Sunday, September 28, 2008

Unexpected Surprises





We live an hour and 15 minutes from the Pacific Ocean. But we also live in Oregon, which means the Pacific Ocean that we visit is not a tropical paradise. The Oregon Coast is almost ALWAYS cold, windy,usually rainy, rocky and stunningly beautiful. We went on the 4th of July, leaving temperatures in the 90's and arriving at the coast to temps in the 50's, with high winds and rain. We FROZE, ate our picnic lunch in the van, and came home after an hour of misery.

This Saturday, we had a day with no obligations and decided to spend it at the coast. It's now the end of September and although the morning looked promising in Newberg, we knew the coast is tempermental. So this time, we arrived prepared. We packed towels, hats, mittens, sweatshirts, jackets, full changes of clothes, rubber boots and extra money for hot chocolate to warm up when we finished freezing on the beach. We brought our puppy, Dusty, for her first trip to the ocean.

We unloaded at the state park and started piling on the layers. 15 minutes later, we got a family picture before we descended to the beach. We are all laden down with layers of protective warmth and squinting into a very bright sun with clear blue skies, huge waves, a rocky cliff and not a hint of wind as our back drop!

We hit the beach and within minutes, we all started shedding our layers. Never have I experienced such a glorious day at the coast. Not a breath of wind, huge majestic waves as the tides came in, clear blue skies, bright sun, even surfers in the water. Dusty LOVED the beach and alternately chased the kids, dashed into the water, and dug furiously in the sand for no reason. We found a perfect picnic spot on the beach - pieces of driftwood arranged around a home-made fire pit with scrubby beach grass and rocks made smooth by the waves. Curt had to go back to the car to get the food, and we picnicked on the beach, shoes off, sand between our teeth, sun on our faces, listening to the tide sneak up the shore. It was AMAZING!

The kids played in the sand, piled rocks, walked on the logs, hid in the grass, played with a huge sea onion, and chased Dusty. We finally loaded up the stroller with our hats, mittens, coats, sweatshirts and boots and headed back to the van. By the time we got to the van, I was actually sweating for the first time I can remember at the beach.

Curt and I looked at the money we had set aside for hot chocolate and at our van full of kids, dirty, sweaty and content, and stopped at Coldstone Creamery for ice cream to eat on the way home! Talk about unexpected surprises!!!!!

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