I discovered this scene in Li’s dollhouse this morning. That’s the dollhouse family dad, and I have this weird feeling that’s supposed to be me. Oddly appropriate at present.
Up early this morning to get Ian up early (never an easy feat, and sometimes not all that pleasant) to get him to the airport. He’s headed back to Norman and school today, leaving a noticeable hole here at home. It has been wonderful having him home for the break between semesters and for the Christmas holidays.
We’re definitely seeing that as Li gets older, she misses him more each time he leaves, which makes these transition days as and after he departs even harder for all of us.
Today is our last day on the Oregon coast, and I can already tell that leaving will be hard on all of us, but probably especially for Li. Deb commented that she thinks Li has laughed more this week than she has ever before… every single wave that catches us results in a delighted laugh. It has been a very relaxing week of doing very little: lots of time just walking and playing on the beach, chasing (and being chased by) waves, watching the surf continuously sculpt and change the beachscape. Where yesterday was our last full day here (we head south to Newport today and then to Albany to see friends this evening before starting for home on Saturday), we pretty much did nothing but hanging out yesterday and played on the beach as much as Li wanted to.
We took part of Wednesday and ventured south to Cape Kiwanda, for a change of scenery and it was definitely that: impressive surf, sandstone, and dunes. It was also surprisingly busy for mid-week in late September, and left us wanting to get back to the quiet of Rockaway Beach where we are staying. As soon as we were back, Li and I headed down to the beach to play in the waves and were treated to the highest water we’ve seen all week: lots of wave-racing, laughing, giggling, and more than just a little getting wet. Li and I got caught by a couple surprising waves that left us wet more than waist high…
We’ve intentionally not filled our days with much: a late afternoon stop at the Tillamook Cheese factory early in the week (and a subsequent return for ice cream), an afternoon trip to the Cape Meares lighthouse (and the Octopus tree there), and our jaunt to Cape Kiwanda mid-day yesterday. Other than that, we’ve just hung out on the beach or spent some time reading.
Renting a place here on the coast was a great choice. Having something resembling a “home” has worked really well for Li in terms of stability and has contributed greatly to a relaxing week. A washer and dryer have been a godsend to deal with changing clothes multiple times a day. We’re right on the beach — as in 10 seconds from our door — in a sort of condo building that appears to be new construction on the northern end of Rockaway Beach (the town) where they are renting four of about a dozen units, but we’ve had the place completely to ourselves almost all week (another family showed up late yesterday afternoon).
We’ve had really weather since we arrived, with lots of sun and really comfortable temperatures. Yesterday was grey and overcast, and was misting (not quite drizzling) when we hit the beach. A bit of a breeze yesterday also marked the first we’ve really seen of anything other than calm. Today looks to be dawning grey and overcast, but without the fog and mist of yesterday morning; we’ll pack and then venture down to the ocean one last time for this trip to say our goodbyes to the sand and waves…
We’re on vacation. I really like the sound of that. I’m sitting on a couch in the living room of our rented townhouse on the beach on the Oregon coast, watching the fog slowly lighten as the sun begins to come up and listening to the waves roll in, as Li and Deb sleep off the effects of 800+ miles in the car.
This is our first real vacation since we got Li, and she traveled far better than we might have hoped: she did great in the car and although she took quite a bit longer to fall asleep, it lacked much of the drama of our “travels” the past few years. We stopped briefly in Boise to leave a huge bag of peaches for Deb’s folks and then made it as far as Ontario. We left Ontario after breakfast; I was reminded again of how pretty eastern Oregon (after Ontario) actually is. The rain started at The Dalles — intermittent rain, thankfully — but let up long enough for us just to get misted on at Multnomah Falls (pix coming). Heavy rain and heavy traffic through Portland (where “heavy” probably really means “light”, but you have to consider the source), and steady rain all the way to “home” on the coast.
Li saw and felt the Pacific Ocean yesterday evening for the first time. After a day and a half in the car, we grabbed a bite for dinner, found what passes for a grocery store in a tiny Oregon coast town, and then Li and I headed down to the water. It had rained all afternoon as we drove and was actually still raining when we arrived, but by the time we were done with dinner the rain had stopped and the fog had started rolling in… but we were determined we were going to the beach. Early evening, fog, surf, seagulls, and the two of us… and she laughed and giggled and ran from the waves and laughed when they caught us and washed the sand from under her feet as they slid back out.
“How big is it, Dad?” “Really big, Li; it goes all the way to China.” “Wow…”
I had a bit of a surprise waiting for me when I arrived home from work yesterday evening: a box. Deb looked at me kind of oddly when I said something along the lines of “I hate to say this, but I don’t remember ordering anything… I’m not sure what that could be…” But the more I thought about it, the more excited I became, as there was only one thing I could come up with. Not much to go on, based on the information on the outside of the box…
So I had to open the box, and sure enough…