A roof over my head

ImageIt’s one thing you can take for granted. Certainly, there are plenty of people in this world who live this way day to day but if you do not, then you begin to realize how enjoyable it can really be. Our last adventure (as you readers previously read about) was spent in the rainy outdoors so I fully intended to take advantage of my newest digs- a climate controlled, finally dry environment. My husbands family rented a beautiful beach house for the week in Oceanside, OR. Slightly up on a hill, it has a spectacular view of the green Oregon hills and ocean out of the large bay windows. The sun rises and sets in this house, basking everyone inside with it’s warm glow. 

At its peak, this place housed 13 of us. That’s a lot of humans in one place. And trying to organize that many humans into one activity at one time is a whole other labor of love. To be honest, I think that only happened once and it was to watch fireworks for the 4th of July. Mostly we split off into little groups based on what different folks wanted to do. On the whole, meals were a ‘fend for yourself’ kind of arrangement. Again, something to be expected with so many people. We had days and nights at the beach flying kites, bonfires and hula hooping. Other days were spent meandering through charming coastal towns, hiking out to lighthouses or lounging lazily around the house. It is Oregon so we often watched the clouds roll in and out, bringing drizzle and winds, though we happily were blessed with a couple of days of clear blue skies. Image

I should mention I have had cake and doritos every day this week. The cake was necessary as we celebrated four birthdays this week. Each birthday person was baked their very own cake. I don’t count this as unhealthy since each one contained fruit. Cake with fruit = healthy in my book. Now doritos on the other hand were very much a guilty pleasure, but one I am in no rush to indulge in anytime soon again. There is a good chance my insides are as orange as a Jersey Shore cast member (and I can say this because I am from Jersey). I did have a couple of guilty parties encouraging this behavior, but for their sake and the fact that I am a lady, I will not reveal their identities. 

ImageI suppose one of the more amusing observations I have had this week is what it must be like to have multiple personality disorder. It’s not hard to imagine if you close your eyes and listen to 12 people all talking/laughing/shouting across the room to each other at the same time. Add a few glasses of wine and that bumps up the imagination another notch or two. There were times I would throw myself into the camaraderie and others I would quietly sit and chuckle (ok, there also may have been an occasional eye roll but I know I wasn’t the only one).

Our last evening here will be spent celebrating one final birthday and another bonfire on the beach (complete with s’mores!) before the chaos of packing up this crazy hotel ensues. It shouldn’t take husband and I very long to complete our packing process- we’ve been doing this for 3 weeks and are like speedy gonzales in packing mode. I suspect however that we will be thrown into the rest of the packing mix. All in all I love this crazy in-law family of mine and have had a great week getting to know them all a bit better. Thanks everyone and thanks for giving me a place to crash for a few days with a roof over my head.


Life’s a beach

Ahhhh….Sun on your face, the wind through your hair and sand between your toes, this is what summer is all about. I wonder, is there anyone out there that does not like the beach? If someone were to tell me so, I flat out just wouldn’t believe them. Spending time at the ocean (or as we Jersey-ans call it, down the shore), watching kids run amuck with squeals and giggles and body surfing the waves is what fully encapsulates a care-free summer to me. Image

As we made our way south to the coastal waters of the pacific in San Diego, it gave us the opportunity to embrace the vast differences between desert and ocean life. Two extremes- both equally magnificent. After our arrival and check-in to our hotel, we ventured to La Jolla with its bustling cliffs and mega expensive beach front dwellings. It is a beautiful little town. We meandered up and down the coastline taking in the splendor of the ocean and laid back attitudes of locals and tourists alike. There was a slight chill in the air and quite a few clouds, which caused us to add on a few layers which then brought a few funny looks from passer-byers but hey, we’re from Arizona. We get cold easily.

The next morning we readily woke up to clear sunny skies and excitement about what the day would bring. The husband had the idea to rent jet skis for the day so we found a company and made our plans. Driving further south from our hotel didn’t bring much hope for a warm day as the clouds were heavy over our heads. But we drove on, crossing the bridge into the charming town of Coronado Island. We gathered our beach worthy belongings and trudged through the sand to a perfect resting spot. Finally the sun pushed it way out, forcing the clouds to travel north, far beyond our beach blanket. There was hope at last. We sunbathed (sunburned a bit in my case- oops!), snacked and snapped photos until it was time to rent our wave runner. 

The last time I was on a wave runner was as a young teen at a lake in Colorado. We arrived to our rental destination, filled out all the appropriate paperwork (aka you are taking your life into your own hands so don’t blame us if anything goes wrong), donned our wetsuits and hopped on our craft. Being out in the ocean is a tad different than a lake! Wind, wake and wild woop-de-do’s make for an extremely fun ride! The husband drove first, flying through the waters as I screamed in delight and then I drove for a bit. It is quite a different experience riding as a passenger vs. being the driver…both epically amusing. Just over an hour later we stumbled off the dock with smiles on our faces.

Now when you spend an hour on an adrenaline high, you get a bit hungry (see ravenous). We strolled through the town of Coronado following our noses to the wafting, mouthwatering smell of pizza. We sat and stuffed our faces with greasy yummy-ness and ended the day with a brief self guided tour of the Hotel Del Coronado. This hotel was established in 1833 and has been home to many classic movies. Most people associate the movie Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe but quite a few more were filmed there. The hotel is a timeless and classic beauty that looks striking against the beaches, palm trees and blue skies of the coastline. Image

Another wonderful adventure under our belts. Today we drive to Los Angeles to see what it has in store for us…