Cannon Beach: Take 10

By Leslie Parks - Friday, August 10, 2012

This was our sixth year at the Christian Conference Center.  I went back through the years and looked at photos to be sure.  There were a couple of years that we didn't go.  There are some traditions that we've established over the six years.
I run on the beach almost every morning from Whale Park to Haystack Rock and back. 
We visit Bruce's Candy Kitchen.
We participate in the Sandcastle Contest (not a strong suit for us).
We go on a major outing on Wednesdays.  Twice to the Air Museum, Twice to Tillamock Cheese Factory, Twice to the Portland Zoo, once a hike, once to the Maritime Museum in Astoria, and once to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland.  Some of these things we've done in conjunction with each other.
We spend a couple of days on the beach flying kites, skim boarding, playing in the sand.

Highlight #1:   Visiting the USS Blueback submarine at OMSI in Portland.  We pretty much had our own personal tour guide.  There was only one other person not in our family on the tour.  Our tour guide had been on one of the sister submarines.  There were only three of these types of submarines built and they were concept ships.  The design of the hull of the submarine was a brand new concept.  Our tour guide had some insightful information.  He was also extremely patient with the kids.  They asked a lot of questions and tried as much out as they could.  We went almost everywhere in the ship.  I had read a book call SSN and the author wrote a lot about the different types of torpedos which were on display on the Blueback.  I am able to put the torpedo names in the book to a visual.  I saw some of the torpedos that were mentioned. 

Highlight #2:  The speakers were amazing.  I could relate to both of the speakers.  They had a way of imparting truth with sincerity, humility, and encouragement.  I appreciated their sharing of their heart. I have much to ponder.

Highlight #3:  The staff.  Whether they worked in housekeeping, kitchen or with the kids, the staff as usually were helpful and kind.  The leaders of the kids took time with all kids and genuinely listened to them.  Isaac the leader, took time to set up an indoor soccer game in the gym for kids from 7 to adults.  It was whoever wanted to join and play as long as they could.  The wait staff were prompt and we missed Dave J.  when he had his two days off.  He has been there ever since we started attending back in 2005.  We even commented on the fact that it wasn't the same without him. 

Highlight #4:  Boogie Boarding.  I had no idea that it ws so much fun.  I don't really know why I grabbed the wet suits but I'm happy that I did.  Looking for booties, mits and a suit for Job.  Right now Isaac and I share one or Job and Isaac share one.  It took a little while to know how to catch the wave and then we could ride them almost into shore.  Wishing that I brought John's wet suit too. 

Highlight #5:  Funcycles.  We rented these funcycles for about 1 1/2 hours.  They are killer on the legs because they are recumbent bikes but oh so fun to drive especially in circles. 

Highlight #6:  People.  We are slowly getting to know other people who have been attending the conference center during the same week.  It seems as though the kids bring friends to us.  Meaning that the kids make friends and then we become friends with their parents.  Isaac has made friends with two boys and they get together and hang each year.  This year the father of Isaac's buddy took the three boys on a boat ride and let Isaac drive!  Is he crazy?   We are thankful for the people we've gotten to know and some we maybe able to get together with since they come to B'ham to shop.  Oh please call me for coffee. 

Highlight #7:  A traditional run on the beach.  Ever since I ran with Morag Leich (from Scotland, who was 62 at the time and ran me into the ground) I go for a 2 to 4 mile run on the beach.  One year I ran 14 miles, to Seaside and back.  This year it was the mile from Whale Park to Haystack Rock and back.  It just so calm and relaxing running by the ocean before anyone is one the beach.  John has decided to work towards a 1/2 marathon so he would run at different times of the day.  I can't keep up with him.

Highlight #8: Time.  Time to take photos.  At home I just don't make time like I do at Cannon Beach.  I had some things in mind that I wanted to work on and I had time to do that.  I also put down the camera more and enjoyed hanging out.  I took less photos this year and more with a purpose.  I wanted to work on panning which works well when you have a child that likes to skim board.  It's not a chore when I say "Hey, grab your board, lets head to the beach."  I also wanted to take our annual family photo.  Yes, Isaac is taller than I am.  I can't quite believe it.  I also had time individually with each and with John.

Highlight #9:  I don't have to cook.  The food was amazing as ever.  I want a cookbook. 

Highlight #10:  Pizza.  One night John decided we should walk around town at night just the two of us.  We stopped at a Pizza place that we've wanted to try.  They were closing but gave us two very large pieces for one.  It was delicious.  Love the impromptu dates with the love of my life.

....more photos to come.....

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