coastal cooldown

This summer's weather has been perfect - warm but not too hot, not at all humid, almost always sunny - well, perfect until this last week. The

excessive heat warning

was all over the news. We were prepared - we watered the garden extra and got out our fan for the second or third time this summer. The day it hit 95º, we went to the mall just to wander around in the air conditioning. The day it hit 100º, we shut all the windows, closed the curtains, and tried to wait the heat out. We even managed to get some work done! That night, when it was still 85º inside at 9pm, we decided that enough was enough - and that's why we got up early the next day to drive out to the coast. It's never hot on the coast!


We drove up to Astoria, the cute old town we first went to when my mom and sister were in town. After eating lunch, we wandered down to the Columbia river and sat on a bench overlooking some old piers. After a few minutes, a really cute sea lion swam right by with its head above the water. We saw lots of seabirds as well - Astoria is right where the mouth of the Columbia hits the Pacific Ocean. If you cross the bridge to go to Washington, there's a large animal sanctuary that lots of migrating birds visit.

After our riverside rest, we strolled through town, poking our heads into shops here and there. We visited a thrift shop, an antique store, and a Scandinavian home goods store. The antique store reminded us of an architectural salvage place in New York that we used to love.


The store is housed in what used to be the Hotel Astoria - built in the 1920s, it was once a grand hotel. It fell into disrepair in the late '70s before (luckily) being made a historical building and saved. Now, it's apartments above with shops on the first level. One room of this antique store was once the lobby of the hotel - now, it's a disintegrating shell of its former self - but in a cool way.

The ceiling now - and

here's a picture of the room in grander times

. It reminded us a lot of this post-apocalyptic video game series called Fallout that we both really like - kind of '50s, kind of creepy, falling apart.

We ended the day with a short drive down the coast to Seaside, where we sat on the beach for a while and ate sushi before coming back to Portland. We put off returning as long as we could, but by the time we arrived, it was cool! It was as if the 100º day hadn't even happened. We'll definitely be making the short trip to the coast next time the thermometer climbs that high...but hopefully that doesn't happen anytime soon!