This past Saturday after a beautiful hike in the woods at Silver Falls (about 90 minutes outside of Portland) with Agi and her mom I felt remarkably content and tried to zero in on exactly how I got there.  Here are some key elements:

- physical exercise, preferably in a beautiful environment;
- exploring something new
- good conversation but enjoying the silence too
- eating something tasty in the woods
- followed up by coffee and then sitting down and feeling tired but invigorated (it reminded me of how Silicon Valley roadbiker yuppies would go on a long early morning bikeride at then sit down outside of Peets coffee and order a cappuccino).

We had another excellent day taking Agi's mom on Monday to Cannon Beach. It was the first time there for all of us and we loved it.  The weather was gorgeous--sunny and crisp--and the quaint town of Cannon Beach was a smaller, less flashy version of Carmel, California.  Contentment reigned there too and I found a few beach houses we'd love to rent.  Bring another family along and you've got yourself a very reasonable per-night rate.

Also, memorable line:  Agi:: "Wow Mt Hood is white year-round."  Erick:: "Hey just like us."


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