Road Trip: Oregon Coast

We have been back for a few days now, from long weekend on the Oregon coast with family. While we are physically in our home Missoula, our brains are still somewhere on I-90. It always takes me a bit to reengage with regular life. Especially after that 12 hour car ride home.

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We are Road Warriors.

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Don’t let this fool you: Ruby did not resemble this for most of our car time.

I had planned to pack last Wednesday but instead followed my motivation to raise funds and love for Boston. I listed the Geo for Love: Boston shirts that afternoon and woke to orders and amazing notes from all over the country. I am so thrilled to be a part of something bigger with you all and I am trying to balance that excitement with what I can reasonably do. This is hard because I am a YES! person. I decided to list more. They will be shipped in June. I am doing my best to reply to your emails and get you your tees as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! I love you all. Truly, I do.

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Oregon was epic. One of those trips where every single moment buzzed with life and gratitude. The view, the company, the weather, the world — it was all magnificent. We stayed a night and day in Portland and then headed to the coastal town of Pacific City where we stayed three nights. It was all very simple and satisfying.

I hadn’t planned to take a week off from blogging and the result is three posts smashed into one so that I can psychologically move on to upcoming posts about our entryway redo, new chicks and swimsuit giveaways!

Oregon nuggets.

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:: A giant lei wraps around Portland.

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:: The vastness of the ocean. I can’t even believe it is real, like an endless stage holding infinite performances.

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Every encore better than the last.

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:: An enchanted trail teleported us through a dizzyingly green ecosystem to the open sea.

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:: Gazing.

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:: Starfish and seals. Spongey, breathing sea creatures fixed to rocks. Tiny barnacle mountain ranges. Crashing icy waves the color of summer midnight sky.

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:: Laughing kids, sand covered limbs. Containers of sand filled and dumped, filled and dumped, filled and dumped. Sometimes endorsed, sometimes without permission.

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:: A dune the size of a small mountain. Hiking up on all fours, running down. No fear of falling because falling is the most fun.

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Sledding, even.

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:: The thorough happy, generous heat that is specific to the sun.

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:: Andy flew over the dunes.

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:: Eye-stinging sweetness of cousins playing the very same composition of my own childhood.

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:: Deep sleep, tired legs, many cups of coffee. We brought our espresso machine. Yes, we did.

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:: Old dogs who have known each other since they were young dogs.

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:: Everywhere I look, the metaphor makes itself.

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We didn’t like saying goodbye. We talked about how we didn’t like it, as we faithfully do. And then our foursome hopped in our ratty wagon and rolled away from it all, knowing in our bones we’d be back. It might be a long drive but it can be driven.

We returned just once to fetch my wallet. I leave my wallet all over this planet and it always returns to me. I like to pretend Andy finds this exercise part of my charm.

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I have yet to unpack or organize myself. I’ll get there. I like that I can still hear the waves, feel the still. I like knowing that the ocean is kneading shores all over the world, right this minute.

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34 Responses to Road Trip: Oregon Coast

  1. Beautiful photos. Portland and the Oregon coast are some of my favorite places. I grew up in Bozeman but lived in Portland briefly. I have always thought your town of Missoula is similar to Portland. Similar vibe. Whenever I visit Missoula, it makes me miss living in Portland a little. And your lovely photos make me miss the amazing coast there. Family road trips are the best.

  2. Kristen says:

    Hi Nici,
    I’ve never commented but have read your blog for over a year. The last line of this post is just beautiful. I’ll be sharing it (& giving credit where it’s due!) I’m inspired by your way with words and thoughts on living life. Thanks.

  3. Lovely, Nici. As it happens, we returned from our roadtrip to Oregon and the coast just before you left for yours. I grew up there. I have always considered Missoula a smaller, rocky mountain version of Eugene (my hometown). I think that’s why Missoula has lodged in my heart so (that and my firstborn came into this world in zoo town.) Man, I sure miss *spring* in the PNW.

  4. Marian says:

    Nici your weekend reminds me of my childhood holidays on the East coast of Tasmana, we always went in our spring break. Sand dunes, beaches when it’s too cold to swim. With 5 of us children we read books, drank hot milk drinks and played card games. Many of my favourite memories are from those holidays. I know your girls will be the same and I can’t even remember the long car ride! Xo

  5. Morgan says:

    Hi Nici!

    Great pictures of such a fun trip. Looks to me like you had the perfect combo of cool coastal weather, a sunny day or two to lift your spirits, and lots of lots of sand in your clothes :). Sorry we didn’t bump into you out in Portland that would have made my day; next time you are in town ping me so I can recommend some places to go with the kiddos and some amazing food to eat between playing.

    Welcome home!

  6. Claire says:

    Such beautiful dogs but the one of Alice and her buddy just kills me. Gorgeous family xx

  7. That last line. Yeah, baby. Nailed it.

  8. Lacy says:

    Lovely post. Looks like a great time. I’m a new reader here and I’m excited for more!


  9. Laura says:

    SUCH a lovely description and photos. :) We were there last weekend…Newport. One day of sun, which we desperately needed. Next time we plan to go with friends, since we got a tad lonely. Sounds like you and your peeps had a super nice time.

  10. Lia says:

    Ohhh I remember our Oregon coast trips…so beautiful and fun. The dunes were my favorite as a kid. I could run up and down them for hours. Happy kids, happy dogs…not much else is better!

  11. Ellie says:

    Fantastic photos, Nici!…

  12. Jacki says:

    Lovely, lovely glimpses of your trip! Thank you for sharing. Some days I can and some days I cannot comment on your posts … hoping this one goes through :)

  13. Amy says:

    “I like to pretend Andy finds this part of my charm” love it.
    The Oregon Coast is one of my happiest memories and Portland is one of my most favorite city’s of all time. I love this!

  14. Dana says:

    Fantastic pictures to go with an awesome looking trip!

  15. Liane says:

    It looks like you had such a wonderful time. It’s been years, too many to count, since we’ve had a holiday and normally I don’t really think about it but reading your post and looking at your photos makes me want to pack up and head out for the weekend! Oh well, a girl can dream! x

  16. Grace says:

    Great photos. I love the Oregon coast a lot. I’d rather hang out there than a sunny summer beach any time, I swear.

  17. Angelika says:

    As someone who grew on the windswept plains of the Panhandle of TX, the ocean will forever and always amaze me. It won’t matter how many times I see it, or swim in it, or stand on it’s shores…I am just in awe.

    Love that pic of Alice running with her buddy. Seriously brought a tear to my eye. Funny how I feel like I *know* Alice after a couple of years of reading your blog. And probably a little bizarre how much I’ve come to care for her…but no matter, I’m a weird one! :)

  18. wow! so amazing. love all the pictures, it looks like you had a blast. I’ve always wanted to do the Oregon coast, we live in Canada but ONE day we will have to make it down there.

  19. Marian says:

    Wrote a long comment which disappeared?!?
    This reminds me of my childhood spring breaks, spent on the east coast of Tasmania. Some of my most favourite family memories are from those days. Your girls will be the same and I don’t remember the car trip!!

  20. finny says:

    Agh! The Pacific coast is so the best. Lived here all my life minus four years of college and still can’t get enough. That’s a fine fine trip and it’s great to see Alice roaming the shore. Never is there a happier dog than one on a seashore.

  21. sian says:

    aw such loveliness! xxx

  22. Brandi says:

    How funny! We have also stayed in that house in Pacific City! We called it “couchapalooza”! Loved that hike back to the house from the beach… Especially carrying a 2-yo in an ergo.;)
    Hugs from Portland

    • dig dig says:

      Wow! Lucky you. That house knocked my socks off! I too loved the hike back. On the last day I hiked with Ruby on my back while carrying a sled full of everyone’s shoes and gear. Holy workout. I promptly enjoyed a martini when we got back! :)

  23. Tia says:

    Ohhhhh girl!!!
    I can’t wait till you make it to Maui!!! You will LOVE it!! I so hope I can officially meet you and be a teeny tiny part of it!!

  24. Jennifer says:

    Oh that staircase. It beacons adventure. “Come play!”

    I spent my summers growing up in Oregon with my Dad’s side – from the Blue mountains in Eastern Oregon, to old mine towns, to the Dalles, and the coast. My mom and I always thought that the big rocks jutting out of the ocean along with the thickest of fogs could cause anyone to write a Hitchcock style mystery. So thanks for sharing these shots with us. They make me smile.

  25. Sarah Z says:

    Great post. So fun to see the Oregon Coast through your eyes. It’s amazing, isn’t it? That’s why we call it home! I was secretly hoping you’d be visiting our piece of the coast (about an hour north of where you were), and I’d see you on the beach and say hi!

    Love the bathing suits, too. Funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve worn a bathing suit on the beach since we moved to the Oregon Coast from Kauai (where I owned at least ten bathing suits). Too chilly!

  26. kwqrs says:

    Finally catching up… the coast looked lovely… but Alice steals the show. There is something magic about that dog, I swear!

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