• Kathy Condon

Washington and Oregon Attractions


Deck View at Friends Home Photo by Kathy Condon

Many of you followed my quasi-vacation to the Northwest, specifically Bellevue, Vancouver, Washington; Gearhart, Oregon; and Astoria, Oregon. My 17-day odyssey included laughter, hugs, exploration of new areas, and fabulous food. My transportation included: Airplanes, which I can happily report were on time and had no lost baggage, a scenic train ride, and a road trip.


Now that I have recovered from Travel Fog, it is time to focus on the many articles queried and approved by publications before I left on the journey. Meanwhile, my brain dances with new possible queries, like writing about The Coffee Girls, a place hidden away on an Astoria, Oregon pier and frozen in time.


First Stop Bellevue Washington


The planning for the trip began when my friends in Palm Desert, Sheri of California Caftans and her husband, David, came home from a date. I took care of their dogs that evening. When they came home that night, they took out their calendar and asked when I was coming to stay with them in their Bellevue, Washington, home next summer. We settled on the end of August.


The August day came, and I flew into Everett Field, Washington. Immediately upon being picked up, David began a tremendously informative tour through easily accessible areas of the Boeing manufacturing complex. Believed to be the largest one-level building in the world, sliding open doors revealed planes in various stages of construction as far as the eye could see.


I got out of the car at their home and started breathing in the fresh evening air on the patio surrounded by evergreen trees. I sensed it was going to be a very good six days. Indeed, it was relaxing, filled with laughter, good food, and winetasting. I am grateful to Visit Bellevue for organizing some of our adventures.


Ceiling of Amtrak Depot in Seattle WA Photo by Kathy Condon

Amtrak Train Ride to Vancouver Washington


The bus ride from Everett to connect with Amtrak was filled to the brim. Union Station downtown Seattle was a joy to see again with its ornate cornices and snow-white interior. The train ride was filled with beautiful scenery, following along the Columbia River to my destination of Vancouver, Washington.


My friend of 30-plus years, Molly Silva, picked me up and ushered me into my room in her beautiful new condo, again with a lovely patio surrounded by tall evergreen trees.


Reconnecting with Friends in Vancouver Washington


Vancouver had been my home for 26 years before I moved to Palm Springs 10 years ago. I was thrilled to have breakfast with friends, coffee, dinner, and just quick conversations that resulted from people seeing my posts on Facebook.


View from Room of AC Vancouver Waterfront Photo by Kathy Condon

Checking into the AC Vancouver Waterfront Hotel


I was asked to review the AC Vancouver Waterfront Hotel through my travel writing work and was granted a two-night stay. This beautiful hotel perched on the Columbia River's edge open in June of 2022. I quickly noticed the little things, cocktail cubes embossed with AC, Tug the robot ready to serve, a square-shaped toilet, and a spectacular view from my room overlooking the river. Again, more information will come out in my articles about this casual yet luxury feel hotel.

Morning at Gearhart OR Photo by Kathy Condon

Road Trip to Gearhart Beach


With the journey there on the Washington side on Highway 4, we marveled that there was no traffic even on a holiday weekend. This destination was truly a vacation for me, an arranged stay with a dear friend of 30-plus years. Her former beach house has now become her permanent residence, and her gardens surrounding it flourishes under her green thumb.


We made morning trail walks to the ocean beach, dined in the area, and reveled in Mary's knowledge of history and places surrounding the beach towns of Seaside, Cannon Beach, Astoria, and Gearhart.


As a trustee of the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, her knowledge and tour brought to life the essence of the ships' perilous trips over the world's most dangerous bar where the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River meet.


Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa Photo by Kathy Condon

Checked into the Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa in Astoria


On this trip, I was assigned the great duty of reviewing the Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa on the ocean's edge in Astoria, California. On a hunch, we arrived mid-morning and were thrilled we could check into our room with a full ocean view. So much to share with you in the future. Let's say, for now; it was terribly hard to pry ourselves away from this luxurious yet casual, romantic hotel, newly opened after an entire remodel in April 2022.


Trip Through Portland Oregon on the Way to Lake Oswego


My final planned stop was lunch in Lake Oswego. I was hoping we would have lunch on my friends' deck, which I knew was surrounded by evergreens, so I could get one last time to enjoy the incredible weather of the Northwest that followed me for the entire time of my journey.


Paula and Scott did not disappoint. Greeted with Prosecco and a toast to long friendships, we thoroughly enjoyed a shrimp salad accompanied by fresh garden tomatoes. Let's say all had a good time.


Flight Home on United Airlines


An early-morning flight on United Airlines from Portland was made stress free by a ride to the airport by friend Pennie. With no delays in Portland or San Francisco, where I changed planes, arrival was on time for a terrific greeting from Palm Springs friend Rob.

Final Part of the Journey


With a suitcase in hand, I opened the door to my condo. All was well, even though temperatures had hovered over 110 degrees a fair amount of the time I was gone, while I enjoyed perfect weather in the Northwest.


It was a magnificent trip for so many reasons. I am thrilled I get to relive the adventure and will share more detailed descriptions of the places mentioned above. Now, it is time to settle in, tend to my dog-sitting duties and write my promised articles for various publications.


Kathy Condon is a journalist and travel writer who has been to 29 countries, 16 islands and 49 states (Alaska on the bucket list). www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com

kathy@kathycondon.net 760-902-3094 Instagram



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