While Chad and I are away wandering the streets of Brussels, London, Paris and beyond, I gathered some of my favorite bloggers and asked them to write a guest post/love letter to their favorite place on earth. These ladies are graciously babysitting my blog while I'm eating macaroons and taking postcard-worthy pictures of the Eiffel Tower + Big Ben. Thank you for reading and I'll see you when we get back!
xo -- Amanda
We pulled into the hotel parking lot, but we didn’t go in. We parked quickly, probably a little sideways, opened the trunk to grab our coats, and ran. It was a short walk, made shorter by our brisk steps and hurried movement. On the way to the coast, we climbed down cobblestone steps and into a brush thicket, a mini forest of deep sage green branches bent into a makeshift cave.
Robert grabbed my hand and pulled me along. The sunset was quick on our heels and we had to make it to the ocean before it sunk into the sea. As we walked out onto Cannon Beach, Oregon, Haystack Rock was the first thing that caught my eye. I’ve read books where the protagonist loses his breath when he sees the girl of his dreams. Where the wind is literally knocked out of you and a whisper makes it way out of your lips. That’s exactly how I felt.
There were teenagers roasting marshmallows by a campfire, and pieces of driftwood washed up on the shore. The sun set quickly and we only had a moment. But oh what a moment it was. It was freezing. My vintage white coat was so pretty, but it was thin and didn’t shield me from the blustery winds that grow fiercer when blown off the water. But I had Robert’s arms around me. I had 3,000 miles between where my feet were planted and home. I felt God there in my smallness. In the infinite height and glory of the Rock. In the European, whitewashed, gray haze that swept over the sand and gave a foggy mist to the evening.
We continued down the west coast that week. We saw the golden gate bridge, the Hearst castle, and the Hollywood sign. We sat in our car on the side of the road and looked out onto the unbelievable Pacific Northwest, and for two twenty-somethings from North Carolina, seeing the mountains jut up against the ocean like that was a sight to behold.
But I’ll never forget that moment on Cannon Beach. The time we raced against nature and beat the sunset to catch a glimpse of something bigger than life. Because that’s what travel should be. Feasting your eyes on something new and unknown. And sometimes, in the very best of times, you stumble upon sheer brilliance and remember why you left home, traveled across the country, and drove hundreds of miles down a road unfamiliar. For those twenty minutes of Heaven, you’d do it all over again.
From Amanda: Thanks Courtney! For more of Courtney's lovely writing, check our her blog.