Gosh, it already seems like it’s been ages since we were at the shore….I’d better write about the trip before I forget it all!! (Just call me Dory – short-term memory loss!) It was a super-nice trip. This is my 3rd visit to the Oregon coast. Growing up a Southern California girl, I have always believed the beach was all about hot sun, hot sand, laying out for a tan, splashing in the waves and beyond. My first visit to Oregon’s coast was so disappointing! It was summer, and it was….cold. Grey, misty, and cold. I found it totally disheartening to have to wear jeans and a jacket to the beach! Our 2nd trip, I was ready for it. I figured a cold shore was better than no shore at all. I enjoyed the trip in spite of how it was. This trip was different. I found myself loving the Oregon coast for what it offers….crowd-free beaches definately tops the list. The fact that I could sit on a large driftwood log as Kiki ran all over the beach collecting stuff for her sandcastle without once ever losing sight of her was nothing short of amazing. There were times we had miles of beach to ourselves. When there were others out, they were just like us, milling around… and lots of happy, happy dogs running here and there. And the coldness? Well, I am certainly at an age (and weight!) that wearing jeans and a jacket on the beach is actually a bonus. There was not a bikini-clad strutter to be seen the entire week! And the tidepools! We saw some amazing, beautiful, and even bizarre stuff. I watched storms roll past us as we did our beachcombing. Yes, I have decided I could live there forever and not ever regret it. Cannon Beach is particularly nice, in my opinion. This was my first visit to this little town. Lots of great shops, but small enough and not really ‘touristy’. The locals were super friendly, rather than the type who make you feel like they wish you’d go away. As for our particular trip….well, our beach house was more of a beach "shack". There was definately a bit of an "ick" factor. But, it was 1&1/2 blocks from the shore, so I’m not really complaining… who needs to take a shower, anyhow?! (a bit too quaint, I believe….) I mean, it had a shower…but I was not going in there! Yeeks. I ate so much seafood my stomach is just today beginning to lose the bloat. Kiki and I found several nice sized sand dollars, which she hadn’t seen before. We rescued every sand crab on the beach (good grief!) and Kiki felt so good about herself! We walked…. and walked….. and walked….. geez my feet hurt. Saturday was their annual sand castle competition. It poured down rain that day. Still fun. We went to Seaside and visited the (tiny) aquarium. The harbor seals were hilarious! If I can figure out how, I’ve got a great video I could post. We visited the Lewis and Clark state park and fort of Fort Clatsop where they over-wintered, the river where they landed their canoes, and saw the salt works where they boiled sea water to get salt for their journey. We visited Astoria, which is on the Columbia River where it reaches the sea, and went to the Maritime museum. Cool stuff. A little bit of scary driving by my dad, but nothing too serious. It was really great to spend the time with my parents. There is a really large rock there, Haystack Rock, and it has grass growing on the upper parts; it is a great nesting site for seabirds. We saw seagulls (yeah, big whoop) but also Common Murres and even Puffins! Very cool.