With a promise of sunny skies and warm temperatures, my husband and I headed out on one of our newly minted “empty nest adventures”. The idea here is that no advance planning takes place, as opposed to our twenty plus child rearing years, when EVERYTHING had to be planned out in advance. Ah….what a luxury….pure spontaneity!
After breakfast, my husband pulled out his beloved convertible, I grabbed a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen and off we went. Where were we headed? The possibilities were endless! We knew that we wanted a day trip…no reservation hassle, or cost of a hotel, just a day filled with fun and adventure. We zipped through Portland and arrived at the I-5 corridor. North or South??? Wow, what fun! We chose North since the weather was great and going toward Seattle usually means cooler temperatures, making it not always the best option in often cool temperatures. We conclude that we should seize the chance to enjoy sunny, warm temperatures while they were offered. North, we headed! How far North? Seattle, Mt. Rainier, Gig Harbor? Our minds were buzzing. No planning….just go!
We popped in Katy Perry’s CD and headed North, big smiles on our faces, our hair flying everywhere! Along the route, about an hour and a half north of Portland, we saw a sign for Mt. Saint Helens. That was it! We had been your typical Mt. Saint Helen’s tourists a few times since moving to the Northwest, but this time would be different…no kids…no timeline…no educational moment. A whole new perspective to see something familiar, would it be as fun?
We grabbed some sandwiches at a small sandwich shop along the route and vowed not to eat them until the right setting presented itself. Twenty minutes later, we saw a sign for a state park. That was our lunch destination. After satisfying our hungry stomachs in a fun forested setting, we headed off again for the mountain. Along our route, we saw a sign for Coldwater Lake, a scenic picnic spot with restrooms and trails to enjoy. A small hike sounded fun, so we turned in. The lake wasn’t very deep, but was amazingly clear. Dragonflies were dancing off the water everywhere. In the background was Mt. Saint Helens. Why did I leave my camera at home? I did shoot off a few pictures with my phone at least. After walking the easy loop beside the lake, we jumped back in the car headed towards the Johnson Visitor Center. Upon arriving, we took in the beauty that the high elevation unveiled, and headed to the Visitor Center. Then it struck us, we didn’t need to make this a learning moment. We didn’t have to learn about the process of regrowth after a major eruption; we were empty nesters! No learning moments required! We giggled, turned around and didn’t even enter the visitor’s center! That was not our plan for today….maybe next time…we’ll see. No plans, remember?
Live life! Pam
Live life! Pam