When Disneyland isn’t an option

There’s a misconception that you have to spend a large amount of money as a family to have fun or make memories.

It amazes me to know that we get so caught up here in America with the idea that “More is better” mentality. Who ever die’s with the most toy’s, wins. The one who buys their children better experiences, wins. It’s amazing to me, to hear women brag about how much they spend at the store on a purse…I’m not judging anyone here. All I’m saying is, if you can buy it without starving the next few weeks, awesome! Now for those who would starve if we bought that bag, let’s not get caught up in this terrible lie.

Man, when I was younger my father was working two jobs in Los Angeles and my mother was pregnant. We had one pair of shoes each, my mother had four or five maternity dresses she washed weekly to have clean cloths and my dad was proud of having a matching sweat suit. Being the child in the family most of my parents “extra income” went to me. My shoes, underwear and food. I never heard my mother complain, or my father yell at God for being poor. He worked hard and so did my mom. I’m telling you I remember all this and I remember our studio apartment on the 5th floor on a crazy neighborhood. Yet, I didn’t know or feel poor. We didn’t go to these amazing places California had to offer, it was all simply to much for us at the time. Still my father always took us to a park called “Happy hollow” with koi fishe’s you can feed for .25 cents. That was the best time ever for me!

You see my parents made it a mission to take us out even if it was all the free parks they could find in L.A within a hour of walking distance since my parents didn’t have a car. THIS is what I remember about our outings. I remember long walks, eating a sandwich or whatever my mom was able to carry, playing and going on a long walk home again. Once we moved to the Northwest when I was 9 years old and my dad only had one job (thank you Jesus) he would wake us up early, we had a car now and would pack a cooler Saturday or Sunday after church ready to explore. We found so many amazing swimming areas, we went sledding, we went on bike rides and all of it was free of debt.

Because my parents made this a mission, my husband and I always find it part of our life’s to do the same. Some of the best times we’ve had are those near home and inexpensive.Maybe it’s the river, hike’s on Mt. St. Helen’s or sledding down Mt. Hood we always have a blast! Our daughters have gotten to experience life on a whole different level only because life is so different and my husband is able to give these girls experiences I find to be ridiculous at times, but don’t get caught up in life’s competition. I have nothing against people who go on trips or vacation because that’s just none of my business, we love vacations and because like I said, if you go and don’t have to starve because if it then right on! But like I mentioned before, to those who don’t have that vain luxury don’t get down about it. Don’t compare and just enjoy life and the beauty of it! We have such an AMAZING PRIVILEGE in the Northwest, we have nature all around us! Pack that cooler, fill your gas and take your family out to see God’s *free* creation. Don’t let money or comparison stop you from giving your children memories.

Here are a few of our outings that are free or inexpensive and here in the northwest, some in Oregon.  I’ve posted the links on the ones I could find so you can go prepared and have the directions.

This is a little creek with a park near where we live named “Abram’s park”
Abram’s park^^

Just over Washington’s bridge in Oregon! I think it was a 6 mile hike.
Multnomah Hike^^

The Ape’s cave in St. Helens. Bring flashlights and sweaters!!
Ape cave’s^^

This is the upper cave of the Ape caves, there are 2 hikes

This is “Cougar Creek” in St.Helens. it cost $2 to go in. Or camp for $20 a night.
Cougar creek is actually a campground, but you can pay to play for the day. Its in cougar, WA

Lava canyon^^

This is at the top of our 10 mile hike! So worth it.

We found dry, Elk bones during our 10 mile hike, let’s just say we walked faster after finding this. HAHA.
Ape canyon .^^^

Free park   

We ride the trail first then go swimming at the bottom

So pretty

Worth the 1 mile, look at the water! haha Got an awesome picture of my husband
Moulton Falls.^^

Beach fun Cannon beach ^^

International Rose Test Garden in Portland, OR    Walk in the park in Ridgefield, look a deer!!
  We packed a lunch and rode bikes to a park in Ridgefield
  We saw Goats hard at work once too.  Free town events, this was 4th of July here in Ridgefield

This is the very tip of our 10 mile hike in Mt. St. Helens!!

More free park fun!

WE love taking our kids and family to see all of nature, most of it is free and the best part is that it is memorable! My daughters to this day talk about our crazy 10 mile hike, where we saw a big foot sign, herd of Elk and dead dried bones. You don’t need to be wealthy or well off to give your children amazing memories!

Well? GO ON!!!!!

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