May 11, I boarded a plane to start my journey to Bandon, Oregon. This was a much anticipated trip. I said Goodbye to Steph, Noah, Carter, Gray & Ivy on January 27. I will never forget that snowy day, after having lunch at our favorite Sunday hang out. Steph's last words to me was we will be together soon and soon meaning Mother's Day. When they drove away, my heart left with them. May 12th seemed a lifetime away and I wasn't even sure If I could make the trip or not. Well, I made the trip and I am so so glad I did. My mom was suppose to go with, but a few days before we were suppose to leave, she fell in her bathroom and was feeling too sore to go. So, I was all alone. I heard and saw pictures of the Beauty of Oregon, but to experience it in person was like a dream. I was in Awe at the Ocean and Mountains. I arrived on a Saturday and Ivy's dance recital was the next day, on Mother's Day. How special it was to see her perform with music from the Beatles. On Mother's Day morning, Jeff cooked us breakfast and then we all loaded up and drove down to the Ocean. I just couldn't believe that I was surrounded by so much beauty. I felt so blessed. We saw star fish of all colors and other sea creatures that I already forgot the names of. Walking with my daughter on the beach on Mother's Day meant so much to me. It was a perfect day! We had time after we got home to relax and get ready for the recital that afternoon. On Monday, Steph and I went to the store to get things needed for me to cook. I had asked the kids what they wanted me to cook. Noah & Carter said beef & noodles. Gray and Ivy said chicken roll ups. So, guess what Mimi made? I decided to make both. We ate on leftovers for a few days. But that was the only cooking I did.
The rest of the week was filled with so much. I rode with Steph and kids each morning to start the school drop off. Noah & Carter were first, then Gray, then we had a little time before dropping Ivy off. We usually drove around to Old town where there were a lot of shops, or down by the ocean. I enjoyed going in Ivy's pre-school class and watching as she wrote her name to sign in and go pick out what job she was going to help with each day. She was so excited that I got to see what she does. The boys schools are in a row on one block. It makes it easy to drop off and pick up. Gray had a school concert while I was there and it was so enjoyable. Gray and Carter also had ball practice and Carter had a ball game. Steph was like a shuttle, back and forth all day long. I enjoyed the day that just Steph and I went down to the ocean to walk. It was such a relaxing time. I never once thought about what was going on back home in Indiana. It was like I was in another world. I have to truly say that it was a much needed vacation. I felt revived. We met Jeff for lunch a few times. I ate the best fish & chips ever. I am not a seafood eater, but I would eat the fish there every day if I could. I also tried Sushi for the first time (no fish though), just the veggie sushi. Jeff gave me a tour of "The World" where he works and we went out to eat fish and chips again. Steph let the kids miss school on my last day there. We went to West Coast Safari Game Park. Gray had been begging to go there since moving to Bandon. Let me tell you, I had the best time there. I am an animal lover and you were able to feed and walk with a lot of the animals. They were loose. Just the goats, deer, rams, donkey, peacocks, llamas and a few other breeds. After the game park we headed to Gold Beach, about 45 minutes up the road, for pizza. It was the best pizza. The kids got to play arcade games and we had a relaxing time. Steph asked me if I wanted to keep driving and end up in California, which was another 45 min. up the road. I had never been to Cali, so we ended up going. And I am so glad we did. We found a beach after entering in California. We got out and walked and played along the beach. I gathered a few rocks and small pieces of driftwood to bring back home. As we were leaving I saw water spouts shooting out of the water and it was Whales swimming around. We stayed a little longer gasping at what we were seeing. What a great drive, along Hwy. 101 with the Ocean on one side and the mountains on the other side. As we entered California, The Beach Boys were singing on the radio "I wish they all could be California girls"...perfect song! We headed back home and was home in plenty of time to hang out and visit before I had to pack. Steph made the best pasta dish and specialty breads. I dreaded having to pack and go to bed on my last night. I forgot to mention that I went to sleep hearing the sound of the ocean and awoke to the sound of the same ocean. How heavenly is that? And the bathroom I used had an outside door in it. As I would get ready I would open up the door and hear the ocean even louder. I could go on and on about my trip to Bandon, Oregon. I just feel so blessed to be able to take this trip and to witness for myself why Steph and family are so happy there. They have a beautiful home. I can rest a little easier knowing the happiness is for real. It doesn't make it any easier though in missing them, but I am so thankful for Skyping and staying connected through technology. I long for the day that I can return and stay longer.
My name is Rhonda, I have been married to Mike for 38 years. I have a full time job as an Office Manager at an Engineering/Surveying firm. I have a daughter, Stephanie and son Nathan. My daughter has a wonderful husband, Jeff and 3 Terrific boys, Noah, Carter, Grayson and a beautiful girl named Ivy LaRue. They recently moved away to Bandon, Oregon. My son has a beautiful wife, Elsa and a precious daughter, Abigail and handsome little son, Jackson "Jack". They live a few miles from me. I have a sister in Louisiana and a brother in Idaho. I suffered a great loss in Feb. 2011 when I lost my dad. I am blessed to still have my mom who lives 1 mile away. Family is very important to me. I enjoy babysitting for my grand-children and grand-dog's, Sophia & Lola. I am "Mimi", in case you couldn't tell. I love to sing and play the piano in my spare time. My dream is to spend a Christmas at Disneyworld with my whole family....I don't dream too big!