The Best Way to End the Summer

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stacy and ingrid manzanita

We said goodbye to summer this year in an idyllic setting surrounded by friends and family  in the best Labor Day weekend of our lives.  It was one of those times when all of the pieces fell into place perfectly. I woke with a smile on my face this morning, grateful to have had the experience. There is no place else quite like the Oregon coastline.

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The house was situated on a small rise right next to one of the most stunning beaches in the Pacific Northwest. Manzanita is located between Tillamook and Seaside, not far from Cannon Beach and Lincoln City, the two main tourist areas of Oregon.  We loved the fact that “our” beach was secluded and sparsely populated. At times, it seemed as though we had the entire place to ourselves except for the occasional wanderer.  The weather was perfect.  The sand pristine.  We could not have asked for a more perfect setting, let alone, lovelier company.

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Ingrid was hungry when we arrived on Sunday, so I immediately prepared a little picnic for her and fixed up a picnic blanket for her right outside the window where we could keep a close watch on her.  While enjoying  a little independence, she enjoyed her food within sight of the Pacific.  She is a perceptive child, and sat there and watched the waves roll in and out.  “Isn’t this beautiful?!” she exclaimed when I joined her after awhile.  Indeed, it was!  Any way one turned, there was pure, unadulterated beauty to behold.

  I felt an abundance of gratitude.  There I was, in this gorgeous setting with people that I love. Who could have asked for more?

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This was our view to the left:

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And this was our view to the right:

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Ingrid loved watching the squadrons of pelicans diving into the waves, catching their prey in their mammoth throat pouches.  They were graceful in the air, yet so clumsy and comical when they landed.

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Our friends took their two  80-pound dogs, and we took our 4.3 pound Beatrix.  All of us took turns taking the dogs to the beach, either separately or together.  Beatrix probably enjoyed it less than the two big boxers, but she did have a good time.  It was just more difficult for her to maneuver over the dunes since she is so tiny. By the end of the weekend, however, she was a pro!

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We took chairs down to the beach and chilled.  Few things in life are this delightful!

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Little Ingrid kept us thoroughly entertained!

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We made sandcastles….and went on miles long walks.

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And romped on the beach for hours on end.

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We had fabulous meals and exquisite wine.  Our friend, Sheryl, made us cocktails from cucumbers and basil.  They were really delicious.  Everything about this trip was delicious…from the company to the sunsets,  to the Pacific, to the surrounding coastal beauty.  We had a fabulous time.  This weekend will go down in our personal history as one of the best weekends we have ever spent together.  Today, we’re all smiles!

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We are absolutely aware of everything we have to be grateful for.

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