around! Being at the top of the cinder cone (which is what Lava Butte is) was amazing! You could see for miles - one direction the Cascades, the other direction the Newberry volcanic complex. The kids thought it was amazing to see the old, hardened lava flow.....but I think their favorite part was when the little golden mantled ground squirrel came up to them and actually sat on Tim's shoe! Haha
Definitely check out the Lava Lands link if you want to learn more.
After our adventure to Lava Butte, we hiked part of the Deschutes River Trail to see Benham Falls. The kids liked crossing a bridge and being able to hike parallel to the water for most of the trail. I liked the views of the lava flow along part of the trail! We all agreed that it was hot out and for that I'm thankful it wasn't a long hike. ;)
After our hike, we headed back to The Village for....you guessed it....ice cream! Another visit to the Sharc followed by a homemade dinner at the cabin. Then a quick bike ride to a super fun playground for the kiddos. A movie and some hot tub time ended our wonderful day!
Day 5! Our last full day! We decided to visit the High Desert Museum. They had a new animal tracks and scat exhibit the kids loved, and Sam and I enjoyed the new WWII exhibit where the kids played in a replica kitchen from that era and we learned all about food rationing and victory gardens. Awesome.
Since the High Desert Museum was wrapped up by 12:30, we decided on lunch in The village, and then one last hike. We choose the Lava Cast Forest and I am so, so glad we did! The hike was an easy one on a paved path, but it was hot out! We were sweating our bums off for sure, haha. When we finally saw our first lava cast, we got so excited! After spotting our first one, we were able to spot tons more.
So from what I understand, as the lava came in contact with the trees, it solidified around the trunks of the larger ones and cooled, encasing them in stone. As the trees died and rotted away, the cast was left! We had a great time finding the lava casts, seeing which ones were tall, which were shorter, which were shallow, and which were super deep. We took turns carefully climbing in a few. It was awesome. And the view of the lava flow was spectacular. We will definitely go back again!
After our hike, we were ready for our last trip to Goody's for our nightly ice cream, lol, as well as our last trip to the Sharc.
Saturday morning we were packed up and headed home by 11. The kids were all sad to leave, but it helped that we took turns talking about all the fun we had and telling everyone what our favorite part about vacation was. For the kids it was ice cream at Goody's every night and swimming at the Sharc. For Sam and I it was the Lava Tube and Lava Cast Forest.
This vacation was long awaited and well deserved. We had so much fun! I hope the kids will look back on our 5 night stay in Sunriver with fond memories and an eagerness to return.
Thanks for the fun vacay, family! :)