Tag Archives: Beach

Farewell Beach: Yoga, Night Walk & Poetry

Today, the last day of my summer travel, I enjoyed two of my favorite beach activities.  I awakened to yoga on the sand and ended the evening with a night walk under the stars.  The perfect farewell.

I know I’ve shared before, but if you practice yoga, I highly recommend purchasing a travel mat– they’re slimmer and easy to pack.  This morning I took my mat out to the beach after my run.  I’ve always preferred taking classes to practicing on my own, but on vacation I make an exception that is well worth it.  Not even a class can beat the feeling of practicing on the beach, staring out at the ocean.  Of course, it works best on unpopulated beaches, like those in Oregon.  Admittedly, I refuse to take out my mat anywhere with an audience.

Post-yoga with my fabulous travel mat.

Always time for one more pose off the beach… I’m telling you, beach yoga rocks, (although I can hear my instructor’s voice telling me I need to kick through this pose before I begin to lean forward… yeah, yeah, I’m working on it!).

Essential beach farewell activity number two was tonight’s walk along the shore under the stars.  Night on the beach is my favorite time, the moonlight bouncing off the sand, creating enough light to see without a flashlight.  Most of all, I enjoy staring off into the waves or up at the stars, I can never pick.  If you visit the beach before I return, do some yoga and walk under the stars for me.

Goodbye Yachats

Goodbye sun.

Farewell Beach

The tide pulls me closer,

The waves and moon magnetic to my soul.

Come closer, still

The ocean calls

One step more,

Just your toes,

Another step–

Come dance with me in the waves,

I’ll keep you safe.

Right, I think.

You’ll just drown me with your violent touch,

Instead I come to say farewell.

But you could stay,

It says.

Give me first your toes,

And then your ankles,

Come closer and we’ll become one with the stars.

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Oregon Coast: The Last Hurrah (For Now)

If you’re sick of me on vacation, stop here, save yourself the irritation.  If you want to be inspired to visit the Oregon Coast, read on.  Personally, I’m trying to hang on to every last second.  My summer vacation ends Tuesday, then it’s back to my classroom, school with the kiddos the following week, and a lot less time to write.

This morning, we left Bandon for a different vacation rental just north of Yachats, which thankfully means sun, and lots of it.  We went from foggy and cold to nearly 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky.  The microclimates along the coast always amaze me, although I also realize the weather can vary greatly from day to day.

Here was my pelican friend we said goodbye to in Bandon.  He refused to move from the parking lot, poor guy.  He had to be at least three feet tall and had an audience of onlookers.

On our way up to Yachats, we stopped in Florence’s old town, which is easy to miss if your eyes are busy searching for the Pacific.  The old town is tucked away on the other side of 101, along the Siuslaw River and is well worth the stop, with dog friendly shops and restaurants.  Our dog was not with us to enjoy this perk *insert sad face*, but we still had a lot of fun shopping at the farmers’ market, buying Quiddler at the toy store, and visiting our favorite coffee shop, Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters.

See, I’m not the only one in the family with a love for murals!  Here’s my sis in old town Florence.

Check out the little dragon on the Siuslaw River, her name is Susie…

Reaching Yachats, we were not disappointed.  Sunshine and whales just beyond the waves.

If you look closely, you can see two spouts. I drove myself crazy trying to catch them breaching, my camera just wasn’t fast enough, but they put on a show all afternoon.  Funny how special it feels to spot whales, every single time.

The view from our house, and, yes, it looks like my brother is dancing on the beach.

Told you, this song has haunted me for nearly a decade. No, really, that’s not the point of this picture.  The point is that I’m stealing every last second to write in my little notebooks.

Not a bad way to end a great day on the coast, just wish I could slow it all down…

So, what makes the Oregon Coast different than closer options in California?  It’s more rugged, less crowded, and lacks the same pretentious feeling that many California beach towns project. The restaurants and lodging are cheaper, often more basic, but still get the job done, leaving more emphasis on the outdoors, with hikes where the forest meets the sea on jagged cliffs and rocky shores.  To me, the Oregon Coast is magic, something pictures and words cannot capture.

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The Real Hawaii

I’d like to think I’m not an obnoxious traveler.  I like it all– cheap, luxury, anything in between.  Today we discovered the real Hawaii.  Not the resort or the places made to manufacture an experience.  Instead, we ate where locals eat, snorkeled at public beaches, shopped in a gritty little town where surf clothing was actually on sale instead of marked up for tourists.  We even discovered a hostel on the beach with beds for $27 a night.  No, we did not stay, but the fact that such a place exists is pretty awesome.

Sometimes I get tired of the glossy, clean, perfect version of travel.  I would have a hard time staying at an all-inclusive resort where I did not step foot off the property.  I want to know how people live in different places, I want to meet to them, to talk with them.  I especially like discovering places that are gritty, down-to-earth, without pretenses.  I get a thrill out of enjoying food that is both delicious and cheap.  Somewhere I can stand in line and actually start a conversation with someone that is not also from California.

I got my wish.  These pictures will share my finds better than my words.

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Permission to Enjoy Life

This afternoon I had the good fortune to lay out on the beach of the St. Regis in Princeville, Kauai. If my husband and I were traveling alone, we’d be kicking it a lot more low-key, but we are fortunate to have family that invites us places.  Absorbing all of the opulence around me, I could not help but understand why people strive for wealth. As a teacher of low-income kids, I will be the first to proclaim wealth and happiness are not the same thing, but sometimes a bit of splendor can be pretty alluring.

Anchored out in the bay was an impressive yacht, complete with its own helicopter parked on back. The St. Regis staff told us it belongs to the owner of Budweiser, whoever that might be. What a different world from the rest of us on this planet.  While a yacht is more than I would wish for, it still struck me as a very interesting contrast.

Back during the school year, on days that were particularly challenging, I would imagine myself lying on the beach in Kauai, and everything else would be fine.  The fact that I could have this fantasy and really live it out provides a different, but also very real contrast between the relative prosperity of middle-ish class America and the poverty that exists in our country.  While I may feel like a have-less when I look at the truly wealthy, I am a have-a-darn-lot when compared with much of the world.

What I am trying to work on is transforming the guilt that sometimes accompanies this disparity into an extreme gratitude that I am as lucky as I am.  As I was sitting there thinking about the differences in worlds between myself and the people on the boat, as well as myself and the students in my classroom, I finally had to just tell my mind to shut up and enjoy it.  Life is short, we work for a better world, but we should also give ourselves permission to enjoy whatever good comes our way.

I’m on a boat and I’m going fast and…

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