This weekend, I accompanied my best friend Sam on a spontaneous 24 hour vacation to North Bend, where she is moving for the year. She needed to move some of her stuff from Eugene to her new apartment in her new car, but her car is a stick shift, and she's just learning how to drive stick. So I came along for emotional support. North Bend is a tiny town on the coast about 2 hours away from Eugene, right down the road from a slightly larger town, Coos Bay. I'm sad she's leaving, for selfish reasons, but I also think she's going to love living on the coast and it's for a really good opportunity. Plus we talk on the phone about once a day anyway, even when she's only one mile away! So I imagine with two hours between us, there will be lots of phone calls. Also, two hours isn't all that far to drive when it involves your best friend and the beach. Sam, her dog Sprinkles, and I had a very nice mini vacation. We drove down, unpacked the carload of her stuff, ate lunch on the floor of her new apartment, went on a nice hike along the coast, saw a whale, drank beer, cooked some frozen pizzas, and did a very difficult puzzle until we fell asleep in our sleeping bags in the middle of the living room's empty floor. Then we woke up early and she drove me back to Eugene so I could go to work.
One of my favorite parts of the trip, and apparently the only part I took any pictures of, was Shore Acres State Park, which is a botanical garden off the hiking trail to Cape Arago. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I couldn't believe it. It was this crazy, lovely manicured garden, all fenced in. From the outside all you could see was a tall fence and then some trees, right in the middle of the forest on the edge of the coast, and I almost didn't go in because I didn't think there would be anything interesting inside.
Within the park, there was a greenhouse with some really funky plants I had never seen before. I was obsessed with all the colors.
I don't know the official term for this type of flower, but I call them dancing ladies.
Probably my favorite part of the whole garden was the section with all the roses. I didn't even think I was that big a fan of roses, but I am now. I've never seen roses like this; they didn't look real. This post took a lot of restraint, because I took over 100 pictures of roses and I pared it down to 4. Some of my favorite varieties had names like Cinco de Mayo and Hot Cocoa.
This trip made me feel a lot like an adult. My best friend moved away, and I helped her pack and helped her settle in. We went on a 24 hour road trip and I was back for work the next morning. My other best friend Muhammad also moved recently, all the way to Wisconsin for the next five years for grad school. But we talked on Skype this week for four hours and he gave me a Google Maps tour of his new neighborhood, because technology is amazing! I don't have a lot of close friends, but the ones I do have, I love very much. I felt like an adult this weekend because we got a lot of stuff done on our little trip to the coast. I felt like an adult because I feel like I am handling the moves of my two best friends within two weeks pretty well. Because I know that it's not goodbye. It's see you later when I come to visit, and when we talk on the phone tomorrow.