The A & W Burger Family

We were out in Hillsboro, OR last weekend and finally had a chance to stop at a roadside attraction we’d seen many times but never could quite figure out how they came to be. I’m talking about the A & W Burger Family that smiles at passersby along the highway near the aquatic center.

Kendall hanging out with the A & W Burger family
Kendall hanging out with the A & W Burger family

The Burger Family used to be outside the A & W Root Beer restaurant not far from this location.

Now you know
Now you know

You can read more about the A & W Burger Family at Roadside America. Do you have any roadside attractions in your town?

Flat Kendall visits Palm Springs

by Gretchen DeMoss

We were in need of some sun and warm weather, so we packed up Flat Kendall and headed to Palm Springs, CA for a long weekend. Never having been there before, we didn’t know what to expect. We had a great time! We stayed in the #1 rated TripAdvisor hotel, The Desert Riviera Hotel. It was all we hoped it would be. It’s owned by some very friendly people from Oregon and has been completely renovated and decorated in the mid-century modern decor the area is so well known for. The best part was the pool.

Hanging out by the pool at the Desert Riviera
Hanging out by the pool at the Desert Riviera

It was the focal point of the hotel. It was surrounded by rooms on three sides and a really tall hedge on the other. You felt like you were secluded from the rest of the world. Flat Kendall took full advantage of the amenities.

Hanging out in the hot tub
Hanging out in the hot tub
Warming by the fire pit
Warming by the fire pit
Drinking by the pool
Drinking by the pool

There were hummingbirds everywhere! I’ve never seen so many in one place.

We also did some exploring. We rented a car and headed downtown to see the sights and look at the mid-century modern architecture.

Marilyn Monroe statue in downtown
Marilyn Monroe statue in downtown

We also stopped in a great little pet store on S. Palm Canyon Dr called Cold Nose Warm Heart. We picked up a new collar for Kendall. It’s a summer print, so I’ll blog about it as we get closer to summer.

Cold Nose Warm Heart store
Cold Nose Warm Heart store

We were surprised at all of the hiking and outdoor activities available to do. It was sunny and 75 deg F when we were there. I couldn’t imagine hiking, or being a dog, when it gets over 100 deg F there.

There are direct flights from Portland to Palm Springs, so I can see another trip in our future.


Whale Watching at the Oregon Coast

We spent some time at Ecola State Park on the Oregon coast doing some whale watching. Every year, about this time, the grey whales make their way past the Oregon coast on their migration to Mexico. If we’re lucky, we get to catch a glimpse of these beautiful mammals as they pass by.

We packed a picnic and headed out to do some whale watching. Our first stop at the Ecola Point viewpoint yielded lots of people but no whale sightings. We headed down to Indian Beach where we procured a picnic table with an awesome view, and we waited. And waited. Until we saw a blow on the horizon. We spotted a few whales traveling south together and were able to track them south until they were out of view. I happened to have the binoculars pointed in the right direction at the right time and saw a tail come out of the water. What a treat. We saw a couple of other blows not long after the first set, but that was it for the day.

 Whale watching at Indian Beach
Whale watching at Indian Beach
Another gorgeous day at the Oregon coast
Another gorgeous day at the Oregon coast
Looking south from Ecola Point
Looking south from Ecola Point



Seaside Holiday Lights Parade

Last Friday the rains subsided just in time for the Seaside Holiday Lights Parade through downtown Seaside, OR. We went prepared with our rain pants, boots, and rain jackets and never got wet! We left Kendall at the house since it had been raining so hard, and we weren’t sure how she’d do with the sirens in the parade.

Here are some of the highlights.

The trash truck was all decked out with lights.
More of the trash truck
The 4-H club float

Flat Kendall visits Corpus Christi, TX

I’m a  bit behind in getting this post up, but Flat Kendall and I traveled to Corpus Christi, TX earlier this month. I’d never been there before, and I was fortunate to stay in a hotel with a beautiful view of the water. Unfortunately, I left the hotel shortly after sunrise and returned after dark every day, so I didn’t get to enjoy the view much.

The view from my hotel room.

The convention center is located right along the water. That’s the USS Lexington in the background. It’s a museum that opened in 1992. The ship once appeared on the show Ghosthunters and is said to be haunted.

That’s the USS Lexington in the background.

We went to a special event at the Texas Aquarium, and I got to feed a porcupine! She even reached out and held my hand with her little paws. So cute!

Flat Kendall visits Princeton University

It’s that time of year again – the time when I’m traveling quite a bit for work. One of my first trips this fall was back east to Princeton, NJ. While I was there, I took Flat Kendall out for a walkabout around the campus.

The gates to Princeton University

I felt a bit conspicuous holding up Flat Kendall to get pictures with so many people around, so I mostly took pictures of the campus. Flat Kendall enjoyed the view from my bag.

One of the cool buildings on the main street through Princeton
Beautiful stone building
I love old buildings with character
Time to catch the train

One cool thing that we did get to see was Einstein’s house. I didn’t stop to take a picture, but we did drive by the home on Mercer St. It’s not a museum, as one would think it would be, but rather a residence.

A Stop at Camp 18

On a recent trip to the Oregon coast, we stopped at a place called Camp 18. We’ve driven by it countless times but have never stopped before. Camp 18 is a restaurant, logging museum, and logging memorial in Elsie, OR, 18 miles from the end of the Sunset Highway.

Camp 18

The grounds are home to numerous pieces of logging machinery, locomotives, and tools that pay homage to the logging industry that was such a big part of Oregon history.

Some of the logging equipment

The place started in the early 1970’s as part of Gordon Smith’s dream. It started with a few pieces of donated, rusted equipment and has grown to quite the place. The log cabin that houses the restaurant, gift shop, and event space is built completely of timber that came from the surrounding area and was logged by Smith. It’s worth a stop just to see the log cabin!

Various logging equipment
Big Foot tree carving

There’s also a very large carving depicting Big Foot.

This makes Kendall look tiny

Some of the logging equipment is huge! Kendall’s not a tiny dog, by far, but she sure looks tiny next to this piece of equipment.

Logging memorial

There’s a Loggers Memorial on site. That’s a giant grapple hook over the entrance to the memorial.

So, the next time you’re headed to or from the Oregon coast along the Sunset Highway, take some time to stop at Camp 18.

Little Charms

We stopped in Sisters, OR on Saturday to pick up some coffee at Sisters Coffee Company and happened upon the Sisters Harvest Faire. There were over 200 juried  vendors of handcrafted arts and crafts there. I love it when we happen upon a festival, and I love it even more when we get to see artists’ works that we’ve never seen before. One artist definitely caught my attention.

Jen, an artist from Bend, OR, makes little charms from copper that came from the roof of the Bend Bulletin building when it was torn down in 2001. She makes charms with various sayings. You can see all of them on her web site. One of my favorites was a dog-inspired one that reads Eat, Play, Love.

One of my favorite charms. Photo used with permission.

She also has great charms with vintage trailers on them. If you’ve been reading my blog you know that we own a 1961 Aljo trailer. Turns out that Jen also owns a vintage trailer. Her trailer’s name is Trixie.

Adorable vintage trailer charms. Photo used with permission.

Pop on over to her web site to check out the other dog-inspired charms and tags for your dog as well as lots of other charms. If you’re in the Portland area, you’re in luck! Jen will be at Art in the Burbs next weekend, Oct. 19-21, in Tigard. You can check out her charms in person.

Note: I did not receive anything for writing this post. Opinions are my own. I just like to pass along information about great things I find on our adventures.

The View

The view from our house on Orcas Island

One of the things we loved about the house we rented on Orcas Island was the view from the deck. Here we’re looking down East Sound toward Lopez Island. We could watch the ferries go by and the sea planes come in to land at Rosario Resort.

Kendall loved that she had her own dog run. We just had to open the door and let her out. No need to get dressed and take her for a walk. That’s the part I liked. No need to get out of my pajamas before I’ve had my coffee.

Kendall’s private dog run