Saturday, August 21, 2010

Calvin's Home Town

After spending 3 days in Denver - we headed to Siletz, Oregon to visit Calvin's family. It is a rather large family with both his Mother's side and his Father's side right there together in Siletz and the surrounding towns. The main purpose of this trip was to meet our niece - Aaliyah. Jermaine and Angie had this beautiful baby girl on July 26, just one day after her due date!

Jermaine and his little girl.

A very proud Grandma Luann.

This was also our first time meeting Angie and her two boys Darian and Cayden. We enjoyed playing with them very much. Angie is great and she has awesome little boys.

One part of visiting Oregon I've made mandatory every time we go is visiting Newport Bay. It's only 15 mins away from where Calvin grew up. Really there's 3 main reasons why I always have to go there. 1. It's beautiful. 2. The Rogue microbrewery is there with not only great beer but also the best clam chowder I've ever had. 3. Most importantly, there is a perfect little mom and pop taffy store called Newport Candy Shoppe that sells all kinds of yummy taffy. The key is that their taffy is made with egg whites only, which makes it super soft. I love it so much. It's one of my favorite things.

Newport Bay Bridge

On this particular trip, Sea Lions were all over the bay. They were very fun to watch. If you're a local, Calvin claims they're very annoying and loud. As a visitor they're pretty amusing.

(I'm still working on posting a video of the seals here)

While we were in Oregon - it was also Pow Wow weekend in Siletz. This is an annual event to celebrate the town's heritage. Over half the town has some form of Native American ancestry. They are all a part of the Confederate Tribes of Siletz and most of the town is an Indian reservation. The main attraction for the Pow Wow is competition dancing in different types of native tradition. The singers and drummers were amazing. There is also a ton of beautiful jewelry for sale and there are Indian tacos. An Indian taco is basically taking the ingredients that make up a taco and putting it on top of Indian fry bread (much like an elephant ear here in the south). Super Yummy.

On the left are the Grand Marshals for the parade into the Pow Wow, and on the right there is a real little buddy hanging out in that carrier!

On this trip we did have the freedom to hop around from place to place. So we spent 2 nights with Calvin's Mom, 1 night with Grandma Maggie, 2 nights camping in Aunt Kristy's and Cousin Jennifer's back yard, and 1 night in John's trophy room. It worked out well. Plus I really enjoyed the cook out and camp fire by the river while we were at Aunt Kristy's. Chrystal, Calvin's sister, also came in from Montana to visit for the weekend. So it was good to see her as well. At the camp fire John told incredibly entertaining stories of his encounters with bears.

This trip was the first time we went to John's house. He lives there with his wife Lisa, and her children Stephanie and Joe. Their house is beautiful. It's sits all by itself on top of a mountain. You have to drive 2 miles straight down hill to get to their nearest neighbor. Below is a picture of the view from their back yard. Oh yeah, and those stories he had about bears, most of them occurred right there on the property surrounding his house.

John and Lisa's back yard view.

I do have to mention that John has quite a trophy room a his house. It's perfect for having a separate guest house and impressing hunters that he is hosts as a hunting and fishing guide. It's also very impressive that John killed most of these animals with his bow. Just to give you a feel for the room, here are some pictures from our guest bed. John thought it was pretty funny that I made Calvin leave a rather bright night light on for me.

The first picture is of the Elk that was staring at us from the foot of the bed. (That's also a great picture of John in the background when he was younger. Looks just like Calvin's pictures from high school.) The second picture is of the bear that was above our heads, and the third picture is of the Caribou that was just to the right of Calvin. - Yes, that is Calvin picking the Caribou's nose as we were laying in bed. It needed to be cleaned. :)

One of the things Oregon is most known for is its beautiful coast. Here's my favorite picture I've taken of it to date. I took this from the front seat of John's RV as we were driving back to his house in Elkton. It turned out to be a great shot considering we were driving as I took it!

Also, a big thanks to Mikey and Tia for taking a night out away from the kids to spend time with us. We really love seeing you guys.

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