True to form, Cannon Beach was stormy and beautiful the whole time we were there. Each day brought a new array of sun, wind, rain, and snow. A typical view from the many large windows in our hotel gave us a front row seat to the mighty power and beauty of God's creativity.
Sadly not all of the families were able to be there this year, but the 4 groups that did attend had a great time creating a new batch of memories. Each family took a turn making breakfast and dinner for everyone while the children, ranging in ages from 10-18 years old, ran around conquering territory. Just float back in time for a minute to your childhood and think about how much fun it would be to play Hide & Seek in a 3 story hotel building with no one else around. One dad used the nooks and crannies of the building to play a rousing game of tag with his boys with air soft guns and another two dads decided that midnight was the perfect time to institute an energetic round of "keep rubber duckie away from the 11 year old girls".
I love Cannon Beach. The whole town seems to have a welcome mat out beckoning travelers to sit a spell and breathe in a slower way of life. Shops have signs on their windows that say they will 'open about 10-ish' and close 'around 5'. The locals roll their eyes at having to drive the long 6 miles to the bigger town of Seaside for the large chain grocery store. On the last day we were there, I even saw a man ride his horse into town to check his mail at the post office.
The Gaggle Girls decided to take a day in Seaside looking at shops, sampling food, and causing their giddy little giggly/gaggly trouble wherever they went. One of their goals was to go to a photography studio and have one of those antique style pictures made. This is just one of the many. (The photographer said we could post it online as long as we left his information on the edge.) When he snapped this picture, I am told that all the girls pulled the triggers of their guns....click, click, click, click, click. Good thing they are toy guns. I imagine that must happen to him a lot.
They really are a good group of girls and they bring out so much character in one another. I wonder how many more of these times we/they will have together, us as families and they as young girls full of ideas to change and affect the world around them. There is already talk of Spring Break plans and New Years '09 plans.
3 of the girls are graduating high school this year and one is hoping to enroll in a school in Manhattan. All too soon I fear that times will change. But no matter what happens, they have friendships that will click back into place even when the miles push away and will always look back on these days with fondness, giggles, and blushing cheeks.