Camping / Life Lately

The Weekender: Oru Kayak, Camping at the Coast, & Sandy River

Oru Kayak, Camping at the Coast, Sandy River Play

Last Updated: August 27, 2021

These summer weeks are just flying by! I used to do a weekly recap/round up on the blog. I’ve been thinking of trying that format out again. So a combo of adventures and what we’ve been up to from the week, stuff I’ve been writing, stuff I’ve been reading, and a few thoughts. I used to call it “Weekly Love”, this time let’s call it “The Weekender”. That seems more appropriate to current life in 2020 – which is a rollercoaster.


It’s a privilege to be able to “check out” from news and everything going on to have some nature time. Late July feels like this weird bubble of time where we need to be making the most of sunny days. Before fall arrives and things start to shut down more, and it’s colder and harder to get outside.

Camping at Fort Stevens – This week, we came back from another one night camping trip. This time to the coast at Fort Stevens. I must say, I’m beginning to be a fan of this 24 hour camping trip on Sunday nights. Less crowded at the lake and much fun. I was a little worried about how crowded it would be. Fort Stevens is one of Oregon’s largest campgrounds. Our loop was almost full, but was apparently an RV loop, so I guess everyone was using their RV bathrooms, and the loop bathrooms were empty. The campsites did feel really close though, but enough distance. Thankfully, the lake was almost empty on Monday.

Oru Kayak – I ordered an Oru Kayak (the Inlet) in June. And the stars finally aligned to have the kayak, life jackets, and a paddle in time for trying it out at Fort Stevens at Coffenbury Lake. I’ll probably write a review with more info, but so far the Oru Kayak is kind of perfect for having a kid. I could carry the kayak, my kiddo backpack, a tote with our life jackets and paddle, all while holding my toddlers hand. And of course, after I buy my kayak at REI, I see that they do a 10% off promo code to send to your friends. So use code: FBV if you want 10% off $1,000.

Ventura Park Pump Track – I finally tried out the dirt pump track at Ventura City Park here in Portland. It was definitely two year old approved and the kids loved it. We ended up going back again later in the week.

Sandy River Water Play – We waited for a cooler day this week to do a distanced play date at the Sandy River. It’s one of our favorite summer go-tos. It can get pretty crowded, but going early, a weekday, or on a chillier day is our best bet. And online ordering from Sugar Pine Drive-in is a nice treat.


This week on Frugal Bon Vivant…

Camping at Enola Hill, Mount Hood – We started last week on a one night camping trip. Kicking off camping season and our first tent camping with our two year old! It was a pretty epic adventure and pretty postcard perfect location with views of Mt Hood. Also our first time using Hipcamp (here’s a $10 off promo code for your first trip).

Talking to Toddlers About Race: 5 Things I’m Trying With My Two Year Old – this is a post I’d been working on for almost two months as I was reading Me & White Supremacy. Already making notes for another as we head toward three years old, in the fall.


Risks & Benefits Matrix: I love Emily Oster’s writing style and accessible bite-size looks at data.

“Where I think this framework is helpful, though, is in articulating what we must believe as a society to defend the choices we are making. If we choose to open bars while schools stay closed the only way to defend that, given the risk data, is to say that you think the benefits of bars are much, much higher (perhaps people really enjoy them, or tax revenue). If that’s the case, it could make sense to spend your risk budget on them.”

“It’s right that protesting in a large group, even outside, is riskier than being in your house. But the social benefits of these protests were enormous. High risk, high benefit.”


They Go To Mommy First: Yes and yes. File under “Working” Moms and “Stay at Home” Moms.

Sarah Cooper: I’m sure you’ve seen Sarah’s great videos by now. This latest one was so good. How to person woman man camera tv


Athleta Face Masks – I made masks for my family a few months ago. However, the pattern I used is the kind with the seam down the front. I found it too difficult to breath freely, as the mask kind of suctions to your face. Since mask wearing will be here to stay for a while, I took a gamble on this 5 pack from Athleta after reading reviews. So far I love the fit and the colors, and my husband and I divvied up the colors from the pack to share. It breaks down to $6/mask. I also bought the Hanna Andersson 2 pack for my toddler, which was $10. He isn’t wearing masks often, but has worn this one two times without just pulling it off. So win win. They do seem small though, so unless your kiddo has a tiny face, it doesn’t seem like it would fit ages 6-ish and up.

And that’s a wrap. I hope you had a lovely weekend!

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