Friday, January 16, 2015

The End of Home Leave: the Oregon Coast

We visited the central coast town of Yachats for some down time before the big move. All the relaxation was for naught, as it turned out, because the flights were stressful in the extreme. In the end, we all made it, together, and in one piece. Bujumbura pictures will be coming soon....

It's usually brisk on the Oregon coast in June, so Bertie FINALLY got to wear his green bear-ears hat and his spiffy baby Columbia safety orange jacket.

Bertie also has sunglasses, and we practiced for equatorial African sun on the OR coast. It's not quite as bright in Oregon as it is in Burundi, but we were glad for all that protection!

Guita was delighted to be with us and back on the beach!

Heceta Head Lighthouse is supposed to be one of the prettiest lights on the Pacific Coast (if not in the whole country). It is freshly restored and perfectly functional. It has always been one of my favorite spots, but usually I see it from the Sea Lion Caves just slightly south of Heceta Head.

Bertie liked it too, but he tries to play cool in the photos.

Looking out of the windows on the light tour. The bridge is part of the scenic OR coast highway.

A wider view, looking south. You can just see the buildings of the top of the Sea Lion Caves and 101 cutting along the headlands.

Heceta Head light is only part of the way up the magnificent Heceta Head. Amanda and I returned without Ian, Bertie, and Guita, and we got up into the woods behind and above the light. The Oregon coast is a wondrous place.

Weatherbeaten but still mighty trees above the light.

Looking north from the top of Heceta Head.

Looking south from the beach in the previous picture. I love Oregon.

Happy Amanda on the hike!

It was a wonderful day.

Happy camper Chris shows me how exactly a knife is important to campfire cooking.

Bertie was happy to have bottle holders in his camp chair. He liked everything except the smoke.

We had lovely weather, and one evening we took family photos on the beach with the sunset. I'm glad to say I'm doing my auntly duty and making Veda look tall!


Cousins 2!

Cousins 3!

What a cutie!

Auntie Amanda!

And a regular sunset picture with awesome clouds.

We visited the historic Yaquina Head lighthouse and explored its rock beach. The fog was amazing on the head, and the yellow flowers shone in the light. Bertie was glad to have sunglasses.

Looks like Bertie will be OK with pub culture....

And he got Ian's taste in beer. Thank goodness for Rogue!

It was cool enough that Bertie got to wear his other jacket with the bear ears built in. It was beautiful.

Two toys that made home leave amazing: this is inchworm, and oh my gosh, it crinkles and sings. Amazing.

This is gyro toy. His little mind was blown, and his little hands had plenty to hold onto.

Portland! With Bertie!

From Chicago, we headed to Portland for the remainder of home leave. We were so happy to be nearly reunited with all the four-legged babies!

But one last detour in Chicago: we got to see Heather and John and family for a lovely evening. Bertie was happy to meet another pseudo-Auntie!

Four generations of Bensons.

Grandpa is a fan.

Great Aunt Sonia came to meet the baby, and she brought him a fabulous musical inchworm toy. We still love our inchworm!

Nana loves this baby...

And Grandma does too!

Uncle Willis was a little hesitant, but then he learned that Bertie likes to fly.

Where's the baby!!

Grandma is very happy with the baby...

And he's happy with her!

Nana got some more Bertie time, and he showed her his fabulous gyro toy from Jenny and Ben!

We managed to get one last four-generations photo even though Bertie was really more interested in his gyro toy.

Chicago! With Bertie!

We left Port-au-Prince on June 2, 2014, with two cats, one baby, and about 17,000 suitcases. Guita was already in Oregon waiting for us. We heave a sigh of relief when we got to Chicago and started to relax with the Zaurs!

Jaye and Gary organized a "Welcome, Bertie!" party for the Chicago clan.

Bertie met his "Gigi," and it was good.

Four generations of Zaurs!

All that family lovin' can take it right out of a baby.

We had some quieter time with Gigi as well, and it was lovely.

There is some Zaur in the boy even if he got Runyon skin....