BabyOregonian, Destinations, Musings, Oregon, Tidbits About Us

Cannon Beach: At Home on the Journey

May 26, 2014

Fellows on this journey who really get it make my heart feel at home, both in literal and metaphorical foreign territory. Have you met people like that? People who make you feel open with your story and at ease in your own skin?

I have this friend, Alyssa. We used to meet for early A.M. commiseration/encouragement sessions at Bakery Bar (R.I.P. to my favorite World Cup watching spot, by the way) when we were kidless, full time working professionals juggling dreams and to-do lists like nobody’s business.

Life shifted, and our morning meet ups came to an end when Alyssa and her husband Bryan moved from Portland, Oregon to Spokane, Washington, and Ted and I prepared to quit our jobs, leave the state, and travel internationally for a year.

Ted and I with Alyssa and Bryan
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, 2011

When she found out they were expecting their firstborn, she and Bryan schemed about visiting us in Buenos Aires with a one-month old. (No, they didn’t end up booking tickets, but I loved them all the more for entertaining the thought!)

On the flip side of our year of travel, Ted and I road tripped north to Spokane, and Alyssa welcomed me back to the states with hugs and tea and a listening ear.

I was all of five weeks pregnant, slammed full force into first trimester nausea and reverse culture shock.

Goodbye roaming, hello motherhood. 

Who am I, again?

Before we parted ways, Alyssa took me to a yoga class while Ted stayed back with Bryan and their then-almost-one year old. We rolled out our mats and spent an hour sweating and stretching, following the leader, content to be in shared silence.

Deep breaths.

Reminders that life is full and wild, challenging and unknown, and that dear friends by your side make all the difference.

Last spring, we met Alyssa and Bryan at the Oregon Coast for R&R.

This spring, we did it again.

We stayed in downtown Cannon Beach and walked to ice cream cones and park swings.

We ate cheese and pickles and read books in the sunshine on the front porch.

We played in the sand while the wind whipped our blankets.

We pet passing pugs and played Haystack Rock’s shadow.

And at day’s end, while the kiddos slept, we made caramel corn from scratch and swapped stories from the trenches.

Trip tales, in pictures:

A little Peach, Pip’s Donuts, and AFAR magazine: Ready for the open road. Alyssa and I drove out midweek with all three kids and waited for the boys to join us at the weekend.

Bidding Portland farewell from the Fremont Bridge.

Peach on the Beach! Lucie’s first afternoon on the Oregon Coast.

Alyssa and Bryan’s adorable wee ones.

Our friend Stephanya, out visiting from Portland.

All together at last after Bryan took the 2am train from Spokane to Portland then carpooled with Ted from Portland to the coast. 

Spot the cannon?

As our families transitioned from energetic duos taking on the world to couples with kiddos balancing all sorts of commitments, relationships, and desires, I’ve received strength in shared moments of celebration and honesty.

As it’s turned out, motherhood hasn’t been the end of roaming.


Not at all.

Navigation and on-the-fly decision making skills are still in high demand (oh, are they ever). My roaming is now just a different sort of wander. (And wonder. As in, wonderful things, and I wonder if I’m getting any of this right.)

In life, I’m deeply grateful for people like Alyssa who come alongside and share the full range of life’s emotions: the questions and discoveries and everything in between. And I’m grateful for places like the Oregon Coast where I can stand at the edge of a continent and reflect on all that lies beyond the far horizon.

During a short solo walk, I stumbled across this little front yard pop-up plant sale.

Succulents for 75¢.

I had exact change in my pocket, and I couldn’t resist.

One for me, one for my sweet friend.

On our final morning together at the coast, Bryan and Ted watched the kids, and Alyssa and I ducked out for yoga at the studio down the street.

Deep breaths.

Reminders that life is full and wild, challenging and unknown, and that dear friends by your side make all the difference.

Now that we’re again separated by state lines and busy schedules, hundreds of miles away from ocean and each other, my little green touchstone lives (for the moment) on my chalkboard ledge. A reminder of my fellow adventurer, Alyssa, and the pieces of life woven together to make sense of the journey.

My heart. At home.

Heading toward Cannon Beach?

Stay: Check for Cannon Beach spots (and if you’re new, consider signing up for a free account using our link and start saving favorites on trip wishlists).
Plan: Browse for tips on “The People’s Coast” (one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, after all!)
Drink: Sleepy Monk Coffee. Honestly, it’s worth the walk south from the “main” downtown to the second, quieter strip. (And even if you’re not a coffee drinker, go for their baked-fresh bacon blue cheese scones.)
Meander: Along the little nature trail behind the public park.
Relax and Stretch: At a drop-in class at Cannon Beach Yoga Arts.
(Window) Shop: Find a personal favorite or two among Cannon Beach’s collection of Art Galleries.
See the Icon: Unmissable Haystack Rock.

Thanks for reading along, friends. I so appreciate being able to share a little bit of life with you here on the blog…

Two of my favorites from Alyssa:

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Cindy Buck May 26, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I know so well that dear friends by my side make all the difference, living so far from my family. Reminds me of Robert Frost and the road less travelled . . .

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians June 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      It really does make all the difference. What would life be without people to share the memories and experiences along the way? I’m thankful for friends — and family like you! — that make life so rich. Hugs xx

  • Reply GrandmaBeckyL May 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Life is better with friends for sure. Even more so, visiting the beach together. My sis and I did that this year….Seaside, late Feb, great weather. There’s no need to stay home just becuz of baby. They like ventures too along with you. Miss Peach is adorable! Hugs!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians June 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Aw, thanks, Becky! I seem to be drawn to the beach even more these days… Isn’t it great to live so close that frequent jaunts over are possible? :) Hugs to you, too xx

  • Reply Lindsay May 26, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Life is as beautiful as ever. :)

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians June 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Yes, indeed! So excited to see you in a few weeks :)

  • Reply Kathrin May 27, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Beautiful post with beautiful photos! Makes us miss home and friends who fill us up!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians June 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks so much, Kathrin. The best part about really good friends is that even the miles and the months that separate can’t stop the joy of reuniting later on — and you’ll have so many stories to share with each other when the day comes :) Happy travels to you and your family!

  • Reply The Journey Itself May 30, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I got it right away! :)

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians June 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Yes! You fellow Oregonians know what I’m talking about… ;)

  • Reply Alyssa May 29, 2014 at 10:37 am

    This was a truly magical trip and you are a beautiful soul dear friend. Looking forward to many more years of memory-making, story-sharing and traveling adventures. (Lets take our kids somewhere international soon ;) )

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians June 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Gosh, can we just plan a travel-scheming getaway weekend? One where we pull out a map, drink wine, and start labeling all the places we want to take the little ones?? Miss you, friend!

    What say you?