Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

As most of you know this past weekend was a much needed mini-vacation for the family. Our destination this time was Pacific City, Oregon. It is about eighty miles west and slightly south of Portland, and from my house it normally takes around two hours to get there.

Our plan was pretty simple. Pick-up the boys from VBS (Vacation Bible School) at noon, hit the road and be at the coast by 2:00pm. Our reality was a bit different than our plan. The boys did get picked up at noon, but we didn't actually get going until closer to 1:30. Not really a big deal most days, but this particular Friday afternoon it became a huge deal in our travel plans.

There is a small rural highway that is about five miles from where we live to the main highway. Again most days this is no big deal, you just jump on and a few minutes later you're cruising down the 205 towards I-5. The one goofy thing about this particular stretch of road is that there is a median barrier that divides the two sides of traffic and for this five mile run there are no other roads to turn off onto. Usually this is not a problem, unless of course your on your way out of town on a Friday afternoon and the temperature is about 90+ degrees and there is a major accident at the intersection at the bottom of the hill.

This brings me to the first picture of our vacation. Not exactly one for the scrap book, but one that we got to enjoy for the next hour and a half. Yep, that was no typo there. It took us ninety minutes to travel the first five miles! Roughly one minute for every burning hot flipping degree outside. Ever heard the phrase, "Not a happy camper"? well I have and in fact I was that phrase for a while.

Good news is that it did pass. The better news is that we weren't the ones involved in the wreck that closed the road. Still don't know what happened, but I can only imagine that it wasn't pretty.

About another hour or so into the drive we got to experience one more stop and crawl session for about forty-five minutes while they cleared yet another wreck on a different highway. I was starting to question why exactly it was that I had decided to travel on a Friday afternoon when, to my joy, we were rolling again. A mere five hours after we pulled out of the driveway, we made it to Cape Kiwanda, the RV park we'd be staying at for the next three days. Whew!

From this point on everything was smooth sailing for the rest of the trip. One of the nice things was, we didn't have any plans set in stone as to what we were going to do with our time. We figured we'd just play it by ear and see what each day brought us. That was probably one of the best things we could have done too. No time expectations from anybody or for any reason.

After setting up our camp site and opting for pizza at the local eatery (too tired and frazzled to cook) we headed for the beach to walk along the sand and to take in the sunset. With full tummy, the smell of the salt air and sand in between my toes, my attitude had improved dramatically from a few hours before. It was time to relax and enjoy the weekend.

I'll leave you with a couple of sunset pics I took the first night, and tomorrow I'll start off the post with the same two shots from basically the same perspective, but during the morning hours. It makes for a neat contrast.

I've got a lot of catching up to do too, so I'll try to make it by to visit you all over the next couple of days.


katherine. said...

those are beautiful pictures...I love sunsets on the ocean! The Pacific can make many burdens ease...and could very well be worth the five hour drive.

Sounds like over all you and yours had a wonderful mini-vacation. Looking forward to more...

Dana said...

I have been fortunate enough to see the oceans of the US from many states - Oregon is still my favorite!

Mel said...

k.......well worth the stand-still traffic......

*happy sigh*

I soooooo need beachtime!

Welcome back!
And many thanks for the beautiful photos.

Odat said...

Getting stuck in that traffic was so worth those pics!!!
Not to mention being there!
thanks for sharing.


Dianne said...

what a great idea to have no plans!! that's when the best stuff happens.

beautiful sunset.

CrystalChick said...

Lovely sunset pics. Glad you had a nice time.
We are only 40 mins. or so from the Wharton St. Forest (Pine Barrens, Jersey Devil) and about 1 1/2 hours from all shore points in New Jersey. Can't say the Atlantic is all THAT, but we've had lots of sandy beach days and just getting away is fun because we can do it for just the day.
That first part of your journey though, welcome to my world... daily!

Matt-Man said...

Sounds great. Why do the pictures taken by others always seem to come out so much sharper than mine. Cheers Jeff!!

Jeff B said...

Katherine- The frustrations of the drive melted away pretty quickly and the rest of the trip was a blast. More of the adventure tonight.

Dana- If the water temp was a bit warmer, I'd rank it right up there too. Having grown up in southern California I tend to be a bit spoiled that way.

Mel- More photos to come. Beach time makes everything else seem just a bit less hetic.

Odat- As soon as my toes hit the sand I knew it was worth it.

Dianne- It did work out great for this trip. The rest of the weekend was filled with fun activities, but none of them were forced.

Crystalchick- I used to have to drive in that type of traffic regularly. Don't miss a single thing about it.

Jeff B said...

Matt- I took 150+ pictures over the weekend, out of which only about twenty or so are keepers. I feel your pain.

That's the beauty of digital though. You can keep the shutter snapping and hit the delete button as often as needed.

nitebyrd said...

What beautiful pictures! Not the cars, of course. Viewing a sunset like that would definitely change your attitude. I'm glad things got way better after the drive.

Bond said...

I have experienced those traffic delays, as we all have...

But when you get through them and you have salt air and sand in the toes..it makes it all worth while...

I think...it has been so long since I have had time on the ocean I think I might have forgotten...

Ron said...

GORGEOUS photos Jeff!

Everytime I see a photo of Oregon, it always looks so beautiful.

How blessed you are.

I'm such a sunset person too!

When I lived in Florida, I use to sit on the beach with my headsets on and just melt into the most wonderful state of relaxation.

Sound like you guys had an awesome vacation.

Can't wait to hear and see more!

Later, buddy!

Rhea said...

What an icky start to the vacation with that horrible traffic and wrecks. With kids in the car, that quickly can become unbearable!!

BUT, I love the pictures at the end of the post, and I was content along with you, walking in the sand. Looks like a beautiful place to camp, and I can't wait to see/hear more about it!!

Jay said...

What a hassle. At least after all that traffic and crap you ended up at the beach. It would have sucked if you had hit all and then just ended up a work. ;-)

Akelamalu said...

Oh the sunset views are just beautiful and I'm sure they more than made up for the hassle on the journey. :)

Travis said...

It's nice that you had some lovely scenery to settle you down after the rotten traffic.

Anndi said...

sand in the toes... salt air on your nose


The good life!

Jeff B said...

Nitebyrd- I never get tired of seeing the sun set over the Pacific.

Bond- You should make the time to get to the beach. It's worth the effort.

Ron- The summers here almost make up for the eleven and a half months of rain.

Rhea- The rotten start may have actually made the rest of the trip seem even better. Ok, that was a stretch. It just pretty much sucked for the first five hours.

Jay- Good point! A bad start to a vacaation is generally better than tha good start to a day of work.

Akelamalu- It was like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Travis- My blood pressure was in serious need of melow times after that drive.

Anndi- It was good indeed!

Kimmie said...

Hi Jeff!
Beautiful sunset pictures! I have never been to the Pacific Ocean yet, but have been to the Atlantic many times. I love the feel of sand on my feet, especially going through my toes. Its so warm and has a way of relaxing me also. Sorry you had to go through those traffic jams. Life happens, but in the end all worked out fine. I am happy for you and your family. Getting away is always a good thing.

Jo said...

Welcome Home Jeff. I hate when Plans go bazerk like the start of your vacation. Makes for some cranky traveling companions.

Glad all turned out well though.

Michelle said...

You are so lucky to live that close to the coast. I try and drive over there once a year. I would love to have a little vacation house near Newport when I retire. For now I get to use the company condo!