We took a day trip to the beach a couple of weeks ago, just the kids and I. We spent an afternoon in Seaside, came home, then a day later we spent the night in Astoria.
I have a fondness for Seaside. It’s where my grandma grew up and where my great-grandparents lived during my life. I spent a bit of time there when I was a kid. It’s funny, when the kids and I go we always do the same loop: carousel, aquarium, beach, food, carousel, home.
But I hadn’t ridden the carousel or been inside the aquarium, both pretty important places in town, until I was an adult. As a kid the loop was more: candy store, arcade, beach, incense and hemp jewelry store, novelty t-shirt store, forest behind my grandparents’ house.
The Seaside Aquarium is different. It’s super inexpensive for families so it doesn’t feel too crazy. It’s just one room with tanks around the edge. The seal enclosure is not wonderful. It’s too many animals in too small of a tank and it’s pretty depressing. But the octopus! The Giant Pacific Octopus is in an open tank so you can see it really well. They have a few tanks for touching tide pool animals and overall it’s just a kitschy, sweet place (minus the seals).
The beach was incredible that day. I actually didn’t plan for warm weather at all and we ran out of extra clothes immediately. We were very lucky to have such a beautiful day in January, even if the kids had to ride home without pants.
We collected a ton of shell fragments from razor clams, steamer clams, geoducks, and mussels. We found a bone that was pretty exciting, but I’m almost certain it’s just from a chicken wing. The craziest thing was that we found three intact sand dollars. I’ve never found one and in a matter of seconds we found three. Super lucky.
So then we went home and came back a day later. This time, we were in Astoria for the night. Astoria is amazing and I want to live there some day.