My parents and older brother's family came to visit last week and we rented a house at the beach (about an hour and a half away) for a couple of days. We easily had as much fun as if we had traveled some place far and wide. It was a real Oregonian staycation. Here are the highlights complete with pictures. Oh, wait, never mind. I. LEFT. MY. CAMERA. HOME. So when my mother gets around to figuring out how to e-mail me pictures from the trip (sometime in 2011), I'll make sure to post them.
Highlight #1: After an afternoon beach excursion with really high tide, we picked up a tide table chart which told us that at seven the next morning the tide would be at its lowest point all summer, and practically all year. Those of us with a naturalist bent got up early the next day and were amazed to see the ocean TEN feet lower than it had been the previous afternoon. We saw all kinds of crabs and shellfish, hundreds and hundreds of starfish of all different colors and sizes, and thousands of anenomes and mussles growing in and on every exposed rocky surface. The best part might have been clambering up and over rocks with my nearly 38 year-old brother like we were kids again.
Highlight #2: The responsible parents (my brother and I) decided that dune buggy-ing was off the table when we found out how much it would cost. Then my generous sugar daddy saved the day. (Not Jeff, my actual father.) He foot the bill for us all to take a 30 minute ride on the dunes. It was totally awesome. Like a 30 minute roller coaster ride that shoots sand into every part of you. The best part might have been laughing and screaming over each bounce with my nearly 30 year-old brother like we were kids again.
Highlight #3: Spending real time with my 13 year old nephew and his 10 year-old sister whom I am finally getting to know on a different level. I love each stage my kids are in, and I can see that as I begin to enter the next phase with my oldest (tweenie) there will be many wonderful things to look forward to.
Highlight #4: Picking blueberries with my parents, and convincing dad to stop at every little selling-something-Oregon place. He went home with smoked salmon, local honey, blueberry jam and roasted hazelnuts. Mom took me shopping one afternoon and we bought all the kids and Oregon Ducks tee shirt.
Highlight #5: Coming home to a bumper potato crop--blue, yukon gold and red, and another wave of strawberries. The carrots are also looking fantastic in orange, purple and white. Plantboy loves his unusual produce.
And though I've been off staycation for a few days, my ultimate Oregon experience was picking blackberries this morning at 5:30. It was actually quite tranquil watching the sunrise over the blackberry patch, all alone and enjoying the only bit of nice weather we are going to have all day (record highs forecast this afternoon). Of course, blackberry thorns make rose thorns look like love-pokes. There was one point where my pants were trapped, a huge spike was digging into my back and my rapidly unbraiding hair was stuck in the branch just above where I stood. Still, all in all, very peaceful.
Now what awesome thing would get to visit if I came to your town and joined you for staycation?