So bright and early Monday morning we loaded up the car and started on our way to the coast via Long Beach and Astoria.
Er, well so we thought. First, we had to go to Bruno's Tires (where I had just been Saturday) to deal with the screw and the nail in my tire from the oh so lovely construction site next door to my house.
So, an hour plus after our initially scheduled time of leaving, we started heading for the coast – all tires taken care of. The traffic going South from Seattle on a Monday is quite OK so we made good time and found ourselves in Aberdeen just a little less than two hours later staring at an assortment of Star Wars collectables at Sucher and Sons Star Wars shop.
I never even knew this place existed. Jeremy, up there in the Cookie Monster t-shirt found it, and Lamar my boyfriend confirmed it is quite the place. Why Lamar, in all the years I have known him, has never mentioned this place, I do not know, but it is quite cool. Overwhelming, but cool.
We moved on without buying anything but I did find Han Solo encased in carbonite in the sidewalk – so I had to Instagram post him, if nothing else.
Then we drove, until we found The World's Largest Oyster in South Bend.
I was very excited to reach South Bend – first, because I've now been to South and North Bend, Washington – but two, because I've now been to the Oyster Capital of the World. Who knew, it was there is some sleepy coastal town just waiting for me to visit?
We stopped at a lovely fish and chips shop along the road that was surrounded by sunflowers for lunch. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
The fish, the chips, the clam strips, the cole slaw were all phenomenal for a random trailer in the middle of a field in a small little town on highway 101.
Speaking of random, I found myself at a Museum of Oddities in Long Beach, Washington not too long after as my traveling companion loves to go to odd places – and I agree they are usually interesting. Inside this "museum" I found myself in a store wherein I founds so many shells of interest that I had a hard time saying no to the purchasing of things. I bought a bunch of shells and found a rabbit made out of rabbit fur that I had to have – its looking at me right now as I edit this post.
This is Jake, the alligator boy featured on key chains, bags, mugs and other products that you can purchase.
This is a self playing organ and ensemble that plays for quite a long time for a dollar.
After the oddities shop we crossed the street to view Long Beach's other famous things (besides the beach) the World's Largest Cast Iron Frying Pan and the World's Largest Razor Clam.
Here I am running for a photo with my new rabbit friend.
The World's Largest Razor Clam spouts water on the hour at the hour, or you can pay a quarter and have it spout for you. We chose to pay the quarter. Then we went to find the beach.
With much ado we found the beach – and walked out to the water to say we made it all the way to the Washington Coast before we headed into Oregon. Then we gathered ourselves, got back into the car and drove yet another hour or so until we crossed the bridge into Astoria, and Oregon.
Across the bridge we found ourselves in Astoria and a wee bit disorientated. I wanted to find the Goonies house, Jeremy wanted to go to the Astoria Column and in general we weren't sure what direction was what and we had been driving all day. What was clear is that you could go pretty much one way in Astoria and we weren't going to miss it, or get lost. So we decided to start at the top (the column) and work our way down.
The Astoria Column is a very tall structure (about 8 stories) telling the story of the founding of the region – specifically covering the Louise and Clark expedition. If there was something that actually told you the rest of what was on it – i.e. like a key, or a book you could pay $20 for in the gift shop, I would give you more detail – but no key or book exists, you are just supposed to interpret the paintings on it for yourself. I do have to say the amount of space between me and the ground when I was on top of it was quite a bit, and it made me feel like the picture of me you see below.
Here I am freaking out, leaning in to the wall as far from the railing as possible. I hate heights, and by the time I climbed all the stairs to get to the top my ability to manage being on top of a tall structure was almost gone. So tall, so many stairs, and no real wall between me and looking at the ground. I got it together though and took a few photos then went down the stairs slowly.
Sitting at the bottom and doing some internet research it was revealed that the owners of the Goonies house were done with people visiting it. There was a whole drama of comments on Trip Adviser of people saying they tried to take a picture and were chased off among other things. Alas, no bueno – we would leave the house alone. As the day was turning to dusk we made our way to our hotel on the beach in Seaside, Oregon.
We ended the night with some middling sushi and a walk down the promenade. Tomorrow would be another day filled with beaches and more small seaside town food.