24 April 2011

Happy Easter ...

Wishing everyone a hippity-hopping Happy Easter

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22 April 2011

A Week in Four Parts (4)

Part Four
Gearhart / Sunset Beach

On the advice of the Inn staff we headed up to Sunset Beach.  It was about a 10 minute drive north of the Inn and oh, so worth the drive.  It is such an incredible beach.


Let me just say how much we loved the fact that you can drive your vehicle right out on to the beach. 

mm 'hmm, I know what your thinking - not so very environmentally friendly, right.  Well, true enough but if you can get past that fact - it really kinda fun. 


At first I was sort of freaking out that we'd get stuck but there were other vehicles out on the beach and that wet sand is like cement.


It was very windy but fairly warm out, a perfect day for the beach.  Aidan may not love swimming but he sure does loves the ocean.


I could see that he was just so full of joy whenever we got near the ocean.  It doesn't seem to matter how cold or windy is gets he just wants to stay and play.


He had a blast flying his kite with his mom ...

 
 
 

And chasing the waves ...
 
 
 

Or maybe they were chasing him ...

Either way he loves the ocean.  No doubt about that.

It was so much fun just to watch him interacting with the waves.  Pure Joy.

 

Sunset Beach was so much fun but after about 3 hours he was good & wet he started to get cold and so we decided it was time to head back to our oh-so-beautiful cottage by the sea.

We grabbed some Chinese food on the way home and headed back for some  rest, relaxation and vegging out. 

An incredible day and a wonderful vacation.


I think we will definitely be heading back next year for spring break.



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20 April 2011

A Week in Four Parts (3)

Part Three
Seaside & Gearhart Ocean Inn


Seaside is about a 10 minute drive north of Cannon Beach and Gearhart is about 5 minutes north of Seaside.  Each little town is so vastly different than the other and I love that they are all so close.

Cannon Beach is more upscale, polished and sedate than Seaside which is more like a carnival town while Gearhart, about 5 minutes north of Seaside, is very, very small and rural in nature.

Cannon Beach is for grown-ups with it's expensive shops & restaurants while Seaside is for kids and is filled with cheap souvenir shops, bumper cars and arcades and Gearhart - well, Gearhart is more for those who want to commune with nature and find some peace & quiet.

I had a Groupon (I love Groupon) for 2 nights at the Gearhart Ocean Inn.  We had a one bedroom cottage and it was beautiful.  

I mean cottage-by-the-sea & ocean-beach cozy BEAUTIFUL ...


I mean close-your-eyes & big-sigh  BEAUTIFUL ...


I mean marble-shower & bead board  BEAUTIFUL ... 


 I mean romantically-simple & charmingly  BEAUTIFUL ...


I mean  OMG, its-all-ours-for-2-days  BEAUTIFUL ...
Well, I loved it anyways. 

Aside from being so beautiful, the staff was very friendly - they had bicycles, movies, board games and clam guns that they lent out to the guests.  (Aidan wanted to borrow that clam gun so bad but low tide happened too early in the morning for us to go clamming)

A very, very nice place to stay and I would give it 5 thumbs up (if I had 5 thumbs).

After checking into our cottage we decided to head back over to Seaside.  

- Aidan & Nana -
 Aidan wanted to check out the Aquarium so that was our first stop.


It was a small little Aquarium that has been privately owned since 1937.  I think that is pretty amazing!



There are about 10 harbor seals in the aquarium that you can feed sardines and will clap for you.

 

The aquarium focuses on local marine life and they have a 'touch tank' where the kids (old & young) are encouraged to touch sea anemones, starfish and prickly sea urchins.  

- Aidan touching a sea anemone -
Seaside was much more crowded but the weather was just as icky.  Windy, wet & cold but we wandered through the town and took in the sights.



Aidan was dying to eat at the Pig'n Pancake so we went there for lunch - it was basically a Denny's.  Aidan had Octopus & Noodles and was very impressed.

After lunch we decided to head back over to Gearhart and check out the beach.


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19 April 2011

A Week in Four Parts (2) ...

Part Two
- Cannon Beach, Oregon -

- A visitor on our deck -
Jessica, Aidan & I drove down to Cannon Beach, Oregon on Monday (March 21, 2011) for three days at the beach.  None of us had ever been to Cannon Beach or Seaside, Oregon and we were looking forward to spending a few quiet days at the beach.

- Beach in front of our hotel -
We arrived in Cannon Beach sometime in the late afternoon.  The weather was cool but only mildly cloudy and we were anxious to find a hotel and get settled so we could go exploring.


 We decided that we wanted a room with ocean views and thought that we would have no problem getting a one but the first couple of hotels that I phoned had none available.  

We thought this summer vacation town would be a ghost town mid week in March but it turns out that it was Winter break for half the schools in Oregon as well as Chilliwack and I guess everyone had the same idea as us - to head to the coast.

We finally found a hotel, got a room, unpacked the car and set off for the beach.  

Aidan was so excited to hit the beach and run around for a while despite the cold & wind so off we went to explore the sand and surf.


The tide was out and he had lots of room to run around and chase the seagulls.


We didn't stay at the beach too long because the sun was starting to set and we were all getting hungry.


Even the seagulls were heading for home ...

Our hotel room was nice and we all crashed pretty early.  

We got up early the next morning excited to get out & begin exploring Cannon Beach but we soon discovered that most of the shops didn't open up until 10am or noon.  


We finally found a giant candy store, where all the early risers seemed to be congregating, and hung out there for a while looking around.

They had about 50 different flavors of Salt Water Taffy - I hate Salt Water Taffy!  

Jess let Aidan pick out 9 or 10 flavors and he spent a long time deciding which flavors he wanted so that killed a lot of time and by the time he was finished a few of the shops had begun to open.

- Cannon Beach -
We wandered around Cannon Beach for most of the day checking out the shops and the beach again and then decided to head over to Gearhart and see if our cottage was ready. 

Cannon Beach was nice and I can't wait to go back in warmer weather.
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17 April 2011

A Week in Four Parts (1) ...

 Part One
Star Wars & Archie McPhee

- Aidan at Star Wars Exhibit -
Jessica & Aidan decided to come down to Seattle for Winter Break this year so I bought tickets for all of us to go see the Star Wars Exhibit at the Pacific Science Center.  

We were still on a Harry Potter high and Aidan is in love with all things 'Star Wars' so ...

What could be more fun!

  
 The pre-show excitement level was high.

We were hoping that it would be similar to the Happy Potter Exhibit we saw in January with John & Sarah  (clicking on the Harry Potter Exhibit link will take to that blog post) but we were all a little disappointed.


Where the Harry Potter show was very theatrical in nature the Star Wars show was a little more educational in nature.

I know, I know, my thoughts exactly!

What kid wants educational during their school break but I guess they thought if they threw a little Yoda into the mix the kids wouldn't notice ...

- Mike & Aidan testing out their magnetic hover-craft  -
They had many interactive building stations where you could build & test Star War type things , for example,  Mike & Aidan build a magnetic hover-craft (above) that demonstrated how the Star Wars space ships might be possible.

- Aidan & a Storm Trooper -
There was an impressive display of memorabilia, movie props & information but Now don't get me wrong, it was a very impressive show and worth going to ... it just wasn't a Harry Potter Extravaganza type of show but we had fun.
- Aidan on the Fremont Troll -
After the show we took Aidan over to Fremont to see the Troll under the Bridge.  He got out of the car and climbed up on it while we all waited in the car.  Lazy! (except the guy in red and he wasn't with us, don't know who he is)

- Aidan in front of Archie McPhee -

Then Mike  decided that he wanted to take Aidan over to browse around  Archie McPhee's for a while.  It is a novelty shop extraordinaire and if you've never been to Archie's then I suggest you might want to put it on your To-Do list next time you're in Seattle.

All said it was a fun day.
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