I don’t know how many of you have been around for five years but way back then, we owned a cabin. The back story: The summer before we had attended a wedding out of town and while sleeping in a hotel room with a toddler and a pre-schooler wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t a vacation. We thought that if we owned our own vacation destination, it would make for more fun. It did make for more fun, when we could get up there…and after we’d opened everything up and made it habitable. There was also maintenance to be done and mortgage payments to be made and, well. The next summer I suggested to Matthew that we sell the cabin. For the cost of one (or two) mortgage payments, we could pay for the five of us to go on vacations elsewhere. If we were still holding onto the cabin we would be obligated to spend all of our vacation time up there because we were spending a good chunk of change to pay for that little (the cabin was teeny, the lot, large) vacation spot.

He agreed and we sold the cabin at a premium (and paid down our house mortgage) before the market crashed. There have been so many times, especially when he was out of work and we were both on shaky ground work-wise, where we have been so thankful that we sold when we did. So, so thankful.

So, no, we don’t own our own cabin. But we do have a tiny (TINY) mortgage and we’re both employed and we’ve found a cottage that we rent that feels like our home away from home.It resides in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

It’s not ours, legally, but it’s ours once a year.

I love living in the Okanagan, I really do. The desert climate and mild winters are a nice change from the non-stop rain that I grew up with. I spent twenty years on the north coast of B.C. (Highest rainfall in Canada!) and six years in Vancouver (Not better!) but the ocean, you guys. The ocean. I lived near it for twenty-six years of my life and I think that once you know it, it never leaves you.

We spent (two nights in Portland, and) four nights at “our” cottage in Cannon Beach. I took out my “big camera” a lot for the first time in a long time and it was good. I also took iPhone photos along the way and shared them, but in case you aren’t an Instagram/Facebook/Twitter friend (or maybe, you are and are ignoring your computer in favor of summer weather)(As you should) here are some of my favorites:

Miss Kerri Anne met us for dinner in Portland and spent a night with as at the cottage. We love her. I’m sure you do too.

Day one at the beach:

We had expected it to be like last year: Sunny, but cold. Jeans, shirts and hoodies. We wore the same this year and then ten minutes later we went back to the cottage to change into bathing suits and shorts. It was warm.

Our second day was cloudy and misty. I went for a run anyway and loved every minute of it.

Miss Emily’s silhouette.

Kerri and my kids swam in the ocean. FULLY CLOTHED.

Post-dinner cuddles.

The view from far south (another morning run):

A few other favorites from the “big camera”:

My three little fishes spent the bulk of their time swimming in the ocean.

It was far too cold for me, but I’m just an old bat.

While the kids were swimming in the ocean and I was reading/talking with Kerri, Matthew went and built himself a friend.

He got the slow clap from fellow beach goers when he was done. Later that night, when we went back to the beach to watch the sunset, someone had written AWESOME in the sand. Indeed.

Speaking of the sunset…


One last shot of the beach before we went back and hunkered down for the night.

Our entire trip was AMAZING and the fact that our kids traveled TEN hours straight to Portland and TWELVE hours from Cannon Beach to home, with nary a complaint, means that they are the BEST KIDS EVER. I have told them as much, repeatedly. We’ve entered a Golden Age of no diaper bags, no toddler meltdowns and hilarious conversations and hanging out as people who like each other. I remember when a trip to Costco would set fear in my heart and now here we are, driving across one Province and two States, and enjoying ourselves. ENJOYING ourselves.

This is what vacation (and family) is all about.

*More photos are on Flickr, with more to be uploaded this week.

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  1. Camels & Chocolate July 26, 2011 12:24 am edit

    You + Kerri Anne = This Is Me Being JEALOUS.

  2. angella July 26, 2011 7:30 pm edit

    You came up in conversation because I’m SO EXCITED that I finally get to meet you next week!! :)

  3. Hannah July 26, 2011 12:49 am edit

    What a gorgeous spot. And OH WOW, look at that sandcastle croc!! Wicked! I am totally impressed. I’m glad you had such a nice break and got to spend time with your friend. Gorgeous pics!

  4. angella July 26, 2011 7:30 pm edit

    Thanks, friend. It was a perfect vacation. :)

  5. Katie July 26, 2011 5:02 am edit

    Matthew went and built himself a friend —- WOW! i show this to my son and….
    We decided to try to build it. Wish us success:-)

  6. angella July 26, 2011 7:31 pm edit

    I am! Please post a link of a photo if you could. :)

  7. ememby July 26, 2011 7:31 am edit

    Beautiful pictures! What a gift – an enjoyable vacation with kids – someday soon, that will be ours :)

  8. angella July 26, 2011 7:31 pm edit

    It will! I promise. :)

  9. Angela July 26, 2011 7:34 am edit

    Ok. I am sold. Send me info so I can rent that place???

  10. angella July 26, 2011 7:32 pm edit

    If you’re serious, I can email you the link. As long as you promise not to book it for our week in July. :)

  11. Claudette August 29, 2011 3:22 pm edit

    I would seriously be interested in the link to this cabin – and I promise we won’t rent it in July. We just came home from a trip to Cannon Beach and we can’t wait to go back!

  12. Ninabi July 26, 2011 8:45 am edit

    I’m so happy for you- Oregon is beautiful.

    We lived in Seattle for several years when our children were small. One of our happiest trips was when my mother in law came to visit and instead of taking her back to our cramped condo, we added her suitcase to ours and headed for the Oregon coast.

    You are right. There is nothing like being near the ocean. The air smells so good. I miss it (and the cool weather!) now that I live in the desert.

  13. angella July 26, 2011 7:34 pm edit

    My desert is probably not as hot as your desert, but I hear you. I love that everyone who has been to the Oregon coast knows exactly what I’m talking about. :)

  14. Home Sweet Sarah July 26, 2011 9:18 am edit

    Looks like so much fun!

    Also, the sandcastle? Wow. Color me impressed!

  15. angella July 26, 2011 7:35 pm edit

    ME TOO. We’ve been married eleven years and this is the first time he’s built a sand sculpture. Hidden talent!

  16. Amanda Brown July 26, 2011 9:51 am edit

    It sounds so heavenly, all of it. And, how did you go for so many runs?! I went to Vancouver for the weekend and didn’t exercise for a minute and I ate my way through the city. I think I’ll be wearing my fat pants to BlogHer.
    (Steve did tell me you called last night: shocker! Properly relayed message! But it was 11:00 at night so I didn’t return the call. I’ll call you this morning…)

  17. angella July 26, 2011 7:35 pm edit

    Fat pants? Pshaw! You always look amazing. :)

  18. Kristabella July 26, 2011 9:53 am edit

    Looks absolutely lovely! Color me jealous!

    Glad you had a fabulous time!

  19. angella July 26, 2011 7:36 pm edit

    It was so, so great. :)

  20. C @ Kid Things July 26, 2011 11:06 am edit

    That really is an awesome sand croc, the best kind in my opinion. Everything looks so peaceful there.

  21. angella July 26, 2011 7:36 pm edit

    It really, truly is. If you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend it.

  22. Danica July 26, 2011 11:34 am edit

    Great pics! I’m glad you had a lovely vacation.

  23. angella July 26, 2011 7:37 pm edit

    We did! Thanks, friend. :)

  24. ChrisB July 26, 2011 12:34 pm edit

    So happy you had such a lovely time and warm sunshine!

  25. angella July 26, 2011 7:37 pm edit

    It was such a great bonus to have warm sunshine! Thanks, you. :)

  26. kim @ mommyknows July 26, 2011 4:52 pm edit

    Wow! Looks like you had another fabulous vacation. I love all your photos …
    It looks like Matthew is pretty handy with the sand. Now I’ve got Mr. Sandman … playing in my head.

    See you soon!

  27. angella July 26, 2011 7:38 pm edit

    Now Mr. Sandman is in my head, too. Can’t wait to hug you next week!

  28. Sizzle July 26, 2011 6:40 pm edit

    I know the beauty of Cannon Beach first hand though I have yet to spend time there when it’s not winter (must do that). It sounds/looks like the ideal vacation. So glad everyone had a great time!

  29. angella July 26, 2011 7:38 pm edit

    You haven’t been there when it’s not winter? YOU MUST. That’s an order. ;)

  30. Ashley July 26, 2011 11:04 pm edit

    Looks like a fantastic time! It’s so nice to be able to get away and relax. It makes up for all the stress, and frustration and stress, of regular life :)

  31. angella July 27, 2011 10:29 am edit

    AMEN. :)

  32. JoL - Amazon freak-a-zoid July 27, 2011 8:59 am edit

    YAY Portland & Canon Beach! Those are some of our most favorite vacation spots, and honestly – we have been harboring a serious need to make the move that way – but don’t tell our Texan families just yet……

    BTW – totally addicted to Instagram. User name? (e-mail if you don’t want to publish) I’m ‘amazonjol’ –

  33. angella July 27, 2011 10:31 am edit

    Not a secret! I should have linked to my Instagram feed. I’m ‘angellad’ – just like on Twitter. :)

  34. Sherry July 27, 2011 12:30 pm edit

    I think that renting a cabin as opposed to owning one is a great happy medium. You get all the joy without the headache!

    Also, I am in love with my own east coast very much, but every time you post photos of your end of this continent I get a little wistful. :D

  35. Kerri Anne July 27, 2011 4:00 pm edit

    1. Cannon Beach is one of my top five favorite places on the planet. Pretty sure it even trumps Hawaii.
    2. Cannon Beach with Camp Dkystra is by far one of my favorite ways to enjoy our pretty northern coast, and I can’t even tell you (though I’ve surely tried and will keep trying) how much fun I (have every year, yes! but especially) had this year with you and Matthew and the kiddos. I mean, seriously, your kids are just nonstop one-liners and hilarity. Also: Emily blurting out, “I love you!” at multiple points while I was there, and then KISSING ME ON THE FOREHEAD? Well, yeah, I might have cried.
    3. I love that your kiddos are such road warriors. So impressive!
    4. I totally want to start watching Phineas & Ferb on a weekly basis, ha. “I gave her my nerd word.”
    5. I love you (and your family) so very much.
    6. Can’t wait until next year!
    7. Iggy slept for pretty much two days straight when we got home. Wimp.

  36. Larissa July 27, 2011 5:17 pm edit

    wow…you lived in an amazing place!! what a view! I’m stunned! great shots by the way!

  37. Mrs. Wilson July 27, 2011 9:43 pm edit

    So fun!! I can’t wait to take our kids on a real vacation. When Liliana will sit in a car for more than three minutes without yelling.

  38. pdxhadey July 28, 2011 9:51 am edit

    I am so happy for you that you finally got some time to relax and unwind with your beautiful family. You deserved the break! Gorgeous pictures, as always. I so love my dear Oregon!

  39. lola July 28, 2011 11:34 am edit

    Seems you have so much fun there! and the photos are lovely!

  40. Diana July 28, 2011 2:56 pm edit

    Wow, your pictures look awesome! This looks like such a nice place to stay and lots of fun too! That sand sculpture is amazing! The last time I made a sand castle, it just ended up looking like a scraggly volcano with a moat!

  41. sapir July 28, 2011 5:36 pm edit

    what a beautiful ocean you have there! amazing! great photos!

  42. Hilda July 31, 2011 8:22 pm edit

    oh how I long for the day of no diapers, meltdowns, and FUN drives. We have one kid there. One kid nearly there, and one with a long ways to go yet… :P

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