Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Seaside 2015: Jam-packed days and anxiety dreams

A couple weeks ago we got to spend a week in Seaside, Oregon - the place I have been vacationing since I was an infant. It's a fantastic town, complete with a huge beach, delicious caramel corn and some interesting locals.

We had a GREAT time. Freddie and Elsie lived it up with their American cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. They built sand castle after sand castle, jumped the chilly Pacific Ocean waves and had one-on-one 'dates' with their parents to get giant ice cream cones. They even enjoyed the long car journey. "That was a great road trip!" said Freddie, covered in granola bar crumbs and nectarine residue, as we arrived.

I don't know if I'd say 'great,' but it wasn't too painful. I was expecting the 5+ hour car ride to be the most difficult part of the vacation (William got car sick, Elsie learned how to THROW toys precisely at Freddie's head and we listened to 'I've been working on the railroad' on repeat) but instead it was something else.

Ever since that New York Times article came out, I can't get the 'big one' out of my head. For those not in the Pacific Northwest, the 'big one' is a huge 9.0 earthquake that is due to happen in this area. Actually, it's OVERdue. And the worst hit spot? Seaside, Oregon.

Yes, I spent the week in Seaside having a blast with my kids and rest of the family but I also spent it very low on sleep. Every night I had horrible anxiety dreams about the earthquake, tsunami and how to get everyone out alive. I memorized evacuation routes, parked the car at the beach (3 blocks from the house) so we'd have a quicker method out if the tsunami hit (and the roads were drivable - unlikely), and carried the Ergo (baby carrier) everywhere in case I had to throw one kid into it and make a run for it. By the end of the week, I was a blurry-eyed mess.

The article was a real eye-opener, so for that I am grateful, but I was also happy when we drove past the 'Leaving Tsunami Hazard Zone' signs on the way home. I feel like I'm at a real dilemma here. Are we not supposed to go to Seaside ever again because of the risk? Should I just live in denial? Oh, and where should I store our disaster preparedness kit (yet to be packed) in case I store it in the part of the house that collapses and we can't even end up getting it out?

Whew. Let me know if you have any answers to those questions and, in the meantime, here are some pics of our holiday! :)

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