August Weather is Mocking my Brother

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My brother flew into PDX today (required picture of PDX carpet).  He had it all worked out.  Since Kansas is soooo very hot and humid in the summer, he planned to escape the weather and spend some time with his Pacific NW family.

Mother nature had other plans.  Kansas is having temperatures in the high 70’s while the valley is experiences a heat wave….mid 90’s.

As he left the airport he laughed out loud.  “This feels familiar,” he stated as we were hit by the humid heat.

Worse, the traffic coming home was at a crawl.  We finally pulled off in Wilsonville and ate dinner at a lovely Chinese restaurant.  Weather would not dampen our spirits.

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Tomorrow he heads to the coast where the weather is to be mid-60’s !  Yes, finally he will experience the cool weather of Oregon.

Be kind to my brother, Oregon Coast.  No more surprises.

 

A Summer Drive

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Hubs and I took off Sunday on a mini-road trip.  We stopped by a food cart and had a picnic lunch of lavender lemonade and grilled cheese sandwiches.  After enjoying our meal, we kept going…weaving through little towns that we had not visited in years.  It was amazing to me how housing developments appeared to have cropped up overnight.

We visited a small town called “Falls City” which to our observation had neither a fall or city.  As tiny of a town as it is….. it is the home of an incredible bakery and there was quite an event going on. The last Sunday of each month in the summer, they have a community pizza party.  We talked to some there and people come from miles just to buy these pizzas.  It was standing room only (inside and out) so we were on our way.

We explored a couple of other towns before coming home.  Sunshine and the open road…a summer treat.

 

July Ocean

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Blue skies, few clouds….is this really Oregon?  Why yes it is.  As sunny as it looks, it was chilly outside.  This does not make it any less wonderful.

This month was different in that family came to visit during our stay.

Sister Patti came by to chat, walk the beach, and do some business on the coast.

Niece Carrie made her yearly trip to hug on family and enjoy the joys of Oregon.  This gal had been very busy this summer.  She and her sister, Renee, took a whirl-wind trip through Ireland and added on a trip to London.  Carrie sold her house and bought another, then flew from Kansas to Oregon to see us.  She was to return home, move into her new house, unpack, then begin teaching.  Busy, busy.

While in London, Carrie had a run-in: knee vs. cobblestone.  The cobblestone won. Carrie really didn’t have time to slow down so just kept moving.  Once she slowed down, her knee made itself heard.

Let’s just say that the Lincoln City Emergency Room is getting to know us on a first name basis.  The knee doubled in size and the pain got too much to ignore.  In we went in for x-rays.

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Her smile is fake.  The pain is real and the doctor was not playing.  Carrie got a lesson on walking with crutches and her Oregon trip slowed WAY down.  Still, she was at the ocean and enjoyed every minute looking out the window at the beautiful view.

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Even with the change of plans, we told stories, shared, and laughed as we watched a most glorious sunset.

NOTE:  I hurt my knee trying to get into a truck that was higher than I thought it would be, so we were both limping.  Major props go to my wonderful husband who, without one complaint, packed the car, unloaded everything, loaded it all again at the end of the stay, and drove everywhere.  Carrie and I voted him Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the trip.  Thank you, sweetie.  The trip would not have happened without you.

NOTE: Carrie, I miss you already.

June Ocean

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A little warmer, a little busier….our June stay at the coast was lovely.  We didn’t get out as much, having such an incredible view from our hotel room.  I tell Robert that we have the biggest flat-screen anyone could hope for.

There is something about being away.  Although I procrastinate…when at home I always have this mental to-do list that vexes me.  It taps my shoulder as if to say this or that should be attended to.  But in a hotel room, there is no to-do list.

We each had interesting books to read and I split my time between the view and reading.  What a delight!

Even when one is not facing the ocean, the sounds tempt you to take a mid-day nap.

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The waves seemed rather far out even at high tide.  I awoke early on Thursday morning to see what low tide really looked like.  It looked as if the ocean had been peeled back in the night. Birds circled to see what was uncovered.  Folks were out with buckets and bags scanning the rocks for treasures.

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Our seal did not show, but on the first day I saw a whale spout.  I watched the journey south to north as I saw one spout after another.  I never saw a back or tail, but I’m sure it was a whale.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The 26 mph wind challenged some of the walkers.  We watched a couple with trick kites almost lift off the sand.  Equally entertaining were the two kite surfers who took advantage of the wind to propel them on the water.

At one point I looked up from my book and was rewarded with two beautiful horses galloping up the beach.  One rider took care of her horse and steered the other with such grace.  They moved together to avoid waves and runners.  They took my breath away. Most entertaining were the dogs  and little ones who were beyond excited about being on the beach.  Dogs pulled at leashes yearning to all out run.  Little ones played tag with the waves.

This year-long vacation has been so satisfying.  Three more months and we will have reached our goal of staying at the coast once a month for a full year.

 

May Ocean

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Our May adventure to Lincoln City was filled with blue skies and wonderful sunsets.  We got some “good news/bad news” from the desk when we checked in.  The good news…..no one had the room above us.  The bad news…..the whole top floor was empty because they were re-roofing while we were there.  No way to warn us.  The company was supposed to be there last week.

I was not looking forward to three days of hammering, but it all went rather smoothly.  The hammering was not as bad as all the equipment (and the sounds the shingles made when thrown from the top floor. *shudder*)  Thank goodness ocean waves can overwhelm so many other sounds.  Plus BLUE SKIES – NO RAIN

Robert spent extra time during low time to find some beautiful rocks.  He treasures them.  Collecting was just half the fun.  The second half was organizing them with a “look at this one” and “see the layers in this one.”

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It was my job to pick out a new breakfast spot, since we try to do something different each visit.  I’ve always been fascinated with a swanky hotel called Inn at Spanish Head not too far from our modest digs.  I read there was a great breakfast so we were there when it opened.  The restaurant served good food, and the view was crazy beautiful.

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We tried to get a selfie without backlighting ourselves too much while still showing the view.

Don’t file the next part under “too much information.”  As it is with being human, I had to visit the bathroom.  I walked in and was confronted with this scene.  I KID YOU NOT.

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When a restaurant’s bathroom has a better view than your hotel room, one might imagine the cost of a room. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t switch.  We love The Sandcastle, and stay there every time we can.  Note: I made sure to catch a corner of the sink just to prove….holy cow, it’s a bathroom.

While I didn’t see “our” seal this time, I was lucky enough to see the spout and body of whale/s!  Such creatures.  I either saw one whale four times or four different whales.  Either way, it was a thrill to experience.

Friendship

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How lucky was I to get a phone call from a friend of mine…. such a globe trotter…who was in town.  She came over and we had a 3-4 hour visit where I don’t think we took a breath.

So much to share.  She had been a mentor and colleague of mine at the community college where we both spent many many hours at work and at home trying to make a difference in our students’ academic lives.

My friend, Lucy, has never retired.  I don’t think one day or hour goes by without her coming up with a new plan to make the academic lives of students EVERYWHERE more successful.  She hosts a study website.  She travels around the country giving workshops or presentations to instructors.  Add to that, she supports her friends across the country and visits family in Australia.

She continues to inspire me with her passion for learning and teaching others to make learning a part of their lifestyle.

Such a great visit.  Thanks for stopping by, my friend.  Happy trails.

March Ocean

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Our March visit to Lincoln City, Oregon, was a strange mix of wonderful and not so good.  The weather was warmer and it’s always great to see the sun peek behind the clouds at the moment it sets.  The reflection of sky and ocean makes for a visual feast.

Speaking of feast, my husband and I agree that the best pizza in the area is called Tie-Dye Pie Pizzeria (formerly known as Humble Pie).  It’s a tiny place on Highway 101 that does a brisk take out business.  One of our meals is always a trip to this place.  This makes for a very happy husband.

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The first night we were there, after the pizza was eaten, I started feeling a stabbing pain in my back, left side.  It got worse as the night went on.  A little past midnight I announced that I needed to go to the emergency room.  My husband flew into action as if I had just said, “My water broke.”  The Lincoln City emergency room was very nice and we walked out at 3:00 AM with medicine and knowing the reason.  (My kidney was not happy.)

With each coast visit, there is something old and something new.  The new was the emergency room.  Hopefully we will not repeat this.  The old was spotting a seal, surfers, and plenty of dog owners having a blast with their dogs.

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My husband loves to feed the birds, and I caught this picture of him.  The five birds grew to about two dozen, all calling out for their share.  There must be some kind of “food” call because it didn’t take long for the seagulls to swoop in.

We are now half way through our adventure of spending three days at the coast each month for an entire year.  More fun to come…