Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bucketfuls of Memories

For those of you who did not know, a few days after we got home from the beach, mom left for Michigan. My Papa was having open-heart surgery that week. We were all very worried for him and were praying for God's mercy in all of this. As it turned out, the surgery had some complications that slowed down his healing process a little bit and caused them to have to leave his breathing tube in longer then he would have liked. But we know that this was all in God's perfect plan for Papa. 
Papa is doing much better now, but still does not have a lot of strength. Please continue to pray for him, that God would restore his strength and allow him a quick recovery!
Mom is now back and the house is once again in working order :)

There's something so incomparable to being together as a family at Manzanita beach, bedding-up in the cozy little cabin that we call the B's Nest. Fourteen years of vacations have been spent at that special little spot. As much as we enjoy our church family camp and look forward to camping at Mt. Rainier, nothing makes us happier then our long-awaited for trip to Manzanita Beach

Our vacations are built on a series of traditions that seem to grow from year to year. There are barely enough days to fit in all of our family traditions. This year though, we were blessed to have 11 full days together!
As we rode past the beach for the first time, a grey haze hung over Haystack Rock making it hard to tell where the sky ended and the ocean began. Our thermometer had dropped to 62 degrees.
Mom sat up front narrating the progress that we were making in our travels. We all tried seeing who would be the first to spot the cabin, but mom assured us that since she was riding up front, she was sure to get there the fastest. Jonathon and Ania alerted each other to the fact that they had just passed Hug Point.

As soon as we pulled up to the house, we unloaded the contents of our van as hurriedly as is possible for eleven people to do. Then it was off to Marzano's Pizza for dinner. When we got there, it was packed out and we were told that we would have a 45 minute wait. Wanting to make use of every minute that we had, we all headed back to the cabin to unpack as much as we could. That night, as we all gathered at a table in Marzano's Restaurant, we felt so thankful to the Lord that He had once again brought us all here together.

The minute we stepped into the cabin again, it felt like we were finally home!
Since there are so many of us that now have jobs, it took everybody a little bit longer to catch up on sleep.

Dad, who never gets any time to read at home, got a chance to at the beach. I had just finished reading Malarkey's book, Easy Company Soldier. Knowing that Dad would appreciate the book, I lent it to him. We saw little else then the top of his head for the next few days.

The pitter-patter of rain outside of our bedroom windows greeted us the next morning. By the time we were all up and ready, it had settled into more of a steady downpour.

Our first day began with a visit to Bread and Ocean for a cup of Sleepy Monk Coffee. After several refills, we all decided we should probably head back. By the time we walked through town and reached the cabin, we were thoroughly soaked.

We came back and had a relaxing meal around the table as a family. We sat around and talked for hours. Around noon we figured that we should probably get moving with our day.
Our stay there at Manzanita wasn't official until we had made our first walk on the beach. Whether it is just my prejudice or not, I do not know, but I truly believe Manzanita to be the prettiest beach on earth.

Dad had scheduled milkshakes for a little later on in the week. Our first day, he found that it might be better to do it the first day instead. We decided that we would take a walk on the beach first to work off all of the calories that we would be gaining.

The weather fluctuated the first couple of days between blustery winds and rainy storms. No matter the weather, Mom reminded us that there can never be a bad day on the beach.
Our first night of Spafford Cinema, I looked out the window and my eye caught a big flash. The thunder that followed confirmed my suspicions that we were having a thunder storm.

Manzanita is Mom's chance to get in the kitchen and cook. All of the delicious dinners there can be accredited to her; the home-cooked chili, potato toppers, clam chowder, etc. Not to be forgotten though are the many batches of ice cream that she makes during our time there.
This trip, Dad went through a study in the Bible on "praise" for our evening devotions.

We had planned to go to the Manhattan Jetty early on in the week, but due to the violent wind storms we were prevented from going. We ended up switching out that day with our antique shopping at Wheeler. After collecting all of the antiques that our car would handle, we headed to a smoked sausage shop where Jonathon added salmon jerky and beef sticks to our cabin snacks.

We had an unplanned stopped at Freddie's that week due to the fact that Leisel's aim was a little off when tossing her flipflops off of the Jetty. They ended up in a little crack in the rocks where the ocean was rushing through.
We carried on our late tradition of picking out our favorite snacks from the candy isle at Freddie's.

Throughout the week, we carried out our many family traditions. We visited our favorite little restaurant at Canon Beach, The Wayfarer, where it is famed to serve our favorite coffee, The Sleepy Monk.

We made our usual stop at the Blue Heron where we enjoyed the many samples of cheese and mustard served there. Though our enthusiasm in consuming such pleasures were minorly dampened when we witnessed a lady double-dipping her pretzel stick.

Sunday after church, we made our trip to Astoria's Farmer Market where we always get our famous kettle corn from Steve's Boot Scootin' Kettle Corn.

The Bowpicker is another tradition that gets talked about all-year long at our house. If you drive through Astoria, you might just pass a little boat on the side of the street with a long line in front of it. It is there that the world's best Fish 'n Chips are made.

Antique shopping seemed to be a common theme this year. It seemed to all that we couldn't pass a town without someone calling out, "I wonder if there is an antique shop here..." Of course, Wheeler's Antique Mall is a favorite. And we soon discovered a little shop tucked away in Nehalem. We girls were especially excited over the fact that it carried a large selection of Asian antiques.

We were soon running out of space in our car for all of the antiques that we had purchased as we girls planned to fill our hope chests (not yet in existence :)

We did end up making our trip to the Manhattan Jetty a little later on in the week. It's view reminded us somewhat of Prince Edward Island :)

From the other side of the Jetty you can see the fisherman putting in their lines. Their boats were rocking viciously from side-to-side on this particular day. We cheered them on as we saw them reeling in their fish.

Oswald Beach is another of our family's favorite beaches. It isn't very long, and you can see from one end to the next. But it is special because of all of the caves that are there. We haven't yet uncovered the buried treasure that we're sure is hidden in them :)

Austin and Jonathon scaled the wall of the caves.  

Dad made a faithful point of taking one of his daughters or sons out on a date each evening. They'd grab a cup of coffee and go sit on one of the benches facing the ocean and talk.

He reserved one evening for his favorite date :)

Dad had put it on the schedule that we were going to take a family pyramid picture this year. And he had specifically noted that Charae was to be part of it (Charae hates pyramid pictures :) 
Mom noted that it just may be the last one we take as everybody is getting much bigger (I secretly hoped not :)

The last day at the beach, we banned any talk of packing up and going home. We decided that we would thoroughly enjoy this last day to its fullest extent. We took a leisurely walk down Manzanita town looking into the different shops. Pete's Pie had been recommended to us by someone, so we thought that it would be a good idea to test the truthfulness of that statement...(The apple pie with crumb topping was AMAZING ;)

Some of us tried convincing Jonathon that his wacky "socks and sandals" style were not so cool. But he held to the argument that comfort mattered more then style. 

After our walk through town, we strolled along the beach, taking in every last detail of the ocean. That night after watching "The Parent Trap" as a family, a few of us made one last trek down to the beach. The ocean was beautiful at night. Everything was black except for the white line of the ocean rolling towards us. From behinds, there were pools of water that reflected beautifully the lights from town. 

We count it a great blessing that the Lord continues to allow us to make this trip from year to year as a family. The memories made there are irreplaceable.

Mom and Dad put so much work into making it one of the best times of the year. It's such a gift to be able to escape from the craziness of life and come together and catch up in each others lives. We look forward to the next time when the Lord lets us come together again at our favorite spot on earth.

"Our memories of the ocean will linger long after our footprints in the sand are gone."

I put together a slideshow to commemorate the occasion (It has many more pictures...though, it's a little long:)