Imma finish up this series right here right now with this one.last.post. Seems appropriate to wrap it up on this very last day of 2015. I promised, after all.
There is a lot more to say so I’ll do my very best to keep it brief. After our lighthouse visit in Newport, we made ourselves breakfast and headed off to the aquarium at Britt’s suggestion. It was super fun because … sharks. No, they were not in the wild and yes, we were fine with that. We had our best weather day and it was most appropriate for a beautiful drive up the coast to find some whales. I mean, we started the day with dolphin and seals and sharks oh my but whales. Whales were what I was after. I did some research and found a place in Depoe Bay that promised (basically) whale sightings.
We stopped off at the Depoe Bay Whale Center and Connor and I had some trivia fun with one of the staff before I grabbed a pair of binoculars and waited. And waited. I could hear the other staff member describing some sightings and how they usually pop up every 2-3 minutes if they’re passing by and as if God heard my prayer at that very moment, a giant whale came up out of the water in very.impressive.fashion. They call it breaching and if I had my camera ready, it would have looked like this. Promise. ZOMGosh, it was so amazing. I think I squealed a little bit.
Following our Depoe Bay visit, we continued north and had an amazingly beautiful day for the trip. Our last airbnb stop was not far from Cannon Beach. Read: just another short bit. Connor was ever the patient traveler and when we arrived at our accommodations for the night, I could not have been more thrilled. Like at all. It was just a block off the ocean and tucked into basically the forest. So, sand and water for miles and miles on one side and trees for days on the other. How could we have been disappointed?
This place was the most hotel-like of those we stayed at in that we had our own room with kitchen, dining, living and bed along with our own bath. And it was 100% perfect. We were doubly blessed with homemade granola and organic coffee. It was like they knew me! When we arrived we dropped off our things and freshened up so we could head up to Haystack Rock. Anyone remember, ‘hey you guyyyyyyys!!’? I literally only wanted to visit because of the movie Goonies. #productofthe80’s
We walked about a 1/2 mile from town over to the beach and it got chilly pretty quickly. My sweet boy shared his sweatshirt with my arms and ran laps around me at the beach while we marveled at all of the dead gulls. Weird, right? There was one silly human being trying to find a way to be in every single one of my camera shots but I angled myself so as not to let his tripod-in-the-water self ruin the moment.
Standing there freezing on the beach though was worth every single second. Watching my son race around and chase birds and test the water and playing with my camera to see the most amazing sunset we could have been given was just … man, so much to be thankful for.
Our last day in Oregon started with a walk to the private beach near our home for the night. It’s hard for me to talk about because that walk was huge for me. I left something there that I’d waited for a bit to leave behind and God led me right to where He wanted me to leave it. So I did. And CJ came and put his hand on my shoulder and affirmed his feelings for me and it may have been the happiest I’ve been in years. Years. So thankful for that beach. For those moments. For the people that opened up their home and gave us directions to that secret place.
As we headed back to Portland, we drove by where we had gotten off of the main road to drive in to Cannon Beach and saw a bunch of cars pulled off on the side of the road. I was curious what was up when suddenly, we saw these guys just, you know, chillin’ in this grassy area. Naturally, we stopped as well because. Kodak moments.
We had to make a quick stop for gas and I only mention it because once again, we were treated to a nice young lady pumping our gas and whether it was for a tip or otherwise, she said, ‘Wow, you are a beautiful woman.’ And I was all, ‘this day can’t get any better!’
But then it did. Connor and I had the pleasure of meeting up with a friend I’d known for 10 years but never met in person. One of my ‘mom friends’. She and her two girls, Audrey and Ellie met us for lunch followed by a visit to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, aka OMSI. We didn’t have nearly enough time to visit (and see the place!) but I was so blessed to have spent that time with dear sweet Sara and her girls. It won’t be the last time we hang out. I fully anticipate that Connor and Audrey will have beautiful children of their own someday. #planningahead Pay no attention to the massive size difference. They make them smaller out West … I hear.
The very worst moment of the entire trip happened that night when we reached the Denver airpot. It was supppppper late and we sat down to wait for our plane back to Detroit and we realized that Spidey (our Build-a-Bear) was missing. It was one of those mom moments that just broke my freaking heart into tiny little pieces. We went back to the gate we’d come from, to Frontier customer service and even into the restroom we’d visited. No bear. But all was not lost. I looked on Amazon and saw that I could by that same bear. For $150. Yay for Limited Edition? No, I didn’t buy that bear. We were lucky enough to stop at Build-a-Bear the next weekend to find out that there was a new and improved Limited Edition Spiderman Bear on its way and the next weekend, he was ours. #crisisaverted
Just over three days, three nights and 750 miles driven later and Connor and I arrived safely back in Detroit at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning. My parents, my heroes, met us to drive us home. I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am that they provided us with that time to rest. They were up all night (twice) to make this trip easy on us and I owe them for like, forever. But the experience that Connor and I had … just the two of us … was one I will hold onto forever and ever. On to 2016. And the adventures? Oh, they will continue.