A Whale of a Time

Over Labor Day weekend, Nathan and I escaped to the Oregon coast for a short camping trip with my parents.  We went to Beverly Beach, which is one of my very few “approved” campgrounds.  I have a lot of requirements for an acceptable campground, including but not limited to: flushing toilets, showers, minimal dirt and bugs, weather that is not too hot, and a low risk of being mauled by a bear while I sleep.  All in all, I do not think these are unreasonable requirements.

I was a little nervous about camping with my parents.  Not because I don’t love spending time with my parents, but because they have a much higher appreciation of nature than I do.  As in, they aren’t afraid of dirt, bugs, and bears.  They even like hiking!  Yikes.  I am really not a nature person (or a camping person, for that matter).  I just really like going to the beach.  So off we went.

The weather was absolutely beautiful all weekend.  We spent most of Saturday at the beach, enjoying the sunshine and getting A LOT of exercise.





My parents, being ambitious and nature loving and all that, took off on a walk and disappeared immediately.  I, on the other hand, dawdled slowly down the beach, then got water in my shoes and had to take a break to dry off.  This is when I learned the lesson that driftwood does indeed have splinters, and you should sit on driftwood at your own risk.  Just an FYI. 

While we were sitting, Nathan pointed out a cliff in the distance.  He thought the cliff looked really similar to Devil’s Punchbowl, a state park day use area that we usually drive to from our campground.  Somehow, he managed to convince me that it would be a good idea to walk there and see if it really was the Punchbowl.


So we walked.  And walked.  And walked some more.  We passed my parents, who had walked to the distant cliff and were on their way back to camp with my dad’s prized beach finds.


My parents said that they didn’t see any access from the beach to the top of the cliff, and that they did not think it was Devil’s Punchbowl.  Nathan insisted, so he and I continued walking.  And walking.  So much walking . . . but finally, we reached the cliff.  And the stairs.  The millions and millions of stairs.  But FINALLY we reached the top.

1-DSC_0105The view from the top of the stairs.  I was not kidding about the long walk!

Once we reached the top, we noticed a large crowd gathered at the lookout over the Punchbowl.  It was low tide, so the Punchbowl couldn’t be that interesting.  We wandered over and were rewarded with the sight that made the walk all worth it.  WHALES!  Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, but a whole gigantic POD of whales!  (TAKE THAT, STUPID LEBRON JAMES!)




As you may know, seeing whales is one of my most favorite things ever.  I get very excited and jump up and down like a child.  Judge all you want.  Seeing a whale breach is one of my life goals (sadly, despite an hour and a half of whale watching that day, none of the whales breached).  But it made up for it by seeing so many at one time.  There must have been some good food in that water, because the whales were everywhere!  After several texts to my mom about how cool the whales were and how they were missing it, she and my dad texted that they were heading back.  I figured they were about halfway back to the campground beach and must just be turning around. 

When they finally showed up over a half an hour later, I asked what took them so long.  Somehow, they had managed to walk all the way back to our campsite and smuggle in my dad’s prized seaweed by the time Nathan and I reached the Punchbowl.  And then they turned around and walked all the way back!  (I told you these people love exercise and nature.)  They were glad they had walked back though, because the whales were still swimming all over the place.  It was so much fun to watch.



The walk back really tired everyone out, so we spent the afternoon relaxing, reading, and eating some yummy food!


Just before dinner, the Nature-aholics struck again and somehow forced me into a hike on the nature trail around the campground.  I sort of blame Nathan for this, because he agreed to go and therefore I was forcefully dragged along.  I did try to make a break for it a couple times and turn around to go back to camp (I would have succeeded too, if not for my husband.  Apparently he pays more attention to what I am up to than I thought.)  I nearly had a heart attack when we stepped onto the trail and saw the sign saying, “CAUTION! A bear was sighted here on _______.”  Nathan and my parents claim that this sign was just posted just in case someone ever DID see a bear, and the fact that the date was blank meant no bear had been spotted.  Since my escape attempts had failed, I had no choice but to believe them.  So they won, and I unwillingly went on a hike.  (But you better believe I whined the whole way.)  We had a nice dinner out in Newport and yummy s’mores for dessert.

On Sunday, my parents went home and Nathan & I stayed one more day.  The weather was even more perfect that day!  We spent Sunday laying on the beach like lazy bums.  We ate lunch, read books, and it was warm, sunny, and perfect.  The best part was, the whales were still around, and we could see them spouting from the beach!!!  The trip was definitely a success in the whale watching department.  We ate dinner at the campground that night and enjoyed the sunset on the beach.


1-DSC_0119Contemplating life.



All in all, it was a much needed, relaxing, and fun vacation.  Hopefully we can do it again next year!



Be Jealous!

Because I, Megan, have a date with destiny!


That’s right, Seattle!  Watch out, because Megan & Nathan are coming to town!

Now, all that remains to determine is how much more Patriots gear I need to purchase.  Did you know that you can buy stickers for your FACE????  This is a very tempting thought.

In other related news, the TBFC dominated (and I mean DOMINATED) Week 1 by crushing their opponent 131-68 and leading the league in points (only two other people scored over 100; 111 and 101, respectively)!  All this was accomplished with mediocre RB play, a defense that scored negative points, and only an average day from the Golden Boy.  The wide receivers that I “didn’t love” stepped up big time.  As did the kicker I hated.  And then after this was all said and done, some dude offers me Jordy Nelson for Reggie Wayne.  I have a hard time seeing how this will benefit them, but it will certainly benefit me, so I took it.  Put in claims on Kevin Ogletree and Dexter McCluster by dropping the frighteningly terrible Ryan Williams and Jonathon Dwyer.  So, we’ll see if we can continue the path of excellence in Week 2.

I don’t like to brag, but this is likely the only week I will do so well, so I had to do it.  There is currently a poll in our league posing the question, “What do you think? Will Tom Brady Fan Club go all the way to the championship game?”  So far, there are ZERO “yes” votes, and 3 “no” votes.  And one of those no votes is mine!  So for today, I will brag all I want.

Team Nabime (the team of ever changing names that my dad and I, joined this year by Nathan, run in a league where real money is on the line) continued its history of underachieving.  Team Nabime really outdid themselves this week, scoring the second lowest points of the weekend and kicking off the season with a loss.  I find this shocking, since we have what I consider to be a great roster.  I would kill to have some of these RB’s and WR’s on the TBFC!  But despite all this, our KICKER was our high scorer for the weekend.  And unfortunately, there is no one but myself and our good for nothing wide receivers to blame.  Now you you see why I have to brag when things go well!



Flashback Friday: Raising Your Political Voice

HA!  I bet you all thought I had forgotten about Flashback Friday after its one and only debut performance.  Well, fear not and call me an elephant!  Because I never forget. (About Flashback Friday, that is.  About what day of the week it is, that’s another story.)  And all the talk of politics lately has made me a little nostalgic.

The first year that I was able to vote happened to be an election year, in 2004.  At that time, I was a freshman at UO.  I lived on campus that year, and it was such an exciting time to be there!  People were really buzzing about the election, and it was THE big thing on campus that fall.  There were rallies, voter registration campaigns, and it was the main topic of discussion in the dorms and around campus.  One day, Howard Dean came to talk at the EMU, and the turnout was huge.  Everyone was going to attend to hear what he had to say.  I myself did not go (I had a class at the same time), but you could hear the rally inside the buildings and blocks away at the dorms.  For everyone who says 18 year olds don’t care about their country?  That experience was proof for me that they do. 

I was so excited that my first vote could be part of something big like a presidential election.  I remember on election night, the girls on my floor all spent the night parked around the TV’s in our tiny dorm rooms, eating ice cream and watching the results.  At the time, a lot of people on campus were disappointed that George Bush was elected to another term.  I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed too.  I didn’t like Kerry, but I also did not like the direction our country was headed.  In retrospect though, it was the right thing, and I think most of those disappointed students would agree with me.  If it weren’t for that loss, we would not have had the victory that really mattered with Obama in 2008.

I was even more excited for the election in 2008.  The message of change really hit home with me (still does), and in Barack Obama I saw our future.  I was honored to vote for him, and watching his speech on election night filled me with so many emotions.  On that night, for the first time in my relatively young life, I understood how it felt to be truly proud of my country.  One of my co-workers in Eugene got to be in Washington during that time, and she brought back election buttons for my parents and for me.  I have a whole box filled with mementos from that election, so that one day I can share them with my children, and maybe help inspire them in the same way.

Most people know that Eugene is a fairly liberal town.  It’s what I love most about it.  It’s why I loved attending school there, working there after college, and one reason why I was so hesitant to leave my job there, even though it was time to move on.  Eugene and UO are filled with open minded, forward thinking people.  If you have spent much time with me (or taken a look at my car in the last four years), you know that I am fairly liberal in my beliefs as well.  I credit most of that to my parents, who raised me to be open minded and think for myself; but I also credit some of it to my time in Eugene.  I was raised in and currently live in a very close minded, conservative, and fairly uneducated part of Oregon.  This is not an insult or criticism to the area; it’s simply the truth.  When I was at UO, I met a lot of new and different people, who lived a lot of different lifestyles.  If I hadn’t spent that time in Eugene, I might feel very differently about certain issues.  My experiences there solidified my beliefs.  More importantly, my experiences taught me that it is okay to have different political opinions from some of my friends and family, as long as we share the same values. 

So, now we are here in 2012.  Some of you probably think I should be keeping my big mouth shut and my opinions to myself.  And that’s fine; you can think that.  But the thing is, I’ve never been very good at keeping my mouth shut and my opinions to myself.  Some of you have your own opinions, but don’t want to verbally announce them to the world.  And that’s also fine . . . for you.  But not for me.  If I learned anything these last eight years, it’s that things won’t change unless you stand up for what you believe in and make your voice heard.

So here is my voice.

I believe in healthcare reform.

I believe in raising taxes. I would actually support a tax increase for everyone, including my middle-class self.

I believe we are in a better place then we were four years ago.  I certainly am.

I believe in marriage equality, for EVERYONE.

I believe in moving forward.

I believe in Barack Obama.

And I will not apologize for the believing in any of these things.

I encourage everyone to make their own voice heard.  Whatever your voice may be.  You don’t have to agree with me.  The point is, nothing in this country ever changed for the better because people stood by idly and watched.  Things change for the better when people get out there, do something, and make their voices heard.  Too many people do not stand up for their beliefs.  Or even worse, they don’t vote!  One of my biggest frustrations is to hear people complain about the state of the nation, and then say in the same breath that they aren’t even a registered voter.  Get out there and VOTE.  Make your words and beliefs count.

I encourage everyone to visit HealthCare.gov, and learn some real facts about healthcare reform. In particular, I recommend checking out the timeline of changes and reading about the key features of the law. I was introduced to this website through work last year (I work with insurance companies for a living), and I found it very enlightening.  There are a lot of misconceptions out there about healthcare reform, and you should not make up your mind before you know the real facts.

I encourage everyone to listen to President Clinton’s speech from Wednesday night, if you have not done so already.  He laid out the facts, plain and clear.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I also come from a world where 2 + 2 = 4.  My mom is a math teacher; I know my arithmetic!

While you’re at it, I also encourage everyone to listen to President Obama’s speech from Thursday night.  He gave a picture of how far we have come, and then explained why we can’t stop there.  Why we need to continue to move forward, and how we will accomplish it.

And if, like me, you believe in moving forward, then I encourage you to get your free bumper sticker and let your voice be heard among all the people on the road!

I am raising my voice – forward, for the future.  For my future, my parents’ future, and my children’s future.

Happy weekend, go Patriots, and rock on TBFC and Nabime!