The Oregon Coast with kids

We have enjoyed visiting the many towns along the Oregon coast so much that we decided to take a 4 day trip and visit as many of them as possible. I went through Pinterest and found TONS of stuff to do with kids on the coast, then I chose what I thought my kids would enjoy the most. Our 16 year old daughter, 11year old daughter and 3 year old son had an absolute blast and I couldn’t believe how much we got to see in such a short time.   We started in Southern Oregon and headed North along the Pacific Coast Highway.

I have heard about the Treesort many times located in Cave Junction. It has been featured in several travel and family magazines. Six years ago I looked up the web site and had been put off by how far out you have to book a stay and how expensive it is. Finally I decided It was something my kids would always remember and we would just go for one night.  Im so glad we went because we all loved it, but Im also glad we only stayed ONE night. If you go here you need to visit the Oregon Caves, we have been there before and loved it, but skipped it this time. You will also want to eat at Taylor’s Sausage. If you can get past all the glass counters full of raw meat their cooked food is amazing!


There are several tree houses you can choose from. Some have full bathrooms, others do not. Some are only 12 feet off the ground and others are 47 feet off the ground with rope bridges to get to the entrance. They are all furnished comfortably and have fun quirky architecture and windows. You can check out the Treesort website here.


The next day we drove to Bandon, probably my favorite city on the coast. They have great beaches, quaint shopping and lots to do with kids.

While shopping we discovered a store/museum called Washed Ashore. This was so fascinating my kids did not want to leave. The entire gallery is filled with items made from plastic pulled from the sea! Click here for a link to their web site.

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Another must stop in Bandon is  Face Rock Creamery. Great food, great ice cream and tons of cheese and cheese curd samples. My kids LOVE This place.

Most of our time we spent at the beach. We stayed at the Best Western Inn at Face Rock. This was a perfect hotel for kids. heated pool, breakfast and an easy walk to the beach. Our favorite thing to do here was explore the tide pools around the base of some of the large rocks.

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The next morning we headed up to the Sea Lion Caves in Florence.  My three year old boy did not want to leave.  I though it was super cool and loved all the sea lion sounds. There is a long walk down to the elevator, but we got to see a whale breach which was awesome!!!



We spent the night at Inn at Arch Rock in Depoe Bay. I was a little worried to stay here because the hotel is on the edge of a cliff and i have a little boy who likes to run, but we actually loved this hotel. Our room was so nice and our balcony had such a great view we did not want to leave. The room even had a great pair of binoculars for my whale loving daughter to clock in some whale watching.


We drove to Lincoln city to do the “Finders Keepers” glass ball hunt. You can read about it here. We were not lucky enough to find a float, but we had fun trying.


Our next stop was the Oregon Coast Aquarium. My friends all raved about how amazing this aquarium was, my family all loved it but when all was said and done it was very expensive and much smaller then we expected. Having said that I would still go back.

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After the aquarium we drove up to Tillamook to visit the Cheese factory, take a tour and have dinner. The tour is self guided and not that long, but the grilled cheese sandwiches alone were worth the visit!  We also stopped and visited with the Tillamook cows a couple of blocks away. We could drive right up to them since they were eating and roll down our windows. We love black and white moo moos!


After Dinner we drove to Portland and spent the night. In the morning we went to OMSI Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. It was the weekend so the place was packed but still tons of fun. I was really impressed with their exhibits they had something for all ages so all of us were entertained. Our son especially loved the toddler room.

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Driving back down south we stopped at the Wooden Shoe Festival for their Tulip Festival. I have never seen so many tulips in my life. It was absolutley breathtaking!!!



~The Country Chick

Angkor Wat Cambodia

For the third stop of our two week visit to Southeast Asia, we traveled to Cambodia.  This was a quick 2 night stop with the main purpose of visiting Angkor Wat.  Angkor Wat is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist destination for more than 500,000 foreign visitors each year.  Angkor is the largest religious site in the world.  It was built for King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century.  It was first used as a Hindu temple and then a Buddhist temple.  It is a Buddhist site today.

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We left our hotel, the very lovely Raffles Hotel, at 5:00 am to beat the crowds and to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat.  Not sure that we actually beat the crowds, but we did get the very beautiful sunrise view and the reflection of Angkor in the reflecting pool.


The sunrise view of Angkor

We visited Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom from 5:00 am until about 11:00 am.  Our guide then brought us back to our hotel where we had lunch and swam in the pool.  It was a very nice break.  After a few hours, we were refreshed and ready to go back out for round number two.

The Raffles pool and a delicious drink of mango and lime juice.

The Raffles pool and a delicious drink of mango and lime juice.

During the second half of our day, we visited Ta Phrom and a few other ruins.  Ta Phrom was once a royal monastery built by Jayavarman VII in honor of his mother.  Today, the site looks like a movie set and was actually the setting for the 2001 film Tomb Raider.

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All of these temples or wats are located just outside of the town of Siem Reap.  Siem Reap reminds me of a Cambodian version of Anaheim, California.  It is clearly a tourist destination.  Tourists come by the thousands to see Angkor Wat and the surrounding ruins.  The streets are lined with one large hotel after another, many of them very nice 5 star hotels.

As I mentioned, we stayed at the Raffles Hotel.  The Raffles is an historic French hotel that opened in 1929.  We were very happy with the location.  We were right across the street from the Royal Gardens and one of the King’s homes.  The king was in town while we were there for a UN conference on tourism.  Our hotel room looked right out at the king’s home.


The King’s Home in Siem Reap

During our free time we took a Tuk-Tuk into town and visited the market place.  Lot’s of fun things to look at.  We bought some $3 elephant pants to bring back to our kids.  We even had lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe Siem Reap.


We had a great 2 days in Siem Reap.  We felt we had just the right amount of time to see and do the things  we really wanted to.  Soon, we were off again…to Bangkok.


Krabi Thailand

The next stop in our two week adventure to Southeast Asia was Krabi, Thailand.  Krabi is located on the west coast of southern Thailand.  We stayed at the Rayavadee resort that was accessible only by boat.  The Rayavadee resort is located in the middle of 3 beautiful beaches.  One beach is used mainly for arrival and departure and the other two, Phra Nang Beach and Railay Beach, are for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and sun bathing and taking in the beauty of the geography and the crystal blue waters.


At the Ryavadee, we had our own private two story cottage that overlooked the beautiful pool and was only steps away from Railay Beach.

Our cottage

Our cottage


The Pool at Rayvadee

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IMG_3279 During our four day stay at Rayavadee, we enjoyed massages at their spa.  We also book a few excursions through the resort.  The first excursion was a speed boat ride to some of the surrounding islands.  We snorkeled at Ko Phi Phi and enjoyed a picnic lunch at a beautiful sandy beach with crystal blue warm water. IMG_3334 IMG_3335 IMG_3337 IMG_0031 We also booked an excursion through the resort to go to an elephant camp and ride an elephant.  That was a lot of fun and we ended up with a ton of elephant pictures. IMG_3405IMG_3447   We really enjoyed all that the Rayvadee had to offer.  We loved seeing the monkeys, eating in all the restaurants, swimming in the pool and we still can’t get over their amazing laundry service!

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Many people we talked to, chose to go to Krabi over going to the more populated Phuket.  Some travelers chose both Phuket and Krabi.  If you are planning a trip to the area and are considering Phuket, I would definitely consider Krabi as well. ~Tiffany


My husband & I returned late last week from a very exciting 2 week trip to Southeast Asia.  We visited Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia.  I will discuss each country in a separate blog post.  My husband is an estate planning attorney, but he really could be a travel agent in another life.  He has a love for geography and just a natural ability to choose where to best stay and what to see.

Singapore was our first stop.  Officially the Republic of Singapore, Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country.  It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is only 85 miles north of the equator. While in Singapore, we stayed at the very lovely Marina Bay Sands Hotel.  This is an iconic hotel that you may have seen pictures of.  It is three towers with an infinity edge pool stretching across the top of all three towers .


The Marina Bay Sands


The pool at the top.


Not as scary as it looks!

The view from our hotel room.

The view from our hotel room.

While we were in Singapore for only a few days we loved the time at our hotel and the shopping center attached to it with super high end stores.  I felt right at home, as there was a Sephora (incase I get withdrawals ).  We also explored the city a bit.  We went to Chinatown and Little India as well as the beautiful Botanic Gardens.

Little India was amazing.  I wanted a dress!

Little India was amazing. I wanted a dress!


Botanic Gardens

We throughly enjoyed our time in Singapore.  It is beautiful, clean and safe.  The weather is warm and the people are kind and friendly.  They all speak English and are very stylish dressers!  The shopping is amazing and there is plenty to see and do!  Even though Singapore is pretty small geographically, we didn’t get to everything we wanted to do.  We heard that the zoo there is amazing and that there is a fun island called Sentosa that even has a Universal Studios.  We would love to go back again.


Overcoming challenges


Although I always love a warm water tropical vacation, my husband and I just returned from one to Kauai that has changed me. This year I have really been trying to challenge myself and push myself to do hard things. Stuff that I normally would avoid or flat out reject. In May I decided to learn how to play piano. I don’t really know why, I just thought it was a good skill to have. I have no musical skills whatsoever so this has been a real challenge, like yoga for my brain. Nothing has made me feel so stupid as learning piano, but I will not give up. I am determined I will learn how to play and sight read. One of my greatest fears is heights. I feel like it’s illogical. I should be able to stand a reasonable distance from a ledge and enjoy the view, but I can’t. One night we stayed in a beautiful hotel with floor to ceiling windows and all night long I had nightmares I was falling out the window. I wish there was a way to “fix” this defect in my brain but I can’t help it It. Prior to leaving for Kauai my hunky husband mentioned he wanted to do a helicopter tour of the island. I said “oh that sounds fun for YOU”. He asked me if I thought there was any way I would do it with him. I knew there was not a chance, but I told him I would try. I ended up doing more than trying. After thinking about it I decided I was going to do it no matter what!  I may be crying, vomiting, peeing my pants but I was going on that stupid helicopter! I figured this would either fix my fear or send me to a mental hospital but I was willing to take the risk. The night before I could not sleep. The day of our scheduled flight I was in survival mode. I was physically sick and my brain sounded like a twisted Jack Handy deep thoughts pep talk… you can do this… you will not fall from the sky and explode into a million pieces… you can do this… even though the helicopter has no doors… you can do this… it just kept going. So much so Eric would talk to me and I couldn’t even answer him. We arrived at Jack Harter Helicopters and I knew I was going to die.  I took a quarter of a Zanex pill (what it normally take to get me on an airplane). We drove to the airport in their van and got our life jackets on in case we crashed in the water.  I took another quarter of a pill. The helicopter landed and was being refueled as we waited, I took another quarter. It was time to get in the Helicopter. The pilot looked like a 19 year old surfer with long wavy blonde hair and tan skin. He helped me get my headset on and introduced himself to me as Miles. Miles just kept talking to me asking me questions I needed to answer. I realize this was calculated and brilliant on his part because it distracted me. Before I knew it we were up in the sky flying. I closed my eyes and said a sincere prayer of gratitude. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, it wasn’t. Every muscle in my body was tight and I had to remind myself to breath. But I actually really enjoyed it. It was so amazingly beautiful that I could not stop taking pictures. IMG_1670 Before I knew it an hour had passed and we were landing. I don’t know if I fixed the defective chip in my brain but I know I made huge progress. When we got off the helicopter I wanted to run up to everyone and scream “BooYah! I just flew in a helicopter”. I didn’t. Well… I didn’t say booyah. IMG_1665 I would HIGHLY recommend Jack Harter Helicopters. If you are afraid of heights ask for Miles Kennion. -Chanel

Meet the County Girl…

I’m the younger sister Chanel and the “Country Girl”.  I live in beautiful Southern Oregon with my hot husband and four kids ages 2 to 16.  We have goats, chickens, bees, three dogs and a cat. I love my family! I also love… ok, maybe I’m obsessed with photography, scuba diving and traveling. I enjoy finding the beauty and humor in the splendid chaos that is my life.

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