The Oregon Coast Road Trip: December 27 2015-Jan 1 2016. #Brandicebetrippin
2015 was an adventurous year for us. For starters, we got married! But what better of a way to end the year than with another adventure road tripping the Oregon Coast? I had never been to the Oregon Coast so we drove from Seattle, WA to San Jose, CA for Christmas (stayed in Ashland, OR) and drove 2,028 miles roundtrip back home. The journey home was so much fun and not to mention, breathtakingly beautiful! Need an itinerary for your own trip? This was ours:
Day 1: We started our road trip visiting my sister and her fiancé in San Francisco. We planned on leaving by 7am but had to make a stop at Craftsman and Wolves for coffee and a pastry. Driving through SF is never a quick endeavor so an hour later, we headed out crossing the Golden Gate bridge.
This was the first of many breathtaking sunsets. Just outside of Crescent City, CA, about 20 minutes south from the Jedediah Campgrounds.
We didn't make any stops along the way until we reached our campground in Crescent City, CA. However, you could drive along Highway 101 and never even realize you are driving through the Redwood State Park. Make stops along the way for hiking or driving through a gigantic tree. We decided to skip this, mainly because we felt it was just a tourist trap and we needed to get to our campground before dark.
Day 2: This was our fellow neighbors campground. But the sunrise was too perfect to pass up the photo op! We survived the night of camping in 35 degrees. Yup, it was almost freezing. I should note that this is maybe my 3rd time camping....EVER. I braved the harsh conditions but was rewarded with a warm breakfast of eggs and bacon. My husband called the shots and said no more camping for this trip. Hooray!! So there you have it- our recent investment in a nice tent and air mattress and lugging it around over 2,000 miles for one measly night of camping. Hey, at least we tried. This was at the Jedediah Smith Campgrounds Crescent City, CA
This was our cute little camp site. It looks warm but don't be fooled.
Exploring Redwood State Park, CA
Love me some foggy roads. On our way to Bandon, OR. Not BRANDON. Although I thoroughly enjoyed calling it Brandon while we were in Bandon haha.
Day 3: We woke up early, grabbed a cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich at the Bandon Coffee Cafe. Everyone was so friendly! Then we headed about 10 minutes west to visit the Bandon Ocean State Wayside- Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. Here you will find some of the most spectacular rock formations and beaches.
We enjoyed our coffee and walk along the beach. It was cold and windy! But so worth the view.
Next stop- Lincoln City. On our way out, we stopped for a late lunch (around 3pm to catch the sunset at 4:30) at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City. We almost skipped coming to this place but its a must see! The sunset was so beautiful and the Pelican Brewery has awesome beer and food. This beach reminded me of the beaches in CA. It looked completely different than the other beaches we visited along the Oregon Coast. Even though it was only about 38 degrees with the chilly wind, we caught some surfers enjoying the waves.
We stayed at the Salishan Spa and Gold Resort in Lincoln City. It was the most fancy place we stayed all week but we stole a deal because of the off season. So we decided to sleep in and enjoy the gym before heading out to Cannon Beach.
On our way, we stopped at the Cape Kiwanda State Park for some easy hiking and seal watching. And don't miss the Tillamook Cheese factory! We sampled our favorite cheese and left battling over an ice cream cone. It was well worth it....We love Tillamook cheese :)
We made it to Cannon Beach! And found some hooligans roaming. Enjoying the last sunset of 2015 :) We stayed 1 block from the ocean at Blue Gill Inn. Cannon Beach is the cutest beach town ever with small boutique shops, wineries, and lots of art galleries.
Our livers hurt, the wind was piercingly cold, the apartment looked like someone threw up New Years glitter but we raged into 2016 with this awesome group.
This pretty much sums up the entire weekend. Sand angels anyone?
Final sunset of 2015 and the first time as The Wards!
Cannon Beach, OR
This is a very personal writing that I have decided to share. I went back and forth whether I wanted to post this for you all to see (i'm not even sure who or how many people even read my blog) but thats besides the point.
After some time, I came to the conclusion that someone else out there may have felt or is feeling this way too. After I wrote this and shared it with my husband and parents, I felt liberated. I only hope that this writing may provide the same relief for someone else struggling with these thoughts and find acceptance instead of regret about their wedding.
I promise you, this writing is not as negative as the title implies. Thats just a little rhetoric for ya :) WARNING- its a wee bit lengthy!
September 13, 2015- Wedding Day
Its true what they say, your wedding day is one of the most euphoric, beautiful and memorable days of your life. Your favorite people in one place, celebrating the Union of two people and two families.
You spend a year planing for this day. Looking at pictures on Pinterest, magazines, going to wedding shows, and viewing others wedding videos and photos in hopes of finding the perfect idea of what your day will look and feel like.
Well no one prepares you for how you should or will feel after that most amazing day is over. Post wedding depression- is a real thing.
Through out the entire wedding planning process, I really wanted to stay focused on the task. And that to us was creating a wedding that portrayed our lives together- displaying the things that we love, our passions, and allowing our families talents to shine through. We wanted the day to be fun and stress free for our guests but not over the top. We wanted to show people that a planning a wedding didn't mean you had pay for a gigantic wedding cake or hire a planner or spend thousands on a videographer. You can do a lot of it yourself, or at least with the help of your village.
And after it was all over, I look back and I'm happy. I'm overjoyed with how perfect and beautiful the day turned out. But I also find myself revisiting certain moments that, well simply put, didn't exactly happen the way I imagined. Admittedly, feelings of regret surface, and sometimes sadness.
I feel beyond guilty for having these thoughts. And I'm even more angered that I do, and haven't really done anything about them. I don't want to think about my wedding day and allow disappointments or false expectations to cloud my beautiful memories. ' So this is me, embarrassingly admitting that I struggle with ill feelings about our wedding. In desperation to purge those thoughts, I bear my open mind now.
And so here I go:
My dad didn't cry on my wedding day. In fact, he showed little emotion at all. He actually seemed uninthused the entire day. And I wasn't sure why. I noticed it that day and I noticed it in our wedding photos. Was his mind elsewhere? I wasn't sure. All I knew is that I was his first daughter walking down the aisle and I imagined it would be a more emotional day for him.
But then I realized, I am my fathers daughter. I too had similar facial expression in our wedding photos. I look serious when I first looked saw myself in the mirror in my wedding dress. I look slightly unamused walking down the aisle, with a smirky teeth- less bearing grin on my face. I never smile like that. My voice soft, faint and squirmish as I said my vows and my eyes wondering during the ceremony, afraid to gleam into my soon to be husbands eyes. I was nervous, I didn't want to cry (mainly to prevent my makeup from smearing) but also to keep my composure. I didn't want my emotions to shed. I knew my father was having the same battle internally. We both enjoy one on one conversations with people, deep rooted friendships, loyalty to our families and loved ones but deep down we are introspective, deep, loving people with quiet souls. When we feel like talking, we will
be heard. But we do not enjoy being the center of attention.
He is a gifted guitarist, musician, and lyricist. He spent months writing a beautiful song that he performed at my wedding. He taught himself this magnificent talent. It's something he always wanted to do but life never allowed him to until several years ago. I've had the privilege of seeing him challenge himself with something he never thought was possible. His song was his emotion on my wedding day. And it was beautiful.
While I was waffuling in confusion about my fathers lack of emotion, squinty eyes and stoic voice, It wasn't until I took a step back to look at my wedding from a different lense to come to terms that I am my father. In that moment, I understood him and I love him for that.
AND, I shared several emotional moments with my mom. She has been a best friend growing up, I call her almost every day just to tell her the little things that no one else would care about. "Mom, I just spend hours making my first croissants at home" followed by several pictures of my craft and her excitement "yummmm!" On my wedding day I could really see the emotion in her. She gave me a kiss on the cheek in the bridal suite and whispered "you look beautiful, my beautiful daughter" we laughed and cried as memories of my compassionate, selfless, strong willed mother raising three kids, flooded my mind.
So I conclude, with this: just because you see all those perfect wedding photos of a father kissing you softly on the cheek as he hands you over to your future husband and gives a heartfelt "she is the apple of my eye" speech in this wedding videos.....that is NOT real life for everyone. We don't have to have those exact moments on our wedding day in order to sum up all the years and memories you have growing up. Your father loves you, and found the day he gave you away to your husband to be one of the most memorable of his life. There is no picture perfect moment that will justify that on your wedding day, he will do it in his own way.
This really isn't about my father. He was purely one example of how I allowed the wedding expectations, the media, and the countless pictures available to us on the internet, to flood false fabrications of reality into my mind.
And so I write this as a reminder to myself, that the expectations of what I was going to experience on my wedding day and the reality of what happened is just as beautiful. What you desire is only a desire. And what you experience is your reality, uniquely defined by you. Not pictures you have seen it should be like or videos of the perfect day. The perfect day is what you make of it, and how you hold onto the precious moments that did happen with out yearning for those that didn't.
He was happy after all! Thank you dad for writing and singing (he has never sung before!) your song.
Hello! I'm Candice and I love baking. This blog is dedicated to all things sweet, exploring your passion, staying inspired and encouraging you to Eat More Cake!