This year’s 4th of July was spent at the beach, in the water, with fireworks and BBQ, enjoyed with friends and a few drinks in hand. Sounds rather normal and oddly, it felt rather normal. It still wasn’t the same but I’ll take it. I was so appreciative to get away for a few days with friends I hadn’t physically been near, eaten dinner with, had a drink with, and a new couch to sit on. Reese was equally excited and didn’t sit still for a single second of the weekend, she had to take it all in, for every waking moment.
Polly and Ryu invited the three of us down to her family’s beach house at Cape Meares, just outside of the small town of Tillamook, OR (known for their dairy farm where usually you can visit the factory and sample their cheeses and buy their ice cream but is now temporarily closed). It’s a 4.5 hour drive from our house, usually hitting some traffic at Tacoma, Olympia and Portland on the way, and here is a little map for reference.
We were mostly packed up Wednesday night so we could get a few hours work in before leaving midday on Thursday. We packed a nap-ready Reese into the car and set south, getting Burger King drive-thru on the way down and Reese enjoyed her fries between short naps. The traffic wasn’t bad and both our car and Polly’s arrived right around 5 pm. After settling in, we made our first short walk to the beach and Reese immediately found the ocean waves, sand and beach fascinating. She’s a water babe for sure. It was their dog, Momo’s, first time experiencing the ocean as well. We walked back, had a delicious steak dinner at the house and Reese didn’t go down to bed until 10 pm!
Polly and Ryu were up early to take Momo to the beach to run free with the beach to themselves. We needed sleep and Reese didn’t fully awake until nearly 9 am (after a lousy night of sleep) we were greeted with Ryu’s omelets for breakfast. Reese’s favorite activity of the entire weekend was following Momo around, doing some petting, ordering her around, and fetching her toys. Bryan and I took Reese back to the beach and we walked much of the length in the cool but refreshing air. We came back and put Reese down for a short nap so I got to read for some time on their deck under a blanket and with the sound of the waves in the distance. It was glorious!
Once Reese was up we decided as a group to head out for a short hike to the Cape Meares light house nearby. It was a short drive to the “trailhead” and we set out for what ended up being just under a 4 mile hike with not too much uphill. Reese was a little difficult in her pack but we got our views in and a few pictures before heading back to the car and back to the house for the night. Ryu made us butter chicken for dinner and we spent the night catching up and watching movies.
Saturday, the 4th, was a beautifully sunny day on the coast. We woke earlier and had breakfast duty, making sausage and waffles for the group. Bryan and I drove out to the spit for a run with Reese in the BOB. We ran 3.5 miles before stopping to walk to the end of the spit and then running back for a grand total of about 6 miles of running and 2.5 miles of walking on the gravel road of the spit. Reese got in her one and only catnap on this run for the day. We went back to the house to catch up with the group and packed up to head to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
We found a great private spot where the temps felt like 85 degrees instead of 65 degrees somehow and we played in the water and the sand, taking in the sights of the crowds on the beach and enjoying our drinks and snacks as you should on the 4th. Reese was getting tired and thirsty as we had run out of water, so I headed back to the house with her to clean her up from the beach and maybe see about getting her a nap in. Nope, no nap. The rest joined us shortly after that and we had the ribs that Bryan had going all afternoon in the oven. Reese got to light up some sparklers for the first time and was thrilled with them. We then got her to bed, with Bryan falling asleep next to her thanks to the sun and the brewskis. Meanwhile, I had the luxury of sitting with a glass of wine, under a blanket, on a deck, with a friend, while watching the fireworks firing off from the beach. It was the best!
Sunday was our departure day and our crew was trying to leave early morning. After a quick breakfast and coffee we helped pack up our stuff and clean up as best we could. We hit the road, after saying our goodbyes to our hosts, just after 10 am. We moved with some traffic the whole way home but pulled into our driveway just before 3 pm and it was a nice 75 degrees and sunny in Seattle. We set out for a nice walk to stretch our legs before heading home to have pizza while watching Hamilton with Reese (she loved both the za and the movie).
We are on the struggle bus this week after coming off the high of the weekend with friends. Add onto that any additional drama and I just want to throw my hands up in the hair. We are also still having odd July weather for Seattle with highs ranging from a measly 61 to sometimes a rare 75 with a little bit of rain here and there. Usually by this time of year we are in the clear without a drop in the sky and temps to keep us relatively toasty but no one can predict a single thing about what this year is going to behold and bestow upon us. Our one adventure was a great one and has certainly left me wanting more!