I traveled to Oregon for a week long vacation with my family to celebrate my grandparent’s 50th anniversary. Between Maui and Michigan, it feels like I do an exhausting amount of traveling but it isn’t often that I get the opportunity to vacation somewhere new. Even after a ten hour flight and waiting an hour at an empty airport for my perpetually lost mother, I was still excited to explore.
Oregon was even more beautiful that I thought. We drove for three hours through winding mountain roads to visit the University of Oregon in Eugene for my college bound cousins and I was able to see the beautiful lakes and forests-I was content just looking out the window and listening to the rain. My favorite day was when we adventured lava-formed caves in the morning (my uncle and I getting lost in the darkness momentarily with only the light of a dying iphone to guide us) and afterwards canoed down a river for six miles surrounded by beautiful blue water.
I am lucky enough to be the eldest of our thirteen cousins. I am able to watch their wonderful (and sometimes aggravating in the case of my brother and his younger cohorts) personalities develop. Even though we are divided between Michigan and California and our ages range from two to nineteen, we are all close to one another.
The fact that my grandparents have been married for fifty years amazes me. They are both Grand Rapids natives and started dating in high school (there’s an incident involving my grandfather ditching my grandmother after a high school dance for a girl in a bowling alley but that’s only brought up when everyone’s drank too much wine). Coming from a divorced family, it’s hard to imagine two people committing to each other for that long, but they are proof that sometimes it can last.