Beautiful Astoria
Sunday, May 18, 2008

We totally got to live it up this weekend with our full expense-paid (compliments of OHSU Department of Neurology) weekend getaway to Astoria, Oregon--the city in which one of my favorite childhood movies, The Goonies, was filmed. This is by far my favorite coastal (well, semi-coastal) town in the Pacific Northwest that we've visited thus far. It's the place where the Pacific Ocean meets the mouth of the Columbia River, and where old Victorian-style homes cling to steep wooded hillsides. Astoria, to me, is a mere replica of the image I've always had in my head of what the Pacific Northwest should look like.

We stayed in an amazing hotel (just a couple of notches fancier than the Motel 6 we've grown quite accustomed to) built at the very end of a pier, which meant that every room had a stunning view of the Columbia River.

We quickly realized upon arrival that one of our main objectives in staying there was going to be to check out of the hotel without being held responsible for a broken vase, dish, or, at the very least, an upholstery cleaning. I'm very proud (and quite relieved) to report that our mission was indeed accomplished. Phew!

We also somehow managed to tire Wyatt out enough the first day that he would be absolutely dead to the world the next morning while everyone else in the room was awake and talking (including a squealing baby girl!). UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE!!

Wyatt sleeping soundly before being dog-piled by his baby sister.
It was kind of nice to see him get a little taste of his own medicine.

We didn't do much in the way of recreation since Eric was taking part in a conference most of the weekend, but we did get to experience some of the local attractions. The biggest hit with our train obsessed toddler was the trolley that ran along the riverfront--or more appropriately, the tracks. He refused to walk unless he was on the tracks and rambled incessantly about them all weekend. Not an exaggeration.

The Maritime Museum was a nice treat, and Wyatt loved exploring all of the exhibits. But upon first mention that the trolley was outside boarding passengers bound for our hotel, he was the first one out the door! I'm dead serious when I say that he could have spent the entire weekend eating, drinking, and sleeping on that trolley (or the tracks for that matter).

One thing we didn't realize was that there would be childcare provided in the mornings while the conference was in session so the spouses could treat themselves to a little rest and relaxation. I just can't tell you how badly I wanted to perform a little happy dance in the middle of the lobby when I heard those words. Let's just say I thoroughly enjoyed my three cups of coffee--feet propped up and listening to my favorite tunes on my nifty new iPod--as I watched seagulls fly and ships sail in from the sea and under the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge extends 4.1 miles across the mouth of the Columbia River,
and is the longest "continuous truss" in the world.

We had an amazing view of the bridge from our hotel room. Even Avery took some time away from exploring electrical outlets to appreciate its magnificence.

How can you not just want to eat up this little pile of sugar?!?!

We are really looking forward to another visit to Astoria in the very near future. Hopefully we'll make it there again this summer.

Wine Selection: Eola Hills Pinot Noir
Personal Rating: **Fair**
Comments: I've tried really hard to develop a taste for the pinot grape, but it just doesn't do much for me. Some people absolutely love Pinot Noir, but there is something about the taste that isn't very pleasing to my palette. I'll certainly keep trying some though. I'd love to eventually find one that I can appreciate and enjoy.


Blogger Shelley had this to say:

I never knew that Astoria could be so fun for kids. You couldn't have gone on a more perfect weekend...the weather was amazing! I am still in shock that Avery let you leave her at the childcare area...that is amazing!!!

May 20, 2008 at 9:08 AM 

Blogger Shelly and Jared had this to say:

I cannot believe that picture of Avery standing by the window. It is just crazy how perfect she looks! Seriously, I saved it to my computer for inspiration (does that make me weird?), it is a beautiful photo of a gorgeous little girl! I can't get over it!

May 20, 2008 at 10:18 PM 

Blogger Panhands had this to say:

Those pictures are pretty amazing. I'm also glad to say that I now know where Goonies was filmed. Just wanted to say hello.


(by the way, "panhands" is a product of kevin auten in reference to my goalkeeper skills)

May 22, 2008 at 12:12 PM 

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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771