(Okay, so I always seem to be late in posting these. But this time I’m blaming wordpress, because dang are they having some weird issues and not letting me post at the moment. So I’m blaming them for a 24 hour delay. Let’s not get into how it’s still 6 weeks after the travel, hmmmm? Ha.)
End of September, had a whirlwind overnight in Cannon Beach to celebrate my dad’s birthday. This meant a ROADTRIP with my sister and my dog, as our folks were already down there, having a relaxing extended vacation with their dog, and I just had 36 hours. Sometimes being grown up is great. Our roadtrips are definitely more fun. Less fighting and tormenting each other. More rocking out to playlists. And The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast. Plus, we still play “the alphabet game” and hold our breath over bridges/in tunnels. And it was wonderful that I’d had my own Cannon Beach adventures this July, so I’d already done all my “must do” items. I try to be a “go with the flow” person in any case, but these two days were even easier because I honestly didn’t care what activity we did or which beach we explored. It was just about spending time with fam.
We were spoiled with glorious sunsets both nights. Truly vivid colors and a gorgeous moon over Haystack Rock. Evening walks with the dogs were awash in vibrant oranges, pinks, and then settled into dusky pinks and purples, before that gorgeous “midnight blue” crayon shade appeared.
Even more magical were the whales. Never seen the like here before, with such a large pod SO CLOSE TO SHORE and stayed for several days. It brought strangers together in a way that Pacific Northwesterners don’t normally interact with others. “Have you seen THE WHALES?!?” folks would ask as you walked past. Walks along the beach were punctuated by “ooohhs” and occasional squeals as the whales continued to spout, breach, and dive. Folks lending their binoculars to passerby. People obviously running errands in town having to stop and watch as these creatures spouted.
Additionally there were two rafts of sea lions (apparently they’re only called “a colony” when on land, but “a raft” when at sea)…one near Haystack Rock and the other at the lighthouse end of the beach. Barking and carrying on all weekend, they were a wonderful acoustic addition to the whale visitors. Super special. We spent both afternoons reading at the beach. Well, ostensibly reading, but we all found ourselves often looking up to watch the whale activity instead. And with the sea lions hollering and the seagulls swooping around everytime a whale surfaced, there was plenty of action. You can learn more about the unusual whale visit here: http://www.beachconnection.net/news/cbhump092115_531.php
Knowing the evenings would be the four of us (and 2 dogs) stuck in one tiny room with dad in charge of the TV, I planned ahead for some entertainment options, and brought DVDs of Fast & Furious 5, 6, & 7 (once the characters become full superheroes and the ridiculous levels skyrocket). So that helped. And mom, Reagan, and I would also play Canasta.
On our evening walks, we befriended a large poodle named Pearl when, to the extreme surprise of her family, she leapt over the fence and ran over to play with Reilly and Shasta. Her owners were shocked and bit worried, “She has hip problems!” We were just impressed at her skills. And the dogs got along great. In fact, when we came by the next day, they invited our dogs into their fenced yard to run around and play with Pearl.
For dad’s birthday dinner, we picked up takeout pizza (and I stopped in the tiny market for birthday candles and matches). So he had a festive slice as we all sang Happy Birthday! And the dogs got to eat some of the pizza crust, so they approved, too.
Meals in town with both dogs went relatively well. Again, Cannon Beach is super dog friendly so many restaurants have dog allowed patios. Reilly would need to squeeze & contort himself so that he could be near all four of us at once. Sure didn’t look very comfortable, but he seemed happiest this way. And Shasta was her normal mostly zen/slightly nervous self.
It’s a lot of driving in a weekend (leaving Fri afternoon and then returning Sun after breakfast). But it was great fun to get to celebrate Dad’s birthday. Plus, it is a town full of family memories. We’d spend 2 weeks each August here when we were growing up. Keep being magical, Oregon Coast, and we’ll continue to visit.