Monday, July 17, 2006

Seaside, Oregon

Two days after returning from Canada, I boarded another flight back West for a girl's reunion. This was a solo trip. I was going to Oregon to see friends that I roomed with in 1987 during college summers in Ocean City, MD. We don't do many of these reunions. The last one was probably close to 10 years ago. Oh, it's not that we haven't all seen eachother periodically over the years, but this is a true rarity to all get together like this. And, amazingly, we all could make it on the same weekend.

We met in Portland, where three of our friends currently live. From there we drove the hour or so out to the coast to a small town called Seaside. Right off the bat we knew some things had changed. First off, the quality of the house we rented - not like in college, that's for sure. It was about a mile inland, but up on a bluff with a huge porch with views of the ocean and Ecola State Park. It was a straight walk down our street to the downtown shops and arcades (we liked the bumper cars). The other thing that was different about our group was the three babies. Oh, there's more of them in the group, but these three are the newest to our 'family' so they joined in for our weekend reunion.

It was a wonderful weekend with lots of talking, eating, and wine. Just perfect. To be in the company of true friends is priceless. One afternoon we drove the ten minutes to Canon Beach and hung out on the beach and tried to find starfish and sea anemones at Haystack Rock.

Whenever we can all get together like this, we have to form a pyramid. Don't ask started back in our beer-guzzling college days. The joke was, that if we don't have another reunion for twenty more years, when we're all around 60-years old, it won't be a pyramid but just the ten of us kneeling on the ground. Here's just one of our pyramids...

On the way back to Portland, we stopped to do a hike to Saddle Mountain. I'm so glad we did it. The views were great and the wildflowers were in bloom. It was about 3 miles each way to the summit, which isn't bad except that Portland was hitting a record-breaking 100 degrees that afternoon. The only other problem was time. Somehow we lost track of it and Jen had to race me to her house for a quick shower before I had to catch my red-eye. I think I was in and out of her house in no more than 10 minutes if that can tell you how behind schedule we were! But there was NO WAY I was getting on over-night flight in the sweat and grime I was covered in. Here are some pictures of our hike:

Earlier in this entry I mentioned that we could all make it the reunion. That's not 100% accurate. We were missing one...Laura Lee DeFazio Morabito. I feel it's important to mention Laura because there was a void. We missed her, talked about our favorite memories, and what a wonderful person she was. Laura was taken from us on Sept 11th. Life is not fair. Especially when the good people are taken. It's not easy to try to comprehend why things like this happen. But we all made vows to be better people, to be more like Laura. I think that lasted about five minutes before we reverted back to our normal selves. Some shoes are just too hard to fill...but we'll keep trying. Rest in peace.


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