Catching Up

All right, there is no catching up to be had. Sorry. I’m just going to start up leaving out whatever’s happened between mid-July and now.

Ian, Benji, and I are in Seaside, Oregon, at the Fergusons’ beach house with Ian’s parents. We arrived on Thursday, August 1 after a surprisingly easy drive with Benji. Not to say he loved the drive, and by the end he was continuously signing “all done,” as if that’d get us to take him out of his seat, but I admit being devoutly grateful he drinks from a bottle so he can eat in the car rather than stopping to nurse every few hours. We made it with one stop to look at the big trucks and crawl around, just south of Olympia.

We took Benji to the beach first thing, and he wasn’t super thrilled, but we coaxed a smile out of him.

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Friday I went for a bike ride out past Cannon Beach – exactly 60 minutes out, then 57 minutes back thanks to the headwind on the way out. I found the tunnel, even with blinking “Bike in tunnel” lights activated, a terrifying experience. I’ve done it before, but now I really need to come home without a careless-driver-sponsored detour to the nearest hospital. –Got home just fine, by the way. No worries.

It got sunny that afternoon, so we all went to the beach. Benji found the sand interesting, and we had to restrain him from diving directly into it. Water of all sorts has become one of Benji’s favorite things, which means lots of splashing during bath time.

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Saturday, Ian and I hiked from Ecola Point back to Seaside (about 8 miles) while Gary and Deborah watched Benji. We failed to bring a backpack (one of many small, slightly irritating things we forgot; but at least we remembered the baby), but made do with my camera bag and jacket pockets. It started off overcast, but by the time we arrived in Seaside it had “fined up” and the day turned quite nice.

Here we are at Ecola Point, perky and happy. …or at least, as perky and happy as we’re going to get these days.
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Indian Beach was swarming with surfers hoping to catch a wave. Lots of disappointed surfers that day. Look at that nice, calm water.
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I really just took this picture for Mom.
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Oregon coast: Always lovely, when the mist clears enough to see it.
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And here we are at the Seaside trailhead, much less perky, but with still another couple miles to walk home.
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Beach views helped.
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Sunday never cleared up, so instead of doing the bike ride I planned, Deborah and I walked to Gearhart and back from Seaside (another 8 miles or so). We found delicious blackberries and many incredibly expensive beach houses. My walking muscles aren’t used to that demanding activity. It turns out my feet are also wimpy and uncallused. Sunday we kind of just played with Benji and hung around — exactly as one should during vacation.

Monday didn’t clear up either, but after lunch I decided to bite the bullet and go for a ride. Otherwise I could see I’d probably spend the entire vacation waiting for nice weather rather than actually riding. It is hard to decide to go out in 60-degree temps and cool, misty weather after coming from 75-degree sun at home, but I HTFU’d and went out. And I’m glad I did because it turned sunny after I left Seaside.
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Oh, but on the route I tried to follow a “bike path”-marked trail on Google maps, without having looked at it in person before. When I got there, I found this.
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A nice hiking path around this river, but not exactly expedient for road biking.

Last but not least, some cute Benji pictures.

Reading with Grandpa Gary:
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Spinning the stacking sombreros. Benji has figured out that if he tosses round, flat objects like these stacking sombreros (we didn’t know what else to call them) on a hard floor, he can get them to spin. It’s one of his favorite activities right now, along with sucking/blowing on the center bump of the sombreros, which have two little whistly holes in them, and working hard to stack them on one another. Oh, and of course he knocks sombrero towers over, bangs them together, and finds objects we hide under the sombreros. Basically, they’re his favorite toy, and here when we got them I hated them. Go figure.
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I don’t have any pictures of this, but Benji is also pulling up on everything (including grabbing hair, arm/chest hair of guys, shirts, pants, and skin of unsuspecting victims), working on taking steps, and mastering honest-to-goodness hands-and-knees crawling. Independent walking is a long way away, but we’re working hard on that. Sleeping is a bit tough, though, because every time we put him down or he wakes up, he wants to stand up.

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