Sunday, September 01, 2013

I Do Love Oregon in August

On the drive from the beach to the birthday party,
we stopped at a scenic overlook north of Cannon Beach
and shot this with my cell phone camera.
I just returned from four days in the Pacific Northwest with my parents, sisters, brothers, all of my cousins, one niece, and two nephews. Plus some family friends.

I'm the fourth of five kids, and two of my siblings celebrated birthdays during that time.

My parents also spent their first night in a retirement home, and I was with them. That day I took my 93-year-old dad for a long drive up the North Santiam River to his childhood haunts in small-town Gates and Detroit Lake, as well as a visit to the family cemetery that lies across from a gorgeous valley. We enjoyed fantastic weather and scenery on a day I'll never forget.

The next morning, I made the three-hour drive over to the Oregon coast, another fantastically scenic drive, to meet with my agent in Manzanita. While I was over there, I  had lunch with my BFF from high school and her hubby, who were in nearby Tillamook cleaning out her mother's home.

I camped that night with my sister and nephew at nearby Nehalem Bay State Park (so much going on at the coast!). And as no trip to Oregon is complete without fresh salmon, my sister made sure I got a nice filet cooked over a Coleman stove.

Yesterday my niece hosted a big family birthday party for her dad, my oldest brother, back in Portland. All five of us kids and our parents were together in one place on a gorgeous day, and it wasn't for a funeral. Good times. Afterward, I drove the folks back to their place before heading back north to Vancouver, Washington.

Last night the same BFF and her hubby hosted me at their home there, close to the Portland airport. We stayed up too late laughing, and I was impressed that they would rise at six on a Sunday to make me a hot breakfast.

During the entire trip, I wore long sleeves or kept a jacket handy. Low humidity. Cloudless skies. When camping, I had on three layers at one point. Temps in the 80s. Perfect. On the drive to the airport, I enjoyed more clear weather, which meant I had a great view of Mt. Hood.

And when I arrived home in Dallas this evening, the temperature was 106.

While I was gone, the annual Beloit College "mindset list" came out. It describes the incoming college freshman class. This year's group, for example, has never had to ask for directions as they've always had GPS. Here's the list for more.

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