Sunday, August 30, 2009
We recently returned from a trip to Seaside with my family (ok, so not too recently...like two weeks ago, but hey, if you want to come watch my kids, I'll put these out faster!). We own a timeshare, and were able to get a three day, two night stay free as long as my parents went through the presentation.
We did the same thing last year (when we announced we were pregnant with Avalee, actually!), but in Depoe Bay. We were all pretty excited about our mini vacation, even though it was only a couple weeks after we got back from camping.
We set out in the morning; Colin, Avalee and I in our car and everyone else in my parents' van. The (mandatory) presentation was at 2PM, and we figured we had plenty of time to get there. After a couple hours of driving, we realized we weren't going to make it, so my mom called and had it postponed. Wellll, after over three hours of driving (construction, an accident & a traffic jam), we finally made it to the resort!
My parents were whisked off to their presentation, while the rest of us admired the beautiful resort. The resort itself sits on the beach, so there are beautiful views of the ocean from most of the rooms. There is a wonderful outdoor pool (but very warm) and a couple hot tubs that border the beach itself. And, the rooms are just spectacular! Very spacious and comfy, with lots of extras (washer & dryer, fully stocked kitchen, BBQ grill on the deck, jetted jacuzzi tub...).
Although though we could have happily stayed in our room or by the pool all day, we decided we should try to explore Seaside a little.
The beach itself was great; perfectly fine sand, warm-ish water (hey, it is Oregon, warm-ish is the best we can do!) and lots of shells scattered about. My mom, Z and I went out early the morning after we arrived to check it out. It was gorgeous out and the temp was just right. We found lots of pretty shells, and Z found a nice big hole (dug by some previous beachgoers) to jump in.
We also did some exploring in the town, which was really lovely. Everything was within walking distance from the resort, which made it easy to get around with a couple kids (and allowed me to try out my new wrap). The shops range from quaint to higher-end retail to eateries. We stopped at a little Mexican restaurant for lunch, then dropped Colin & Z off at the arcade while we girls went shopping. Afterward, we all met up at this great little bakery to get some yummy cupcakes (for the life of me I can't recall the name, but it was on the main street, across from the arcade & shared a space with a Greek restaurant...so if anyone out there in web-land knows, let me know!). We decided to get in some more beach time, so me, Colin, the kids, my mom and Mercedes headed over. Z picked out a spot for us (actually, he picked out several, but we finally convinced him to get a little further than a few feet from the boardwalk) and we brought out our battery of 'equipment' (buckets & shovels, sand toys, etc). Z immediately got to work digging a hole, while Avalee got to work eating sand! Grandma had the great idea to distract the sand-eating monster, by giving her a shovel. Unfortunately, Miss A decided the shovel made a wonderful spoon, with witch she could just eat more sand! After Z finished digging his hole, and smashing castles and Avalee finished her sand, we decided to check out the water. It was still a good temperature and we all got in pretty far! Even Avalee got to dip her little toes in the ocean. In fact, Avalee had so much fun, she fell asleep in Daddy's arms while he was standing in the surf!
After a delicious dinner from the local pizza place, Colin and I left the kids with Grandma and Grandpa and headed to the (adults-only) last hour of hot tub time. It's nice having built-in babysitters in vacation with you! ;0)
We definitely wanted to stay in the resort longer, but resolved to return again soon. We decided to end our trip with a visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory (and the Smokehouse outlet to stock up on the yummy jerky). Now, if you know my family, you know we LOVE cheese. And, not just any cheese, but Tillamook cheese, of course. And, not just their cheese, but the ice cream, jerky, butter, sour cream, etc (wait...are there any Tillamook execs out there reading this?? If so, you should send me some free products! Hmmm...I won't hold my breath). It's a wonder one of our kids didn't end up with Tillamook in their names somewhere (but, it's not out of the question for any future pets)! After taking far too many pictures of cheese on conveyor belts, cheese being cut, cheese being packaged and just-plain cheese, we decided it was sample time! Yup, the best part about the factory, is the free samples you get afterward. And, conveniently, the sample line leads right into the store afterward. ;0) Of course, we had to buy some of the mini bricks of cheese ('Loafy') that you can't get at the regular supermarket. Then, it was onto the ice cream! So, the second best part of visiting the factory, is the full ice cream counter (deli too!) with ALL the Tillamook ice cream flavors. You can get a dish, cone, banana split, sundae...oh my, it's just toooo good to be true! I elected for the sundae, because I figured I could get the ice cream anytime I wanted, but a sundae is special (mostly because I didn't have to prepare it...oh yea, and the extra whipped cream didn't hurt either). It was delicious, if course, and the perfect end to a fun-filled, relaxing vacation.
*BTW...the header photo is a shot of a mass of birds converging on the ocean at once! we even caught sight of some pelicans dipping into the ocean!
A view of our resort from the beach
Avalee getting a ride from Mommy
Z playing skeet ball in the arcade
Morning beach time
Avalee & Daddy at the pool
Aaah, the Pacific Ocean
So, Avalee is eating the tag from her bucket & Z is throwing sand, but we're all together in one picture
She did a faceplant in the sand...and loved it!
Mmmmm...Grandma, thanks for the pretty pink spoon...er...shovel
Yup, it really is fun watching cheese being made. Really.
A very happy Avalee & Daddy
Yummy pumpkin ice cream!
Gotta get 'em started early!