The last two and a half years have been full of meetings, assignments, packing, changes, and feelings of, “Wow, God! What next?”
So when a free weekend in July coincided with getting to visit our sweet friend and prefield coach, we packed up and headed west… the ocean was calling! Please note that this little trip was nothing like a normal day for us!!
It’s about a five hour drive from our temporary home to the Oregon Coast, up mountains, and over winding roads. We left at about 8:00am and stopped for an iced coffee in Klamath Falls (anyone surprised?). But after about two and a half hours of driving, kids. were. grumpy.
But then we saw this guy:
And for whatever reason, he signaled that snacks were near! So we pulled over, piles out of the Jeep, donned our masks (as required by law in Oregon), and trekked inside. We let each kid pick whatever snack they wanted then loaded back up with our goods.
We drove and drove and drove, stopped in a random town for lunch, and then drove and drove some more.
At about 2:30pm, we pulled into Reedsport and settled into our hotel room. We ended up getting a suite, and we are so glad we did! The kids had a separate “room” and we had lots of space to play and hang out.
But just a few minutes later, we decided to try and find a beach. Up the road a little ways, we found Half Moon Bay. We scrounged up enough quarters to pay the parking fee and tumbled onto the sand.
We played in the sand, splashed in the water, watched remote control cars, and ran all over the place!
We headed back to our hotel, stopping to pick up a (terrible awful) pizza on the way back. We ate dinner and quickly fell asleep!
Day two, Clara helped Allen snag breakfast, coffee, and cocoas from the hotel lobby.
Then we loaded back into the Jeep for a drive up to the Sea Lion Caves! Apparently the caves are the largest ocean caves in the US, and there are hundreds of sea lions who hang out here year-round! The floor of the cave is about 2 acres and it’s like 125 feet tall. The caves were discovered in 1880 by a local seaman. Could you imagine stumbling into something like that?!
We paid admission (kids 4 and under were free!) and took the elevator down into the cave.
There were about 80 sea lions in the cave and they were so loud! You could hear them calling to each other and grunting while they lazed about and played. It was so cool!
After looking around inside the cave, we walked out to an overlook on the rocks where sea lions frequently sun themselves. And sure enough, there were about 200 more sea lions there!
Finally, we said goodbye to the sea lions, let the kids each pick a toy from the gift shop, and headed back to our hotel.
We ate lunch in the car on the way back and rested for a little bit. Then in the early afternoon, we headed to Eugene to meet our friend, Hannah! Hannah has been coaching us through prefield for over two years now. She has helped us navigate different situations and held us accountable for making forward progress. She has really become a dear friend to us and it was so nice to meet her in person after countless Zoom sessions (before Zoom was cool!).
We ate dinner and chatted while our kids ran around in the sunshine. It was such a relaxing and fun time together!
It was a long drive back to the hotel with sleepy (and cranky) kids. And partway through the drive, we got a call from our bank that my debit card was compromised – someone in a random town tried to use it to buy software! And because I’m paranoid, I didn’t like using the bank’s automated system, so I opted to call back and talk to a real person. We ended up canceling my card and are still awaiting a new one in the mail. I’m thankful the transaction was flagged and cancelled, so we didn’t lose any funds, just time and ease.
My parents suggested we take another day on the coast. We agreed that it would be nice to do so! So after putting kids to bed that night, we quickly looked online for another hotel a little further south and booked it!
The next morning (Sunday), we snagged breakfast and packed up first thing in the morning.
By 9:30am, we had reached Bandon, OR and we drove right to the beach to play before checking into our new hotel.
Bandon is beautiful. We spent all morning running up and down the sand, splashing in the water, finding rocks, watching a seal play in the ocean, and exploring.
We took a quick break to run to the grocery store, then it was back to a different part of the beach for a picnic lunch and more playing.
We found tons of starfish clinging to rocks, tried our hand at kite flying, saw a rainbow around the sun, and ran some more. it was so much fun!
But by 3:00pm or so, kids were melting down. Luckily, we received a call that the cottage we were renting was ready for us! We hoped kids would rest for the afternoon… but nope.
Instead, they got crankier and crankier until it was time for dinner (a pizza cooked in our cottage’s stove and salad). We fed them and put them to bed.
And then, Allen and I got to work: we had some assignments and a big quiz in our Muslim Studies course to knock out. We worked on those for a while before eating some ice cream (don’t tell our kids). And then we went to bed, too.
We had planned on taking some family photos the next morning after an easy breakfast with our tripod and self timer, but it was so windy and cold on the beach that this was the best we got:
We ended up playing for about an hour on the beach before convincing the kids we needed coffee and cocoas. We checked out, drove through a coffee stand, and started back towards Eastern Oregon.
We had a super uneventful drive thanks to kids napping in the car all morning. We stopped for a quick picnic lunch in a rest area…
… grabbed a couple things at Target and JoAnns, and headed back to the ranch.
We got home just in time for dinner and bed! Phew.
We are so thankful for this quick little getaway. We love the coast and to see how much our kids love it, too, was a blessing. Ruth and I talked about how God told the waters they could only go up to a certain point, how He created everything that lives in the ocean. Seeing it all is such an awesome reminder of the awesome God we serve.