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Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock

I love spending time on the Oregon Coast. It’s so very different than the East Coast beaches that Kenny and I frequented in younger years. The Oregon Coast is almost always cool, the water is freezing (to my old feet; Gavin and Grace don’t seem to mind – haha.) and the terrain is very rustic. Yet, at the same time, it’s easy to re-create many of the same experiences that shape our view of ‘going down the shore’. (Except instead of saying they are going ‘down the shore’, Gavin and Grace will probably said ‘heading to the coast’. 🙂 )

Sure, in Oregon, you can’t fully submerge yourself for a swim in the ocean (if you are in your right mind!), and the Fudgie Wudgie purveyors are seemingly absent, but a day spent on the beach in Oregon can very much be like those on the Jersey shore. Each provides its own charm – and I hope our kids will get to experience the wonder of both during their childhoods.

DSC_8854In Oregon, walks on the beach are fantastic – there are so many tide pools to find and explore, and the quick nips of small waves running over your feet while you walk along the edge of the ocean provide just the perfect touch of the freezing water. There’s plenty of sand to mold into castles, and plenty of “treasures” – like seagull feathers and crab shells and clam shells to unearth with which to decorate said castles. And given the monoliths rising from the sea floor,  mountain backdrop behind the town, and old shore homes dotting the edges of the beach leading into town, there’s a lot for your eyes (and camera!) to take in. And bonus, if you’re like me – it’s usually way too cold to rock a bathing suit – automatic win right there! Another bonus is that the beaches don’t seem to get as crowded as I remember the Jersey shore being – probably because it’s cold – haha. But, on the positive side, you have plenty of room to spread out, relax and enjoy the day with your family.

DSC_8848We’ve been to Cannon Beach a few times now, and we always enjoy our time there. This time, we drove a bit further into the town, parked somewhere new and camped out near Haystack Rock. Yes, the rock from the early car chase scenes in The Goonies where the Fratellis hit the beach during the getaway.

It’s awesome – especially during low tide, when you can reach it by foot and explore the rocks and tide pools and check out the birds that make their home on the rock – like seagulls, terns and puffins. (We only saw – or should I say recognized – seagulls – haha.)

Before we discovered how fun exploring tide pools is, I had never seen many of these creatures in real life. I think the closest I ever got to a starfish was seeing Peach holographed onto the tank window at the end of The Seas with Nemo and Friends ride in Disney World. She’s funnier, but actual starfish are much more interesting :).

Here are some shots from a recent trip.



Rolling Rockin’ PDX

Portland is a beer nirvana for micro and craft brews. It was recently named to the number 1 spot in CNN’s “8 Best Beer Towns in America“. For the record, Philadelphia also made the list. That means that no matter what “home” state Kenny and I are in, we won’t be disappointed by the beer selection :).

Local beers are so prevalent in the aisles of Portland stores that I barely notice the national brands anymore. Haha. That said, you can imagine my surprise when I got sight of a young fella in the local supermarket buying this:

Rolling Rock in PDX

Yes. That’s a sixer of Rolling Rock. As in my Dad’s beer. As in the one that’s brewed (or at least was brewed!) in good old Latrobe, PA. As in the one my best friend and I (and my brother and his friends for that matter) used to favor because it was the beer of choice for our families.

How about that? 🙂

The Goondocks

Our visitors left on Tuesday. Sad, of course, but slightly less sad because we’ll see them in a few weeks for the holidays. Woo hoo! I think we did a decent job of showing them around. We may have finally gotten it right after four rounds of visitors this year. Fifth time’s the charm?

Anyway, one of our favorite day trips turned out to be a visit to Astoria, Oregon. I’ve wanted to go there since we moved here – for a few reasons:

1) It’s America’s first permanent settlement on the Pacific Coast.

2) It has real live sea lions lounging about on the piers.

3) Uh, it’s where the Goonies was filmed.

For me, and I am guessing many of you that spent some formative years in the ’80s, Goonies was a childhood favorite. My friend Megan and I obsessed over Sean Astin. My brother and I watched it any chance we got – and could pretty much recite it line by line.

Astoria is really cool. Sure, sure – we had a great lunch and visited with the sea lions. BUT – we also went to the Goondocks. THE GOONDOCKS!!!

Dennis, Gavin and Grace truffle shuffled. Since I am a 36-year-old that carried two babies that rivaled Butterball turkeys … I decided not to terrify the sweet Goonie Hill neighborhood. We snapped a ton of pictures and left a little donation to keep this ’80s cinematic memory in tact.

The strangest thing? Real people live there. In fact, I read the house was recently on the market. Interesting. There was only one other looky-loo family there when we visited, but they didn’t get out of the car. We totally did. Hahaha. I felt a little strange hanging out in someone’s actual driveway taking pictures of their house, but I guess that comes with territory when you buy the Goondocks?

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Multnomah Falls

More pictures from our visit to Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls!



On the Way to The Falls

Here are a few pictures I took on the drive to the Multnomah Falls last weekend.