If family lore is correct, the first time I went to Cannon Beach I was snuggled safe inside my Mom, and the second time I was a tiny newborn with rosacea. Crying, nursing, and snuggling to the ocean sounds outside the open slider door. And every year after that houses a new memory. 33 years of Cannon Beach adventures, throughout my childhood to carrying my own babies in womb, on my back, and, finally, chasing them along the beach as their now long legs outrun mine in their one-track pursuit of Haystack Rock.
I live for Traditions. I adore knowing that we will always find our way back to this salty air, family connection, and familiar pool to jump into. My girls know the drive, the bridge, and the stops we always make. It’s as familiar as my childhood blanket, and the memories tied to it are a varied quilt of the same comfort.
This year’s trip to Cannon Beach was chalk full of nostalgia, possibly deeper than ever before as it was the first time that my parents, all of my siblings, all of our partners, and all of our children were all there together. It was also extra special as it was an important trip to celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday, and was the first time our whole family had been together in a decade!
However, as full of familiar as it was, there were also some new adventures, bravery, and a break in tradition that was incredible. And hopefully will be a new tradition from here on out.
Let me just say – we went boogie boarding! All of us! The rentals were relatively inexpensive and we all enjoyed it SO thoroughly that we kept everything for a second day! The waves were soft and fun the first day and huge, wild, intense (and far better for riding in!), and, at times, pretty dang scary the second.
This left my whole little family excited to add this activity to our future, and makes me want to plan a million more adventures!
Our drive down was incredible. Another first for us was that we drove a minivan, the Toyota Sienna, and it was… no words.
My friends have been trying to convince me to buy a minivan for YEARS and I’ve been resistant forever. Well, I’m sold now. This van was SO nice. We all had space, even the dog had a seat! We were able to easily fit everything in with ample room to spare, and later that week, after we got back, I took it to the lake and fit the girls’ kayak IN the car with no issue!
The girls’ favorite parts were that they could sit in different rows, the back windows rolled down, and that they could get up and walk around the car whenever we were parked. My favorite was the stereo, the sun roof (in a mini van?!) and the RIDICUOUS amount of cup holders (six – just in the front!!) It’s like they knew it would be me driving.
Our big summer adventure filled us all up and opened up new doors for us. I’ve long identified as “just not a water person” but as the girls have grown it’s clear that they will stretch me in so many ways. They are both little fish and I don’t want to be on the shoreline watching. I want them to remember swimming with, jumping into big bodies of water with, and feeling brave with me. So I am stretching my water wings, and paddling out with them. And I’m finding myself enjoying it, even through some of the fears I still have.
Do you have any great advice for a family ready to start some more fun water sport exploring? Boogie boards, but what’s next? We have wanted to go to Hawaii forever (it’s where Charlie and I honeymooned!) and this is surely stoking that savings fire! I’d love any advice, tips, or places you can recommend! Or any other fun water adventures your family has enjoyed.
Thank you SO much to Toyota for giving us this sweet ride to use for our trip. We are hooked and I don’t even want to admit how often I’ve been looking at the website and scheming ways to get a sienna minivan ASAP. We have loved our RAV4 so much for the past ten years, but I can see now, even with just two littles, how the sienna would give us a new lease on our adventures.