When this fall we booked Oliver’s ticket for Christmas vacation, I remember thinking “Wow! Three and a half weeks! That’s so long — and we’ll be able to do so much.”
Well, now that Oliver is back at school, I envy the December me, the one who had all this time to look forward to — the outings, the time playing games, watching football and classic movies and just enjoying being together.
And as always, we do all this with food (like these Sharp Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits) as the focal point.
With Oliver now back in D.C., the January me feels bummed. Is our time together really over?
Sadly, for now it is so, but we’ve really packed it in.
You see, right after I chimed in here last we headed to Cannon Beach. We’d rented an oceanfront home there for three days, and I loved every minute there.
As you can imagine, I brought so many of my favorite things to enjoy there.
I also loaded the car up with all kinds of treats and fresh roses to scatter throughout the house.
Our beach time was such so relaxing, just playing games by the fire, nibbling on cheese platters
and sipping cocoa and playing games on the oversized wooden kitchen table.
In between there were wet slogs in the sand, throwing a frisbee around
and looking for treasures in the sand.
This particular stretch of Cannon Beach is a little sleepier than the area close to all the shops
and we loved having the beach largely to ourselves, allowing us privacy and the ability to spy some really interesting homes perched above.
We even discovered a waterfall near the end of our amble.
Pork Chop loved frolicking and it seemed like he was smiling– or sleeping off the runs!– the entire time.
This time, I really enjoyed exploring the town of Cannon Beach. It has some beautiful shops including my one of my all-time favorites, Sesame and Lilies.
The person who buys and curates this shop has impeccable taste and I never fail to be inspired when I walk around it.
About twenty percent of the merchandise is vintage
and the rest is new (think cashmere wraps, lovely table top and beach-inspired home accent pieces).
Upstairs there are hundreds of vintage inspired posters for sale.
They are only five dollars each and I wanted to take so many of them home (but sadly don’t have the room for any right now).
I also found a place called Vintage Viaje that has a wonderfully curated holiday collection
and the kids and I each picked out a little something to commemorate the occasion.
We also went on a fish and chip crawl while we were on the coast, trying three different places in 24 hours.
Tom’s Fish and Chips.
And then our was our favorite, recommend by my pal Laurie who has a beach house in neighboring Seaside.
Grizzly Tuna is a drive-thru that can only make one order at a time, and they were made solely with tuna and a devilishly crisp batter
— and both the fish and chips were marvelous (our hands-down favorite of our trip).
We were at the coast for New Year’s Eve, and it marked the first time we were out of the house for this occasion.
I brought gifts for all of us, and it was so enjoyable to open them up in the run up to midnight.
I love family beach time so much.
And it was delightful finding Sea Level,
a new-to-us place cafe/bakery for incredible Heart Coffee drinks
and spectacular scones
Who can resist an iced raspberry scone?
After we got back from the beach, there wasn’t that much time for us left.
It felt like every moment was that much closer to a dreary goodbye.
We did manage to go out for a few incredible meals (more on that possibly later) and I think I made or baked everything on Oliver’s wish list, including a tremendous batch of fried chicken
alongside mashed potatoes and a delectable wedge salad.
I”ve never really thought about how easy it is to make a wedge salad (especially if you can find a superb dressing, and I love Trader Joe’s thick blue cheese one) and the impact and allure of a whole head of iceberg cut up and dressed is not to be dismissed.
And I absolutely had to make Oliver’s most beloved dessert.
Caramel pot de cremes.
And so now with both kids back at school, this holiday vacation is officially a wrap.
Next up, lots of tests and procedures for David — and a whole lot of prayers.
(I’m so happy Oliver and I got in one last game day handshake/prayer bow at the airport curb.)
Thanks to all of you who’ve reached out to me privately, through this blog or on Instagram (or in person!).
And Oliver, we all miss you terribly, even just one day in.
I’m counting down the days until we’re together again.
Hugs to you too, lovely people.