I am sitting inside my home in my office at my computer because I refuse to leave my house or even open any blinds or windows for the rest of the day. I may not leave home again either. We have the windows covered in foil to block out the sun. Our home is now a cave downstairs. It is hot here in Vancouver. We have broken a record set in 1942. We have reached 108 today. My air conditioning is only able to keep it down to 79 degrees inside for which I am super grateful (downstairs is 79… upstairs is much hotter). I wish it could be 76 or lower, it would feel SO MUCH BETTER, but I am happy with what we got! I really hope my AC does not give up in the next few days.

To beat the heat this summer we have:

  • Played in the fountains a few times in Downtown Portland. We have visited the Jamison Square fountain, the Keller Fountain, and the Lovejoy fountain. My favorite was the Lovejoy fountain. It was tucked away in a city block amongst Portland State University buildings and some beautiful tower apartments. It isn’t very well known and there is no way for your child to wander too close to the street and get hit by a car. This fountain features some wading pools that reach up to your knees and are perfect for little kids to swim in even and some cascading falls that are fun to play in. Plus there is shade and a cool breeze and there are very few homeless people around. The Keller fountain has deeper wading pools to play in (Micah can’t even touch the bottom and stay above water) which the Isaac and his best friend Oliver liked, but for some reason all the pot heads, smokers and homeless people were there yesterday so I am not a fan of it as much. Also it has a really high drop off from the higher portion of the fountain to the bottom which makes me nervous. Bathing with homeless people really turned me off to it. The Jamison Square fountain was great and artistic. It is supposed to mimic the falls around here and the ebb and flow of the tide. It was more kid friendly and awesome until it became “low tide” for that fountain and all the water drained out of it. There were a lot of little bitty kids crying and mad that the water suddenly disappeared. We didn’t ever see high tide again because after 45 minutes of waiting in an ice cream parlor next to it, eating ice cream of course, it still wasn’t back. So we headed to the other two fountains mentioned to finish out the day in our effort to beat the heat.
  • We have found the best beach in town right on the Columbia river near Washougal called Cottonwood Beach. This beach is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from here and is just as awesome as the beach at the coast, minus the finicky weather, bitter wind, water too cold to swim in, and 2 hour drive. There aren’t star fish, but I am not gonna mind this at all. This may be the first summer we never make it to the coast (notice I did not call it beach…I am officially a Northwesterner now). This beach has satisfied my need for playing in the sand and playing in the water. I give it a 2 thumbs up rating. And the parking lot is super close to it and it has bathrooms which makes it a 3 thumbs up if that rating is possible.
  • We have played at the cute fountain in downtown Vancouver at Esther Short Park. I call it the cute fountain now because it seems teeny tiny and cute after seeing the huge fountains in Portland.
  • We went swimming at Klineline Pond here in Vancouver. This pond is nice because it has sand, grass to sit on near it, a spray ground if you don’t want to swim, and trails running by it. The downside is that it may be in Vancouver, but it is 20 or more minutes away. The bather load is pretty high at that pond and they do have life guards, but it is hard to keep track of your kid in the water there are just too many people there. I think we are heading to Cottonwood Beach from now on.
  • Another spot we have visited a few times is the Sandy Swimming Hole in the Washougal river. This is a rocky little river that has some rapids and some pools and some small falls. We take our little raft over to the river and let the boys row around and most of us have a good time. Reece is still not sure about the water there. We showed him a crawdad from in the river and now he is very worried about it. He doesn’t like having to wear his shoes either since it is so rocky. The Sandy Swimming hole has no sand you see. So Reece is not convinced it is a great place to play yet.
  • Today we hit the free summer movies at the Regal Cinema nearby because they have A/C. I normally don’t make it to many of those because I’d rather go outside and play while the weather is fabulous, but today the fact that they have A/C really drew us there. Did I mention it is hot today?
  • We have also spent a good deal of time playing with neighbor kids, riding bikes, slip-n-sliding, playing in our wading pool, doing chores, playing wii, and reading, reading, reading. Micah and Reece got to go to their first summer camp together at a friend’s home (she and her girls put it on to teach the girls about running a business) and Isaac went to his first cub scout day camp.
  • This was not a beat the heat activity, but it was an educational touristy activity, and it was long over due. We visited Mt. St. Helens for the first time as a family. Bryan has gone with his family when he was young, he climbed to the top of it as a scout once even, but we have not gone with our boys ever. We have been here 8 summers now and we finally got around to it. It was pretty amazing. Isaac had bad dreams afterwards about the video they showed us of the eruption. The eruption was so devastating. And it affected so much area. Overall, it was an enjoyable and sobering visit.

This summer is halfway over and I can’t believe how much it has flown by. It has been an eventful summer so far. I still have a goal to take the boys to play in White Salmon somewhere, anywhere, and do some hikes in the Gorge. We still also have at least one family camp out coming up too. As long as we can live through this heat wave, I can say this has been one great summer so far.


Julie July 30, 2009 at 9:22 a.m.

108! Oh my goodness! That is hot!

Dad Murdock July 31, 2009 at 8:59 p.m.

We are much cooler at 103 but we don't have all those great sounding fountains to play in.

Melinda August 24, 2009 at 10:32 p.m.

I am so glad we missed that in Washington. We sat in the air conditioned house or swam in a pool. Much better than our non air conditioned apartment!

We will need to check out those fountains!