Gone Coastal: Relaxing Reunion in Oregon

Gone Coastal: Relaxing Reunion in Oregon

For someone who had never even been to Oregon a mere 3 years ago, I sure am making up for lost time! And a lot of that has to do with the relocation of my awesome cousin Jordan and his wife Emily. They moved from Kansas to Portland a year ago and I’ve already been down twice. But, something I’ve been dying to do for years is spend some time on the famed Oregon Coast.

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So, I hatched up a reunion scheme involving an adorable cottage rental in Gearhart and a crew of Canadian cousins ready to road trip. In the end we were seven 20-somethings and a dog enjoying lazy days at the beach and cozy night of Cards Against Humanity. We ate A LOT of good food, played games, flew kites, drank beer, and enjoyed the laid back life that we love in the Pacific Northwest.

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We even had an unexpected surprise on our morning walk to the beach one day. As we approached the path between the town and the beach, we noticed some large creatures in the tall grass. It turns out that a herd of approximately 50-60 elk had decided to hang out beside our beach. Initially terrified but soon excited as locals assured us that it was safe to continue. We proceeded to pass by these majestic creatures, completely awe-struck. It was one of those magical encounters with nature that I will always remember.

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Move over #selfie because we prefer the #elkie

Move over #selfie because we prefer the #elkie

Since we could walk to the local beach in Gearhart – we didn’t stray too far from our little home away from home. But, we did make one excursion to nearby Ecola State Park in Canon Beach. The view point gave us a stunning back drop for some long overdue family photos. And the beach, mostly deserted, and stretching on like glass, made for a very chill afternoon.

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Cousins – me and the boys!

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Typically on a short trip like this, I would try to pack in a lot of activities. Especially when I’ve had my eye on the coast for such a long time. But, for this long weekend I left things unscheduled and gave myself permission to just relax. Maybe it’s part of getting older. Or maybe it is the craziness of my home life right now (flooded apartments are no joke…eek!). But a weekend away with good people and no plans was exactly what the doctor ordered. And let’s get real… we all know I’ll be back.

Ferrying up the Dalmatian Coast

Growing up on the West Coast, I’ve spent my fair share of time on ferries. But the magical voyage to Vancouver Island that I remember from childhood didn’t quite hold up into adulthood. These days ferries have come to represent painful lineups, multiple sailing waits, crowded decks, and exorbitant fees. Not so glamorous eh?

So it was with mild trepidation that we boarded an overnight ferry from Italy to Croatia. Although, glamorous still isn’t a word that I would choose to describe sleeping on a row of chairs in public… it wasn’t as bad as I expected. In fact, the views at sunset and sunrise were quite spectacular from the sea.

The following day we endured a painful, five hour bus ride with no air-conditioning from Split to Dubrovnik. After that, travelling by ferry was once again starting to sound a bit more magical.

With nearly 1800km of rugged coastline and over 1000 islands, ferries really are the ideal mode of transportation in Croatia. Over the course of a few days we spent over 20 hours ferrying up the Dalmatian Coast and to be honest… I loved every minute of it. It was so calming and refreshing to be at sea. Perched on the edge of the railing with the breeze blowing through my hair, I was entertained by windsurfers and sailors, while passing peaceful seaside towns and subtropical islands. Starting to sound more glamorous after all? Sure it wasn’t a yacht (and we saw tons of those) but for this budget travelista… it was the next best thing!

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