By Maggie -- Aug 31, 2014
Damn, we have a lot of catching up to do!
When you've got company in town the last thing you want to do is glue yourself to a computer, so we took several days off and lived in the moment with Casey and Lauren. The last time the four of us spent a weekend together was three years ago when they flew out to LA and stayed in Venice for a week... it had been way too long and we were excited to do things that none of us had ever done before.
While we were looking forward to having them stay with us, there was also a feeling of concern that came up between us. What if everywhere we go is packed with people because of Labor Day weekend? What if it rains on the coast? What if there's nothing fun to do? What if they don't have a good time? What if everything's closed? Ryan was really worried that we wouldn't be able to show them a great time. He wanted to duplicate the crazy adventures we had with Mallory for his brother and sister-in-law and do some totally epic stuff. Before we got too worked up about it, we had to remind ourselves that the best times we've had happened organically, and if we over-plan, it isn't as much of an adventure. We had to trust that we were going to have a great time regardless of external circumstances.
Luckily I had made a campsite reservation two weeks before Labor Day. I reserved the last site available on the Oregon coast (not kidding, it was the last reservable site out of all the state parks! whew!). That was the only real plan we made, and everything else just fell into place. Casey and Lauren arrived at PDX late Thursday night and slept in the next morning. We didn't rush anything - we took our time driving to the coast, stopping along the way at the Tillamook cheese factory (cheese curds...mmmmm) and a few other small coastal towns. The fog was so thick that we could hardly see the ocean, and we were starting to feel a little bummed. Casey and Lauren didn't fly out to Oregon to experience crappy weather! We wanted sunshine!
Beachside State Park campground was buzzing with families, campfires, kids on bikes, dogs, and people playing guitars. Smells of BBQ chicken and other campfire meals filled the air. It remained foggy and cold, but it felt cozy and exactly how the Oregon coast should feel. We had purchased some crab cakes, steamer clams and local rockfish at the Newport pier and cooked it all up for dinner before tucking into bed early. That morning we woke up to the sounds of rain pattering on our trailer roof. The four of us slept soundly in our trailer - something we were also worried about before they arrived. Lauren took the top bunk, Casey slept where the table folded into a bed, and we slept in our normal spot. It never felt too crowded - it felt wonderful to wake up and drink coffee and talk for a few hours while the rain came down. There was no rush to get up and do anything. I think that's exactly what we all needed.
That day we leisurely walked around Newport and when it began to rain, we ducked into a bar or restaurant or shop. We played "shut-the-box" and had beers at the Rogue brewpub, devoured clam chowder and crab fried rice at a cafe, and watched the fisherman fillet huge fresh salmon off the pier. All day we had waited for the sun to come out. It eventually did, and when we returned to our campsite we ran out onto the beach to say goodbye to it before it disappeared into the ocean.
Was the Oregon coast super epic like North Cascades? It was a different kind of epic: beautiful, relaxing and inspiring. We didn't do anything too crazy and it was better that way. Sometimes the best times are had in the places you least expect it, even if the weather is bad. It also helps to be with great company :)