Monday, September 21, 2015

I've been to the Oregon Coast a few times, but not for at least a decade, so when Raz and I were batting ideas back and forth about what to do for his mom's birthday, the Coast was at the top of my idea list.

We had SUCH a great time at Adrift on the Washington Coast for Raz's birthday, and when I saw the same owners were opening a sister hotel in Seaside this summer, our plans pretty much made themselves.

I'm starting to have a real obsession with cruiser bikes. 
We arrived in Seaside on Friday evening, and made a beeline for the Saltwater Taffy Outlet. That place was PURE BLISS and I loaded up on all my favorite flavors, with special preference for Buttered Popcorn. Everyone in Seaside ate ice cream and taffy. It's a place that really understands the important things in life.

Oh, and I got to spin the WHEEL. OF. FORTUUUUNE. I won more taffy!

Obligatory hair flip.
The coolest thing about Seaside, though, is it has one of those flat, straight promenades like I like. Perfect for strolling and cruiser biking and staring at other people's houses. Plus, if I ever wanted to try longboarding again, I wouldn't feel as likely to break my face a third time.

Pretty wood-shingled houses to my left, beach to my right. I was in capital H Heaven.

How cute is this setup?!

Down by the Seaside. 
My in-laws said I had to see Cannon Beach, and I had the Haystack Rock on my bucket list, so on day two, we drove the few miles down the road to find lunch and massive adventure.

But, first, BUNNIES. While we were standing in line waiting for our seat at Mo's, a famous local chowder haunt, I went nuts over the cute little bunny family that was just casually hopping and eating around the lawn.

I mean, COME ONNNN. He kinda looks like Harrison tbh.
We had a super fun lunch on the deck watching whales and people, and drinking bloody mary's. What's scary about my old age is, on weekends especially, I just don't feel human until I've had at least one coffee and one alcoholic beverage. You, too? Just me? Sometimes I have to double fist them. 

Anyway, there were whales EVERYWHERE close to the shore. Grey whales, we were told. Orcas a few days prior. We kept pointing and oohing and discussing every thirty seconds or so. The restaurant staff said they hadn't seen anything like it in twenty years! 

And then we strolled again. Raz told me I was getting my shoes dirty. He's such a city diva.

The famous Haystack!

And of course I had to make Raz take some greasy-hair photos of me in my new fave grey crewneck
Ain't we cute?
Who? Me? Just over here being fab. 
Hate to see you go, but love to watch you walk away ;)
Kites. Everywhere.
So many pretty beach houses I need.
After we walked along the beach, we went to a secret surfer park. I've been really wanting a casual mountain walk and this one was exactly what I was looking for. Little wooded glens. Not too hot. Not too many people. Not too steep or full of ninety degree switchbacks. And! Fun stuff like this suspension bridge.

It was kind of scary and kind of not. I LOVED IT. 
And we walked to this. 
Growing up, my mom filled our yard with driftwood. Totally tastefully, of course.
People and their "go anywhere" hammocks. I'm nervous and intrigued. 

And there we have a beautiful little weekend on the Oregon Coast I couldn't wait another minute to share. We got back into Portland, gave me my first Pok Pok experience, and let me loose in the stationary store across the street. For so many reasons, I'm going to have to make these #exploregon adventures a thing. 

Year Three

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Again, we unknowingly planned a getaway my dad would have loved on the third anniversary of losing him. It's become kind of funny, actually, that we subconsciously do or see something he would have enjoyed so much. This year it was Shania.

Always so handsome, so composed, so outdoorsy.

We missed Shania in Seattle because we were on vacation in Florida. She kept saying it was her farewell tour, so Raz obliged and got us tickets to see her in San Diego for my birthday month. Much to my excitement and extreme fangirling, he got us VIP tickets that came with some weird reusable tote bags, VIP tags, a poster of Shania and two photo books. I felt special and only slightly jipped—I hear VIP tickets to Kenny Chesney and Katy Perry came with BEACH TOWELS. I will get my celeb beach towel one day. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. In the meantime, my Shania bags have taken a few trips to Safeway and held a change of clothes after the boys golfed all day and came to hang out with the girls and eat pizza and watch football. We're getting our use out of them. 
She was tiny like my mom and RIGHT THERE. Unlike my mom, her nails were left unpainted. I didn't even judge.

We jumped and bopped and squealed (okay, maybe just I squealed...) and drank 25 oz beers (an extra ounce!) and it was life-affirming. Shania even swung around our heads on a saddle contraption in the sky. I was beside myself. 

And afterward, we ate and I made Raz girl-talk with me all about it. 
Can't go to SoCal without hitting In-N-Out.

We also rode cruiser bikes and ate Cali burritos and said hi to Dennis Rodman when he randomly showed up at our hotel at the same time we did after Shania. It was weird and incredible all at once. 
Out there doin' mah thang. 
I don't know what to say about it all. It's always hard. It's always weird. It's always kind of...gnawing. But it's also eye-opening and soul-deepening, and motivating. We may still have some sad and unfortunate family awkwardness, and we may be a little broken sometimes, but we're all coping the way we know how.

No matter what, though, I carry him everywhere, and I get to see his little winks. It's small, but it's something. And boy does it feel big when it's happening.

Also, I got to have a great time in San Diego with my husbro, Shania, and Dennis Rodman. Who gets to say that?

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