The passing of a decade is a momentous occasion and should be celebrated! This year we had two decade birthdays to mark: Sara's 30th and Mike's 40th!
Two years ago we celebrated my 30th birthday in Pacific City, OR, and it was so much fun that we chose it as the destination for this year as well. At the end of July, Susanna, Clayton, Aidan, Mom, Mark and Papa all drove down from various towns in Washington, while Sara & Bobby flew out from Ohio and Remi, Mike and I traveled from Portland.
We began the trip to the coast with a stop at the Tillamook Forest Center. Mike and I think this place was so well done, both architecturally and graphically, that we really wanted to show it to Sara and Bobby. We stayed for their 15-minute movie on the Tillamook Burn, and spent some time soaking our feet in the creek out back.
Professor Sara tells how Smokey the Bear was invented.
Mike shows me how he would prepare for a rough stagecoach ride.
In Pacific City we rented a house from VRBO.com that was walking distance from the beach and included a hot tub, game room and large kitchen. There was a lot of talking and eating, with interjected bouts of surfing, climbing, walking, biking and 10 rounds of Mexican Train Dominoes.
Mom was the designated "water bitch" for our sand castle building venture.
Susanna and I were in charge of construction.
Mike assisted and provided some engineering tips.
Aidan worked on a moat for awhile, then concentrated on final decoration, including the set up of a dozen plastic knights.
This was Sara's idea.
Ascending the large sand dune at the north end of the beach in Pacific City is a popular activity. Aidan had boundless energy for this task, and roped his aunts, uncles and grandparents into climbing it multiple times.
Megan and Trevor, who were also out on the coast for a surfing weekend, even managed to convince their dog Stella to climb the dune. Megan lugged the sandboard for everybody to try as well.
There must be some trick to sandboarding that none of us quite figured out. Though everybody got it to move, it wasn't exactly a smooth ride.
Bobby borrowed some wax from another sandboarder in an attempt to move the board along.
After several more attempts we determined that it was just "bad sand".
Megan and Trevor also had access to a skimboard, which was a favorite of Aidan's two years ago. This year he didn't have a wetsuit, so he was content to just share a few pointers with Trevor.
After exhausting the beach activities, we made use of the bocce ball set that Remi brought, for a little "off-road" bocce behind the house.
That activity ended abruptly when a bocce ball made contact with a nest of bees and Aidan was the recipient of their ire.
While Sara and Remi tended to Aidan, Susanna whipped up three pies (banana cream, chocolate cream and mixed berry), grilled salmon for tacos and made fresh tortillas!
The flamingos may seem like an odd touch for a NW Beach weekend, but it was a subtle reference to a wonderful business that Susanna, Mike and I encountered earlier in the month, and wish that we had come up with it.
p.s.. this is how we all felt at the end of each day.