It’s been a week since I got home from Oregon, so this recap is a little delayed. But, hey, it’s the busy life of a student getting back into the swing of classes and homework that’s really to blame. Besides, the adventure is still fresh in my mind.
I had never been on the West Coast before, so I was extremely excited to finally be making it over there. Getting to see our family made the trip that much more meaningful, since our reunions are few and far between. Damn distance. It doesn’t even seem like that far because the flight is just five hours. I drive almost that long to get to school!
When we finally arrived at the house we were greeted with big smiles and hugs. The visual definition of a ‘warm welcome’. And I ain’t complaining. It was the middle of the night already, though, so I couldn’t stay awake very long, instead hitting the sack so that I could build up energy for the days to come.
We wandered the city of Portland, spending time in Powell’s Books and the Japanese Rose Gardens. Never before had I seen such an abundance of books or roses in one place.
For the weekend we all drove to Cannon Beach, where we had rented a house overlooking Haystack rock. The smaller ones near it are called the Needles, because “needle in a haystack.” Gotta love those corny jokes.
Being in a small beach town is amazing. I love the quaint surroundings and the sounds of the ocean at night. We got to go biking and horseback riding on the beach, which was unbelievably cool. And there are beautiful hikes around the area.
I especially loved walking up and down the main street, wandering into the galleries and shops. Each place has its own flair and style. In one of the galleries I spoke to a painter while he demonstrated his watercolor technique for me. I watched (in speechless awe) as a glassblower made a presentation bowl, and grilled her (nicely) about how she entered the trade.
The amount of creativity and talent in so many people around the world truly astounds me. No two pieces are exactly the same, and the ways in which the artist’s experiences influence his/her work is fascinating to explore.
One of the candy stores, Bruce’s, has a huge window looking into the room where they make saltwater taffy. The machine is massive and about one hundred years old. Talk about ‘Ye Olde Candy Shoppe’! I think I stood spellbound for close to fifteen minutes, just watching each piece of taffy rain down into the bucket. Do you
like love saltwater taffy? It may be my ultimate downfall.
My cousin also took me to visit her favorite fabric store, Center Diamond. She’s a major quilter and has gorgeous handmade pieces decorating her house. I was a very eager student. Now I’ve got the beginnings of a quilt sampler to work on (along with my knitting projects).
The highlight of the trip for me was getting to spend time with my family. Most nights we cooked dinner together. It emphasized the bonding caused by food, and how social of an activity it really is. I learned new tricks, tried new dishes, taught some of my own. Sharing cooking space is no small task. There’s a saying about too many cooks in the kitchen for good reason, yet I felt like this actually brought us closer rather than creating tension.
I didn’t want to leave, knowing that it will be months at least before I see my family again. At times like these I always remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Nothing could be truer. There were moments of imperfection over the course of the week, but that only made it better.
Until next time Oregon!