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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Picking Up Where We Left Off Four Years Ago aka My Longest Post To Date But Totally Worth It

There are people that you meet that through some inexplicable nature of who you are and who the other person is, time and distance has no significant role in your friendship. One of those friendships is my old roommate.  We met at the Columbia Publishing Course and through our mutual love of all things book and publishing related, became dear friends who would run together, laugh together, drink together, smoke together (just once), shop together, cook together, be piss poor together, and share our first year in publishing and New York City together.  Four years ago was the last time I saw EJ in the Lexington apartment on the Upper East Side of New York City.

Over the last four years we've kept up intermittently via phone and email and whenever we talk/write, it's like no time as has passed, like coming home at the end of another day at the office.  When EJ called a few weeks ago letting me know that she had graduated from grad school at Wake Forest, was going to drive across the country and hang out at a beach house in Arch Cape, Oregon, my first response in a single breath was WhenI'mtherehowlongcanIstay?

The weekend finally arrived where EJ was finally on the left coast and in the time zone close enough for a visit.  I hopped in the car and head south to Cannon Beach/Arch Cape via Vancouver (see below).  As I was leaving Vancouver the sun was setting on the wheat fields over the Oregon country landscape and I couldn't help by smile. Smile so much I couldn't stop.  I had the music up, sun roof open, belting tunes at the top of my lungs, drunken karaoke style.  It was probably the combination of just seeing an old friend, anticipation of the reunion with EJ, the sights and scenery, the full service gas stations, that an overwhelming feeling of elation consumed me.  My face hurt I was smiling so much.

When I finally got to the beach house we quickly picked up right where we left off.  We chatted about everything under the sun.  She had made a gluten free vegan dinner of grilled veggies and arugala salad that we ate for dinner outside on the deck in the mist and began the conversation with, "Ok, four years, ready go." We talked about the ups and downs, the heartbreak, the good times, the memories, the first race we ran together, the trips to Boston, the giggalo/hairdresser down stairs neighbor, old classmates, co-workers, the future, the families, and philosophies of life.  We can literally talk about EVERYTHING with complete openness and acceptance. So rare and refreshing, it's the piece I treasure most about our friendship.

EJ put me up in the loft master suite with a deck off the side through french doors.  You could see, hear and smell the ocean.  Surely this is a tiny slice of heaven I thought.  Fresh from scratch homemade blueberry pie and Tillamock Vanilla Ice Cream made up for our too healthy dinner and we settled into watching, New York, I Love You, so apropos for the occasion.

The next day we set out for a hike to Cape Falcon.  A beautiful hike which paralleled the cliffs of the Coast line.  We found surfers.  It was all so very gorgeous.

After our Cape Falcon hike we headed to Manzanita, Oregon, for some jumbo burritos the size of our heads. Stuffed beyond comfortable we thought it a perfect idea to top off the tummy with Tillamock Orange Sherbert from the local ice cream cafe.  It's the very least we could do to support the local businesses.  Besides, I live by the hard and fast rule that no vacation is complete until ice cream is consumed.


After we gorged ourselves on burritos we headed to Cannon Beach in an effort to see puffins.  Coincidentally, we strategically planned it for low tide so that the tide pools would be easily accessible and the marine garden would be crawling with life.  Look what we found:

Kinda gross/Totally awesome

Puffin sighting was a bust so we headed to the comforts of home to curl up and read.  I would like to note that we did park in front of the library and across the street from the book store that we spent a significant amount of time strolling through, chatting about authors and books.  It's just what we do. 

My last day there quickly became a day of beach marathoning. 

Beach #1: Arch Cape.  I have decided that there is no simpler joy than that of a dog chasing a tennis ball on the beach.  

This place is micro and macro beautiful.

Beach #2: Cannon Beach - Probably the most famous beach on the Oregon Coast, E and I set up camp for a couple hours to soak up some sun and read some good books and occasionally catch a snooze. Life is hard for the vacationing kind.

Beach #3 Manzanita

So I didn't actually get a picture of us falling asleep on the beach because I was too busy digesting the excessive amount of Mexican food we ate. The proof.

After the beach marathoning it was time for me to head home.  The saddest part of leaving isn't missing the beaches or the sun or the small coastal town, but saying bye to EJ.  She starts teaching 9th grade English at Norfolk Academy come fall and those kids have no idea just how lucky they are. 

I sincerely hope that another 4 years doesn't pass before we see each other. We made plans for a repeat appearance of the first race I ever ran coming up in April and plans for a half marathon sometime in July in Ireland.  But not matter how much time passes, I know that next time we see each other, we'll pick up right where we left off.  


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