Our Mini Vacation – Dayton, WA

Months ago my husband had decided that we needed to take a little vacation just him and I. We haven’t done that since our honeymoon, nearly seven years ago and we needed a recharge. We didn’t want to be too far away from the kids but wanted to be far enough away that we wouldn’t chicken out and come home early. I scoured the web for the most fair and reasonably priced room rates and also looked into what the area had to offer us. That’s when I came upon Dayton, WA.

We did our booking through booking.com and settled on the Best Western Plus. I chose this place for a couple reasons mainly the price was the driving factor but the amenities were really nice too. We booked the king suite for a two night stay which included a large breakfast, microwave, fridge, keurig, couch, and an array of toiletries. The hotel was built in the last five years and has been kept up quite nicely.

The drive to Dayton took about 2 1/2 hours and once we got there we went straight to the Historic Depot Museum. This place was great because it was free, informative, and totally cool! When you first walk in you’re faced with beautiful architecture that you can’t help but notice. Near the front door they have this little safe that was pretty sophisticated for its time. We also got to try opening the inner part of the safe since they don’t have the combination (turns out we didn’t either, darn!). The upstairs of the Depot was used as living quarters and it was full of period appliances, knick knacks, and furnishings. The thing that stuck out most in my mind was an old washer and with it was instructions on how women would do laundry day. Those women had to be seriously buff in order to just do laundry! Gloves off to them, now I’m going to lift some weights eat more pizza (let’s be honest). 😉

Safe inside the Train Depot
Posted in the waiting area of the Depot

After the Depot, we headed to The Boldman House. This house was restored to its original (1912) condition and all of the furnishings in it were actually found in the house and belonged to the Boldman family. It was like walking through a time capsule. This family literally kept everything… receipts, magazines, letters, newspaper clippings, whole newspapers, clothing, kitchen utensils, furnishings… the list is endless. They had so much stuff that some of it was also on display at the Depot Museum. It was truly remarkable to see and one that I will take my kids to see, eventually. You know, when they won’t be as tempted to touch things.

***It’s important to note that while both the Depot and Boldman House tours were free, they are not free from expenses. They need our donations so please consider a donation if you loved what you saw.

For dinner we decided on Chief Spring’s Fire & Irons Brew Pub located on Main Street. It was fantastic! We had fajita pizza and was hands down the best pizza my husband or I had ever had. To wash down the pizza we had one of their home brews, The Fire Line, which was definitely one of our all time faves. Great place to go out with friends, date night, or even to take your family. Fun atmosphere, good service, and great food! I would definitely recommend this place.

Fire Line – So. Dang. Good.

The next day we went to Walla Walla, WA and explored the Fort Walla Walla Museum. The place sits atop a hill and shows off a pioneer village, small vineyard, horse era agriculture, and military exhibits. Sam and I spent at least three hours looking through everything. We’ve gone on a number of tours with entry fees where you felt like you didn’t get anything for your money but this one certainly doesn’t go on that list. The pioneer village was probably my favorite part while the agriculture exhibit was more Sam’s thing. All in all though, there is something for everyone and it truly doesn’t disappoint.

I took this photo specifically for Rhett. He LOVES John Deere tractors. He said this one was the perfect size for him.
It took five men and 35-40 mules to run a combine… we’ve come a long way since then!

On our way back to Dayton we stopped in Waitsburg and found two little whole in the wall antique shops. Again, there was something for everyone, old and young! We were hoping to get to tour the Bruce House but it wasn’t open so we’ll probably come back for that just on a day trip. We had dinner at the Whiskey Canyon Sports Bar & Grill… seriously delicious! I had a locally brewed IPA with the biggest club sandwich I had ever seen! My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach but that was okay because, leftovers!

This sandwich, alone, was worth the drive.

We both had so much fun on this mini vacation and can’t wait to find another little historic town to visit. While we missed our kids, it was definitely nice to just be able to focus on us for a few days. If you’re looking to relax, rejuvenate, and do some exploring, Dayton is a fine place to visit.


A Perfect 4th of July

Freeze Out – Clarkia, ID

Every year we go camping with my husband’s side of the family down in Clarkia, ID. This beautiful property is our oasis away from all the crazy and stress of our everyday lives. No phones and no television. We can connect to one another on a personal level without feeling like we have something else to do… Laundry, dishes, catch up on email… Anything and everything except just relax and truly connect with other humans. This is our happy. 

This year, we invited our best friends to go with us! They have four kids ranging in age from 1 to 7. It was nice for each of our kids to have playmates and to also spend time more quality time with our good friends. Needless to say, I think they’ll be our friends for life because they’ve seen our zen and fell in love with it too.

Midway up to Freeze Out – Hailey (6)

Hailey likes is obsessed with American Ninja Warrior and is constantly scouting out obstacles to climb, run, or jump on in preparation for her turn on the course. Midway up the climb to Freeze Out, we stopped at the perfect spot for a photo, and Hailey thought it was also the perfect rocks to climb on. I didn’t think they were perfect but that’s my sense talking. It was actually quite dangerous as there was a significant drop off the end. Anyway, we made it to the top and Hailey had a blast running and climbing up the hillside. The view was spectacular and it was enjoyed by everyone. 

Rhett (3)

Rhett is a little more timid than his older sister. He seems to be able to scout out a dangerous situation and warn the others ahead of time. (He’s just like his father.) I was surprised and pleased when he sat on the rocks for me but I know he was a little hesitant in doing so. He took a seat and didn’t budge until his Daddy picked him up. Smart boy. He too enjoyed Freeze Out and all it had to offer. He even got brave and climbed the hillside with his sister and friends. I think what he loved the most was that on one side was a field of flowers and on the other, there was SNOW! Sam went down and collected snow balls for all the kids and they had a little snow ball fight. In July. When it was 95 degrees. How cool is that?! Just another one of those perks of this area that we love so much.

Grady (1)

Grady would hardly sit still for me to get a picture and there was NO WAY I was going to let him sit on those rocks for a photo op. He’s a go getter and hasn’t quite figured out yet that he’s not invincible. I’m hoping that gets better with age but we’ll see. Grady truly enjoyed all the dirt, snow, and flowers all around him. First thing he did was put his butt in the dirt and covered himself head to toe in it. No shame either. Laughing, smiling, and squealing with delight as the dirt swarmed him and covered every inch of his chubby little self. His eyes twinkled with wonder and amazement, almost as if it was his first time experiencing such joy. 

We love this simple life. We don’t have the best of anything but we do surround ourselves with kind, smart, and truly wonderful people. And that makes all the difference. I challenge you, turn off your phone and curl up with a book or run in the sprinkler with your kids. Go a couple days not being connected to electronics to truly recharge your soul. It made a difference in my life, it can in yours too.