Monthly Archives: December 2010

Oregon Coast July 2009

{Travel & Leisure} An Oregon Coast Day Trip

Back in the good old days, my family would load up the car and go for a Sunday drive. I haven’t heard this term in years; however I found myself reminiscing in my mind about a drive that my husband and I took last summer. It brought back the same feelings of warmth and joy that I had when I was a little girl.


Last July we loaded up the three dogs into the cab of the pickup, threw a few sandwiches into a little cooler and headed out to Hug’s Beach, Oregon.  Since we live on a small peninsula which is located in Southwest Washington State we are just a stone’s throw away from historic Astoria, Oregon.  We arose early and quickly headed south on the Oregon Coast Highway (Highway 101).

We decided to see what was off of the main highway so we found ourselves meandering through the town of Warrenton. We regularly shop in Warrenton (strip malls, Costco); however we didn’t realize that it actually has a quaint little downtown section…maybe we should turn onto side roads more often. The winding road took us into the beautiful Fort Stevens State Park where we discovered some very nice, yet extremely crowded, RV sites. We made note of which sites we liked for a return RV stay in the future, possibly during Spring when the park isn’t as overflowing with guests. We turned left, then right, then found a sign directing us to a shipwreck. The Peter Iredale shipwreck sits directly on the beach within the perimeter of the State Park and is easily viewable, especially at low tide. Evidentally the ship was an oceangoing vessel that was wrecked near the mouth of the Columbia River in the early part of the century.

I must mention that the traffic on this particular day was absolutley horrific. The Portland, Oregon region isn’t very far away by automobile and predicted temperatures were to hit 100 degrees so everyone got the great idea to visit the beach. We didn’t mind the traffic too much as we kept busy by chatting as well as enjoying the large evergreens and nature which lined the highway. Once we saw signs for Cannon Beach we veered towards town to get a better look at Haystack Rock which is Cannon Beach’s protected marine garden and claim to fame. Again, the place was packed, in fact we gave up on parking because there literally was no where to park in the entire town…fear not, we still enjoyed the gorgeous beach view as well as oooing and awing over all the expensive beach homes. After a few quick pictures we got back on the road searching for a beach known as Hug Point State Park Beach. As the road continued to twist and turn through lush trees we finally saw the sign for the Beach…and you guessed it…there wasn’t a single place to park. People had parked their cars on the side of the highway for miles just to get to this beach. Oh well, so much for a quiet and private beach experience.

The next section of the roadway was probably my favorite. It curves right through the middle of the Oswalt State Park. We were all getting anci to get out of the car so we turned down a road which headed steeply through a thick forest of trees, ferns and rhododenrons. The road kept going down, down, down towards the beach. There wasn’t a single person on the road so we pulled over in the middle of this extremely lovely forest for a break. There is nothing quite like being somewhere where there isn’t a single car, person or sound around. It was extremely awesome!

We weren’t done with our adventure yet, and we hadn’t given up on finding a nice spot to eat our little picnic lunch. We leisurely drove to Manzanita and then slowly drove through this fabulous little berg. The cafes and art galleries were full of smiling people and the vibe was very positive. We parked right next to the sandy beach and just sat…quietly…breathing. I took some more pictures of the beach vista before we headed down the road for a few more minutes. It was definitley time for lunch and we ate it in a parking lot. Yes, we actually found parking and not in just any parking lot! This one was perched atop a Beach Cliff. We sat on a stone wall overlooking the ocean as we enjoyed our bologna sandwiches and fruit.

Our goal this day was to find Hug Beach, eat lunch, go home…very planned and not open to change. What we discovered was a day of unpredicability yet extreme enjoyment, relaxation and wonderful memories that will last my lifetime…it was the best ‘Sunday Drive’ that I can recall.



{2010 Favorites} Waterside Cottages: The Book

Our favorite home decor book of 2010 is Waterside Cottages. We never tire of browsing the pages full of beautiful cottages with themes influenced by their coastal surroundings.

Waterside Cottages ~ Photographed by Dan Mayers

Giddy as a schoolgirl…yes, I was! I recently discovered Waterside Cottages, a beautiful hardcover book written by Barbara Jacksier and photographed by Dan Mayers.

I splurged on an autographed copy and anxiously awaited its delivery. I  was like a child on Christmas morning when it arrived; full of anticipation. As I carefully opened the padded envelope a beautiful purple tissue paper wrapped book was exposed. The front cover alone was absolutely gorgeous!

New Dungeness Light Station View

{Travel & Leisure} Vacation in a Lighthouse

Have you ever thought about staying somewhere a bit different than the normal hotel, motel or beach cottage for your vacation? Lighthouses around North America are available for rental for your vacation! This is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation option that you’ll soon not forget. Our first stop is in my home state of Washington…

The New Dungeness Light Station is the gem of the Pacific Northwest. The location is remote, in fact it is unaccessible unless it is low tide. As you approach the Light Station there is a sign which states, “Welcome to Serenity. Reality 5 Miles Back.” This is a working vacation as you learn to provide visitors with a tour; raise and lower the flag each day but you won’t soon forget this experience…and the views.

>> Learn more about this option >> New Dungeness Lighthouse


New Dungeness Light Station in Washington

New Dungeness Light Station View

The Jacobsville Lighthouse, on Lake Superior on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was opened as a Bed and Breakfast in 2005. There are five unique guest rooms and the lighthouse is near the east entrance to the canal (called the Portage River) that runs through the Keweenaw Peninsula. Ships up to 700 feet in length come through to escape gales on the lake and to deliver road salt and gravel.

>> Learn more about this option >> Jacobsville Lighthouse

Jacobsville Lighthouse on Lake Superior

How about Maine? Stay overnight at the Goose Rocks Lighthouse, an offshore Maine lighthouse, in the Fox Islands Thorofare in Maine. The lighthouse is the only offshore “sparkplug” type lighthouse in the U.S. that is available for overnight stays.

>> Learn more about this option >> Beacon Preservation


Goose Rocks Maine Beacon

Wake to the lapping of waves in Ontario, Canada. Here’s an opportunity to be a Keeper of the Light at the 1907 McKay Island Lighthouse on Lake Huron. It is one of the few lighthouses in Ontario offering accommodations and is open all season. Watch the freighters in summer, enjoy the fall colours, listen to the November gales and snowmobile the trails of the North Channel in winter.

>> Learn more about this option >> Bruce Bay Cottages


Stay at a lighthouse mckay island bruce bay

Bruce Bay Lighthouse View

If this post has sparked your interest in exploring a Vacation in a Lighthouse (and if you do, we want to see pictures!) then we highly recommend you visit: Stay at a Lighthouse – for News, stories, photos, and video from around the world featuring lighthouses with guest accommodations.

  • Ocean Offerings – Unique and Distinctive Gifts & Jewelry Inspired by the Sea.

Happy Holidays

I heard the bells, 
on Christmas Day, 
Their old, familiar carols play, 
And wild and sweet 
The words repeat 
Of peace on earth, 
good will to men. 
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Holidays to you & yours!

sarah richardson turquoise & green christmas tree

{Beach Cottage Decor} Celebrate the Holidays with Sarah Richardson

“Sarah is not your average TV designer. Her keen understanding of the fundamentals of design compliment razor-sharp instincts in all matters of taste and style”

To keep the demands of a hectic TV life in balance Sarah spends weekends living off the grid at the solar-powered cottage she shares with her husband and daughters.

Today we share some of her beautiful Christmas decorating schemes with you.


Coastal Christmas Dining Room Table Centerpiece

{At the Beach} Christmas Morning at the Beach

Our dining table centerpiece is complete and ready for family to surround it on Christmas morning. The morning of Christmas is all about opening stockings and eating lots of delicious treats together (see recipes below).


A blown-glass Snowman takes center stage on the table this year – he’s decked out in his fishing attire and his red & gold plaid coat add charm and whimsy.