We were in Seaside Oregon on Sunday, March 24. We found a church in town called North Coast Family Fellowship and attended their worship service. It was a sunny day so we went to see the sights in Cannon Beach, OR, a favorite spot for many in the Pacific Northwest. Cannon Beach was a big favorite on this particular Sunday as there were lots of people wandering the streets and even more on the beaches. We drove through the town of Cannon Beach, looked at the beach form the car but could not find parking so we drove on south to Tovana, the beach where Haystack Rock is so very prevalent. We found a Mo’s Restaurant and, since Mo’s is our most favorite seafood restaurant, we had a delicious meal there. We were able to sit at a window table that looked right out on the beach and Haystack Rock. After lunch we visited the walkway that was right on the beach and viewed the magnificent scenery in the sunshine. It was a wonderful day at the ocean with lots of people there.
We drove back to our condo ready for a nice afternoon of rest and NCAA basketball tournament games. When we tried to unlock the door, however, we found our key card did not work. I went to the front desk to see what the problem was and was told we were to have checked out of the resort that day. Since we were used to doing our traveling on Monday, I did not see how this could be right, but upon checking our records found that we had only reserved this condo for 6 days and we were to be in Long Beach that day. Luckily, the Long Beach condo was only 40 miles away so we quickly packed everything into the car and headed north. We drove through the city of Astoria and across the long bridge that crosses the Columbia River and under the sign that said “Entering Washington”. We had a feeling of accomplishment to have driven through 34 states and the District of Columbia and returned to our own state of Washington.
The condo at Long Beach was also very nice. It is built right on the sand dunes with a boardwalk in front of it that goes along the beach. Our room was on the ground floor and did not look to the west so we had to go outside to see the boardwalk and the ocean. We did this several times during the sunny days we were there, often just sitting on the boardwalk and basking in the sunshine while looking at the Pacific Ocean pound on the sand. We also did some sightseeing along the Long Beach peninsula including a trip to Oysterville, the oldest settlement on the peninsula. Oysterville was established in 1854. It was a hub of oyster farming as the name suggests. It was the seat of Pacific County until the seat was relocated to South Bend in 1893. There has been some effort to preserve the school, church and some of the homes, and they are interesting to see. We found it interesting that the history of this area is not nearly as old as much of the history we have encountered on this trip. Some of the buildings we were in on the east coast had been in existence over 200 years when this town was built.
The area of Long Beach is a favorite vacation spot in the northwest. Since we were there during a spring vacation week there were lots of people around and everything was open and operating. While we did not indulge in them, both the horse rides and the go carts were hopping businesses during the week. On Easter Sunday, March 31, we went to Peninsula Baptist church for their Easter worship service. We arrived about 20 minutes early and were invited to share their Easter Brunch. It was fun meeting the people of this church over a meal before the service and a surprise to us since we did not know it was happening. Linda sat down at the table for the brunch and while chatting with the gentleman next to her found they had been high school classmates! After the service we went to a delicious lunch at Jimella’s Restaurant. The owner of this restaurant is a delightful lady who used to own “The Ark”, a well-known restaurant on the peninsula until it closed 8 years ago. The food in this restaurant was terrific and we would highly recommend it to anyone travelling to the Long Beach area.
Monday morning, April 1, we loaded the car for the last time and headed the last 200 miles to our home. It is a nice drive up the coast along highway 101 through South Bend and Raymond to Montesano and on to Olympia. Coming through Tukwila we saw the skyline of Seattle and the beauty of our city. It was good to see our home area again.
This adventure has been one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. During our planning of this trip we had set many goals and accomplished nearly every one of them. We learned a vast amount about our country, the people and the varying cultures as we travelled. We saw historical sites that made the founding of our country and the struggle to make our nation great really come to life. We saw some not to be missed scenery, and had new realizations of what areas of our country really look like. We got to experience up close and personal the hospitality of the south, the pride of Texas, the ‘attitude’ of New York and many other cultural differences. Without the guidance and protection we have felt form God, as well as the ability to use the Worldmark system for our lodging this trip would have not been nearly so successful. We never had a problem with the weather, the car, our health or our accommodations that could not be solved. Having the challenges of needing special needs rooms was even met with very few difficulties. It was a terrific experience.
The most wonderful time of the trip, and the part we will return to, was with our family in Virginia Beach. We had a wonderful two months and three holidays with Nancy, our daughter, Mike, her husband and Nick and Jeff our two grandsons. This little family welcomed us like none other and showed us off to their friends, family and church. We were made to feel like rock stars whenever we were with them. We are actively working on plans to be together with them as much as we can with the 3000 mile separation that exists.
In our experience there have been many who have said how envious they are of what we were doing. I would answer that with the challenge to set your priorities to seeing the country as soon as you can. I wish we had done this several years ago by taking a sabbatical or leave of absence from work and doing a trip like this. While it takes a lot of time and some expense, it is very worthwhile. There is a lot of difference between flying to various spots in our country and seeing the country from the road level. We feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity.
We now have the challenge of learning how to be retired at home. We have had time to explore some of the options we have but have not settled on anything other than doing additional travelling in the future. For now, in the words of the great nursery rhyme: “Home again, home again, jiggity jig.
Jim and Linda.