The whole  object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as foreign land. –G.K.Chesterton-

My oldest son’s girlfriend, who is from San Juan Islands, spent a week with us during the July 4 holiday four day weekend. The two of them wanted to have a day at the Oregon Beach with the family during her stay. Cannon Beach is our favorite family spot, where my youngest son celebrates his Spring Break birthday every year.

My son’s girlfriend had not experienced any Oregon beach yet, much less Cannon Beach, famous for Haystack Rock, breathtaking sunsets and endless miles of dreamy coast – and my youngest son’s birthday. And, we were glad to be there for her “first time at Cannon Beach” monument. I called it our  Week 3 Adventure with Kids for Summer 2011.

We left after church on Sunday- I love that they wanted to first go to church, which translated into a much later start to our beach day trip. . . When we left Portland, the weather was overcast and cloudy, not what you expect for summer. Okay, it’s Oregon.

But, as we passed through the mountains on Highway 26, we watched the clouds melt into clear blue sky above the miles of sandy beaches, accented with Haystack Rock. We brought beach blankets for relaxing and kites for flying and shovels for digging.

The excitement of my son’s girlfriend seeing Cannon Beach for the first time was a delight. The awe, the natural beauty, the sand stretching for miles into the horizon, the ocean waves splashing against the shores, the number of people walking along the beach, splashing into the waves, chasing after kids, digging with  shovels, building sand castles, flying kites. Extraordinary ordinary.  

            As I reflect on the G.K. Chesterton quote about his take on traveling on foreign land–something very adventurous—to see one’s own land, something familiar, as foreign land.

            And, that is what you do when you see some place through fresh eyes. That attitude of wonder. Of awe. Of amazement. May our lives be always filled with that “first time there” feeling.  

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