Summer has arrived! We had big plans to kick off Elliotte’s birthday with a road trip to Calgary to visit my sister but the great flood happened and road conditions were not ideal for time-limited travel with young children. So we did a little rearranging and found ourselves in Oregon, again. Year after year, we drive south on the I-5 and head for the coast after we make a stop in Portland for some good eats at the local food carts, must-have coffee from Stumptown roasters, and uhm yeah, tax free shopping!
Once we hit the coast, we always make Cannon Beach our base, where the beaches are flat for miles, dogs roam free, and park and viewpoint pullouts are every other mile, it seems. Nothing to complain about, or really any reason to leave, but there’s a special place at the Oregon Dunes that Derek and I remember being so magical when we first discovered them ten years ago. The viewpoint from the top of one of those dunes is simply breathtaking. Summer isn’t quite summer until we squish our toes in the dune sands. Talk about time-limited travel with children? We thought it would be a good idea to drive the almost four hours there and back in one day. P’shaw to schedules and clock-watching! We have activities and timelines all.the.time. to avoid meltdowns and tantrums and they still happen. So who cares. We are just going to embrace all the messy moments and
stretch our kids roll with it because the dunes are calling. A regular day in the office can just wait awhile.
So let’s do the math. Eight hours of driving time, plus a must-see stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory for ice-cream and lunch, and a two hour play time at the dunes. A climb up to that viewpoint only to be turned away by whipping winds and swirling sand near the top. Disappointment. Get back in the car and drive back to base again. Throw in some incoherent tantrums, fights for who gets the iDevice, constant whining for snacks, interrupted cat naps, a thousand “When will we be home?”, and it’s a party in the car. It was 10pm by the time we pulled into our spot. Yikes! Time for the regularly scheduled program tomorrow? Nah. We’re still on vacation. Rest can wait until we get home.
Now please click over to check out my very talented and dear friend, Catherine McAteer, and her version of Real Life.