Cannon Beach is just 80 miles west of Portland. National Geographic named it one of the 100 most beautiful places in 2013.
The largest of the sea stacks is called Haystack Rock. It’s 235 feet tall and you may recognize it from the Goonies.
The fantastic four.
One of the several interesting tree stumps along the beach. Geologists say these can be anywhere from 300 to 2,000 years old.
Trying to outrun the waves.
The waves won.
The White Heron is the third from the left. We were in the suite that’s balcony is on the upper left.
Steps to the beach.
These trees arched over beachfront homes. Years of wind from the ocean gave them this extraordinary lean.
Logan insisted on this silly candy that gave him a grill.
Calla lilies are my favorite, and were even part of my wedding bouquet. We spotted them throughout the resort town.
I love red doors.
I gave the boys these foam planes for fun.
Excited to test out the planes on the beach.
Even Farmor got in on the plane action.
Apparent leftovers from an old bon fire.
Writing in the sand. These are all her grandchildren’s names.
“We love Jorgen.”
It's easy for me to get lost in my thoughts here.
Walking along Ecola Creek, which feeds into the Pacific.
Brothers getting one last look at the Pacific before we head home.
“Let’s go to the beach, each!” That line from the Nicki Minaj song had been running through my mind since I had the idea to slip away to Cannon Beach, Oregon for a couple days.
My mother-in-law was in town from Norway to help me take care of the kids while my husband was galavanting in Brazil at the World Cup. Seriously, he was at the World Cup. More on that later.
So our summer had officially begun. We finished our soccer season first, a couple weeks after that we were done with Cub Scouts, then our baseball season ended and finally, school was over. To celebrate, I thought it best to get out of Dodge.
Late one night I hopped online to try to find a place for us to stay. I know it’s the summer season, but figured surely *something* was available. I got a list of the top accommodations for kids and families in Cannon Beach. It was nearly 11:30 p.m., but I started calling places anyway. I mostly got the resorts’ voicemail, except for one. The Waves.
I got excited when a woman answered the phone. I quickly told her what I was looking for, a two-night stay for two adults and two children and had an oceanview. Turns out they had a property called The White Heron Lodge that fit the bill.
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A couple hours after Logan left first grade behind, we all piled into my Jeep. It was me, Farmor (The Norwegian word for father’s mother), Logan and Ethan. An hour and 15 minutes later, the GPS said the White Heron Lodge was just 5 minutes away, but we were still deep in the lush forests of Oregon. How could the Pacific Ocean be anywhere near here?
A winding turn to the right and a zigzag left and poof! We were in charming downtown Cannon Beach. The mainstreet, Hemloch, is lined with all kinds of boutiques, eateries and galleries. What’s cool is that once you walk along the stores facing the street, you will see snaking alleyways between some of the shops that reveal more back-to-back boutiques. Shopping is clearly alive and well in Cannon Beach.
We didn’t know what to expect when we got to our property. Online the pictures looked great, but we all know how pictures can be deceiving. Thankfully this place was even better than I imagined. There was one bedroom, a full (but small) kitchen, bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, a living room and dining area that had an expansively gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.
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Farmor and I lugged all our bags inside and she quickly began unpacking everything. That’s the thing about Norwegians. They’re crazy practical and efficient. I had unpacked only half of my 3 year old’s clothes and she already had her clothes in the drawers, our jackets and shoes properly put away in the closet and was half way through unpacking the kitchen. I was floored. She was like the Unpacking Ninja.
For our first walk on the beach I put the kids in rain boots. I guess the Norwegian practicality is contagious. I felt a little silly because others were barefoot or wearing flip flops. But when the boys started splashing in the cold, sandy puddles, I no longer felt silly, but a little proud.
The water was cold, but Logan was determined to try it out. And I couldn’t blame him, the ocean is so lively and mesmerizing. It’s impossible not to dip at least a toe or two in. Well at least for Logan and I. Farmor decided to stay on the nestled on the couch with her book and a glass of merlot.
The straightest shot from our suite to the ocean required that we cross a stream called Ecola Creek, that fed into the ocean. We were all kind of nervous because we didn’t know how deep it would be.
Another family was standing along the banks of the creek considering a walk through it. Collectively, we decided to send their teenage son into the waters first so we’d know what to expect. He waded in, it went up to his knees, and he looked back saying that it wasn’t too cold. After he made it ashore, his parents followed.
I lifted Ethan while Logan grabbed onto my elbow. We waded in and Ethan started hollering: “I want to go back!” “Take me back!” In the pool, Ethan is like a fish and that he was afraid of this creek struck me as funny.
The water was cold (that teenage boy lied) and against Ethan’s demands to go home we kept trudging through. When the water reached my knees and Logan’s netherly bits he tried to climb me like a tree, sending Ethan to scream louder and switch his call for help to “Farmor! Farmor! I want Farmor!” Meanwhile I howled with laughter.
After crossing the creek, we spent some time walking along the shore, uncovering partial sand dollars and crab claws. It was lovely and I’m instantly envious of anyone who lives on the sea.
The rest of our time in Cannon Beach we hit up some of the local restaurants, windowshopped and enjoyed Haystack Rock, which is a 235 feet tall sea stack. You guys might remember it in a couple scenes from the movie The Goonies.
And then, it was time to go. As my SUV snaked through the forest and back toward Portland, all of us were a little calmer, happier and excited for the next time.