Shark Week 2017

Steel called me out on a social media post from last week.  He was commenting on how I was “celebrating Jameson’s First Shark Week*.”  He said since Jameson won’t remember his first Shark Week, I was really celebrating MY first Shark Week with Jameson.
Guilty.  And further more, I’m not apologetic.

This is not the first “first” that we’ve celebrated.  And I will admit that it’s more for my enjoyment at this point but so what?!  Isn’t that one of the perks of becoming a grandparent?  I certainly think so.  So this time it was Shark Week.  And although Jameson won’t remember it, he had a great time!

I’ve been planning this for a while.  (All important traditions require preparation.)  Jameson had 2 different outfits with sharks (Osh-Kosh overalls of course) to wear for the occasion.  We purchased these months ago and fortunately, they still fit.  We also created some special snacks for Shark Week viewing.  (None of which Jameson can consume at this stage.)

For the past several weeks (of summer vacation) some of the neighbor girls have been helping me catch up on my kid movies.  (I was woefully behind since my own children grew up.)  Each week the girls come over and we watch a couple of movies on a required viewing list they created for me last fall.  We call these “Movie Days.”

Since the girls we coming over during Shark Week (and they had never participated in a “Shark Week”) I decided to combine the two events.  I have to admit they were a little leery at first, but they soon became interested in the shows (and I daresay learned a few things about sharks too.  They admitted to me that their prior knowledge of sharks consisted of things they learned from Finding Nemo, Finding Dory and Moana.)  While the youngest went home a little early I think the two older girls enjoyed the programming.

Next year will be the 30th Anniversary of Shark Week so we’ll have to do something really special.  In the meantime, I’m preparing for more of Jameson’s “firsts” (my first trip to Disneyland with Jameson.)


*Shark Week is an annual, week-long TV programming block created by the Discovery Channel, which features shark-based programming. Shark Week originally premiered on July 17, 1988.


When Steel was away at school in Oregon (Pacific University in Forest Grove) we really fell in love with the state.  We traveled to almost all of his home football games in the fall and watching the lush green transform into the rich autumn colors was a delight.  Most of the time we flew into Portland, but occasionally we’d leave after Leroy’s games on Friday nights and drive straight through (to be at Steel’s game by the 1:00pm kickoff.)  We always said we wanted to see more of Oregon while he was there for 4 years.  That didn’t happen.  Steel’s college years seem to fly by faster than high school.  Before we knew it, Steel had moved back to California and we didn’t have a reason (or excuse) to visit anymore.

I have a cousin in Washington state that plans and executes extensive motorcycle trips each year.  I have other family members that have joined in on these trips and it is always so much fun to follow along on their adventures on social media.  They have traveled through some beautiful areas in the last few years and I will admit that I’m usually a little jealous.  When I heard the itinerary for 2017 included the coastal areas of Oregon, I knew I didn’t want to miss out on the trip.  So I asked if we could join along.  

We don’t have a motorcycle.  (Nor do we plan on purchasing one in the near future.) We flew into Portland, rented a car and followed the motorcycles on the 2nd half of the trip.  (Two of the couples were traveling a total of 18 days.)  There were 8 of us (total) for this leg:  Dale and Trudy (my cousin and his wife;) Dean and Nancy (new friends) and Kevin and Kathryn (also new friends.)

Day 1 - 7/14/17

  • Flight from Oakland to Portland
  • Drive from Portland to Coos Bay Oregon (with a traditional stop at Costco.)

Day 2 - 7/15/17

  • Leroy went fishing (out of Charleston) and caught fish we brought home to eat.
  • Drove to Bandon, OR
  • Watched kids from Boise, ID crabbing off the pier (and learned how to sex a crab.)
  • Attended Mass
  • Met up with the bikers (and were joined by a 4th couple.)
  • Stayed the first of 3 nights at a private home on the beach in Bandon, OR

Day 3 - 7/16/17

  • Inland bike tour through Umpqua Valley including a stop in Elkton, OR (for lunch) and a stop at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area in Reedsport, OR.
  • A drive through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
  • Night 2 at Bandon home

Day 4 - 7/17/17

  • I stayed at the house to do some work.
  • Leroy went back to the Bandon Pier for crabbing (and caught 2 beautiful crab that we ate later in the week.) 
  • Our only “day off” from riding.

Day 5 - 7/18/17

  • Cape Arago State Park, Coos Bay, OR
  • A brief stop at Clausen’s Oysters for make a purchase (yum.)
  • Newport, OR (lunch and tour of the pier and boats docked.)
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding National Park
  • Stayed first of 3 nights in private home on Lincoln Beach in Depoe Bay, OR

Day 6 - 7/19/17

  • Devil’s Punchbowl State Park, Depoe Bay, OR
  • Inland tour including Alsea, OR
  • Dinner at house with beach bon fire in the evening

Day 7 - 7/20/17

  • Inland route to Tillamook, OR
  • Lunch at Tillamook Cheese 
  • Coastal route back to beach house
  • Tide pooling at Fishing Rock State Recreation Area (on beach in front of house.)

Day 8 - 7/21/17

  • Drove from Depoe Bay to Mt. Hood (with brief detour to Sisters, OR)
  • Stayed at Timberline Lodge

Day 9 - 7/22/17

  • Mt. Hood to Hood River, OR (where we said goodbye to the bikers as they headed north to go home to Washington state.)
  • Drove along the Columbia River to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery
  • Multnomah Falls Recreation Area
  • Portland, OR - Lunch with friend from California who has relocated to area
  • Returned rental car and spent night near airport

Day 10 - 7/22/17

  • Flight from Portland to Oakland

When it was all said and done, we say a lot of Oregon and put 1,500 miles on the rental car.  We learned a few things along the way but most importantly we love Oregon even more than we did before.  (I’ve never seen so many versions of the color green.)  As much as we enjoyed the scenery, the time with friends (new and old) was the most memorable.  I can't imagine us on a motorcycle (it sure looks like a lot of work) but I will defiantly try to score another invitation on their next adventure.  

Oregon Coast - Day 1

Our #cagerrager2017 adventure has begun!  We flew from Oakland to Portland and drove south to Coos Bay.  We stopped a few times along the way including a mandatory Costco visit in Salem.  (One of our favorite things to do when traveling.)  It didn't take long to remember why we love this state.  Everything is so green and plush... and we really enjoyed the wonderfully mild temperature.  (Currently the temperature in Hilmar is above average at 105 for a high.)  When we left home last night, our air-conditioning was not working so escaping the heat was delightful!

The pictures on the water are from Coos Bay.  This inlet is directly across the street from our hotel.  (See if you can spot the flying bird and the baby in the nest.)  We'll spend one night here and meet up with the rest of the "ride" (the real motorcycle people) tomorrow.