Nice weekend getaway

We took a nice trip down to Northwest Oregon for a few days. Despite the dreary Northwest weather, we all had a good time and saw some impressive parts of the country.

Saturday we drove from Portland out to the Pacific Ocean - Seaside and Astoria, to be specific. Drive wasn't very eventful, and it was 90 minutes each way not giving us a lot of time to do much in the area, but Seaside is a very nice coastal town with quite a bit to do. We took in the (small) Aquarium, feeding the sea otters housed there (Garrett got a kick out of that). We also wandered onto the beach, delighted to see sand for the first time since we left Michiana Shores. And after that we took in a little shopping, including Garrett's first Merry-Go-Round ride.

Sunday we seemed to take a lot more in. We started the day at the Oregon Zoo. Certainly not world-class, but a very nice environment - the nicest one I've seen for its size. Even the food there was outstanding. After lunch, we decided to head for a drive along the Columbia River. What a beautiful area of the country with the Cascades on both sides of the river. How cool it must have been for Lewis and Clark to foray down the Columbia prior to the current rail lines, highways, bridges, dams, and power stations. We stopped at "Starvation Creek" and took a nice couple mile hike, stopping at a waterfall (waterfalls seem to be everywhere in that part of the country) before heading back to Vancouver. On the way back we took the Washington side of the river. Great views again, but better yet were the twisty roads... we took my car for the trip and I got to enjoy a rare drive.

And of course we got some good swimming in. Spencer loves pools, and this was Garrett's first real chance to try some things on his own. Before long he had the hang of balancing on his little innertube.

On the drive back we were able to stop at a state park just south of Olympia and let the kids run around a while.

All in all a great weekend, and we plan to go back often to the Columbia River area to continue our exploration.

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