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One of the things I wanted to do most on our trip was visit the coast.  I’ve seen the ocean in Alaska, Brazil, Mexico, and Texas, but in my opinion none of them compare to the coastline in the Pacific Northwest, and I was super excited to get to re-visit some of my favorite places with my family.

After a few times cruising down the wrong highway, misreading the GPS, and making weird u-turns, Jeremy and I finally caught up to Phil’s fam at the Astoria bridge.

Jonny’s exact words were “sooooooooo many wrong turns!!”

Whatev, Jonny.

Our first stop was Seaside.  Ah, the memories.
I still have a scar on my ankle from a seashell that cut me on this beach.       
Is it weird that I remember that?

These two are peas from the same pod. Seriously.

This one is going to be trouble. Such a drama queen already.

The clouds hadn’t burned off yet so it was pretty chilly out at this point. We weren’t planning to get in the water here but the kids couldn’t resist splashing just a little.

Jeremy stood out there and held Mad up every time the tide rolled in for a long time. She didn’t seem to mind.

No touchy!

As I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize that there’s no one that can replace your siblings.

Aww

This boy is HILARIOUS. Seriously. I adore him.

Adorable little Roo

Aww, again. Anyone else have trouble believing it’s been over ten years that they’ve been married? I remember it like it was….well, not yesterday. But not ten years!

My cute girlies

Headed for the shops

Helloooo, handsome.

Is it just me or were there not this many flavor choices when I was a kid?  There were two whole aisles full!  I only remember cinnamon, licorice, neopolitan, and peppermint.

It wouldn’t be a trip to the coast without a pile of salt-water taffy.
Even though it really isn’t that good…

And a trip to Seaside wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Tilt-a-whirl.  
I don’t do the Tilt-a-Whirl anymore. 
Another by-product of old age. 
But I did brave the bumper cars with poor Jesse and we pretty much got pummeled almost to death.

Can you tell how much Susannah loved her ride?

We stopped for lunch at Cannon Beach, but it was crowded so we didn’t get out.  It was too pretty not to snap a photo, though.

Okay, I think Susannah is too big to be held like that.  I think she may be thinking that, too.

Madeline looked like this most of the time that we were in the car (which was a lot!), but it’s rare to see Susannah doze off.  She must have been reallllllly tired.  My neck hurts just looking at her.

Finally!  I love me some Tillamook cheese…

Oh beautiful, beautiful samples

It was such a madhouse the first day that we ended up going back in the morning.  Oh rats, more samples.

Do they come in this size?

Copycat! He even used the same cute prop as me. ;)

Be scared. Be very scared.

Squeak-squeakum. I’ll take one of everything.

Some cute cows we met along the way.

Two of my favorite boys

We left Tillamook and headed south to hit the sand dune near Cloverdale.  My dad always stopped at the dune when we were kids and I couldn’t wait to go back.  Until I actually tried to climb it.  Easier said than done for a middle-aged chubby mom,  especially when she has a 30 lb ankle-biter to drag up.  Mad tried, she really did.  But after about twenty of her “little wests” I finally just hauled her up so it would be over with.

I think it’s more of a tourist attraction now than it was when we were kids.  There are a bunch of hotels and resorts that have been built in the area so it was really crowded.

Taking a “west”

So, I don’t know the “Alan pose” personally, but this picture cracks me up. My brother is such a dork.

Once we got to the top, the guys, Jonny, Davy, and Susannah all went down the other side to explore a cave or something.  Uh, no thanks.  Jenn and I were perfectly happy not to risk our necks (or our kids necks), so we stayed at the top.

I’m not sure this picture will win me any Mom of the Year awards…

Just a few more from various beaches we stopped at:

Oh look, it’s David Hasselhoff

Last glimpse of the ocean