Last night we returned from a trip to the coast . . .well, the coastal area. This time we stayed in a new place that is not actually near the ocean but about 25 minutes away. We got a great deal on it and since we hadn't been on any kind of vacation in eons and it was just after Nicole's birthday, we took a couple of days and headed out. (Left Monday at noon and returned Wednesday at 7 pm).
It was a fast trip but a very good one. Here are the highlights I wanted to share:
1. When we arrived in the middle of high winds, rain and darkness, we could not find the lock box that held the key to get in. I had brought all the info with me, including the code, but had forgotten the email with the owner's number. It took some ingenuity but I got it, called, found the lockbox, used the key and got in. WOW, what a gorgeous place. Very modern and airy and open and lovely. The keys explored, we unpacked and oohed and aaahed over the rushing creek in the backyard, the cubby hole hidden outside (inspiring thoughts of plots in the writers and trouble in the teenage boys), the Jacuzzi in the huge bathroom and soft, comfy beds covered in pillows.
2. We wanted dinner (hadn't eaten all day) but it was so terrible weather wise outside (the whole area was under a High Wind Warning, but did we know that? Nope.) that we were desperate for anything. We found this little place called Pronto Pups where everything you order comes with a side of grease. Did we care? No. We were hungry. We ended up with WAYYYYYYYYYYY too many french fries, to the point of ridiculousness but it was still fun. As we were leaving, the manager came over and said how nice it was to see a family having fun together for a change. That was nice to hear.
3. Going to bed and listening to the pouring rain on the skylights, the wind howling around the corners and the rushing creek in the backyard was heavenly for this tinnitus woman. Didn't even need my CD player!
4. Spent the day in Lincoln City exploring stores. Had a great time in several of them, found things to buy, things to admire and never pay the price for and even some great bargains. When we went into a Christian bookstore because I wanted to see if they had any neat stationary, each one of my children whispered, Mom, you know you're in a Christian bookstore, right? To which I replied, Yes. If we're not out in 15 minutes, we will spontaneously combust. :)
5. We found a Goodwill . . . thrilling Joseph, Nicole and I and making the boys writhe in horror at the idea of going to a Goodwill ON VACATION. (They find the stores infinitely boring.)
6. We went to the grocery store to get food to take back to the cottage for the next couple of meals. On the way in, we saw a homeless young lady . . . probably about 20 or so. She had a nice sign and gave us a smile that didn't look manufactured or contrived in order to get us to give her money.
While I was in the store, Caspian came up to me and asked for money. I figured it was for a game or something but he wanted to give it to the girl outside. He said, I cannot take back this much food for us to eat and know that she is hungry, mom. Can't we do something for her? He was seriously bothered that this girl was going to go without. Now, you may not personally know Caspian. . . but he is sometimes a challenge. Whatever we want, he doesn't. Wherever we want to go, he doesn't. If it's cold, he wears short sleeves. If it's hot, he wears long sleeves. If we're all going to bed, he is wide awake. If we are all in the car talking, he falls asleep. He wears his ear buds as much as we allow and when we are talking at a table in the restaurant, he is much more apt to be reading. On the other hand, he is the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, most compassionate person I know. He has a heart of gold and always wants to help people. While I am pounding my head against the wall at him, I am usually smiling and being grateful he is my son at the same time.
So I said let's pick out some food for her and give it to her as we leave. He pointed out that she might be vegetarian (this IS Oregon) so we'd better not get meat. :) So we got veggies and dip and fruit and dip and cheese and as we walked out, we handed her the sack. Now, if you live anywhere where there are homeless people and you have ever given them food or money, you will know that you get a variety of reactions. The ones that just mumble at you and walk away usually don't make you feel like you did anything nice. This girl looked right at Caspian and smiled and thanked him. It was sincere and he was blushing and it was one of my favorite moments of the trip.
So, it was a wet, windy and wonderful time that went by WAY too quickly but we loved it and came home renewed and appreciative of each other. What more can one ask of a mini-trip?