On Monday of last week, the 15th of June, I decided to go to the beach for an impromptu overnight. It had been awhile since I had seen my Grandma, and I had never seen the facility she is now living in. After a tiresome work week with Pier 1, off I went.
It took me some time to get there. I-5 was backed up, so I decided to take an alternate route and go Hwy 30, through Scapoose, St. Helens, Clatskanie and Astoria. The weather was beautiful! I booked myself a little room at the Seaview Motel and Cottages. $75 a night? Hell yes I'm there! I had been contemplating booking a night in a baby travel trailer at the Sou'Wester Lodge, but chose not to for this time. I did do some investigating of the lodge, and learned they do artist residences for a week at a reduced rate. I think I'm going to inquire and see if I can go for a week in August.
It was so good to spend some time with my Grandma, and my uncles. One of the coolest things that happened was a black bear sighting on the way to Astoria for an early dinner. We were driving on 101 between Long Beach and Chinook and he just loped across the highway and went on his way. I can still see it in my mind. I was speechless for about 10 minutes just taking in the the awesomeness of what just happened.
I spent a few hours talking with Grandma, and videoed her while we did so. At 90, she's still so sharp, and hilarious. I did a separate blog last week with all her videos on it, but here's one for fun.
After visiting with Grandma, I drove through town and found these really cool painted....well, I don't know what they are called, but they were behind an old gas station. Reservoir tanks of some kind, maybe for propane or something. But I had to stop and take some photos because they were cool and unexpected.
And, I made it to the beach at sunset! Long Beach was not as warm as Astoria, so I stood there, on the beach, one of the few, and snapped photo after photo of the setting sun while the beach steadily grew colder. I didn't care. One of my favorite things to do is take photos, and I often lose myself in the moment. I determined to stay until the sun slipped below the horizon, and so I did. I walked back to my car with cold, red hands, but I didn't care. It was worth the experience of seeing that setting sun, on the edge of the world, cold hands or not.
I slept so well at the motel! The bed was so clean and fresh and comfortable. The bathroom, not so much. I could have almost showered in the bathroom while sitting on the toilet. Seriously. But, the room was comfortable enough for overnight. I decided to take a quick shower so I could get to the Shelburne Inn for breakfast. I'd always wanted to eat there, so decided to go. After seeing they had a "Hangtown Fry", which included oysters and bacon, I was in!
The Shelburne Inn is cool. If you haven't been, check it out next time you are in the Long Beach area. I took lots of pictures of the outside, and some of the inside. But breakfast was so good! Strong coffee, and a scramble filled with juicy, good-sized fresh oysters that reminded me of the sea as I bit into them. I left some eggs on my plate, but not a bit of oyster.
I rounded out my adventure going thrifting with Grandma, and then a light lunch at Dooger's. I scored some amazing deals while thrifting, but you will have to discover these places on your own. I can't give away all my secrets! I had my oysters, so I wanted a cup of clam chowder. Dodger's is the place to go. Their chowder is delicious! Creamy, but not overly thick and lump. Tender clams, small chunks of cooked potatoes. I want some right now! The bonus on that is we also saw the restaurant managers, who lived in the House of Jubilee with my parents way back in the late 60's, before they were married. But that's another story, for another time. So make your way to Long Beach, it's a pretty cool spot. I didn't even talk about the arcade, candy and ice cream shops or the tacky souvenir places you can go. Something for everyone. One thing I intend to do when I go back is to take a horseback ride on the beach. Yup, they have those too. On to more adventuring!