September 17 - 19, 2008
We left Portland in the morning on September 17 and headed for the coast on Hwy 26. We had motel reservations in Seaside at the Rivertide Suites. It is one of the newer hotels and it is actually condo's that are for sale. Our reservation was for a studio apt but we were able to upgrade to a 2-bedroom suite for a very nominal fee. The pictures of the room are the last thing on this page.
The hotel is the gray one at the end of this street. I took this photo from the Seaside Aquarium.
After we dumped off our luggage and inspected our new home for the next couple days, we decided the first order of business should be lunch as we were both starving! So we drove down to the main drag in Seaside and decided on the Pig-n-Pancake since it was the first thing we saw and the closest! ha ha The "tourist area" of Seaside is mainly on Broadway St.
The carousel is inside the Seaside Mall on Broadway. The mall is home to dozens of little shops and activities for the children. The whole area is very "family friendly".
We had a pretty nice lunch at the Pig-n-Pancake. The clam chowder was very good
but the Halibut (fish and chips) was pretty average. It was fairly cool with the wind outside this first 1/2 day so we didn't wander around much.
Broadway stops at the beach where there is a automobile turnaround with a statue in the middle of it commemorating the historic contributions of Lewis and Clark to the area. In about 1806 the explorers had set up a salt making camp in what is now South Seaside. The landmark dates back to the 1920's.
After lunch we drove up to the Seaside Aquarium, mostly because I wanted to see the seals! We didn't expect much because it is a very small aquarium and I did get to see the seals. Kids seemed to enjoy the whole aquarium quite a bit.
Originally, in 1914, this site was a Natatorium (an indoor saltwater pool). It was renovated in 1937 to create the aquarium. The harbor seals are the main attraction and first thing you see. They were all born in the aquarium. The Seaside Aquarium was the first in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity. Most of the seals there today are 4th generation captive born animals. These seals would probably not survive if put out into the wild. (According to the National Marine Fisheries, harbor seals that have been in captivity for more than a year, do not readily adapt to the wild life). There are 11 seals living at the aquarium currently. The oldest one is Drexler, who was born in June 1983. The youngest, Shireen, was born June 2006. The average lifespan of a wild Harbor Seal is about 15 years.
Because of the fencing and Plexiglass, it was almost impossible to get a good picture of the seals (unless you're 7' tall!!). They were very cute though and put on a show if you had food to throw them. This one fellow would stay back from where the others were and slap his chest twice with a fin to get your attention and let you know he wanted some food. He would keep doing it until someone fed him too! ha ha
Most of the tanks were not very well lit for picture taking, so I didn't take pictures in any of them except this one of various sea life. There was also a couple open tanks to touch some of the urchins and other creatures.
The Aquarium is on the 3 mile long Promenade - which is just for walking. Outside the aquarium, this hearty family was camped on the beach. I think the swing set is always there and didn't belong to the family that was camping.
The hill on the left of the picture is Tillamook Head and that little dark bump in the water is The Light of Tillamook Rock.
I thought I had a better picture of it from the other side, because I remember Mom asking if "that" was the lighthouse rock, at one of the places we stopped. At the time I didn't know and now that I know I can't find the picture... figures, eh? Anyhow, there is a little lighthouse sitting on top of an outcropping of rock, surrounded by ocean on all sides! The lighthouse was completed in 1881 to guide ships approaching the Columbia River past the dangerous jutting of headland. It was nicknamed "Terrible Tilly" and marked the treacherous waters surrounding the rock that has claimed more than 2000 shipwrecks.
Since it was too cold to do to much wandering around, we decided to drive down to Cannon Beach (another popular spot) and see what was going on down there. All of these small "tourist cities" are very quaint in appearance and pretty darned clean too! There wasn't a lot going on, but we did stop at Puppy Love by the Sea so I could get my boys some treats for when I got home. I also got some Labrador coasters.
You see these new signs up all over on the coast
This was a nice little courtyard to sit in and stare off into space... or actually, the ocean.. or watch birds or whatever.
We left there and made a couple stops to try to get a decent picture of Haystack Rock. With all the homes and lack of turnouts, it wasn't the easiest task! I even walked in between peoples homes to try to get a good one! ha ha
Then we decided to go to Ecola State Park. The road to the park is pretty winding and hilly. Some folks thought they were the only ones on the road and drove down the middle narrowly missing those of us who could manage to stay on our own side of the road! Anyway, Mom paid the $3 to get in and I got out and took a few pictures. There was a fairly heavy mist in the air by now, plus the cold wind blowing, so I didn't waste a lot of time trying to get "that perfect picture"!
There were a couple trails leading down closer to the water, but I opted not to be that adventurous today! ha ha
On the other road at the entrance to the park, you can follow that winding, hilly road to Indian Beach. It was a pretty beach and that bird was not at all concerned about how close I got to him!
It was getting towards dinner time and we had decided to go to the Italian restaurant at the hotel we were originally going to stay at. (They ended up being overbooked and changed our reservations to the hotel we ended up at). Anyhow, I was having a devil of a time trying to find that darned hotel and at some point Mom remembered that she forgot to pack her nightie. So, we switched gears and went in search of a nightie. As hard as it is to believe, there is not ONE store in Seaside that sells nightgowns. We ended up over at the Outlet Mall (which was a really nice Mall) in Seaside, and found her some pajamas. In order to get a nightgown, we would have had to drive North to Warrenton (near Astoria) or South to Tillamook, about 30 and 40 miles one way, respectively!
So, we finally did find the Best Western Oceanview Resort and Salvatore's Restaurant and Pub. The food was very good and had average prices. The waiter, when we saw him, was very nice. We got too full and waddled back out to the car, drove back to the Rivertides and watched some TV till bedtime.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel - free continental style stuff. It wasn't a huge fare - 2 cold cereals, oatmeal, gravy for biscuits, yogurt, coffee/tea, fresh fruit and waffles - but it was filling and free is good! ha ha
Then we took off for Tillamook to visit the Cheese Factory, The Blue Heron, The Nehalem Bay Winery, The Tillamook Smoker, and a glass blowing place.
I took these two ocean pictures somewhere along the way, I think, but I don't remember where!
We did get to the Factory and looked through the gift shop and the creamery store. We also had a nice Cheeseburger lunch while we were there. We opted not to go to the viewing room because the one and only time I did that.... I couldn't eat cheese for about 6 mos! ha ha
When we left there, we went over to the Blue Heron French cheese place. I like that place! It had expanded a bit to allow seating with tables and had tables and chairs to relax while shopping. They have a wine tasting area/bar, lunch items, and all kinds of packaged seasonings and that sort of thing.
Then we stopped at the Tillamook Smoker outlet and got a few things there. I love their Beef Jerky, but it sure is expensive! That didn't stop me though, I bought the big jar of it anyhow! ha ha
Last shopping stop was at the Nehalem Bay Winery. They make good wines and I recommend them! I got the Gewurztraminer (aka/ Big G for those of use who can't seem to pronounce it! ha ha), a Peach wine (It tastes like you just plucked a peach off the tree and took a bite!) and a grape one - again, tastes just like you had picked some grapes off the vine and were munching on them! Anyway, I tasted the three of them before I bought any and Mom tasted two of them. Then she wandered off looking around the joint while I conversed with the cutie behind the counter and made my purchases! ha ha
We never did go to a glass blower, because there are not any, apparently, in that area. The more I thought about it, the more I think the place I was thinking about is down by Lincoln City instead.
So, by now it's getting towards dinner time again so we traveled up to Gearhart (just north of Seaside), but didn't find anything at that little town that rang our bells, so we went back to Seaside. We stopped at "Taste of Tuscany" and both thought it was great! We didn't have a big meal this time, but our meal was delicious and all their prices seemed very reasonable! We each had a cup of Lobster chowder and a dinner salad. The salad was very nice and the chowder was awesome! Then we split a warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. (Oh my! That was just sinful to be sure! Yummy!!) I'm glad we shared though because I don't think I could have finished one on my own! It was very rich! The waitress was terrific and the place was nicely decorated and had a very comfortable feel to it. We would both recommend it, if you go to Seaside, as a "must eat there" kind of place!
We went back to the motel, played some yahtzee, watched TV and I munched on some cheese and beef sausage later in the evening.
Well that's about it for the trip. We had free breakfast at the hotel and loaded up the car and headed for home. It's about a 2 hour trip each way and the traffic wasn't bad until we got to the Beaverton area on the way home. Got to see a bit of road rage in the Westmoreland area, but it was short lived. Dropped Mom off at her place and got myself home. Unloaded everything into the garage and closed the door. Let the boys out to greet me..... they ran right past me, nearly bowling me over.... to greet my PACKAGES and see what I may have brought them!! They have been gnawing on their Puppy Love bones ever since! ha ha. I tried to open my beloved beef jerky and couldn't get the damn lid off of it.... so I stabbed the metal lid and managed to cut it open enough to get some jerky out! ha ha
Here's the hotel suite we had. It's really nice. 100% non-smoking. Had a full kitchen and we had two balconies! One was shared with the neighboring unit, the other is off the master bedroom. There was a flatscreen TV in the living room and one in the Master bedroom. The front bathroom had a shower and toilet, the Master bath had a jetted huge tub, shower and toilet. There was also a nice gas or electric fireplace in the living room. The beds were King and Queen size and I think the couch also was supposed to make a bed. Being a corner unit like that we had views of the river and downtown on one side and the town on the other.
I believe the price of this unit was a mere $250,000.00! The Studio's start out at $189,000.00. If you're in the mood to buy one, you can go to Ownership Opportunity Information
for more info.
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