It’s been awhile since I posted, because my husband and I made a long overdue trip to Oregon to see his family. We don’t make it out there nearly often enough, primarily due to the cost of flights. However, thanks to others trips over the last couple years (many of which are due to his job!), we had enough points on Southwest Airlines to make the entire trip on points. All we paid were a few taxes and fees that points didn’t cover. Score!
Every time I visit Oregon, I fall a little bit more in love with it. My husband even commented that there was a different twinkle in my eye this trip, and I admitted I enjoyed the trip more than ever before.
Growing up in Texas and now living in Tennessee, I am most definitely a Southern Girl. With that, I’ve often visited Oregon and felt like (no pun intended) a duck out of water. This time, though, my eyes were wide open to how similar Oregon is, and how you find good people with great values everywhere you go. And isn’t that what matters the most?
On one of our first days there, we visited Manzanita, where an EF-2 tornado went through only a few weeks ago. We got engaged on Manzanita Beach, and it’s only a few minutes from where my husband’s dad lives. Every trip to Oregon has featured walks around Manzanita, taking in its charms. Seeing the damage from the tornado was unsettling, but what I truly took away from our visit was how friendly everyone was on the street.
When I moved to Nashville, one of the things that made me love it was how friendly everyone was… you couldn’t walk into a bar or restaurant without receiving smiles and genuine hellos and, “How are you?”s. Over time, as we’ve all grown more and more weary of the changes coming to our city, I’ve noticed that friendliness has diminished. With that, the openness and friendliness stood out even stronger to me as I walked along the streets of Manzanita.
A favorite moment, when a couple pointed out my Yazoo t-shirt.
“Did you take the tour!?” they asked.
“I work there!” I replied.
“What!? We love Yazoo! We were just there a couple months ago on vacation!”
For anyone curious, it truly is a very small world.
And on another side note, Oregon truly is the home of great coffee and amazing craft beer.
My husband and I also took time to explore a bit. We visited places he said that he himself had never gone, and others he hadn’t been to since a field trip in elementary school. How often do we fail to visit the places right in our own backyards? How often do we miss the beauty right around us?
Finally, it was wonderful to reconnect with family. As I stated in the beginning, we don’t get out there nearly enough, so we take our trips out there very seriously. We also tend to visit in stealth mode… slipping in and slipping out before most people know we are even there. And it’s not because we don’t want to see everyone! It’s because we want to focus as much time as possible with family, versus spreading ourselves too thin. One of these days, we’ll go for a much longer period, and we will be able to see EVERYONE we wish to see. But on these shorter trips, our focus in on his family. As the years pass, we are keenly aware of the fact that these opportunities won’t be there forever. We want embrace the time we have with both hands, and we want to make memories we can share long after the opportunities fade.
Or more of my photos from our trip, visit my Flickr photo album. If you ever get a chance to visit the Pacific Northwest, go. Just go. And take in the beautiful scenery, and more sure to visit as many of the locals as you can. You might just make a new friend or two or ten.