I say “new life” as we pack the entire beach house today and begin the three-day journey home tomorrow. Ha! Oh.
So – week three in Oregon! And it’s another massive post because I’m just awful at narrowing down photos and trimming the fat. I have to show you everything! IS THAT SO BAD?
Don’t answer that, Aaron.
Week three was especially special (say that three times fast) because my in-laws and sister-in-law flew out to join us and see what all the fuss was about! And we showed them. Oh, we showed them.
That’s Aaron’s dad Gary pointing to our mountain (I feel like I can call it that by now) and telling Shea that we all had plans to climb it. To which she promptly responded, “Nu uh, brah.” Or something like that.
They arrived on a Friday afternoon, just in time for a quick beers cheers in their minimal, breezy, light peachy hotel room on Laneda (right across the beach – they know how to do it) and walk the strip up to the Farmer’s Market. Being Father’s Day weekend, there was quite a next-level energy to the town that’s not been there this whole month. But not overly crowded! Still manageable. This is why we chose Manzanita, yo.
After we picked up salmon collars (at least I didn’t say neck) and spicy jams, we took them to our favorite little spot, Bread and Ocean to soak up some sun rays while talking about all the popular Oregon breweries. We’re so hip! Not really.
The next day we started at Left Coast Siesta for Mexican grub, a charming house and deck situation with window boxes bordering the edges and string lights above. Just adorable. And good food!
Except they have weird hours. This is something I’ve learned about Oregon in general. Business hours are ALL OVER THE PLACE. Nothing is predictable like in K.C. It’s all so random here. 5:27pm to 8:13pm Tues – Thursday. Or 10:30am to 2:45pm Sundays and Fridays. 11:87pm to 12:98am every 47th eye blink. Come on, Oregon!
You’re still pretty, though.
After lunch Gary and Aaron took the kids to a ukulele workshop at the library, and Shea and I were like, pass. So we meandered and shopped. And eventually, and I have no idea how it happened, ended up at the Manzanita winery. It was out of my control, really!
We had the loveliest afternoon, until the rest of the gang found us and crashed our date. But they ordered truffle parmesan popcorn, so we forgave them. Eventually.
The next day we ventured slightly south to Cape Meares, to see the famous Octopus Tree in person. I’m sorry, but look at that thing. Nature is weird, you guys.
I have a thing for lighthouses (and stained glass. I’m spiraling into an unexpected obsession for stained glass. It actually started about this time a year ago, and I look for it everywhere we go, but have never purchased any. That’s really all I have to say about that.)
Mainly my thing for lighthouses is to sing “I’LL BE YOUR CANDLE ON THE WAAAATER” from Pete’s Dragon as loudly as possible with or without human beings around. Love lighthouses. Freaking love them. Look at this stunner!
The lighthouse is cute, too.
The trek down to the lighthouse and back is stupid beautiful. There’s just no way to describe the spectacular-ness of it all. Ocean forever one way, crazy jagged cliffs with fog dancing at the top the other way, dense forest another way.
And Gary and Shea the other way. Ha!
LOOK AT THAT.
It’s like The Wizard or Oz and Twilight had a baby and named it Oregon.
. . . I’ll never be forgiven for that one.
After our mini hike, we drove into Oceanside (the charm of that tiny cliff-side town should be illegal.) for an official seafood-heavy Father’s Day lunch at Roseanna’s. I wish I could take credit for researching and discovering this quaint restaurant by the sea, but a couple of Manzanita locals gave me the inside scoop on this gem, so I went by gut!
And the gut did not disappoint, holy faces.
We sat by the window and watched a handful of surfers “catch some waves, brah” over and over. But I felt like they were way too far out in the water and should be safer because sharks.
Crab cakes and steamer clams were out of this world. If you’re ever in the Oceanside area, pop in for a beer and these two appetizers. TRUST ME with your liiiiiife.
Oceanside, stop being so cute. You’re making the rest of us look hideous.
This is the beach in Oceanside. What I’ve discovered about myself is my love for all the ROCKS along the beaches. Oregon has a thing about putting mammoth boulders and rocks along the beaches, and I’m just obsessed with the ragged ruggedness of it all.
Ragged Ruggedness. We’re starting a band.
We made our way back into Tillamook to meet up with Carolyn who was just arriving, but first we stopped by Blue Heron for a quick Llama petting (not me) and some cheese and wine tastings (definitely me). Cute place! It’s like a way more sophisticated French Cracker Barrel.
. . . I’ll never be forgiven for that one.
After a failed attempt at visiting the Tillamook creamery (um that place is ridiculously busy and no.), we made our way back to Kelly’s Brighton Marina for dock crabbing! (No boat this time. Nat made absolute sure of that.)
The men and kiddos and seagulls sat together and docked for crabs, while the girls . . .
Oh wait, I forgot I had this photo in between. Buoys are cool, don’t you think?
. . . this! Sun, gossip, beers and yes Carolyn’s wearing my visor. YOU CANNOT ESCAPE IT.
After crabbing (this has a been a long day, are you feeling it?) we made our way back to our house to show Carolyn the ocean and our mountain (totally feel like I can call it that by now).
And the tide pools. Had to look for strange little sea creatures in the tide pools and proclaim the discoveries in our best Peppa Pig accents.
That night we made a really fabulous Father’s Day shrimp scampi dinner, and I’m sorry but this photo sums up Aaron’s and Carolyn’s relationship. Siblings for nearly 40 years (since they were like, 3 or 4) and I can’t remember what was happening here but it’s just so THEM.
I love it so much.
Next day we took everyone to Cannon Beach, but on the way we obviously had to stop for the highway view. I can’t get over this one little stretch of scenic bliss. And I love that Gary turned his Manzanita cap around backwards to get the perfect shot. YA DO WHAT YA GOTTA DO, BRAH.
Haystack Rock selfie!
It’s a part of life, just love it.
And yes Carolyn and I have the exact same Uniqlo raincoat (that actually so many of you have asked about! Here it is, buttercups.)
After Haystack, we popped into Pelican Brewery for a spot of lunch. (not sure why I said it all British like.)
I WILL SAY out of complete honesty – totally overpriced for what it was. I didn’t hate it, but I also wasn’t blown away. Good pub food. Not good pub food prices.
The clams were manif! The rest? Eh, okay.
I love this photo of Carolyn and Shea. I full expect it to be blown up, framed and hanging in both of your houses by the time we visit next!
Sea Level Baker in Cannon Beach! ADORABLE. Just a tiny walk from the water, this A-frame oozes simple charm.
And the decaf cappuccino (hey it was like 4 in the afternoon, go easy on me) was divine.
Want to sit there forever.
Or here. Which we did. Until they closed and kicked us out.
One more photo of Haystack and I swear I’m done forever.
And yes they’re tall, long legged teenagers HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.
That evening we ended our joint family portion of the trip at Big Wave, where Will promptly fell asleep in Shea’s arms (poor kid was exhausted) and Nat got to go back into the kitchen with Marky Mark and make her very own sundae, for free! The dude was like, “She’s being so patient and sweet. Can I give her sugar?”
Sure, Marky Mark. I don’t know what you mean by that but you absolutely can.
(if you saw my Stories you know EXACTLY what I mean.)
It’s not in front of a mountain or a beach, but it’ll do!
The next day, we went HIKING.
And I truly mean HIKING. Like, HIKING UP A REAL MOUNTAIN.
Yes, Will. A “for real” mountain. Ready?
I mean . . .
I might have sung “CLIIIIMB EVERYYYYYY MOUNTAAAAAAIN” from The Sound of Music the entire time super loud with or without human beings around.
Carolyn loved it.
So Nat discovered that heights are her worst enemy, so she and Aaron meandered back down the mountain and picked salmonberries (that I was convinced would be poisonous and kill us all), while Carolyn, Will and I kept climbing on up. WILL LOVED IT. I was shocked. In total we went a little over a mile up, and then a little over a mile down. So not the whole thing. But it was enough to call a hike! And I’ll take it.
Is this Spanish moss? Or the inside of Dr. Seuss’ brain?
“Look, Will! I found a snail shell!”
Me, “DON’T PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH.”
Aaaand motherhood in one sentence.
After our hike, we rewarded ourselves with a quick trip to the Nehalem Bay Winery. Which sounds luxurious and relaxing, but they’d just sprayed (or spread?) fertilizer across the field, so it smelled like poop. Like everywhere, every breath. Cow poop.
So bad that Will teared up and sobbed, “THIS IS A STINKY COW POOP RESTAURANT AND WE HAVE TO LEEEEEAVE.”
Ohhhh the memories we made.
Next day, we took Carolyn to Short Sand beach so that Aaron could prove himself to be a pro surfer!
And that he did.
The surfer part.
Not exactly the pro part.
But look at him go!
At least I think that’s him.
Crap, is it?
Water, sand, rocks, cliffs and trees, all in one place.
Only you, Oregon.
And that’s a wrap on week three! I’ll be posting our final week (hello, Portland) once we’re back home in Kansas City, and I’ve had time to sleep, read my book, exfoliate my face (it’s been a month!), ship the kiddos to summer school and start some laundry.
Also, that rosé is fabulous. Find it.