Noah Runnin wild from the waves 4 years old
Have you ever just had that last minute itch to get outta town? Pressures, obligations, and simple daily life can leave you wanting for rest, for real family time absent of technology. A few weeks ago, I asked Michael if he'd run away with me to the beach. He happily agreed, and within 24 hours our Jeep was loaded up with boots and winter coats, lots of changes of clothes, and a few film cameras.
My favorite time of year to visit the beach is autumn and winter here in the Pacific Northwest. We left Issaquah around 11am on a Friday, and took about five hours to drive to Cannon Beach. We stopped for lunch at my favorite spot in Olympia: Chopsticks Noodle House. They have the tastiest vermicelli bowls and amazing Thai curry! Noah was fast asleep in the back seat, so we did what every parent of a pre-schooler does when the occasion arises -- we had a lunch date in the car! Take-out boxes, trying to be ninja silent while eating, real (whispered) conversation, probably an argument, too, about something silly -- this is real life.
After lunch, we were off to Astoria! We took a detour through the town that was all decked out for Christmas and it was just magical! On the way into Cannon Beach, just into Seaside, we spotted the best neon sign for a tiny fish market: Bell Buoy of Seaside. We swung in and grabbed some fresh Oregon baby shrimp meat and cocktail sauce. Real vacations are made for eating all of the tasty local foods.
We arrived at our beachside resort, the Surfsand, and we were welcomed in the lobby by the kindest woman. She offered a warm cookie to Noah and Mike found the giant bowl of saltwater taffy in no time! They gave us our keys and let us know if we needed anything to just ask. This was the real deal, I believed her! She wasn't just doing her job; she cared about our stay. The stresses of the week were just starting to melt away.
We opened the doors to our king suite and Noah burst past me and jumped onto the bed! They had a fruit & cheese platter waiting for us and a cute, stuffed puffin for Noah! Is this reality? We hit the weekend getaway jackpot. After getting settled, we decided this place needed some exploring, and we were hungry! I mean C’MON, yeah, we'd be eating all day, but we are the Karteses -- our love language involves trying new restaurants. The Wayfarer, one of the hotel’s restaurants, was a short walk from the room. By this time it was about 8pm and a burger sounded awesome. It was, too! Juicy and crispy and everything that counts in a good burger. The food was wonderful. Our waiter took great care of us, and Noah’s chicken strips kids meal was a worthy rival to our burger! Light, crispy, and accompanied by shoestring fries!
The next day we woke up to beautiful sunshine! Haystack Rock felt so close you could almost reach out and touch it from our balcony. We quickly got bucked up and headed for the beach. The sun felt warm on our faces, even though the salty air was crisp and cool. We strolled the beach for almost two hours before it was time for breakfast. We had worked up quite the appetite! Noah said, “Hey, let's get doughnuts!”
I googled best doughnuts in Cannon Beach, and Dundee's in Seaside popped right up. It took about 15 minutes to get there and it was worth it! Hot cocoa, coffee, and fresh warm doughnuts hit the spot. We got a few extras for the road and did a little antiquing before heading back to the room.
My parents and my sister’s family joined us that afternoon, and they were blown away at the quality of the Surfsand Resort. The warmth of the staff and everything for the kids to do was such a special treat. We headed right out to Haystack Rock for some tide pool exploration, and it was warm – in November! No coats needed, and I even let Noah take his boots off. We decided that we'd all go to dinner again at the Wayfarer. We loved it! I had a wedge salad and shared fish ‘n’ chips that could make you cry…so good. The kids loved their food. Isn't it a treat when your kids actually eat? After dinner, it was time for a swim. The whole gang of us swam for over an hour in the heated pool, probably the best ending to such a great day.
Sunday morning came, and we were ready to explore the town! The kids were ready for the candy shops, and we stood outside Bruce's and watched the entire process of pulling and wrapping the taffy. Then we each got to taste a fresh piece! We snagged some pizza by the slice, and the kids got to pet and feed and sit on the sweetest horses galloping around town. We spent the day shopping and eating, and it felt like we were truly creating a lasting memory.
When we left, it was bittersweet. I could have easily stayed another night. Cannon Beach was the perfect late fall getaway. I can't wait to get back.