One of the perks that comes along with my job as a store Manager is having the privilege of using one of the vacation properties owned by my company. My very favorite, which I have used for nearly ten years, is on the Central Coast of Oregon. It was a Condo located at Otter Crest, between Depoe Bay and Newport, one of the most beautiful (in my opinion) areas on the coast. About two hours South of Portland, it is surrounded by lush forests and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Certainly it is a tourist trap, but I love it there and love to have my family members join me to share my allotted time.
Two years ago, MaryHell, Phyliss (my sisters), Sandee, (my daughter, the chauffeur) and Karen, a lifelong family friend, joined me for the yearly jaunt. Phyliss and Karen flew in from Pocatello, ID, and Sandee drove in from Meridian, ID to meet MaryHell and me at MH's home in Pasco, WA. We all spent the night at MH's home before loading her Honda van full of enough luggage for a Summer in Europe, seated ourselves comfortably into the vehicle with Sandee at the wheel and off we went for a week of fun and relaxation.
We giggled, we gossiped, we sang, we stopped for breakfast, we stopped for fuel, snacks, and potty breaks and finally for fresh fruits and vegetables at an Oregon produce farm before finally reaching the Condo about eight hours after we started. Construction along the way had slowed us down by probably, two and a half hours so the sun was starting to set by the time we got our first glimpse of the ocean. We were tired and worn out from the long trip but charged with anticipation for the days to follow.
Michelle and Bill, my daughter and son-in-law joined us to make the troupe complete. Bill and Michelle went crabbing on some days, and to the oyster bay another, bringing home a bucket of fresh oysters that we fried up and feasted on for two days. They were incredibly delicious! The "Girls" lounged if we felt like it, or ventured out to the wharf to join the rest of the tourists, ate wonderful meals at my favorite seafood restaurants, spent money on "stuff" we couldn't live without which, I'm sure, not one of us remembers buying or what we did with it once we got it home. We Whale watched from the beaches with sand and surf blowing into our faces, gambled at the casino in Lincoln City, and shopped for hours at the Outlet Mall and antique stores. We took a Whale watching boat trip, resulting in a mass amount of sea-sickness (another story), toured the Sea Lion Caves and some light houses and went to the aquarium at Newport. There must be a zillion pictures of this trip out there somewhere in the World. Sandee and Michelle's cameras were hot all week.
In the evenings, we talked, laughed and cried about old times, cured all the troubles of the world, cooked and ate sinful amounts of food, drank margaritas and such, watched TV or movies and slept like babies after exhaustion finally set in. I must say that my son-in-law, Bill, was a pleasure to have around. What man, but a good one, would put up with six women for nearly a week, with nothing but charm, wit and personality. But then again, he and Michelle did escape on their own adventures for at least a part of each day........hmmmmmm.
We had a wonderful week together, but were ready when the day came to pack up and head for the barn. We loaded up our luggage and memories early on that last day, heading North along the Coast highway, not knowing that our real adventure was yet to come.
To be continued..................................................................