Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Day in Astoria

We just got back home from a wonderful little beach vacation, and had a fun few days exploring and playing along the northern Oregon coast.  I thought I would break up our trip into two posts, so here is post number one of our trip to the beach.

We arrived in Seaside, Oregon on Tuesday afternoon, we got the van unpacked, and the dogs settled, and finished up dinner in time to head on down to the beach and watch the sun set.

It is so relaxing to sit on the beach and watch the sun go down.

When the sun was just about down we decided to spend a little time playing in the shallow waves, the water was nice, I love watching the waves roll in.  Perfect way to spend the evening of our first night of vacation.

Wednesday morning we had plans to explore Astoria, Oregon, about half an hour away from Seaside.  Our first stop was the Astoria Column.  The drive through Astoria to get to the Astoria Column is great, lots of interesting old houses.  When we arrived at the column, which sits 600 feet above sea level on Coxcomb Hill, the view was stunning.  Below is a replica of an Indian burial canoe that is at the park.

Sarah and Joseph had been to the Column with their youth group a couple of years ago, but it had been close to 18 years since I had been.  

The column overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River.  It was cool seeing the mouth of the Columbia river, since only a week and a half ago we took a Father's Day trip to Multnomah Falls and drove along the Columbia River quite a bit further east.

Here is a picture of a pretty amazing looking bridge between Washington and Oregon.

And here is the Astoria Column.  This Column is 125 feet tall, and is painted with a pictorial frieze of Astoria's history, from it's beginning as a Native American village to the arrival of the railroad and settlers.  You can climb 164 steps to the top.

Sarah and Joseph had no problems, and went right on up ahead of Gary and I.  Physically it was no problem for me, but mentally was a whole other story, I am not too fond of heights, and looking up and down the stairs as I climbed higher was a little freaky.  Thank goodness there were landings every so often so I could stop and gather myself a bit.

The stairs are the sort that you can see under as you are walking up, a constant reminder that you are quite high with only a small metal stair holding you up.  Yikes!  Thankfully Gary hung back and walked up slowly with me, reassuring me that the stairs were very sturdy. (Thanks Gary!)

We finally made it to the top, and the view was amazing.  I will admit though, my back was hugging the column for most of my time up there, the edge was a bit much for me, and every time the kids would go and lean on it, a wave of panic would creep up.  After a few minutes though, I was much better and able to enjoy the view.  You could see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier in the distance.

A friendly woman offered to take our picture as a family, and we took one of her and her son.  Here we all are at the top of the column.

We got a great view of a cargo ship passing under the bridge while we were at the top of the column.

Climbing down was much easier, and we made it back down to ground level in no time.  The Astoria Column climb was fun, and even though it was a little scary as far as heights go, it was well worth it, and I look forward to visiting again.

Afterward, we browsed through the gift shop a bit, and I found a pamphlet of other interesting places to visit in Astoria.   One of the places I was interested in was a historic house we noticed on the way to the column- The Flavel House, so that was where we were headed next.

On the way we were surprised by a deer crossing the road right in the middle of a neighborhood.  We all thought it was hilarious that the deer carefully crossed right at the crosswalk!

Here is the Flavel House Museum.  Once Home to Captain George Flavel, built as his retirement home in 1884-85.  A beautiful Queen Anne style home.

Outside of the home was a huge tree, you can see how big the trunk is compared to Sarah and Joseph.  The gardens surrounding the house were very pretty.

The porch had a lot of neat detail, and you could imagine the original family and their guests enjoying it.

Inside the house we could only take non flash pictures, so most of my pictures came out very dark.   The woodwork throughout the home was very nice, you can see the detail on this door.  One picture I couldn't capture were two huge dark wood pocket doors that would close off the parlor and sitting rooms.

There were lots of really great rooms in this house,  I thought this little room with the desk would be a great writing and reading room.

The ice box was interesting to imagine using.

I don't often take pictures of bathrooms, but I thought this wooden toilette was picture worthy (and oops my flash did go off on this one, I forgot to reset it after I had turned it off then on again) this was a single toilette room.

Here is the larger bathroom, the tub was beautiful, but I'm not sure how comfortable the metal would be.

Here is the wooden toilette in the bigger bathroom, it was the water closet style of flushing toilette, I think it is  great that they even made the bathrooms so pretty with all the nice woodwork.

The stairs were beautiful, we all enjoyed exploring all the rooms of this house.

The antique furniture was fun to see too, I took a picture of this sewing box, I thought it would be a great idea, I am always bringing my hand sewing to the couch to work on while I watch TV, and am always balancing my supplies on the arm of the couch or the end table, this would be a handy sewing box to have, it had a couple of compartments inside and opened from each side as well.

I am glad we decided to tour Flavel house, we love exploring old buildings.

Astoria has been the filming location of many movies, Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, and more, as well as one of my favorite 1980's movies The Goonies.  I grew up watching The Goonies, and I knew Astoria was its filming location, but I didn't realize you could visit some of the movie locations.  So that was our next stop.

Right across the street from The Flavel House (which is also shown in The Goonies) is The Oregon Film Museum.  This building was once The Clatsop County Jail from 1914-1976, and was the location of the jail break scene at the beginning of The Goonies.

A friendly worker stopped on her way out to take our family picture in front of the old jail.

The museum workers let Sarah and Joseph close the jail door for a fun picture.

Inside were a few movie set replicas, like Data's costume.  It was also interesting walking around the old jail, such tiny rooms!  They also had an area set up with real film cameras and green screens and little movie sets to make your own movies.  We had some fun with that, then found some fun Goonies T-shirts for Sarah and Joe in the gift shop.

We then drove to the house used in The Goonies.  We walked up the gravel driveway, along with other people visiting, for a weekday they had a pretty steady stream of people walking up to visit, it must be interesting to live in a house that thousands of people visit.

Here is a picture of The Goonies House.

The kids took Gary and my picture in front of the house.

Here is a picture of Sarah and Joseph at the Goonies house.  That evening we had fun watching The Goonies movie, I had brought our Goonies DVD, it was fun spotting all of the locations that we had seen that day.

One last view, and we were off to our next location.

We left Astoria and went to explore Fort Stevens historic area and Clatsop Beach.  I will share about that part of our trip as well as the rest of our trip in my next post.

We had a lot of fun in Astoria, and will definitely visit again, we saw lots of other places we hope to explore on future trips.


  1. You're a brave gal to climb so high, April! Don't know if I could do it. Looks like a wonderful time. The beach is beautiful and so is the historical house. I remember The Goonies was one of the kids favorites.

  2. You inspire me April. I am definitely talking to my parents about going to Astoria! I love finding movies that are made in Oregon, and The Goonies is a pretty awesome movie! I love it myself. Even though, that movie wasn't in my generation, I still love it. (I am an 'older movies' type of gal). What a fun trip, April!

  3. What a fun trip!! I have so enjoyed reading about your family's adventures! Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!!


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