I love the ocean. There is something about the sound of waves crashing or rippling water lapping at your feet as you walk across a beach barefoot that I just love. I didn’t grow up anywhere near the ocean. I grew up in Utah and was nowhere near real beach (the Great Salt Lake doesn’t count). Now we live in Colorado and are even further away from the seashore! I served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Canada, Vancouver Mission and spent some time on Vancouver Island. While I was there I got to see the ocean just about ever day as we were out and about contacting people on the streets and such. I think it was from the time I spent on Vancouver Island that I really learned to love being by the ocean. Watching tugboats pull huge barges from Pulp Mills across the Straight of Georgia or just being able to see the ocean. Anyways I love the ocean.
One of my favorite vacations I took with Brianna we went to Seaside Beach in Oregon. We rented a car and drove from the Portland Airport out to a little motel a couple of blocks from the beach. We stayed there for about three days and it was great. We were about one mile from the main part of the town because it cost a lot less to stay there than at the huge hotels right on the beach front. It was so nice! Every night we would walk along the boardwalk to the main part of town and then walk back on the beach. In Seaside there is a shop that sold real saltwater taffy and we got a bunch of different flavors, it was amazing how many different flavors they had! When you walk in, there are all of these tubes full of saltwater taffy that pour into wooden bins. It was fun in that shop!
Each morning we took little day trips to different beaches in the area. We went to this place called Hug Point (it was called that because the water hugs the beach and nearby cliffs) and explored around the shallows. We also spent a day at Cannon Beach and walked probably three or four miles down the coastline towards Haystack Rock. It is strange how when you’re walking on a beach time slips by and you don’t realize how far you have gone until you look behind you and see where you started way in the distance.
A funny thing that happened at Cannon Beach: When we finally got around to eating lunch that day we were starving. Luckily we had packed a lunch in our backpack. We found this nice big log on the beach and sat down and started pulling out sandwiches and crackers. No sooner had we done this then a whole flock of curious, persistent and crazy seagulls had us surrounded. Nothing we could do would get them away from us. We didn’t know what to do. If we had our backs turned for just a second they would fly up just a little closer and then perch next to us on the log. We found quickly that we would not have an enjoyable lunch unless something was done. Then inspiration struck! Just in front of us there was this huge family eating lunch with huge ice chests and a few blankets full of people and food. If we could only introduce our seagull friends to this great family! By this time the seagulls had gone into relentless mode and nothing we could do would keep them away from us and our lunch…it was time to carry out our plan. All we did was causally gather up our stuff and walk nonchalantly towards the family in front of us.
Things worked out perfectly. No sooner had we started walking, and then all the seagulls in perfect unison started following us in the air and on the ground by the dozens. Then the critical moment came as we passed by the huge family party on the beach. As if by magic or a stroke of luck, one of the little boys in the group tossed a piece of bread to a seagull. This gesture was done in all sincerity, but none of the other members in his family appreciated it. As the bread was flying through the air they all cried out “NO!” But it was too late…all of the seagulls shifted their interest from our meager meal, toward the great smorgasbord that was strewn out in front of them. It was really funny to watch as we munched on our sandwiches and crackers a safe distance off. All of a sudden the people were waving their hands trying to get rid of the pesky birds. There were a few younger kids there that got assigned the task of chasing the birds away, which they did with a smile. Anyways, that was a fun lunch and much more enjoyable when we relocated!
One of my favorite memories I have of that trip was our last night there. We walked into town (Seaside) and got some really good ice cream and ate it on a bench over looking the beach at sunset. Then we walked back to our motel along the beach. I think I'm ready to go back to Seaside Beach again!