I have seen my heaven and it is good.
It is green.
It has a name.
It is called Oregon.
Or more directly it is called Coos Bay/North Bend, Oregon.
I just enjoyed the best vacation I've ever had. Matt's brother, Ryan, and his family moved to that area where Ryan is now practicing dentistry. We were able to take the trip up to visit them and I am now in love.
I think it might have something to do with the drive up. As I drove, I passed lakes, streams, ski resorts, and the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. As we got into the Coos Bay/North Bend area, I just felt very comforted. It's not a big, busy area. Nothing like the Bay area in California. San Fransisco, Oakland, etc... WAY too busy. This place had a small town feel to it. Which, no that I've had kids, I am a fan of. It actually had something of a run down feel to it. Which makes me more comfortable than being in an area of huge, big, fancy houses.
It was so neat to see trees and plants I've never seen before. There was a tree there that was obviously an evergreen but had the most amazing branches on it. I can't even describe it and I didn't get a picture of it. There were also wild blackberries EVERYWHERE! All over the sides of the roads. Everywhere you looked. And if you know me, you know I love hydrangeas and they were all over as well. The most amazing, beautiful dark blues and purples.
The weather the whole time we were there was 50-70 degrees. It got windy, cold, sunny, warm and everything in between. There were times of high humidity and mist and times of lower humidity that I didn't notice it. I hear that is the weather year round. Ya. Year round weather of 50 to 70 degrees. It didn't really rain once while we were there and I enjoyed the wind a lot.
Matt and I had a good time trying to catch crabs. We only caught one that we could keep, but more on that later. Great story. We went clam digging and if you ever get a chance to, take it. Even if you don't like clams. Go do it. You can always put them back to dig back into the sand. It is like a treasure hunt. You look all over for holes in the sand and then use the tool to dig in and sometimes you get a clam, who knows which kind you'll get, sometimes you'll get a shrimp, and sometimes you get nothing. Ok. I lied. Sometimes you get a dead shrimp you killed or a mashed up clam, but whatever. The clams are funny too, they'll squirt water on you from their neck. It was so much fun and my abs hurt for days after. Great workout.
I'll write another post about the cooking and cleaning of our catches. So funny I am glad a witnessed it all.
The beach was perfect!! Hot sand, cool wind, cold water. No need to feel obligated to wear a swim suit. A lot like Bear Lake for those of you who have been up there, but more fun. There are tide pools to look at and the sand is better for sand castles. We watched a couple of kayakers riding the waves and it looked like a ton of fun. Linus even had a good time after a little bit. Bea...well...she's been pooping sand since Monday.
The people though, that is what made the trip for me. Every where I went, the people were so laid back, so nice, and so ready to chitchat. I love it. I love being able to make random small talk with the lady at Walmart as I'm buying my shellfish license. I love going to 7-11 and talking to a woman and her little girl about the weather and then having this guy all covered in tattoos joking with Linus and just as friendly as can be. The people there really made the trip for me. After of course the awesome time I had with Jessica, the kids, and the husbands.
(Apparently the sand dunes were cool too.)
Anyway, I keep trying to talk Matt into moving there. I need a place where I feel like I am home. I got there and felt that I was home.
Anyway, we will be visiting again and again in the years to come. Thank heavens for Jessica that they have an apartment above the garage. Makes it nicer having guests over I think.
P.S.- Jessica, I think we need to sit and discuss recipes next time we are there... you have some great ones.
Anyway, if I could choose my heaven, that would be it... maybe with a glorious beach front property.
And a boat.