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Manzanita, Oregon

Manzanita, Oregon

Manzanita is perfect for 14-year old Emma, the Emma yearning for independence. In Manzanita I could ride my bike or walk anywhere around this tiny coastal town. If my family was settled in for the night watching a movie, I could quickly bike to the beach and catch the sun going down by myself. My brother and I used to bring our best friends along with us and we would spend all week exploring and laughing. When I look back on my childhood and teenage years, that time was important and so much fun.

This year we were joined by my cousin Tim. Before he biked from Vancouver, B.C. to our home in Battle Ground, Washington (that’s right, biked) I had never met him before! He joined us on our annual trip to Manzanita, Oregon.

Tim is originally from New Zealand, but has spent the most of the last 10 years living in Australia. This summer he’s been biking from Canada down the west coast to California. He’s got an adventurous spirit and was a great addition to our holiday. We really enjoyed getting to know him and I was so lucky to catch him while he passed through!

My family and I have been coming to Manzanita for about 18 years. We love this small Oregon beach town. It has a main street with shops, restaurants, a cafe and a pub which lead down to the beach. I LOVE fires on the beach and on our last night the weather was perfect for a cozy beach fire. The boys passed the rugby ball around as the sun was setting and we sat by the warm fire and roasted marshmallows. I’m pretty sure it was Tim’s first time eating s’mores, which is basically an American right of passage. I felt like I was able to do so much during my three-week holiday. I can’t wait to come back to Manzanita for many more summers and continue the tradition.

Music Pick of the Week

Each week I try and highlight an Indie music artist at the end of my blog post, but this week I can’t stop listening to Chance the Rapper. 🙂

Preparing for an American Holiday

Preparing for an American Holiday

I’ve always been obsessed with weddings. I’m a meticulous planner, and though my wedding isn’t on the immediate the horizon, I already have many ideas mapped out. When I was young, I started planning out ideas in my head along with one of my oldest and best friends, Kamille. I met Kamille when I changed schools in the seventh grade, we were as close as sisters all throughout high school. Both of us would daydream together about how we would do our weddings, and more importantly, who we would be getting married to. Well, in a couple of days I’m traveling back home for Kamille’s wedding, and I couldn’t be more excited. Not only am I attending her wedding as a giddy guest I will also be one of her bridesmaids!

The trip back home will also provide me with an excellent opportunity to look towards the future, when I’m done with my degree and am finished with my New Zealand adventure. Part of that means moving some items back home. I came to New Zealand with two suitcases and at this point I’ll need at least four to move back home.

I’m packing items I can do without for the remaining five months left of my NZ residency. Things like framed photos, books, sheets and posters. Honestly, I shouldn’t have brought some of these things in the first place but maybe I thought that they would combat my loneliness in the first months away from home.

I’m excited for this trip, but also nervous about stepping into a warm summer. As I’ve experienced four winters in a row, I’ve accumulated mostly cozy winter clothes! So I will pack the few summer clothes I have.

During this trip I’m going to a wedding, visiting family and friends, relaxing from an insane semester and going on holiday to my family’s favorite place… Manzanita, Oregon! Up until a couple of years ago, my family traveled there every year since I was six year old. We take one week out of the year during August, we rent a vacation house in Manzanita.

Every time we rolled onto the main street, Laneda Street, we listen to Mama Mia by ABBA. It started when we bought ABBA Gold on tape (yep, tape). Now we plug our iPhones into the auxiliary cord and play it off of Spotify, but we still abide by my favorite tradition of this holiday.

I’ve watched this small town change over the years but it still gives me the warm fuzzies every time we visit. I wish Tra could come along with us this year and join in our tradition, but we’ll have to make it next year.

Music Pick of the Week

Each week I try and highlight an Indie music artist at the end of my blog post. If you would like me to consider your music please email me.

This week I’ve chosen a song from the Seattle-based dream pop band Lofty Stills. Give it a listen and maybe consider giving them a like on facebook or downloading their album on Bandcamp.