Seaside Getaway

Written by Guy. 

Someone once told me: “Nobody takes you seriously until you’re 30.” Well, hello seriousness.

The weekend of my 30th birthday didn’t intersect with seriousness at any point. We sailed into Seaside on a breezy Friday afternoon. Immediately, the scene stole my senses, holding them hostage. There is something marvelous about the Oregon Coast on a cloudy day. The clouds hung over the deep blue water like they were begging to be painted. The waves crashed and roared against the coastline in musical warfare. It was a beauty that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.

Within the glorious composition of storm and sound, I shared a perfect weekend with my favorite people. Megan and my dearest mother planned a weekend that was greater than any gift I could imagine receiving. We spent the weekend in a cottage by the beach. Talking. Laughing. Putting puzzles together while eating fondue. Doing nothing in particular except cherishing moments together that are treasures to forever keep. Oh, and Klaus was there too.

I know that I will always look back on my thirtieth birthday as a defining moment of happiness. Like a pillar, the salience of this experience soars skyward. It was perfect. There is little else I could say except that. Thank you, Megan and Mother, for everything in every way. 

DAY ONE

One of the awesome gifts Guy's mom got him was this fondue kit. It was amazing! 

DAY TWO

Best Birthday Ever!

He writes in this font, she writes in this font.

Twenty-nine is not the traditional landmark of birthdays. A year before the “dirty thirty” and nearly a decade between the two main flagships of aging: 21 and 40. Searching my memory I cannot recall a single story from friends or family that started with “29 was the best birthday ever.” More often it seems people sweep this not worth mentioning day under the rug of time, just another banal day.

Well, 29 was my best, most favorite, superb birthday — ever.

Let’s talk pre-birthday. I was a little anxious. I’m not quite sure why: he was already grateful after I eagerly greeted him home from walking the dog early that morning. You would have thought I gifted him a million dollars. I truly did not know what to expect from the day, including the Airbnb.

We spent the morning devouring a fruit tart covered in 29 wax dripping candles, and later enjoyed  even more beautiful fresh treats under canopies at the bustling PSU Farmer’s Market. I then nervously took photos of him like a mom at Christmas, while he opened his gifts from me. The day was beautiful. We were also pleasantly surprised by the Airbnb, he’ll share more about it. I spent weeks searching for the perfect place that would give us comfort, peace, and relaxation.

Bags packed, car full of food and some wine, we hit the road and headed north. From the onset I was clueless as to our destination. Up and out of the way in Washington, near White Salmon, but past it, we drove onward. We went through beautiful hills, my eyes growing wide in wonder at the orchards and rolling hills. I would have been happy to stop and camp along the road with all that beauty. Megan had even more grand ideas.

The car finally slowed to a crawl, the right signal-light blinking, in front of the Steelhead Ranch. Gliding slowly through the long driveway to our home for the night, I saw dozens of strange-looking creatures dodging their heads up and down through a fence. It was if they wanted to see us without us seeing them. Hide and seek with an animal that looked like a

poodle and camel somehow came together to create something entirely nonsensical.

“Are those fucking alpacas?”

Megan just laughed at first, for a good fifteen seconds. Then she replied, Yes.” More laughs.

So we spent the celebration of my twenty-ninth year on a ranch. Alpaca petting, fat farm-cat rubbing, adventuring through woods with a healthy Burnese mountain dog following close behind. It wasn’t clear if he followed to protect us or save himself from boredom. Either way we never got his name.

All evening we read and planned our honeymoon. Talking. Really talking the way two people talk when there is nothing else to do except enjoy each other’s company and draw out ideas like spreading sand across a table. Smooth and complete. I think that was the best part of the whole experience. Talking to Megan, undisturbed, is a present beyond the measure of value.

That was how we spent my birthday and it was wonderful.  I suppose I should add that we watched “Spice World” to cap the night. I have no doubt Megan would have mentioned it if I did not.

 

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IN A RUSH

He tells the story in this font, and she adds to the story in this font. 

It's the day after her birthday. We are back in PDX and the sun is shining through her large open windows. To complete the ambiance, in case you were wondering, Sinatra’s singing is filling her studio with a feeling of upbeat elegance. In slight contrast to that smooth, slow grace, she is rummaging through my suitcase trying to find an appropriate outfit for me to wear for dinner tonight. Though she denies it, I feel like she has known what she would wear all week — now she just needs to make me semi-match. I will confess that I almost always have an outfit planned out in my head days in advance.

Tonight it is birthday celebration, part two.

Thrown all over her bed are a semi-organized, semi-chaotic mass of our clothing. In between mad darts from my suitcase to her closet, she stops, jumps on top of the bed, and takes pictures of potential outfits. I'm at a table just a few hops away writing this. I figured it would be best to stay out of the way and do something productive, she is going to have the final say on my outfit tonight anyway. It is her birthday, after all.

As I watched her bounce around the room, I thought it would be fun to post about our process for getting ready to go on dates, or anywhere really. Well, claiming there is a “process” may be a bit of a stretch. Really it’s more of a whirlwind. She goes back and forth between her closet, design podium (the bed), and the bathroom faster than I can keep track. All the while there are photo snaps and ponderous “hmmms…” intermittently.  I’m glad he just noticed the verbal cues of my photo-taking process. My dear friend Katrina pointed out my artist head tilt from right to left. Now, I can’t un-notice it.

Update: I think she found our outfits, she is balancing on a high chair and taking a lot of photos. That has to be a good sign. I hope it is a good sign because it is very nearly time to leave for dinner, reservations with dear friends await! 

Like always, we tried to jam too much excitement into one day and are now in a rush. There truly is never enough time! We drove back from the coast this morning after some nostalgic sight-seeing in her hometown of Newport, which took much longer than expected. To clarify, the driving back took long, not the sight-seeing — Newport is adorably tiny. It is strange to think that the place I have spent the majority of my life could be shared and described in about a 15 minute drive-by tour.

It was a beautiful afternoon in the Rose City and we needed some movement after that long car ride. With the sun shining and a perfect breeze, we went for a long run along the Waterfront to enjoy the day. To clarify, I actually ran. He kind of ran backwards, practically what looked to be in slow motion, to keep up with my 9-min mile pace. Running outside in the summer is a bit of a novelty for me — Iphones melt while running outside in Arizona this time of year, literally. Coming from a moderate degree coastal climate, I am certain I would die if I tried running outside in AZ.

Perhaps we enjoyed the weather a little too much, we got back to her place just in time to be very behind our schedule! Now, as I write this, we are in the process of getting ready (frantically fast) for her birthday dinner with dear friends and family. The venue: Departure. Coincidentally, that is the very same rooftop bar where we went on the third part of our first date. She is giving me the cue that she selected our outfits and it is time to finish getting ready.

Due to the rush, we didn’t get any photos actually wearing our outfits. Bummer, I know. Here is what they look like with the bed wearing them instead.

 We may not have been able to show you what we wore to dinner, but we can show you what we wore just before going out! 



Megan's Birthday

He tells the story in this font, and she adds to the story in this font.

Sometimes clouds, a little rain, and some chilly weather make for an absolutely perfect day. At least these were the ingredients to the forecast on her birthday. Perhaps maybe we would have had a wonderful celebration regardless of the weather, but I think it gave the day a little excitement and charm.  Nothing makes me feel more at home than a little hint of storm, and home is exactly what I wanted to show him. 

Oh, and her birthday was not the only thing that made this day so important — I also met her Mother for the first time! My mom had been asking to meet him ever since I first mentioned him. I’m still not sure who was more nervous: him, her, or me! It was probably me.  

Due to several flight delays (Southwest is not our favorite airline at the moment) and a very late landing into PDX (12:30 a.m.), we snoozed past the seven o’clock alarm and then the second one thirty minutes later. Finally, an hour late, we frantically jumped out of bed and got ready in a flash. Luckily, she always looks beautiful and didn’t need much time. (Awe! That is so nice to say!) I really don’t like to spend much time getting ready; I’d rather spend my time eating breakfast. Phew. Only thirty minutes late, we were off to the Oregon Coast to celebrate her birthday, beginning with an early lunch, first meeting with her Mother.

Like daughter, like Mother, we all arrived at The Wildflower Grill for lunch at the same time. I guess we weren’t late then, right? I may have told my mom to take her time getting there. With all the hustle and bustle of the morning, I did not have time to be nervous until we sat down for lunch. Thank goodness that kindness also runs in the family because her Mother made me feel comfortable from the start. I think we bonded a little over a shared interest in tattoos — at least I hope so. They both look so much more badass than me. It doesn’t help that I’m the girl who fainted in the chair during her first tattoo.

After a delicious lunch of Thanksgiving-style sandwiches and thick-cut fries (we ordered the same thing), her little sister was sweet enough to brave using an expensive-looking camera and snap some pictures of us. I was really thankful that I practice yoga during this impromptu photoshoot, it took some channeled breathing to let her use my camera. Her Mother was still with us as we took the photos — notice me trying to be extra charming in a last effort to earn her good graces. My mother had already approved him long before this point. When he stepped away from the table she immediately said, “He is so nice and handsome!” (I know mom. I know.) She said some other predictable-mom-like things about beautiful grandkids. I get it, I’m closer to 30 now.

Raining a bit harder and getting much colder, we made our way to Depoe Bay to stay at The Harbor Lights Inn. She is from the coast and wanted to show me around for her birthday. Coincidentally, I also had one of her incredible pictures of the coast framed for a birthday present. We stayed right by where she took the photo. (I think I did good job with a themed birthday)

As we arrived at the Inn, we learned that there was truly no exception to the “no early check-in” sign on their door. No worries, we played around the Whale Watching Center to kill time. It was a little misty and slightly cold when the wind broke, but we managed to have some fun crawling on buildings while parents looked on disapprovingly with their kids. The kids obviously wanted to play too. It looked as though the dad through the window was the most envious of our fun though. I guess getting older does have some advantages — there is nobody to stop you from playing!

Finally, late afternoon, we got into our room and her surprises were waiting. I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely 26th!

 

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