Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hot Town, Summer in the City!

Summer has arrived in all her glory!  It's been warm (upwards of 90 on some days) and the sun is magnificent.  This is the season of vacations, festivals, farmers markets, and letting our pale, pasty, winter skin drink in the sun and vitamin D, and bronze up a bit.

Or in our case, turn red because we went to the beach and are complete idiots who forgot to put on sunscreen.

It was totally worth it.

Last weekend we decided to explore some of the Washington beaches near Aberdeen.  We've heard they are nice (though not as fabulous as our beloved Oregon coast), so we decided to see for ourselves.  We spent the afternoon in Westport and Ocean City.

The above pictures are Westport.  The one picture is of a kite-surfer (it's really hard to see).  There was a strong wind and he was going FAST.  As fast as we've gone waterskiing with a motorboat pulling us on the lakes of Minnesota.  Crazy!  Westport is a popular surfing spot, and there were lots of surfers out.  It's really cool to watch them.  I've become obsessed with surfing and I may have to join them sooner rather than later.

Up here people surf in wet suits because the ocean waters in the Pacific Northwest are pretty chilly, but they do manage to surf during all four seasons.  I find that a bit crazy, but this culture does not consist of the blond, suntanned beach bunnies of southern California or Hawaii; no, these people with their wet suits and long boards are rugged adventurers.  I've been doing some reading about surfing and where to learn, and there are quite a few instructors dotting the coastal waters who are willing to give a lesson.  Interestingly, many of them migrated north after surfing for years in Southern California.  I guess they felt they needed a challenge.

Those two pictures are at Ocean City, just up the coast a bit and across Gray's Harbor from Westport.  Ocean City is one of several tiny little burgs that line the coast.  Not much going on in any of them.  You might find a hotel or two, but you won't find a Hilton, and maybe no actual chain hotels.  The big developers never made it this far north, I guess.  That's fine with us.  See all these pictures of the water?  Well, this is what the actual beaches look like:
See that?  Nothing.  No hotel, no boardwalk, no vendors.  Just the dunes and some driftwood.  Perfect.  The sand was darker, more volcanic looking in Westport, but Ocean City was that perfect, pristine sand.  Oh, and we found tons of sand dollars at Westport!

Of course, there have been more goings-on than feeding our family-obsession with the ocean.  My number of friends in Seattle has doubled, with the arrival of my friend and colleague, Ravisha, and my friend Leigh and her daughter, Paige.

Ravisha was one of my greatest friends in Cbus and at MDK, and she and her friend Luke have taken the plunge and moved to the Emerald City.  This is a wonderful thing, as I have thought from the beginning that this town has Ravisha written all over it.  And of course, I have missed her!

Big changes abound for Leigh and Paige, also!  I imagine this is a great place to grow up, and it's nice that Leigh can give Paige this.  Something that is so different from how we grew up for sure.  Paige and Lorelei are fast friends and Paige is serving as the big sister Lorelei has yearned for.  Both of them act the big sister to Maya, too.
Both Ravisha and Leigh wasted no time getting organized and finding jobs/homes, etc.  It's funny, you move here and your life is instantly changed.  Instantly.  There is a different rhythm to this city.  There is no time to delay putting it all together.  I work harder, have a longer commute because of traffic and we are busier with Lorelei than ever.  Shawn is working longer hours, busy with school and trying to work on learning web development skills on the side that he doesn't get at work or school.  We are crazy busy, and yet, we spend whole days at the beach or in the mountains.  The laundry still gets done, the groceries bought and dinner cooked.  I wonder sometimes what we did with all of our time when we lived in Ohio.

I remember being in Columbus and watching the airplanes when I would find myself on the east side of town.  I always had a sort of wistful feeling, wondering where the planes were going to or coming from, and imagining all those people going on an exotic vacation or embarking on a great adventure.  I would remind myself that I have a great life in Ohio and a wonderful family, and there will always be time for those exotic vacations and great adventures.  I've had itchy feet my whole life and I was kind of used to that feeling of feeling like I need to GO.

I no longer have that wistful feeling when I watch the planes going into or out of Seatac Airport.  We still have the responsibility of day-to-day living and paying bills.  None of us has won the lottery and hires people to do all the work.  But when there is that day when nothing pressing needs done and the skies have cleared, we embark on one of those adventures.  I love our life here.  I feel like we are truly living it and not killing time until the next opportunity to have fun.  Sometimes after a long day at work, the biggest adventure we have is watching the sunset over the Sound from our balcony.  But...we are watching the sunset over the SOUND.  The Puget Sound.  With the Olympic Mountain Range as a backdrop.

I no longer have itchy feet.  We are home.