Another year, another trip to Cannon Beach. We were supposed to go in June but pandemic. It probably would have worked out fine if we had gone. Instead we followed the rules and didn’t travel as requested by King County. And we were being respectful of the Oregon Coast. A few months later, screw the rules. Haha. Nah, we’re all good to travel with the relaxed rules.
Back in January, I booked a hotel in Coeur d’Alene for early September. The plan was to hit up Silverwood Theme Park. We went in May of 2019 and loved everything about that trip, and we all wanted to go back. Except I’m not down with theme park germs during a pandemic. They’re already questionable during normal times. Since I already had the Silverwood September dates marked off, I figured we may as well go to Cannon Beach instead.
We are creatures of habit and always stay in the same hotel, requesting the same room. Every time. Except this year we went a little wild… we rented a home through Airbnb. Bob, Tara, and Genna flew up to Portland and made the drive to Cannon Beach, meeting us there for the few days.
The kiddos were SO excited. They love Cannon Beach and the routine of our visits there. And they were extra excited to have family there with us. It worked out well, renting a home. It was a great arrangement for our stay… the upstairs has the kitchen and living area, and two bedrooms with a bathroom. The downstairs has two bedrooms, a bathroom, and the laundry room. We took the downstairs… one of the bedrooms is so massive it has two kings, and a twin with a trundle. The kiddos took this room, with Blaise and Laine each having their own king size bed. Brian, Maive, and I took the smaller room, which is basically a room with a king size bed in there. Perfect for our needs. The outside living areas are the best part. There is a large deck upstairs, outside of the kitchen and living area. Downstairs has a deck, hot tub, and small area for a fire pit. It wasn’t right on the beach but it overlooked a park with beach access—a five minute walk from the home.
Pre-travel donuts. And the excitement of loading up!
We arrived just after 4pm on Wednesday. Brian and the big kiddos unpacked the car and we settled into the downstairs. The kiddos explored the home, ending up on the upstairs deck. The weather was perfect. Beach weather is always perfect. We ordered pizzas for dinner from Brian’s favorite Cannon Beach pizza joint, Pizza A’ Fetta, before heading over to the beach.
I don’t know what it is about the beach but man, it’s just so peaceful and beautiful. It’s like everything fades away and I’m just in the moment. I longed for moving back to the Central Coast for years after moving up here, but that longing has waned… until I’m at Cannon Beach. It flickers a bit inside.
The beach was quiet, not many people were out and about. The kiddos ran around, taking in the scenery and enjoying the water and sand under their feet. It was an absolutely beautiful evening.
Back at the home, the kiddos busted out some games the home has for guests. Maive quickly passed out. Beach life is tiring. She’s cute and all—and it’s all good since this will be short lived—but man, she cannot be without one of us for long. She looks all sweet and dead asleep in her bed. Nope, 10 minutes alone and she knows. She doesn’t even open an eyeball but lets us know she is not happy without one of us with her.
We ended the evening with an outdoor fire. Brian and I rotated sitting around the fire and hanging with Maive. It was a great first day.
Rental home kiddos.
Thursday was day two. Our only full day in Cannon Beach. While I love to go places, 2-3 days is my max if the place is within five hours from home. We kicked off the day with breakfast at the Pig ‘N Pancake in Seaside, a 20 minute drive north. There’s a Pig ‘N Pancake in Cannon Beach but that’s not our routine. And it’s smaller. It was our first time as a family eating inside a restaurant during the pandemic. And I want to say it was our first time with all seven of us eating in a restaurant?! Either way, it was a first since Brian’s family was with us. We lucked out and came it at the 10 people max per table requirement. We ate and made our way to the Seaside Aquarium.
We hit up the Seaside Aquarium each visit to the Oregon Coast. It’s small and quaint, kind of feels dingy but in an endearing way. Hard to explain. We like the place. The seals are always the main attraction for the kiddos… they like to feed the seals fish. The seals, they know what works to get the goods. There are seals in the Morro Bay aquarium who do the same sweet tricks for fish. I remember one seal was on the lazier side… all the other seals would dive or splash, swim around and pop their heads up, cute tricks. The lazy seal, they would just sit there and make an annoying screeching noise until they got fish. That seal had life figured out. The Seaside seals do cute tricks also, but mostly they know fish is coming their way so they don’t work hard to get your attention.
Seals, check. Next was checking out the small tanks that line the walls of the aquarium. Blaise was all about the octopus. There is a small little guy in the wall and a large guy in a tank coming out of the floor in the aquarium. He was fun to watch… he slid around (not sure how to describe octopus movements?!) the walls if his tank, giving us a great view of his eight arms. His tank is about waist height and open on the top. I don’t know how people eat them. Like which human first saw an octopus and thought, I’m going to eat this thing? Then again, even before becoming a vegetarian I never ate anything from the ocean. I don’t get the appeal. To each his own. His slimy, smelly ocean food own.
Laine found the touch tank and spent much of her time there. Saige mostly enjoyed her new friend she met about two minutes after entering the aquarium. She is so people-deprived. The extreme extrovert of our family. Baby was all about going back to feed the seals some more. Maive chilled in her stroller, taking in all the new sights. Pandemic baby and all, she’s used to being home… and being home.
Lewis & Clark kiddos. Blaise was super stoked to see this statue. He’s all about explorers and history these days.
After we checked off Seaside, we headed back to Cannon Beach. There are a few stores we hit up every trip: the candy store, toy store, and ice cream shop. First was candy. The kiddos were set loose with bags to fill with taffy and whatever other treats they wanted. Laine has been doing great with her expander, and avoided any taffy or sticky candy. I wish I had her discipline, haha. Eighty-some dollars later, we left for the toy store. Brian managed this one. It’s not a large store so I stayed out front, hanging with Maive in her stroller. The kiddos left with nothing although I’m sure they found several things they wanted. We opted to pass up our standard ice cream shop, knowing we had ice cream and toppings back at the home for sundaes later that night.
A trip to the beach was next on our list. The kiddos put on their swimsuits and we packed up Maive’s stroller with all the beach toys, and made the five minute walk to the beach from the home. We settled in and the kiddos went to town. There was sand digging, water romping, kite flying… all the beach fun. Maive dipped her toes in the ocean for the first time. And experienced beach sand for the first time. She quickly moved off of the blanket. I went with it. There was sand in all her crevasses. I think this is a requirement for first timers.
Beach kiddos! Blaise is super into World War II and Navy ships these days, hence his random salute.
Maive’s first time dipping her toes in the ocean.
We stayed about two hours before heading back to the home. The kiddos hopped in the hot tub to warm up before we decided what to do for dinner. Everyone was tired and just wanted to relax. Brian, his dad, and Genna went out to grab some food for dinner. Maive didn’t last long after dinner. She and I headed to the bedroom for her to call it a night. She went out right away but not long after was a wiggle worm, making the evening a rough go for me. The rest of the gang surrounded the fire to roast marshmallows. Eventually all the kiddos called it a night. It was a relaxed, semi-lazy second night.
Friday morning we packed up and left for home. Brian wanted to hit the beach again. I didn’t. I regret this now. I wish we would have but I still didn’t want to that morning, looking back. I think the answer will be another trip to Cannon Beach sooner than next year.