Saturday, July 7, 2018

Fantastic Fourth of July

I arrived back home in time for the July 4th Independence Day festivities in our town. The morning was particularly busy as 2 of our 4 children were in the Parade of Patriots! Sophie was riding on the Girl Scouts float and Connor (escorted by Brian) was on the Boy Scouts float.

Ainsley's job was to collect candy that would be distributed and shared with her siblings. Colin's job was to not be fussy and enjoy himself. All of the children did a great job at their designated duties.

In the evening our town hosted a festival at Independence Park for the kids. Needless to say, my children were very happy to participate. They went on multiple "rides" (bounce houses, ziplines, slides, etc...).

And of course, you can't participate properly if you aren't dressed for the occasion. All the kids got a chance to get their face painted as well.

And everyone must accessorize their look with a balloon animal as well.

Sophie's balloon was the first to pop within 5 minutes of receiving it. Colin's followed less than a minute later. Conner's lasted about 3 minutes after that. Ainsley's remained intact and inflated for over 15 minutes before it eventually disappeared from her grasp. Guess it was good we took pictures right afterward.

As the sky darkened we walked to Wes & Karissa's house to watch the fireworks from their driveway.

Overall it was a spectacular evening and all was within a mile from our house and neighborhood. We met several of our neighbors and friends and were grateful to spend this holiday together remembering our independence from Britain.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Trip Details & Recommendations- Cannon Beach

The trip lasted 3 days total and although it was a short trip, I thought I'd share some of my recommendations and my perspective of the town through the scope of someone from the Midwest.

Things to Be Aware of: 
- When driving be aware of twisting roads, obstructed views (trees), and a speed limit that didn't reach higher than 55 mph (including on rural routes and interstates).

- There were no gas stations in Cannon Beach, therefore it was important that you fuel your vehicle in Portland or the surrounding suburbs. They do occasionally have electrical charge stations for vehicles at hotels.

- Although I do not use for recreational or medicinal purposes, marijuana or cannabis is legal in Oregon, so prepare to see some stores offering that product.

- There are no big brand stores in Cannon Beach. Be prepared to shop at locally owned stores and therefore be aware that there is a limited selection and a higher price.

- There is more police activity patrolling the police watching for environmental disturbances or misdemeanors, than police patrolling other activities within town (my perspective).

Information on Where We Stayed: 
- Surf and Sand Resort. We stayed in the Beachfront rooms, but they have various selections and prices. Our resort came with complimentary use of bicycles, pool, sauna, fitness room, hot tub, and DVDs to rent from the lobby. It also had concierge (firewood on the beach in the evenings), and a daily list of free hotel provided activities (wiener roast, fresh baked cookies, crafts for kids, ...).

Information on Travel:
- Nearest location to fly in was Portland International Airport (PDX)

- Airport had multiple rental car options. If you can, highly suggest a vehicle that has 4 wheel drive.

Information on Restaurants:
- Moe's 

- Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge

- Fultano's Pizza

- Bill's Tavern and Brewhouse

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Sister Trip (Day 3)- Along the Oregon Coast

This was our last full day in Oregon before heading to the airport the following morning. Our legs were sore from yesterday's hike, so we decided to stick with the level surfaces of the beach. At least that is what we tried to do.

Yesterday we went north to Ecola Beach, so today we started our trip south and stopped at Hug Point Beach. Hug Point Beach is famous for it's sea caves. The best time to arrive is during low tide so you can move around the beach and access all the sea caves and rocks nearby.

And it has a waterfall (albeit a small one). Of course we had to scale upwards as well.

We arrived at low tide and found some fun rocks to climb on as well. We couldn't resist.

Hug Point was free, and just along 101. It was a small beach however and so we next decided to continue driving to south to discover other parks and locations nearby. Our next stop was further south to Oswald State Park. There we took a short hike down towards the beach.

At the beach were several people surfing in the cold water. It was a small beach and not as many fun things to do nearby.

Rather than hike the surrounding area, we decided to rest our legs and return to Cannon Beach once more to spend our evening nearby the hotel room collecting rocks.

With the low tide and the sun setting it made a beautiful setting for pictures of Haystack Rock as well as an excellent time for gathering seashells.

While we ventured north along Cannon we found a secluded cove among larger rocks. Some of them had caves, which we explored and marine life along the walls.

After moving north behind the large rocks- getting our pants extremely wet in the process, we came across the most beautiful and secluded beach. And only accessible during low tide most likely.

It was absolutely gorgeous- not sure if you can tell from the pictures. These pictures were not altered in anyway, that is how beautiful this place looks during sunset. We couldn't stop taking pictures.

As the tide started to ebb back in we headed back towards the hotel. We left our seashells in the hotel room and got out smores. We went along the beach and enjoyed smores by a campfire. It was an amazing and relaxing end to our vacation.

Hopefully one day we will return.

For more information on Hug Point Beach, click HERE. 

For more information on Oswald State Park, click HERE.