Sunday, September 28, 2008

August in Seaside, Part I

Here we are over a month later and I finally get the time to write about our week in Seaside, Oregon. It was fun for everyone, but I would say that it was better for my companions (Ladybug and her Dad) than it was for me.

As happens so often, the old "ball and chain" got in the way of R & R (I meant work, silly. My wife is wonderful and accommodating and is in no way my ball and chain.) In addition to the other hats I wear, I am currently (also) in charge of our hosted IT infrastructure. We had MAJOR server farm issues that occurred just prior to this vacation that required a great deal of quick and dedicated action to rectify. Luckily, the customers were only minorly inconvenienced, but the aftereffects in tech support were a constant drain on my time and well-being. I brought my laptop to my vacation to conduct triage and answer questions. As if that weren't enough, the powers-that-be chose Wednesday of my vacation to terminate my coworker. That meant driving back to Portland to collect keys, etc. and manage his reaction, etc. Thankfully he took it well and I hope is happy to have that chaos out of his life. On that day, I had more tech support issues to solve before I could leave again in the afternoon.

Okay, I am whining. I get to do that on my blog and you must be a good listener to have made it this far. Thank you.

With all that said, we managed to let some good times roll in between distractions. We stayed at a brand spanking new TrendWest (now owned by the Wyndham chain) resort thanks to Ladybug's father's membership. It is a very nice hotel built on the ruins of an oceanside amusement park and a number of subsequent ramshackle enterprises that couldn't apparently make money off of this prime real estate.

We got a room fairly high up. In fact, we were able to look down on a lovely bed-and-breakfast we stayed at in the past (nice, but thin walls and squeaky old beds). The Victorian look is a good one.

The best thing about the Oregon Coast in August is the weather. Portland was an oven all week with temperatures between 90 and 102 F (32-39C) all week. The warmest day in Seaside was probably 72F (22C). A bank of fog and low clouds would either threaten offshore, blanket the headlands, or roll all the way in. In all cases, the temperatures were very comfortable. In fact, our fancy new hotel didn't bother with air conditioning at all. We used a ceiling fan and open doors to keep the temperature quite comfortable. Here is the fog bank hanging over Tillamook Head.

(Tillamook is a Chinook language term for "the people of Nehalem." Nehalem is the name of a river in the area. Chinook is a kind of "common tongue" for northwest tribes to communicate with one another.)

The picture above is an external view of our hotel for posterity.

The food in Seaside is good just about everywhere you go. Obviously, some places are better than others. Since we had a kitchen with a refrigerator, we ate most of our breakfasts in our room. To save some $$$, we ate some lunches and dinners there as well. The highlights of this trip included:

  • L'il Bayou restaurant which has very good remoulades and gumbos.

  • McKeown's Restaurant: The cioppino here is very nice. I thoroughly enjoyed mine. Their lunch fare is solid as well. Definitely a worthy place to eat.

  • the Seaside Oceanfront Inn and Restaurant: Wonderful traditional Oregon coast food and service. We did have a bit of bad luck with chowder where I think they let the milk boil, but everything else was exquisite.

The nasturtiums did very well this year at the coast...

This is a montage including Ladybug and myself along with some other nice floral gardens along the Seaside "promenade."

Kite culture is alive and well in Seaside.

Here on the west coast, we had no shortage of beautiful sunsets...

...and as the sun set, the moon would rise.

With all the distractions, it was nice to get back. I got up very early on Friday to drive back to Portland in a vain attempt to keep the house cool and pick the MiniSnab up from her Audubon backpacking trip to the Olympic mountains in Washington State. Sadly, it was 80F by 8:30am and the house became an oven for the day anyway. Sigh.

We will try it again some day with a bit less distraction and a bit more activity. Next up will be a day trip to the Tillamook Air Museum with some nice vintage aircraft pictures. Stay tuned for that.


The Moody Minstrel said...

(choking back a sob...)

I don't know why, but I find it extraordinarily refreshing to see that, even here in the tech-laden (for better or worse!) 21st century, the Oregon Coast is still the Oregon Coast, kites and all!

Kites on the beach rock! So do sunrises and fog banks rolling over the basalt headlands.

Arkonbey said...

Kites! It was the strangest thing when I was out there to see the sun set over the ocean. That fog bank was awesome (I like how it was actually reflected in the surface of the ocean).

I also like the complementary dog water outside the restaurant/inn.

As a New Englander whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, I have to chuckle at the talk of 'Oregon coast food and service'. You left-coasters are too young for traditions!

I'm kidding, of course. In Italy people still live in houses older than the entire history U.S.A.

ladybug said...

Fanks for the ego strokes!:)
(flattery will get you everywhere!)

Arkonbey - there are several resturants which have the dog water bowls in the downtown area...a couple had empty ones for folks that brought their own food for their pet...

As for the Mayflower a couple of ours...they just migrated so the Irish ones could be comfey and look out over the sunsetting into the Western ocean...I remember feeling the opposite when I was living in was all backwards to have the sun come up in the sea...

ElTigrez said...

(friday afternoon) "m' yeah, I'm gonna need you to come in on saturday ..and.. if you could just go ahead and finish up my work as because I have to drive the Porsche to a all day party That'd be great" Bill Lumberghinin from your company eh?

yeah I agree with Ladybug. I found it strange to have the sunsets behind me on the east coast - much preferred the west side :), and the peaceful open spaces of the Oregon coast

Don Snabulus said...


You are getting due for a trip back to the Shire here and we need to travel your way as well to meet the radish spirit.

My sentiments exactly.


I have yet to walk the "shore" as you easterners say. I've seen it from above in aircraft but I always stop short of the sea for some reason.

For the record, we've got rock and cave paintings older than any structure in Italy. Take that, FC Milan! (tongue in cheek here)


Flattery will get you everywhere.

I know /:)

El Tig,

If the Lumberghs at our work weren't trying so hard, I might throw a stapler at them. It just is what it is.

I think I would like to see an Eastern sunrise. Might be cool beans even if it does seem a little weird.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I hear you on the "backwards sun" thing. I live on the east coast of Japan, and at first it was pretty bizarre waking up early in the morning to see a cherry-red sun hovering over the ocean! I guess the trade-off is I get to see the sun set way, way out over the mountains in the faraway distance (I live on a plain) in a colorful spectacle compliments of all the stuff in the sky blowing our way from China.

Pandabonium said...

Looks like a wonderful spot.

Sunrises and sunsets are the best - especially at the ocean. The moon pic is beautiful too. Glad you got to enjoy most of your vacation.

Dean Wormer said...

Hey, I recognize (and love) some of those people in that montage!

The Oregon coast is the best coast in my opinion.

ladybug said...

PS-I forgot to say I love the montage piece...all the fav flower pics and snabby looking very "regal"!:)