Fun At The Beach

Just wanted everyone to know that, though were of advanced age, even we can have fun in the sun. The difference is we just wear more clothes when we do it.

This is from the beach at Seaside, Oregon.

IMG_2166The purpose of our trip, in addition to walking on the beach, was to watch Lydia play soccer with her high school team. We drove over on Friday and it rained all the way giving us cause for concern for the first game that evening. But it cleared up a little and the kids played a relative dry game.

Saturday was gorgeous and provided us with a fairly nice sunset.

DSC_3996Sunday was also great for our trip home. The dogs were happy to see us. The cat was indifferent.



Seaside, Oregon – Day 3

OK – right off the bat, the title is misleading. Sure, we woke up in Seaside, but didn’t stay long before heading north toward home. That’s probably misleading, too, but you can look at a map and figure out that St. Helens is kinda NE from Seaside. Going up Highway 101 one must go north to Astoria, East to Rainier, then south to St. Helens. It’s complicated. If we were crows it would be a much shorter trip but we aren’t so it wasn’t.

After packing everything into the Buick, we took one more walk up to the board walk to see how things were progressing. Ruth, our hostess, told us that she was the “T-Shirt Lady” for the upcoming volley ball event, that there were 126 nets installed,  and the number of teams registered to play was up to 1162. She figured it would be closer to 2000 since registration didn’t close until Friday. So, I grossly over estimated how many nets there were. But, it looked like hundreds to me. Either way, Seaside is going to be jumping this weekend. Seriously.

Ruth also changed their reader board to commemorate Grams’ 86th. Here’s proof …


Oops … I was there, too …


… and, this is Ruth with the girls …


As I recall, from our previous visit to the Hillcrest Inn, Ruth and her husband, Don, met in the Marine Corps. She completed either 6 or 9 years (I can’t remember) and Don made it a career. We had some fun conversations during our first visit, but didn’t get to talk this trip.  Jay, whose image I failed to capture, helped us at check-in, as did Missy. They just make the experience better. Nice crew. A great place to stay.

OK – no more plugs – that’s it …

Here’s a picture of the Seaside turnaround, the end of the Lewis & Clark Trail.


The bronze statues are rumored to be of Lewis & Clark staring off into the ocean discussing what they were going to have for dinner that night. Being terminally tired of eating fish and venison, the opted for Norma’s, only 1.5 blocks away, where they reportedly shared a Turkey of The Sea sandwich and bowl of clam chowder. That’s how old Norma’s is.

From Seaside we drove north about 6 miles to the nearest Goodwill store which Diane had her sites on. It’s in a new area of Warrenton that has been stripped of whatever used to grow there and developed into a growing mall area on both sides of Highway 101. Goodwill is on the east side of the road, just past Costco. We wandered around in Goodwill for an hour or so, and I was the only one who purchased anything. I got a bag of Nike golf balls for $5, and 18 pencils for $1.99. Seemed like a really good deal, to me.

Then it was lunchtime which brings me to what was vetoed as the potential title for today’s entry. Since we had already planned to visit Costco for their outrageously big and cheap hotdogs, and soda, the first thing that popped into my mind was Grandma Gets a Weiner. It was, although she laughed, deemed inappropriate so I didn’t use it. I suspect, however, I’ll earned a considerable amount of grief for even mentioning it. I did not, as you notice, take a picture of any of us eating lunch. They are really good, by the way. I normally get the Polish Dog, but went for the All Beef today. And a Pepsi. I was going to get vanilla yogurt and refill my cup with root beer so I could make a root beer float, but by the time I got to the counter, the yogurt machine was reportedly defunct. So, I went without.

Then we crossed the Youngs Bay Bridge, on which we had to stop because it was raised to allow a tall masted fishing boat go by. It didn’t take long. Here’s the view while we waited.


Now, first glance may cause you to think the bridge you see in the distance is the one we’re on, but that isn’t the case. The distant one is the Astoria-Megler Bridge which links Oregon and Washington. If you follow that link you’ll discover that bridge is 4.1 miles long near the mouth of the Columbia River which is 1243 miles long and originates in British Columbia, Canada. One of the memorable things about the river is Buoy 10 which is at the mouth of the Columbia. If you want excitement, that’s the place to go. If you have a tendency to get sea-sick, stay away. I spent over 1/4 of a century in the US Navy and had the opportunity to ride some pretty rough seas, but Buoy 10 is the only place I ever got sea-sick. I was miserable, but I caught a nice Silver.

Once we gained access to the other side of Youngs Bay we took a right turn before heading in to Astoria proper. Instead, we weaved our way around the back side of the hill, on which Astoria resides, and made our way up to the Astoria Column, a significant landmark in Oregon. It has a continuous ribbon of artwork wrapped around it depicting the history of the area starting in 1792. It’s literally a work of art that you can climb. Inside, of course.

Here’s what it looked like, today …



We have all visited it many, many times in the past, and have climbed the 164 steps to the tower but not today. I threatened to do it, leaving instructions to call 911 if I wasn’t back in 30 minutes. Then I just went around taking pictures of the view.

This is the Astoria-Megler Bridge going to Washington …


This is the Youngs Bay Bridge looking toward Warrenton …


After leaving the Astoria Column, we headed down the hilly streets of Astoria toward Highway 30 and home. The streets of the city rival those of San Francisco. Honest.

The trip home was uneventful and I didn’t watch any of it preferring, instead, to read my current book on my iPad. I’m reading The Witness which started out boring, but is turning into an interesting mystery.

Now it’s supper time and I must quit in order to ingest some of Diane’s very tasty beef stew in order to replace all the energy I’ve used here whacking away on my keyboard.


Seaside, Oregon – Day 1

Here we are, safely tucked into our nifty little cabin near the beach. The Hillcrest Inn has three cabins and a bunch of rooms. We’ve stayed in the rooms before, but never one of the cabins. It was necessary this trip because we brought Diane’s Mom, Jean, with us. As I mentioned, I think, her birthday is this coming Thursday. She will be 86. Though her knees pain her, and her back gives her fits, but she still lives alone and gets around just great. We plan to spend a lot of time walking back and forth from our cabin and various restaurants in the area. Might even walk up and down the boardwalk and little.

It’s not actually a boardwalk. It’s really a cement walk that’s a mile or so long. The west side of it has a railing (cement columns) with occasional openings to the beach, should one wish to get sand in their shoes.  Some don’t. The ‘Walk’ is wide enough to accommodate walkers, bicyclers, skate boarders, runners, and roller skaters in both directions. Sometimes you have to dodge a little, but generally it isn’t a problem. Walking along the ocean is always nice.

When we left St. Helens the sky was clear and it was about 88 degrees. We heard on the radio that it was expected to reach about 97 in Canby, wherever that is. I think it’s out toward the Columbia River Gorge someplace. Judy and Anselmo live there so they can confirm if it really got that hot today.

Leaving Rainier revealed clouds in the direction we were headed which meant cooler temperatures at the coast. No surprise because that’s always the way it is. By the time we got to our cabin, after a quick unplanned tour of Seaside because of a wrong turn by the driver, who wasn’t me, the sky was totally obliterated with cloud cover. The sun was no longer shining at all and it was noticeably cooler. Too cool for the cute little shorts I was wearing. I’m still wearing them because we haven’t left the cabin since arriving. Lunch was the first priority then I made a valiant attempt to convince the other inhabitants that a nap would be good, but they disagreed.

Now it’s almost 4 pm and I think we’re going for a walk so I better seriously consider inserting myself into a pair of jeans and some real shoes. I wore my water shoes for the trip but brought my comfy sneakers for long walks. The trouble is with those, is, that I only brought those little fake socks that girls wear. I suppose if I wear my jeans low enough no will notice. Maybe I’ll find a place to buy a real pair of socks.

<><><><> 5:45 pm

Took a walk down the cement walk to the turn around …


… then down Broadway looking at all the stuff in the windows placed there to lure in the unsuspecting tourist. On the Walk, we encountered this gentleman seeking donations for his efforts at sand sculpting …


Pretty amazing. It’s just sand and water, he said, and he does a sculpture every day.

After surviving the gentle chilly breeze on the board walk, we headed down Broadway to search for something to cover Grams’ ears. She tried on a few, but chose to not get any of them. This one is my favorite …


The breeze lessened as we got on Broadway so we thought it would be OK to get ice-cream. We passed dozens of people eating cones so it kinda sparked an interest. Funny how that happens. I had almond praline, Diane had raspberry sorbet, and Grams had mocha almond fudge. I could have eaten a double scoop but chose to be sensible.


The beach in front of the turnaround, at the foot of Broadway, and about 1/4 mile wide, is filled with poles, and two rigs with augers putting up more poles, for volley ball nets. Hundreds of them. Apparently this coming weekend is the largest non-professional volley ball tournament in the world. Pretty awesome. We spoke to one of the clerks, all of whom are cute young ladies at the store we actually entered, and learned about this majestic event. She told us that for the championship games on Sunday, bulldozers hit the beach and scoop up mountains of sand around the play off courts so people will have a good view of the players. Sounds pretty cool, but influx of people to participate in, and watch the festivities will make parking and driving in Seaside absolutely impossible. Like Diane said, people would have to park in Astoria and walk to Seaside. Not true, of course, but parking will be awful.

We’ll be home before the influx and will check it all out on the internet. Here’s a link to Seaside Volleyball in case you’re interested. Turns out they’ve been doing this for 32 years. Who knew?

Diane and Mom abandoned me at the cabin and went to Rite Aid to get Grams something to cover her ears when we walk. It’s chilly in the evening, and it’s chilly during the day, too, when the sun doesn’t shine. Hopefully one of the days we’re here will be sunny. Doesn’t really matter, but it would be nice. I mention my abandonment because they just returned. I got new long socks, to lessen my pain, Grams got a fancy $1.39 scarf, and Diane go some cranberry gel caps and honey nut peanut butter.

Diane gets peanut butter sandwiches, but I don’t because we didn’t bring any crunchy peanut butter and she didn’t buy any. I I am not allowed to eat PB&J sandwiches with creamy peanut butter. It’s just wrong. It should be illegal. But I’ll probably try one and like it.

Time to stop for today. Tomorrow we eat at Norma’s, our favorite place to eat in Seaside.