outline of a vacation

update: the best of my vacation photos.

Friday night: drove down to our favorite beach on the Columbia. Too late for any beach time, but for a moment in the dusk, didn’t feel like staying at the yurt/camping place we’d been thinking about. So drove all the way to Bagby Hot Springs southeast of Portland, walked out to the springs by the light of my cellphone. Tried to sleep in the car, then put up the tent at about 5 am. (Lesson: I can’t sleep in a stationary car. Oddly enough, I sleep really well in a moving one. Dunno why.)

Saturday: hot springs, a drive down into town to get food & a flashlight, then back up again. Several walks out to the springs (nearly 2 miles each way) plus a nap. Springs are insanely comfortable, walk is gorgeous.

Sunday: one more soak, then down the mountain and out to the river, this time to check out a different park/beach. Windy, but beautiful. Much clearer water, so great swimming. Saw a heron, met some very nice people. Then off to our one reservation, at McMenamin’s Edgefield, where I stayed for a conference last fall. On the way up the driveway, we see a punkish-looking couple, with the guy in a utilikilt. C & I agree, somewhat nonchalantly, that it looks like something my old roommate Myke would wear. Then I realize that it IS my old roommate Myke, who I chase up the drive after jumping out of the car. (At first he thinks I’m some jerk laughing at the utilikilt!) Then hugs and frantic catchup conversation ensue; I haven’t seen him since at least the Grey Gables, which would be ’98 or ’99, and definitely not since he got married. Turns out he’s getting divorced, is back together with his first wife (!), and is in fine form.

Monday: wake up in a very comfortable king-size bed, 33 years old and damn happy. Checked out, drove along the scenic highway, tried the new beach but it was like walking through the gobi desert with an insane wind driving the sand against our legs, faces, etc., etc. So back to our old reliable, where I did more napping in the sun. Drove home in the afternoon the long scenic way. Had a Drumstick (ice cream) from a convenience store, which broke in half, so I ate it in the car all crazy with ice cream & chocolate on my fingers. Came home to a package from my aunt: a pair of hand-made earrings (pretty!) and a book of photos and her memories of my father. Felt like meeting someone I’d never known. Officially: best. birthday. ever.

Tuesday: lazing about, then drove all the way around the Olympic Peninsula. Lots of sun in the interior and on the north side, but none at all on the Pacific. Almost went to the Olympic Hot Springs, but by the time we got there, didn’t feel like the hike. On the way home, decided we wanted to go back to Bagby, so drove through the night and then camped again. Amazing sleep, like a baby, feet warm & everything.

Wednesday: alas, it turned out that the cold water supply for the hot springs (necessary to get to a comfortable temperature) was busted. So back down the mountain — the long way, almost as far south as Salem — and back to the beach. A little chillier, with a bit of a breeze, but still comfortable. Then home again.

Thursday – Sunday: hanging out at home. Cooler & cloudier, with rain today; starting to feel like fall. Laundry, dishes, other cleaning. Got the furnace fixed, which luckily was just a part that needed to be cleaned. A bike ride to run errands, including the Farmer’s Market. Lots and lots and lots of videos. (Saw Forrest Gump for the first time, also Robin & the 7 Hoods, Memoirs of a Geisha, and the whole PBS Building Big series. The episode on skyscrapers is kinda creepy now, having been made in 2000. Seraphim Falls was lame. X-Men 3 was okay. Chaos, a French movie, is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. I think we saw some other things too.) Plenty of sleep, which I should probably get to because I have to go back to work in the morning.

Overall, this was exactly what I needed. To get out of town, to see new places, to relax. Plus, OMG: Myke! I spent the last bit of summer happy and relaxed with my adorable C. I can imagine few things better.