The retreat was held in the mountains of Washington, just outside a little town called Goldendale. For anyone who has been to the Ranch you would think you were there. The only difference is red dirt instead of black. Easton loved it there!! He is such an outdoor kid. He coulnd't get enough of running around out there. Of course he refused to keep a hat on so his little bald head was out in the sun all day, but he was covered in sunscreen much to his dismay. He made a new friend there. The little boy in the cart is just a few months older than he is and they loved being pulled by anyone who would do it. The man pulling them in the picture is in his late 70's! He also really loved the toy car, only he couldn't figure out how to make it go forward. His only direction was reverse. When he got tired of that he would get out and push it. And as you can see, much like the ranch, dirt must be covering your face at all times!
I didn't get any pictures of Toppenish when we went down to visit here. Most of them live on large farms. It is pretty in it's own way because of the huge expanse of fields and crops. Lots of green. There were even herds of buffalo. But it wouldn't be a true country experience if you didn't participate in at least one activity that could be the next episode of Dirty Jobs (actually I'm pretty sure it's already been done). Several of the city folks put on the long gloves and braved sticking their arm inside a cow to feel how large the baby she was carrying was getting. Too bad for me Easton needed a nap at that particular time and somebody had to stay at the house while he slept. As the mom I figured I should be the one to stay with him. Just broke my heart not to get covered in cow poop and other various bovine bodily fluids. I like animals, but I don't live on a farm for a reason :)
Our trip home was kind of rough. The drive back to Portland took an extra hour because we went into Toppenish. Sadly our boy had enough of the car ride about 20 minutes into it and cried pretty much the entire time. He had his eyes closed and blanket by his side, but he wouldn't give up and go to sleep. Then on the flight home we got stuck in bad weather and they wouldn't let us land. Circled for about 45 min or so and then had to land in a nearby city. Wait out the storm, and then fly back. We got in about 3 hours later than we were supposed to. Thankfully the little guy slept the entire time!!
We had a great trip and it was really nice to put faces to names we had heard for so long. Everyone there was so hospitable and you would've thought they had known you forever instead of just a few days. I really enjoyed my time there and look forward to seeing them all again.