A few weeks ago, Spring Break released most of Oregon’s students—and, importantly, their teachers. After a rough stretch of classroom management right before the vacation, Eric was in desperate need of some time away from school.
Although we spent much of Spring Break doing things around the house and taking care of business-y tasks, we made a point of leaving town for a night. And boy, am I glad we did!
We hit the coast on a gorgeous day. We drove straight to Fort Stevens State Park at the tippy top of Oregon, west of Astoria. We’d never been there, and we adored the wide, enormous beach. I was disappointed at the number of cars on the beach (who does that in Oregon?) and the place was packed, but a short walk away from the parking area got us a clear stretch of ocean and sand.
Luckily the weather was warm because—predictably—Peeper just wanted to play in the waves. After a few frustrating and teary minutes of trying to keep her semi-dry, we gave up and let her play in the surf as much as she wanted. We were all happier for it.
We stayed the night at Rivertide Suites in Seaside. Our room was more like a two-bedroom apartment than a hotel room, which meant that we could watch the NCAA tournament in the living area after putting Peeper to bed in her own room. We also cooked dinner, helping offset the price of a suite.
After Peeper’s nap we wanted to return to the beach. One glance at the hundreds of people who had flocked to the beach in Seaside, though, and we turned the car around immediately. We drove instead to Ecola State Park. We rightly guessed that the $5 day use fee (which we didn’t have to pay, since we have a two-year state park pass) and the short drive discouraged most other beachgoers, and the small cove was mostly empty.
We will definitely return to Ecola, which lies between Seaside and Cannon Beach. Peeper loved crossing the (frigid!) creek on the beach, throwing rocks, watching kids play soccer and drawing in the sand. Oh, and splashing in the waves, of course.
The next day’s weather couldn’t touch the sun and warmth of the previous day’s, but overcast skies and a little drizzle didn’t keep us indoors. We spent the morning on Seaside’s beach. Peeper was thrilled with the swing set—it combined two of her favorite things, a playground and the ocean, after all. Thankfully, she was less intent on swimming, so we managed to wrap up the visit without a sandy, wet, hypothermic toddler. Parenting win!
As always, it was hard to leave the coast, especially after just one night. But Eric and I were incredibly grateful we made a point of getting out of town. A Spring Break of submitting our taxes (with the heart attack of writing enormous checks to Uncle Sam) and creating new filing systems made us feel productive, but 24 hours on the ocean topped up my tank with pure joy.