Holy, Happy Oregon

AUTHOR: | POSTED: June 17, 2013 | COMMENTS: 2 Comments
CATEGORIES: Blogging Honestly, Focusing on The Joy, Teenage Trouble,

Carolyn Savage

We are home.

It seems like only a few days ago that I typed those very same words after spring break.  In fact, it was only a little over two months ago, so it seems that this trip came about rather quickly after the last.  But this trip was different.  Our entire crew didn’t go.  Why?  Well, this was a “throw-back” vacation.  A trip that took us back in time to when our family was a smaller version of the crew we have now.  Drew chose the destination (his graduation gift).  When he chose Oregon, we were flummoxed.  Nevertheless, we agreed.  When he told us he wanted to leave the girls at home, we understood.  This was going to be an adventure to the Pacific northwest.  Strollers, car seats, naps and baby food wouldn’t be feasible.S0, a small army of baby sitters were booked, long lists of schedules were written down, and a grown up vacation was planned…for the four of us.

As soon as we set out for our Oregonian trek–and yes…it’s Oregonian.  I googled it–I had flash backs to trips from many moons ago.  The boys are well traveled because during their younger years I didn’t like to leave them behind.  My struggle with full-time-working-mom-guilt ensured that Drew and Ryan almost always accompanied us on our adventures.

When I think back to those years I realize we were a very happy family of four.  We were also neat, compact and very, very mobile.  Packing, schlepping and adventuring were easier back then. That being said, I can also say that during those years I knew in my heart that ourfamily of four wasn’t going to be it.  I swear there were three little souls haunting me back then and I knew it.

Of course, our journey to our daughters has impacted our sons.  Vacations, along with every other aspects of our lives, have grown more complicated.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there is guilt in that  (I know, I know.  I’m a mother.  There’s guilt in everything.)  So, when Drew asked for an adventure  sans little kids we “got” where the request was coming from.

Drew chose Oregon for one reason.  Running.  He’s a running junkie and the University of Oregon is considered the holy grail of the running world.  Eugene, home of the University of Oregon and the famous Hayward Field, was our first stop.  I admit… at the time I kind of didn’t get it.  I still don’t, but that doesn’t matter.  The look of thrill in the eyes of my boys as they ran the infamous track, met a handful of NCAA running champs, hung out with an Olympic coach and shot the breeze with a US record holder spoke volumes.  Of course the pilgrimage to Pre’s Rock capped off a day for my running junkies which brought a feeling of satisfaction to me.  Running is their passion and it’s a good one.  They are happy…so I’m happy.

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Truth be told, we sncuk in here like a bunch of burglars.  The boys wanted to run on this track like it was paved in gold.  There was nervousness and shy apprehension because no one was fully sure we were allowed to do this.  Then...

Truth be told, we snuck in here like a bunch of trespassers. The boys wanted to run on this track because, apparently, it’s paved in gold. There was nervousness and shy apprehension because no one was positive  we were allowed to do this. Then…

...they took off.

…they took off.

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For those of you that don’t know…Hayward Field is the home of the Olympic trials every four years. In addition, to run for the University of Oregon means you are lightning fast…like maybe going to the Olympics fast!

So...if you hang out at Hayward, you are likely to run into a few of those Olympic medalists.

So…if you hang out at Hayward, you are likely to run into a few of those Olympic medalists.

This is Elijah Greer the NCAA champion in the 800 m run.  And yes...we were stalking him.

This is Elijah Greer…the NCAA champion in the 800 m run. And yes…they were stalking him.

The junkies with Mac Fleet the NCAA champion in the 1500 m run.

The junkies with Mac Fleet, the NCAA champion in the 1500 m run.

Visiting Pre's Rock, the scene of the 1975 tragic car accident that took the life of Steve Prefontaine...

Visiting Pre’s Rock, the scene of the 1975 tragic car accident that took the life of Steve Prefontaine…

...a running God.  Did I mention this was a pilgrimage?

…a running God. Did I mention this was a pilgrimage?

After we had exhausted Eugene, we headed to the coast of Oregon.  To call what we saw ‘heavenly sites’ doesn’t seem to capture the essence of this part of our country.   Turns out the Oregon coast is an  underrated destination.  Sand dunes that make Michigan’s dunes look like kiddie hills; inland lakes that scatter the coast; trails that meander through moss covered tree lined forests; picnics lake side…and ocean side;  sunsets and breathtaking Pacific views were bountiful as we made our way up from Florence to Yachats.

Woahink Lake right after a morning run and before....

Woahink Lake right after a morning run and before….

Dune buggy riding at a mere  80 mph with Buddy...the best darn dune buggy driver ever!

Dune buggy riding at a mere 80 mph with Buddy…the best darn dune buggy driver ever!

Before our beach ride.  Ryan sat this one out with a major headache.  Poor guy!

Before our beach ride. Ryan sat this one out…he likes horse power–not horses.

Trail ride to the dunes.  And then...

Trail ride to the dunes. And then…

I swear you could hear the angels singing as we came over the last hill.

I swear you could hear the angels singing as we came over the last hill.

Because there was wide open empty beach for as far as the eye could see.  Just us and our horses.

Because there was wide open empty beach as far as we could see. Just us and our horses.

A little Pacific side rest for our companions gave way to an awesome photo-op.

A little Pacific side rest for our companions gave way to an awesome photo-op.

And…since this is my space…I must show you my riding props.  Check this out…

Of course, with all of this adventure seeking, we managed to work up an appetite which of course brought me to my favorite time of the day.  Meal time.  It wasn’t so much the food that made our time at the table so special.  Instead it was the conversation.  Debates and laughter were sprinkled throughout our sacred feasts in which glimpses of the adults our boys are becoming shone through brightly.  Of course, there were impatient moments amongst us.  Ryan is bull headed.  Sean is stubborn, too.  I am a clock-head that doesn’t do well if we are off schedule, and Drew is laid back…sometimes too laid back.  So…yes… there was bickering.   But whatever the controversy was the mood always managed to swing back to a comfortable, happy place.

This is our family and as it turns out we all kind of like each other.

On the rocks of Yachats, Oregon.

On the rocks of Yachats, Oregon.

My boys, as grown up as they are, still like to hunt for seaside treasures.  The Oregon coast did not disappoint.

My boys, as grown up as they are, still like to hunt for seaside treasures. The Oregon coast did not disappoint.

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A little cove gave some respite from the wind...

A little cove gave some respite from the wind…

To call the Oregon coast a place of relaxation doesn’t seem to do it justice.  Just take a look at this… (30 seconds…come on…you have time)…

The five nights we were away flew by in an instant.  It was such a wonderful trip.  We are already planning our next get-away for Ry’s graduation year.  I asked him if MK would be allowed to go.  He said he’d think about it, but probably…yes.  He’s a softie that one.  I wonder where he gets it?

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So, now we are home.  As we entered the kitchen and our daughters ran to the closest one of us for hugs, my heart was filled with satisfaction.  Yes, our trip with just the four of us was precious, but returning to the love of our seven is a treasure.  I’m thankful for the time we spent together this past week.  I’m even more thankful to return home to our whole crew.  Nothing is greater than walking through the  door to shrieks of joy from our three little miracles.

Now onward.

A Pacific sunset.  Bravo!

A Pacific sunset. Bravo!

2 Comments on “ Holy, Happy Oregon ”

  • Brandi W | June 17th, 2013 12:32 pm

    Love this post for so many reasons. One, what an incredible graduation gift to give a vacation…the experience, the quality time, the memories. Two, I just love when someone finds their passion and lives and breathes for that passion. Of course, it meant you had to go to Oregon instead of some tropical location 😉 But I hope that my little ones are so lucky to find what makes them happy in life and live that passion with purpose like Drew found in running.

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  • Teri | June 18th, 2013 9:35 am

    Looks like a fantastic getaway!! What a beautiful family and a beautiful location. But I know you’re happy to be back with the girls too!

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