Monday, August 19, 2013

Fourth of July in Manzanita

It's always fun to take a ride up the Oregon Coast on the 4th of July weekend, especially since we often have company.  While the guys are crabbing, the women love to break away for lunch and shopping in Gearhart and Astoria!  One of my favorite places to take visitors is Yankee Trader on Hwy. 101 in Gearhart. See more photos from this fun place  from a 2009 post:  Carrie Bergin only opens her shop from Memorial Day through December. The rest of the year she makes these spectacular seasonal themed 'cakes' and changes her shop around.  If you've ever seen her amazing shop, you'll realize this is no easy task!
Another vignette ... 
We stopped at Marie Antionette's Cupcake and Espresso Parlor for one of their famous cupcakes.
Of course, the Fourth wouldn't be complete without the Manzanita Parade.  We've had an entry for over 20 years.  When the kids were younger, we were the 'Original Boat' float, but for the past several years, we've entered the 43' Willy's, which was Rick's grandfather's, that he had restored.
Our friends, Mark and Barb were just back from Croatia, but couldn't stay away. They have been our 'partners in crime' for many years, since Barb and I met at a New Mom's class when our oldest were babies!
I felt sorry for this poor guy! This is the second year he's dress up in Oregon Duck regalia!  I think he enjoys it since the crowd goes wild when they see him.  He must really be a Die-hard Husky fan, since nobody in their right mind would bet against the Ducks these days!
Here, Dear Daughter is practicing her best parade wave!  She was supposed to be wearing a gray Old Navy T-Shirt and walking in front of the jeep like everyone else, but somehow morphed into a 1940's Diva!
Katie doing her best Eva Peron imitation!
Well, the guys came through with crab!  Since it's not an R Month, the shells were a bit softer, but none-the-less, delicious!  Our Forth of July menu never changes; it's always hot dogs and burgers, baked beans, potato salad, sliced melon, and berry pie!  AND, brownies! It makes it easy, and you don't feel too bad indulging when it's only once a year! 
Bryan on the BBQ. It's been awhile since both kids have been home to celebrate the forth, but since Uncle Kevin and family were here, they wouldn't miss.
Great to have the family here, especially fun with Jacob and Hayden, nine year old twins who kept things very fun and lively!
More cracked crab for breakfast!
There's no place like Manzanita Beach on the Fourth, but SSShsh!  Don't tell anyone!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Memorable Birthday - A Drive Through the Columbia River Gorge in Late September

Last September for dear husband's birthday, we decided to have a different celebration - who needs more stuff? I think after the age of 10, experiences are always the best gift anyway.  
We took the day off and headed east on Scenic Hwy. 14, past Vancouver, WA.  Our first stop was Dickey's Farm Store, which is like an old fashioned hardware store where you can find just about anything!  Garden, pet supplies, one-of-a-kind items, produce, you name it, they had it.  
I'm a nut for pumpkins (and fall decorations), so had to photograph them from every angle. We were planning to be in Europe in October, so I resisted the urge to stock up!
After checking out this cool place, it was time for lunch, so we continued further east near the Bridge of the Gods.  It was so much fun heading off for a day with no real agenda.
We stopped at a place called Andrews Pizza on the Washington side, and had a delicious lunch.  They are
famous for their pizza, but I have to say their chili soup and sandwich were yummy too.  
On our way down the highway, we stopped at Maryhill Winery, and were treated to a stunning view of the   Columbia River Gorge.  Maryhill Winery has some lovely wines, and some big name summer concerts. We especially enjoyed their Malbec and Merlot.
There's plenty of lovely scenes like this along the way. You wouldn't think land this rugged would be good for wine grapes, but amazing reds come out of this region.
Our next stop was Maryhill Museum of Art, which looks like an English Castle, and houses a diverse assortment of treasures from paintings and sculpture by Rodin, American Indian Baskets, to Palace furnishings and personal items once belonging to Queen Marie of Romania.  There's a fascinating story of how these items were acquired and her friendship with Sam Hill who built the museum. It's my favorite museum, next to the Frick Collection in New York...OK, the Legion of Honor Museum in SF is right up there too!  But, Maryhill is definitely amazing!
I took this shot through glass in a room when these busts were stored.
We then went to this beautiful replica of Stonehenge, which commemorates the dead from WW 1. This monument was also built by Sam Hill who was a pacifist. Sam Hill is also buried here.
The way the late evening light passed through these openings was pretty amazing!
We drove along the Historic Columbia River Highway past Crown Point and had amazing views of the Gorge.  Unfortunately, smoke from Eastern Oregon forest fires presented a lot of haze.
Finally, we met our son, who bought us pizza and beer at the Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River. All in all, it was a pretty spectacular day, and a great new tradition.