The first three weeks I spent in Oregon, Ryan was still in Texas finishing an ENT rotation. The days were long! Ryan was lonely and I was exhausted, and we missed our time together. Then, Ryan came into town, we were a family again! But with the excitement of family around, and tons of activities to pack in, we didn't find much alone time. And, we need it! We are used to such a quiet life in Texas, where after kids are in bed, the house is clean and studying is done, we chat and catch up and talk about everything on our mind until we are ready for bed. I've realized this break that being able to talk things out is crucial for my emotional health! After asking Mindy if she would be kind enough to watch our little boys for an overnight adventure, I planned a surprise trip for Ryan. I couldn't wait for some one on one time.
*Sidenote* While trying to decide where to go, I could not believe the incredible amount of legitimate options we had. The coast, the Rogue River, Crater Lake, Castle Crags, the waterfalls, Redwoods, Smith River, Lost Creek Lake, Mt. Mcloughlin...and that is why we want to come back to this heaven on earth. It truly is a wonderland. We hope to bring our family back to Southern Oregon.
So Monday night I spilled the beans to Ryan, and Tuesday morning we packed a few things and hit the road. It was a quick 2.5 hour drive, and we especially enjoyed the scenic route along the Umpqua, and the bumpy 20 minute drive down the bank to get to the beloved River House. We got there at noon, grabbed fishing poles and went straight to the water. After catching a couple fish, and scaring myself with what I thought was a river snake (yeah...it was my fishing line) we decided it would be fun to bike up a few miles and float down the river with just our life jackets. So, with no thought of what kids needing tending to or who needed a nap, we marched up the hill with suits on and life jackets on our backs, and biked up the dirt path. After we went a couple miles, we hid our bikes in some bushes, climbed out on some rocks and jumped into the surprisingly warm river. With our feet out in front of us, we held onto our life vests, leaned back and floated slowly down the river. It was an incredible view. No one in sight, on the banks or in the river, with the hot sun above us and our toes sticking out of the water, we couldn't help but be in awe of the beauty of the earth.
After another embarrassing moment (I thought a boulder up ahead was a bear...) we climbed out and dried ourselves in the sun. Then we walked on the dirt road, hand in hand, to fetch the hidden bikes. We kept saying, "doesn't it feel like we are dating again??" We were carefree and giddy, so excited to be together and have some FUN.
After a quick shower we headed to Reedsport, and ate some of the best food I have had in years. I had crab cakes with quinoa and veggies, and Ryan had an elk pot pie. We left totally satisfied and full, and fell asleep at 8:45.
The next morning, we woke up early to try our luck with fishing since the water was still. We put on some cozy clothes and spent the morning talking and laughing and fishing. The morning fog was literally rolling along the water, and we saw fish jump and two bald eagles chase each other across the sky. We heard bullfrogs, and watched a hawk dive into the water. Tadpoles were swimming around our feet and the water quietly rushed along downstream. I wanted to freeze time. And part of me ached to go back and live in a simpler time. No technology, no medical school, no big social pressures, just the hard working farm life - where you worked as a family, reaped what you sewed, and got to experience the simple joys of what the earth offers us.
After not even 24 hours away, Ryan and I were ready to see the boys. Isn't it funny how we long for alone time, then ache for our children?? All we could talk about on the drive home was how much we look forward to taking our family to the River House. It brought Ryan and I closer together, and I know it can do the same thing for families. It was, truly, the perfect getaway.