I Still Love Oregon

Ever start writing a blog and just end up boring yourself? I’ve had 2 sitting on my desktop with no compelling reason to complete them. They’re just not good.

So, instead I am going to invite you to check out Oregon with me!

I flew in to Portland on Thursday night. Lindsey (remember her?) was flying in a few hours later, since she had a college class that she just couldn’t miss. I never fly in on the last flight of the day, because if it is cancelled, or I miss it, well, there is no Signing Time event the next day. So, I took and earlier flight and Linds took the last flight.

It’s been awhile since I traveled with Lindsey. Luckily, Lindsey was able to come along, since it is just too early to leave Lucy with a sitter. Lucy was only 2 weeks post-op.

Lucy’s surgeries went really well!

Lucy Wakes Up to a Garden of Balloons

Lucy Wakes Up to a Garden of Balloons

She had three procedures and it took 6 hours. She is very resilient.

Feeling Better

Feeling Better

For this Oregon trip, Aaron stayed home with Leah and Lucy.

While waiting for Lindsey’s flight to arrive, I knew I would have about 4 hours to kill… so I picked up a ticket to see The Killers, who were playing that very night. (Yay for me!) No, I am not afraid of going to concerts or movies by myself.
The Killers in Portland

The show was amazing. It is my goal to get Baby Signing Time to the lead singer, Brandon Flowers, he has a newborn and a toddler and I would love for them to sign with me… since my family sings along with him.

After the show, I picked up Lindsey and we dove 80 miles to Cannon Beach. We checked in and hit the sack. The bummer with driving in the middle of the night is you miss the beauty.

In the morning we met up with Debbie, whose organization brought us out there, and we had brunch at a place called Wanda’s. This was the first of many AMAZING meals we would have on this trip. I had oatmeal… oatmeal… and it knocked my socks off. I mean really, how often can you say you’ve had an amazing bowl of oatmeal? … Me neither! Though, you are more likely thinking, “You ordered oatmeal? Who orders oatmeal?” I do. Okay? I order oatmeal.

Next we visited Nehalem Elementary School. I shared a sign language story time with the Life Skills Class. Then did a Signing Time Assembly for the entire school.

It was still fairly early in the day, so Linds and I drove back to our inn and threw on our swimsuits (silly California girl!) and hopped back into our PT Cruiser and started driving the coast. We pulled over to get our toes in the sand.

Walking The Beach

Walking The Beach

Yes, I brought longsleeves

Yes, I brought longsleeves

Picking up Sand Dollars

Picking up Sand Dollars

We always ask the locals for dinner recommendations and this time we were pointed toward “The best seafood!” a restaurant called Pirate’s Cove.

So Good!

So Good!

Need I say more?

We drove back to the inn, stopping to pick wild blackberries and raspberries that seemed to run rampant everywhere we looked.

Blackberries Make Us Happy

Blackberries Make Us Happy

The following morning was the Buddy Walk at the Beach, in Seaside. The weather was perfect. The walk was just the right length.

I got to meet Lucy’s personal Fan Club, little Dru.

Dru Loves Lucy Coleman

Dru Loves Lucy Coleman

Then it was time to walk.

Walking in the Buddy Walk

Walking in the Buddy Walk

We all gathered for a photo on the stairs that lead to the beach. It felt like a “Where’s Waldo” scene, since most everyone had their Buddy Walk shirts on and I was wearing my signature orange.

Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo?

Lucy’s buddy, Josiah and his family were there. You may have seen Josiah in “The Great Outdoors” exploring on his crutches or smiling next to Lucy. Josiah and Lucy go WAY back. Josiah’s mom, Gina, was the 77th fetal surgery for spina bifida patient and Lucy and I were the 82nd patients. While on bed rest we got to know each other and kept tabs on the progress of these special kids.

It's Always Fun to See Friends

It's Always Fun to See Friends

We all made our way to the Convention Center where my Signing Time performance would be. Before singing Caterpillar Dreams, I introduced Josiah to everyone. It was sweet to see him on the screen behind me and to see how much he has grown since we filmed those scenes.

When most everyone had left, I noticed some bumper boats for rent nearby. Lindsey and I put everything in the car and then ran down to rent bumper boats.

Bring it!

Bring it!

There was an option to rent water guns as well. At first we loved the idea, but on second thought… that water looked uncomfortably brown.

The Eye of The Tiger

The Eye of The Tiger

We packed up and decided to drive some more. The landscape was eerily familiar and we realized that this must be where they filmed the movie Goonies.

Tell Me That Rock is Not From Goonies

Tell Me That Rock is Not From Goonies

A google search later that evening confirmed that hunch. For what it’s worth Kindergarten Cop was also filmed in that area.

After that we went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream cones.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

Tillamook Cheese Factory


We toured the factory and of course tried out the samples. My favorite? Horseradish Cheddar.
Don't Forget the Extra Cheese!

Don't Forget the Extra Cheese!


When the factory closed, we drove to Portland, since we were flying out in the morning.

I love Oregon! I know, I have said it before, but I do. That place just speaks to my soul. The greens are so green! The landscape transitions so abrupt. Who puts a beach right next to a forest?

The Coast is Calling

The Coast is Calling

I have loved traveling for the Signing Time events in Salem and Klamath last year and when I was 19, my girl friend, Jessica and I had hopped in my VW Bus and drove to Eugene on a whim.

I am trying to figure out the best way to get more of Oregon? Should we take a week or two and drive the coast this summer? Camp? Camper? Bed & Breakfast? Should we move to the coast for a month? What is the best way to get more Oregon? Should I sign up for the STP 2010 (Seattle to Portland Bike Race).

I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, and even worse I don’t know why! Something is pulling me toward Oregon.

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About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

32 thoughts on “I Still Love Oregon

  1. Nice update.
    Ok, I just have to tell you, and don’t take offense, but you look like you could kick some serious a@# in the picture in front of the rock. haha.
    Take care.
    S

  2. First, I want to say I’m so glad Lucy is doing so well after her surgeries!

    Second, I can see the appeal and why you feel drawn…absolutely beautiful landscapes, looks like delicious food, and lots of fun! Who wouldn’t be drawn there! 😉

    Once again-some awesome pics!

  3. Rachel, we met last year in Salem while collapsed on stage after Silly Pizza (someone actually posted a video of us on you tube, did you know that?!) I was so sad not to be able to make it to your show, but it was my daughter’s birthday party. As much as we all love you, the draw of friends, cake, ice cream and presents won out over driving the 2.5 hours to Seaside.

    We would LOVE to have you in Oregon more often. I do have to put in a good word for the camping. This is a FABULOUS place to camp in the summer, though you have to think July/August if you want to have a good chance of no rain! There is NOTHING like camping in Oregon. In the matter of a couple of can be in the mountains, desert, ocean, fertile valley, and more. And really, seeing it while camping (tent or camper) really makes you appreciate it and experience it in a way you wouldn’t otherwise.

    We even have a place you can “camp” in a treehouse!

    (and did you know that the 1994 movie Maverick with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster & James Garner was filmed here too!)

  4. I’m sorry we didn’t make it to see you at the Buddy Walk. We had colds so that wouldn’t have worked out. I love you in front of haystack rock. Yes please come back to OR with the family.

  5. Beaches, buddy walk and bumper boats – great blog read!
    Lots of good wishes to Lucy for a speedy and healthy recovery from her surgery! Oregon is gorgeous and Rachel, you look fabulous on the Oregon beach!

    Thanks for pointing out Josiah and how he has grown! I remember the video of him and Lucy sitting cheek to cheek in Caterpillar Dreams.

    Last week my 10 month old started to open and close his hand for ‘milk’ and my 2 year old loves to sign and sing to his DVDs. Can’t wait for the next audition!

  6. I grew up in that area! It’s beautiful huh?
    So glad Lucy is recovering well, how cool is that to wake up to those balloons!

  7. So glad that Lucy is such a trooper and the surgeries went well.
    I must say you look awesome! You are so fit. You and some other Mommy bloggers have inspired me. I am working out so that I can be more fit for me and my family. I want to be fit for playing with my kiddo and I want the hubs to enjoy himself too! 🙂
    Congrats to you and Aaron for all that hard work you’ve done to get in such great shape!

  8. dadgineer: Why would I take offense? That’s like the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me (hee hee) Are you saying you didn’t fear for your life when I met you in Chicago? I don’t think it me that is intimidating, it’s that big rock.

    Leanna: Lucy is trooper. I guess you are right. We have beautiful, breath taking landscapes in Utah too, but never in my life have I seen so many trees as in Oregon.

    Renee: No! I didn’t know that was on YouTube. LOL We have a tent camper, but I don’t know that I want to pop it up and tear it down every few days. Maybe we could rent a RV or just stay in little motels along the way. Possibly start in Seattle and stop in San Francisco.

    saramd: Thanks for staying away with those colds 😉 I’ll let you know when I am back.

    Hema: Congrats on the new signer! YAY babies!

    Crystal: The balloons were from her Grandpa Lex (my dad) he recently had surgery and wanted to make sure she had plenty of visual distraction when she woke up. There were 25 mylar balloons.

    MarieSmith: That’s awesome. We all need inspiration. SO MANY people have been jumping on board with the “Strong Enough” Blogs that I am working on launching a support platform with recipes, workouts, newsletters, a chat and support forum. It will soon be found at www.rachelcoleman.com

  9. Actually I did fear for my life, but that was when I tried to pay when A ran me down in my attempt to pay the bill… 🙂

  10. I love that you got to decorate Lucy’s bed – I’m sure that having great parents like you and Aaron helps her to keep a positive attitude and strong will to power through surgeries and everything that goes along with it!

    Okay, Oregon is literally a country away from me, but to see The Goonies beach might make the trip totally worth it! (okay, is that shallow? But it’s The Goonies!)

  11. LOVE all the pictures! I’m so happy that things went so well for Lucy. I’ve been to Oregon and it is beautiful but a little too rainy for my taste. Kinda like Minnesota is too cold for my taste… oh wait I live here. If you want to see green and beauitful come to MN in the spring/summer, I’ll take you camping and hiking up north in the Boundary Waters

  12. I am with you there – Oregon is beautiful! I’ve been wanting to get back since we drove through on the way to Seattle a few years ago.

    And how sweet of Grandpa Lex to send all of those balloons to Lucy! I hope they are both recovering well.

  13. I lived in Seattle for 7 years, so I totally get the appeal of the Pacific Northwest. I never would’ve left the area, except we had a kid & decided that being closer to family was probably a good idea. Seeing those pictures really makes me miss it there.

    Hope you figure out how to swing a vacation, I’m sure you’d all have a blast.

  14. Oregon looks great, but I couldn’t get over how AMAZING you look. Just when I thought you couldn’t get any better, you prove me wrong. I admire you and your dedication to your children. BTW I am not sure if I told you but we have a little baby boy coming our way this January, only 7 years between this one and Sammie, 11 for Griffin!
    Janna

  15. Oregon is wonderful! I grew up there and, as so often happens, didn’t realize how great it was until I left.

    Don’t limit yourself to just the coast. There is SO much more (although the coast IS amazing). The Columbia River area has the gorge, Multnomah Falls, Hood River, apple and cherry picking, Mt. Hood, & lots of hikes. Central Oregon has Sisters, Mount Bachelor, mountains, high desert, year-round skiing, more amazing hikes. Eastern Oregon is unique, too, with more desert and mountains (really beautiful). You may not want to do it all in one trip, but it all sure is worth visiting.

  16. Oregon is fantastic – keep going south down the coast and you get the wonderfulness that is Newport, the Newport aquarium, and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. And south from that, a little north of Florence is the Hobbit Trails where you can take a primordial forest walk down to the beach and feel just like a little hobbit! And if you really want to go south, head down to Cape Arago, which has just the best tidepools that I have ever seen in Oregon. Love reading your blog!

  17. K, I’m just jealous I didn’t take these sexy beach pictures. They rock! You rock! And then the rock too!
    And, uh why does Luc look so fantastic post surgery? I look like a train wreck!
    Ahhh, Oregon

  18. Hi Rachel, I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit to Oregon again! I live in Klamath and had the opportunity to see you a couple times when you were in town. Everything in your blog reminds me of why I love living in Oregon. When I was younger I lived in Washington and my parents completed the STP you wrote about. They say it was grueling but a great experience.

    Go to Oregon this summer, camp, visit the ocean, and enjoy yourselves!! If you get the chance, camp on the North Umpqua River or on Steamboat Creek. If you search for it, you will find amazing campsites and even better water holes to swim. I cannot say enough of the outdoors. I should also tell you that if you get a chance to come in the winter, you should go snowshoeing at Crater Lake (I think you stopped by there in the summer once). Quite amazing sights in the winter. Anyway, that’s all for me, take care!

  19. {{{{{{BIG GIANT HUGS for LUCY}}}}}}}}}

    I told you you’d love Seaside. I hope you got to walk around in town at least a bit.

    Always bring long sleeves, socks and sneekers to the coast. Even if it’s 100* outside. You’ll be glad you did 🙂

    I love Pirates Cove. Oh yummmmmmy chowder 🙂

    Blackberries are everywhere this side of the mountain. It was a good season this year. Hardly any rain.

    Where else can you find the ocean in the forest?
    I’ll tell ya….. NO where 🙂

    Oregon is a 4 season paradise!!! You should stay in a Yurt on the coast. You can get some nice ones. Google Yurts on the Oregon coast. You’ll LOVE it and so will the kids 🙂 Reserve early, they go fast 😉

  20. dadgineer: That’s one of the benefits of Aaron’s cardio training, he can beat anyone to the check.

    RobMonroe: I am with you, it’s GOONIES!

    Ronai: Oh, you left out the part about the GIANT mosquitoes in the summer in Minnesota.

    Geneve: Thanks G! Everyone is recovering well.

    cindy w: Oh, I will and I will:)

    Janna: Congrats! That’s quite a span. I’m assuming this one will be a signer too, right?

    Holly: Sounds like I need more than a month in Oregon to cover all of that. Hmmm

    Christy: Oh, you had me at “Hobbit Trails”!

    Jessica: I was wishing you were there. I attempted to recreate some of our old school coast photos. 🙂 Our list now includes Moab V.2 and Oregon V.2 – are you in?

    Becky: Wow they did the STP? Awesome! I think I want to enjoy the ride, like in a car.

    Googsmom: You were right about Seaside. Oh, and I had to laugh when you said “yurt” because our first home was almost a yurt in the mountains.

    Linda Jan: You’re welcome;) Now, I am looking forward to Rachael and Chris moving to Oregon.

  21. Hi!
    I’m new here. One of my bloggy buddies sent me your way, because after a 10-day visit to the northern Oregon coast, we have decided to pack it all up – four kids, two with special needs – whatever we can fit in a u-haul and make a new life there. We just love it and absolutely want our kids to grow up in the beauty that is Oregon. Isn’t everyone there so cool, laid-back and so totally nice?

    I told my friend I envied your gorgeous figure and she sent me to your post in which you talked about getting in shape to take care of your daughter. Now I’m completely in love with you.

    So, soon you’ll have a friend living right where you want to spend more time. Small world!

    xo
    pixiemama

  22. Rachel,
    We are so sorry we missed you in Oregon. Hope that you return soon! Much love to you and your family!
    Aimee & Aiyanna

  23. I have just started watching Signing Time videos with my baby. He LOVES them and I am sooo inspired; inspired by your videos, your enthusiasm, and your story. Thanks for sharing it all. I’m also inspired by your remarks about my home state. I’m from Klamath but living in DC. Your Oregon coast photos satiated my hunger for home and I loved stumbling across your entry on Klamath. Your description of Steve is perfect! And I think you drove past my house. Thanks for sharing your incredible talent and spirit. Heidi and Thomas

  24. Hello Rachel,
    I am so sorry i couldn’t make it to buddy walk to see you. But you ask … how to get back to Oregon??? Well, I guess I need to come out of hiding and get off my lazy butt and bring you here. I really miss you and my lindsey. I like talked to her every day there for awhile. Tell her I said “Hello” So, let me see what I can come up with to bring you back to oregon in 2010. Miss you …. I’m glad to read that the girls are doing good. Happy belated birthday, Leah.
    Lots of love from Oregon
    Lisa and Mason

  25. Dear Rachel,
    I wanted to complement you on doing such a good job on Signing time. I have a 7 year old nephew who is a fan since he was younger and still is. I myself am I big fan of yours as well. I love learning to sign with my nephew. I am almost done with College to work with children. You are an inspiration to us and a lot of wonderful families. Thank you so much.

  26. I am so inspired by your devotion to family and motherhood! Lucy is lucky to have you and your husband as her parents. 🙂

    You ask in what way you could see Oregon? Have you ever considered CYCLE OREGON? This is a September Cycling event that caps out at approx 2,000 cyclist treking 450 miles in a week. It is sold out this year in just about a week. www.cycleoregon.com/week-ride/

    My next training goal is to participate in the 2011 ride. Who knows what part of Oregon it will be scheduled in but that is part of the surprise and fun of it. This has been on my bucket list for 25 yrs and this is the year I am going to start saving my money and start training! You should check it out…after all, it would be good Triatholon training! By the way….congrats on the SPUDMAN TRIATH!

    Never stop doing who you are!

  27. I’ve lived in Oregon all my life, in the Willamette Valley. Back when I was a barista at Starbucks (prior to having children), I met a lot of people that were frequent travelers and they would rave to me about Oregon. Some even called it the closest thing to paradise they had ever seen. It made me look at my home state in a whole new way! It IS indeed pretty awesome.

    My mother is a sign language interpreter and used to work for the school system, but she never took the time to teach me ASL as a child. I decided I wanted my children to learn it as a 2nd language, and now thanks to your videos, my 2 and 5 year old girls are learning and loving it, and so am I!!! I showed the videos to my mom and she was blown away. She said they’re the best she has ever seen 🙂

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