Saturday, June 19, 2010

Go Fly a Kite!

Or try one of my other top ten picks for what to do next time you are in Seaside, Oregon.  I've been going there since I was itsty-bitsy.  My daughter (who is somehow almost one already!!) has already been there five times.  Anyhow, you would think that doing the same stuff would get old, but somehow it never does. 

1.  Read a Book.     I saw one wise woman laying on a beach towel with a blanket over her, head toward the ocean, reading.  Looked pretty cozy!  Yes, I know, some of you are thinking that people should be wearing bikinis at the beach in June, not blankets. Yet somehow I still prefer a blanket. 

Bears At The Beach

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer (Hardcover)Dunk Skunk

I have made some good finds at Beach Books, including Beach by Elisha Cooper.  It has amazing illustrations that kids could pour over all day if you are patient enough to let them.  My other recent beachy pick is Bears at the Beach by Niki Yektai which I found at Under the Big Top Toys.

On this trip I managed to read a book in three days.  That has to be some kind of record for a person with two little kids.  I started and finished Novella Carpenter's book Farm City while curled up in bed with a little person snoozing away and a view of the ocean.  And our favorite storytime reads courtesy of King County Library were Dunk Skunk by Michael Rex and Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis.  Both are simple enough for young children to read along with you. We had to laugh when we were at the beach and noticed that I was telling Sawyer, "Be careful with that stick!" and he looked at me and said, "It's not a stick, it's a rocket!"

Not a Stick

2.  Make a Castle.  It's risky building castles with preschoolers around. They like to destroy them as much or more as they like to build them.  We reached a compromise, Sawyer agreed to only destroy the castles that I built for that purpose and to leave the rest of my creations undisturbed.  This strategy worked great, until Peyton crawled right into the middle and smushed the whole thing anyhow.  Darn.

This time we built our castles using a variety of recycled containers as forms.  Buckets work great, but so do old "snack pack" tubs (Teddy Grahams, Ritz Bits, you know the ones?) and plastic easter eggs.  We also went on a hunt around the beach for wood, feathers, shells, things to decorate and use as drawbridges.  The gathering was just as fun as the embellishing. 

3.  Fly a Kite.  Always fun on a windy day.  Plus lots of running in the fresh air might equal a long nap which will allow you to accomplish # 1 (see above).

4.  Ride a Bike.  Up and down the prom.  To town and back. To the swings and back. Or for a change of scenery head past the aging Tides motel at the South end along the residential streets and over to the cove.  Head up the hill to the Tillamook Head trail head (to Ecola state park and Cannon Beach) if you need a workout.

5.  Eat.  Specifically the Cheesy Shrimp Bread at Harbor Bites.  It's a fun, neighboorhoody place at the opposite end of town from everything else.  They have live music on Tuesdays and more often in the summer and you can eat, enjoy a pitcher of beer (or a soda) with your kids in tow, and then walk or ride your bike home.

6.  Ride the Carousel.  It spins pretty quickly so beginners should start with the Ostrich or Giraffe which don't go up and down. $1.50 a person.  Adults are free if they are riding with a paying child.  The train across the street is fun but it's not consistently open which can lead to dashed hopes and thus tears.  Free rides are available on the beach swings, the ones near the turn around get crowded so head to the ones that are further down the prom.

7.  Eat More.  Fudge. Tom and Larry's. Enough said.

8.  Play.  Skee ball.  Air hockey.  Pin Ball.  And what the heck- Dance Dance Revolution.  All at the arcade.

9.  Eat.  Popcorn.  Phillip's candies. Caramel or Cheese? Sweet or salty or a little of both?  Take your pick and some napkins (especially if you choose the cheese).  And beware- the sizes are decieving because they pack it up over the box and let it spill into a little clear bag around the box that they seal with a twist-tie.

10.  Play Ten Tiny Tees.  At $3.00 a pop, this is a mini-golf bargain.  It hasn't changed since I was a kid so there's plenty of chance for mastery.  The only problem is that kids under 6 aren't allowed to play on their own.  You can however play together (meaning: you hold the club, they get to help).

Oh, and a little known secret, Seaside has an awesome public swimming pool.  Non-residents pay $3.00 a person for Open Swim.  There is a warm water pool and a jacuzzi, and in the big, cold pool there is a slide, rock climbing wall, and rope swing.  And the locker rooms even have suit spinners!  There are regular Kinder-splash times for the 3 and under set as well as regular lap swim hours.  Call to check the schedule- Sunset Empire Parks and Rec.  The pool is located on the other side of the highway near Safeway, the library, and Broadway Park (which has a new play structure and a skate park).