The Oregon Coast is my absolute happy place. The whole state is ridiculously amazing and we had a fantastic time exploring the Columbia River Gorge, Bend and Crater Lake last summer, but something about the coast always makes me feel like I’m coming home. The goonies-loving man says that Astoria in particular is his ‘spiritual home’ and getting out of the car at Rogue Brewery is when I know I’m really on vacation.
This year was our fifth consecutive BC Day long weekend trip to Oregon (sorry, BC) and we packed a lot into the three full days we had there. This particular trip was a mix of some of our favourite places (Astoria, Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park, Oswald West State Park, Cape Meares, Oceanside) and some new places too (Netarts Bay, Anderson’s Viewpoint, the top of the sand dune at Cape Kiwanda). As we only had three days we stuck to the Northern towns and split our time between the Hearthstone Inn at Cannon Beach and an Airbnb in Netarts Bay.
I decided to play videographer on this trip, partly to test out the video capabilities of my new iPhone 6S. It turns out the footage is scarily better than our previous videos using our little kodak camera (that I forgot on this trip). So that’s good to know. I love documenting snapshots in time through photo and video and before making this I watched a number of our older videos including our group trip to Hawaii, our first ever Christmas in Canada and our first year with Dave. It was a really fun and moving half hour or so, and I may have shed more than one happy tear looking back on some amazing memories.
So here’s another one to add to the list. I was videographer, director and producer for this one, which means I only actually make an appearance in front of the camera twice. However, if you like boston terriers, bearded men and beaches then please enjoy this Marmite to Maple production: Oregonna Make A Great Movie (tagline by James).
Talking about the Oregon coast is one of my favourite things in the world, so if you have any questions or are looking for trip planning advice, get in touch.
2014 was the year I finally saw some of BC, and then left BC and saw some of Alberta. I also saw a lot of other places too, some familiar and some new. I was a self employed contractor for the whole of 2014 which meant I could take as much time off as would fit around work, and I made the most of that flexibility. I did a LOT of things in 2014 (start a couple of new contracts, pass the Certified Human Resources Professional exam, invest in some personal development courses), but my travels have definitely been the highlight. Below is a snapshot of the 15+ cities I visited over the past 12 months.
My first trip of the year was just a day in Whistler at the end of January, but was still a little bit of a big deal. I hadn’t been on the Whistler slopes since a few hours’ skiing in April 2011, and I hadn’t ever snowboarded before. Even though Whistler is so close to Vancouver that it’s practically considered a ‘local mountain’, snowboarding there was still something to check off the bucket list.
February arrived, as did my parents. They came to visit for 10 days, the last of which I spent with them in Seattle (technically we’re into March now). I’d been to Seattle a couple of times before and never really loved the place, but this time I took a short ferry trip to sunny Bainbridge Island. It reminded me of Bowen Island and Gibsons, very small and laid back with some fun little shops and great ice cream. That trip made me want to give Seattle another shot. Hopefully I’ll get my chance this year.
Every January since 2011 I’ve written a list of places I want to visit in Canada. For a couple of years, I made the mistake of publishing said lists on this blog. I can officially say that I’ve been to 0% of these places. This year I left BC for the first time for a week in Edmonton with work, but I didn’t see much and it wasn’t my plan or choice so I don’t really count it as a ‘seeing more of Canada’ success. The first half my 2014 has suggested that the second half will go in much the same direction, so I’ve decided to take a stand. No longer will I waste away long weekends ‘relaxing in the city’, looking at Tripadvisor reviews for places I don’t get around to booking, or complaining that nowhere is pet friendly (lies). Ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan for the summer. And it looks a bit like this:
June 13-15 – Bowen Island
Yes, that’s today. We’re heading to Bowen Island after work for a weekend with my brother and his girlfriend, and of course Dave is coming too. I’m very much not looking forward to the horrific Pet Area on the ferry, but am thankful that the journey is only 20 minutes and know that the outdoor hot tub on the deck of our beach-side guest suite will be more than worth it. I’ve been to Bowen Island before, but only for a day and it was a couple of years ago, so I’m looking forward to more exploring. It’s been an intense week for me as I completed a 5-day intensive personal development course in a basement with no shoes on, so I’m looking forward to some fresh air and relaxation.