A Day at the Beach

On Wednesday, my mom told me that my dad wanted to go to the beach on Thursday. I was so excited! I love going to the beach and roasting hot dogs over the fire, making s'mores and watching the tide. We would be going to a different beach though, a beach you can drive on. It's not all that different, we went to Sunset beach for my 16th birthday party last year. We usually go to Lincoln City, and have to park a long way away from our 'camp site', so it makes clean up difficult, and dreading. This time, since we had my dad's car 5 feet away from us, it made clean up easy. 

Thursday morning came around, and we got ready to go. We first drove to downtown Portland to go to the Apple store. Brittney's phone had cracked due to a manufacturing malfunction, it was a single, hairline crack down the left side of her screen and it happened while she was watching something on her phone. The Apple people said that this rarely happens, and they gave Brittney a new phone for FREE. We have Apple care covering our phones, so that's why it was free. The Apple store made my whole day lovely, the employees were as nice as can be, it was a techi wonderland in there! The whole mall was dead, except for the Apple store. It was a zoo! We purchased new screen protectors and they had the "professional" put them on for us. It was a fabulous start to my day, indeed. 

We headed out to Seaside, where we walked around the town some. Seaside probably has the cutest beach side town in Oregon. It houses little odd shops, candy shops, seafood, antiques, wood carving shops, doughnut shops, salt water taffy shops, fudge, ice cream, giant elephant ears, I could go on and on about what they have. They even have a little stand that sells the best corn dogs {in the world}. The town of Seaside is picturesque and beautiful. 

Before heading out to Sunset beach, we stopped by Safeway to grab up some food. We always build a fire and make our food over the fire at the beach, at the falls, basically anywhere that is wilderness we make a fire and make our food on it. It's our tradition. We bought our usual, hot dogs and chips. We found a new flavor of Lays chips, a cheesy garlic toast flavor, they are alright, not my favorite, but totally worth a try! We asked a worker there where the canned goods were, and she seemed a little bothered that we asked her a question, "I'm sure you could have found it without me." and I replied with, "Well, we aren't from around here, and we are in kind of a hurry, so it would have just been quicker if we came and asked someone." My goodness! Aren't employees supposed to be happy to help customers? When a store's employees aren't friendly and nice, I mention it on my blog. I have done it several times, and I will continue. My opinion matters to other people because I know people are reading my posts. PROVIDE NICE CUSTOMER SERVICE! I grade stores. 

The drive to Sunset beach was short from Seaside. We drove through Gearhart to get to Sunset. Once we got on the beach, it was weird to be driving so close to the ocean. I couldn't help but smile, and roll down my window. It was a beautiful feeling. 

We found a spot near the spot we were last year, and we spotted a huge log to start our fire with. My dad, my mom and I dragged the log to where we wanted it and collected more pieces of wood. The beach was so windy! I had to put my hair up to keep it out of my face. We had a tough time trying to get the fire going. The wind was so harsh, and it seemed like it was coming from all directions. We finally got it to catch and it bloomed into a big fire. We kept hunting for drift wood, and I kept finding the big pieces. They would always be buried under the sand, and you come across just a small part sticking up out of the sand, and you tug on it, if it is hard to pull out, it's a big one, so take a long stick, and shove it out of the sand. I found of lot of pieces that way.
There were tons of beautiful seagulls. I know they can be menacing and kind of dirty, but in a beach setting , they are beautiful creatures. I photographed them landing, taking off, poking at the ground, we threw out some chip crumbs and they went crazy. The seagulls flocked around our site and it was the perfect opportunity to photograph them.
This is my favorite picture that I took of a seagull. It looks almost like you are about to jump onto it's bag and fly away with it on his adventures. 
I brought three things to help me collect beachy treasures, I brought a gallon, plastic bag for drift wood; I brought a bigger glass jar and a smaller glass jar. I didn't end up using the smaller glass jar, but I did use the bigger one to collect my shells and various treasures. I had some projects in mind, so I was hoping to find the items for my projects at the beach. 
While I was searching by tide, I found lots of interesting little creatures and things. I found whole, dead crabs, I found a whole crab shell, I found a small, live eel thing, I found a couple dead jelly fish and one with his tentacles, I found lots of broken sand dollars, and I found lots of other little odds and ends. I found teaser whole sand dollars, where the bottoms were whole but the top was crushed in, I kept them anyway, they were a cool find. 
I found a mini WHOLE, intact sand dollar. It was THE find of the day. 
I am so proud of this little find. 
Brittney found these sand dollars.
The patterns that the tide brought in were so pretty, the way the water shone on the sand, and the ripples that the water made in the sand. It looked like it should be a pattern on fabric for a purse, or a shirt. 
I was getting hungry, so I decided to head back to our site and start some hot dogs. I ruined a few roasting sticks because I burned off the widdled part. We have metal roasting sticks, but we never bring them because it's more fun to eat off a stick from where you are. I finally got one to work, and not burn because I kept it out of the fire and I roasted my hot dog just how I like it, a little burnt. 
After I ate, Brittney came back down from a grassy sand dune, and we went on a little adventure together. She brought me up to the grassy sand dune and showed me that there was a meadow above the beach that went on for a few miles. It was beautiful.

My dad and I hunted for more wood, and then my mom came up to us and asked if we had to use the restroom. I did... so I went with her and my sister. On the way back, I drove! I drove on the sand, near the ocean, and it was a beautiful experience. 
My mom and I started hunting for more wood, and we saw these three army jeeps drive by and park about a mile down from our site. They told people who came near them to not go over there because they were testing guns. Kind of neat. Sunset Beach is near an army base and Fort Clatsop, so there would be soldiers coming by and testing guns at the beach. 
As my mom and I were hunting for wood, this woman came up to us and said we could have their fire and that they were leaving. We moved our stuff over to this fire, we even transferred our first fire over to the second fire. 
The sun was starting to set, and the wind still hadn't died down. The water was so blue. 
Running toward the sun
Enjoying the sunset, and all the beauty that nature provides.
And then I climbed up to the meadow by myself, I love the tranquility that the beach has. Even through the wind, and the cold, it is still tranquil and beautiful. I seriously couldn't choose just one picture to help describe the beauty.
It was then time to go, and we left at about 9:00. We usually start trekking back home around 12:30 when we are in Lincoln City. We always wait for the tide to come in and put out our fire, but at Sunset, it was getting much too windy and we are all tired, and ready to go home. We drove the dark, windy road home, and at times it made a little nervous. We arrived home safely, sandy, and tired.
Trips to the beach are always an adventure.