Mar 3, 2008

Life's a beach

The posting of this story was delayed by the oh-so-entertaining experience we had yesterday. The events of this post took place on Saturday.

The great thing about open houses is that we are making fun family memories every weekend! This Saturday took us to the Oregon coast, probably for the last time (assuming we actually move in the next couple of months...). Although stops at Wells Fargo, home, Wells Fargo again, the library, the gas station, and a certain stretch of highway in North Plains delayed our journey a bit, we eventually made it to westbound Highway 6 and headed straight for Tillamook. Garry and I listened to an audio recording of 1-2-3 Magic, Tyler and Gavin slept, and Zachary peppered us with questions about the drive time and scenery all along the way. Around 3:30 we arrived at Cape Lookout State Park for some beach play time. We were fully prepared for our coastal excursion to be cold and rainy, so we had coats, boots, and umbrellas. Lucky for us, the late afternoon sun was shining! Zachary and Tyler had a blast. They dug in the sand, carved out their names, and really had fun with the natural trench between the rocky hills and the ocean itself. Their experience wasn't quite like last August, when we visited Cape Lookout with Granny and Gramps under the warm summer sun, but they still had a great time. This time the sandy walls of the trench were so water-logged that great chunks kept falling into the water. The boys were delighted with every crash. Tyler lost his balance while jumping into the shallow water and ended up getting soaked. That was the end of our beach adventure! After getting the boys dressed in clean clothes (so glad Garry remembered to bring these -- thanks, honey!) and bundled in blankets, we waved farewell to the ocean and drove inland to Tillamook. At the beginning of our journey, Zachary and Tyler chose to visit the beach at Cape Lookout rather than Seaside or Cannon Beach because of its proximity to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We have visited numerous times so the venue is nothing new, but apparently it was important to see the cheese-making process one more time. Imagine our surprise when we walked up to the observation deck and the factory was empty! Posted signs explained that cheese is only made Monday through Friday. Good thing the cheese factory wasn't the main attraction of the day...and that the boys weren't overly disappointed at the loss. We settled for cheese samples, dinner in the cafe, and ice cream cones afterwards (of course). It was a little strange for me to photograph my boys under the visitors center sign, knowing it would likely be the last time. I couldn't help but remember our family's first visit to Tillamook six years ago and the subsequent trips we've taken over the years. Maybe I am being more nostalgic about this spot because it's 70 miles away and I know it's not likely we'll take the time to visit again. Maybe it's because the place holds so many fonds memories, many of which were made with out-of-town family members. Whatever the reason, I'm a little sad about the silly cheese factory and the quiet stretch of beach we saw today. I think I might have said been my first Oregon good-bye.
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