Staying at Rivertide Suites in Seaside, Oregon

Seaside, Oregon is a small community that sits on Oregon’s northern coastline. In fact, it is just a short drive to Seaside after crossing the Columbia River from Washington. It was first built up as a summer getaway in the late 1800s by a railroad tycoon. More than 100 years later, Seaside is still a fun and pleasant getaway.

One of the things that makes Seaside a nice place to go in the hot days of summer is that the weather is usually a little cooler there than in other locations further south. Seaside also has some strong history surrounding it as it was one of the final spots reached by the Lewis and Clark expedition.

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I’ve stayed twice at Rivertide Suites in Seaside, and each time it was something special. I enjoyed staying within a short walk of the ocean beach but having a nice view of the Necanicum River. There is surprisingly a lot of action on the river and it is fun to watch it all play out in front of you.

Rivertide Suites sits right in the middle of all of the Seaside action downtown. You can find all sorts of eating establishments, shopping venues, and just fun things to see and do within an easy stroll. It also is not far from Rivertide Suites to the famous Seaside Promenade for a nice walk along the shore. You can also easily make it over to the classic aquarium and the city’s video game arcade pretty easily too.

Rivertide Suites is a true first class hotel, and it shows. The indoor pool and hot tub area was immaculate, as was the room we stayed in. There is a gym, wi-fi access, business center, and more. The continental breakfast had a wide variety of choices so that all of us could find something that we wanted.

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Normally, I love to sample different places when I road trip around the Pacific Northwest. Rivertide Suites in Seaside though had earned a return visit.

A Great Bakery in Spokane: Petit Chat Village Bakery

There’s nothing like waking up and hitting a classic bakery.

Petit Chat Village Bakery

Spokane is a fun city with a lot going for it. There’s Riverfront Park, all of the great shopping possibilities, the tons of awesome bars, and a lot of chances to get outdoors, even in the city. The city of Spokane really does have it all.

Like any place though, waking up in Spokane may just leave you craving a treat that can only come from a quality bakery. Luckily, the last time I woke up in Spokane, I found just that. Petit Chat Village Bakery is a classic bakery and it offers a fun experience to all who go there.

What is their specialty? Hard to say. I sample three different things over two mornings and they were all incredible. On the last day, I even picked up a loaf of sourdough bread for the drive home, and that was also a real treat.

Petit Chat Village Bakery was the perfect find. It provided both a great start to my day… twice, and also provided a great edible souvenir that lasted all the way home, and then some. The people were very friendly too, which we all know helps a great deal.

Next time I’m in Spokane, I’ll know exactly what to do when I wake up in need of a bakery.

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The Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge, MT

Old Montana Prison

As a bit of a history buff, I’m a sucker for a historical site. This is especially true when that historical site is basically located right off the highway that I’m traveling down. This is the exact reason I became familiar one day with the Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana.

Deer Lodge is a small town located northwest of Butte, on Interstate 90. I was on my way to Butte for the first time in my life when I saw the billboard advertising the Old Montana Museum up ahead. It also mentioned an automobile museum too and I figured that with two intriguing sounding attractions on one exit, that this was a sign I needed to leave the highway soon.

I pulled right up to the prison site, very easy to find, and got out ready to check out this interesting piece of history. The building is in a state of disrepair, but is in so much better condition than I had expected considering that it was first brought into service in 1871. A nice touch was a brochure that detailed what each building in the complex was used for during the time the prison was in use. As I walked around the prison, it was easy to imagine what life would’ve been back then for both prisoners and the guards who worked there. In fact, the more I saw of the Old Montana Prison, the more I couldn’t believe that it was in use as recent as 1979.

My tour of the old prison had ended and I’d gotten my historical site fix. But, I couldn’t leave because the Old Automobile Museum was within walking distance and I had to check it out. This too was completely worth it. With well over 150 automobiles on display, some old, some new, and some incredibly rare, this was the perfect add on attraction to the prison.

If you find yourself driving down I-90, do like I did… go check out the Old Montana Prison.

5 Fun Facts: Washington – Hood Canal Bridge

The Hood Canal Bridge connects the Kitsap Peninsula with the Olympic Peninsula and is a very popular route to take west from the Seattle area.

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Here are five facts about this very cool and very interesting transportation feature.

It Does Have an Official Name, You Know
Known to almost everyone as the Hood Canal Bridge, the structures official name is the William A. Bugge Bridge. Bugge was the director of the Department of Highways in Washington from 1949 to 1963, and was a driving force in the bridge being built.

7… 8… 6… 9!
The Hood Canal Bridge measures in at 7,869 feet long. That’s well over 20 football fields strung together end to end.

That Sinking Feeling
In a 1979 windstorm, the Hood Canal Bridge broke apart and sank. It would not reopen until more than three years later in the fall of 1982. In the meantime, the Department of Transportation reactivated a ferry route from Lofall to South Point that had been in use up until the bridge had opened in 1961.

Two Counties
The two counties that are connected by the Hood Canal Bridge are Jefferson County and Kitsap County.

Up and Down, Up and Down
Due to tidal swings, the Hood Canal Bridge raises and lowers up to 16 and a half feet over the course of a day.

Catch a Movie at The Flicks in Boise

Like going on a road trip, going out to the movies is one of those experiences that everyone loves to do. A good movie, seen on the big screen, can be the perfect way to top off an evening. A good movie can also be a great activity to do in the evening hours once your road trip activities have finished for the day. No sense doing too much late night driving anyway, you want to be able to see all that scenery you’re passing by.

Boise has an awesome little movie theater that you really need to check out next time you are there. The Flicks is a four screen cinema in Downtown Boise that also offers espresso, a cafe, and an outside patio for eating and hanging out. Beer and wine are served at The Flicks, and this adds to the grown up feel of the establishment.

The Flicks

What you will find when you go out to enjoy an evening at The Flicks is an intimate setting where friends can comfortably watch a film together while enjoying food, drink, and a great atmosphere. What you won’t find are big budget summer blockbusters coming straight out of Hollywood. The Flicks shows a great selection of independent, foreign, and art films. The best of what comes out of Hollywood will make its way there too, but mainly what you will be viewing is the kind of film that doesn’t see time on the big screen in most other cinemas.

Boise is a great little city to visit and a true gem in the Pacific Northwest. Part of what makes it so great are the special little places like The Flicks. If you find yourself there, you should definitely go and check out a show while there.

Stay at the Comfort Inn Downtown Wenatchee

Wenatchee is a great place, not only for what it offers, but for what it is close to. You can setup your base of operations there and take day trips to Stevens Pass, Blewett Pass, the Cle Elum – Roslyn area, Lake Wenatchee, Moses Coulee, Grand Coulee Dam, Lake Lenore Caves, Soap Lake, Chelan, and more. There’s so much to do that it is a little mind boggling.

The Comfort Inn Downtown Wenatchee has provided me with clean, quality rooms for an economical price on more than one occasion. They offer a great continental breakfast in the morning too. Plus, a plunge in the swimming pool or hot tub can be the perfect way to end the day.

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When you stay there you are also close to a number of local attractions, including the 11 mile long Apple Capital Loop Trail which is popular with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.

The Comfort Inn Downtown Wenatchee also offers ski packages too which is convenient whether you are looking to ski at either Mission Ridge or Stevens Pass.

Having stayed there a number of times, I can always be confident in the service provided. Oh, and did I mention that breakfast? 😉

This is one place that is definitely worth a look.

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5 Fun Facts: Washington – George Washington Memorial Bridge in Seattle

Also known as the Aurora Bridge, the George Washington Memorial Bridge carries State Route 99 over the west end of Lake Union in Seattle, between Queen Anne and Fremont. Here are five fun facts about this iconic feature of Seattle’s infrastructure.

Happy Birthday!
The George Washington Memorial Bridge was dedicated on February 22, 1932, on what would have been George Washington’s 200th birthday.

Just Shy of 3,000
The official length of the George Washington Memorial Bridge is 2,945 feet.

How Many Timber Pilings?
Holding up the two anchors of the George Washington Memorial Bridge are over 1,500 timber pilings that range in length from 110 to 120 feet long. They were driven by a specially designed pile driver into the lake bottom an estimated 50 to 55 feet below the surface of the water.

Extra Protection Features
Due to heavy use of the George Washington Memorial Bridge by those wishing to commit suicide, several unique features are in place on the bridge. There are six emergency phones place on the bridge, along with numerous signs showing the number for the Suicide Hotline. Also in early 2011, at a cost of over one million dollars, an eight foot tall suicide prevention fence was added outside the pedestrian walkways on the bridge.

How High?
One of the main reasons for the building of the George Washington Memorial Bridge was that it would eliminate the need for a draw bridge in that area. The bridge deck sits 167 feet above the surface of the water.

Portland’s Hotel Monaco

Visiting Portland, in need of a stay, and wanting to sample one of the city’s “boutique” hotels, I was able to book a room at Portland’s Hotel Monaco.

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I was in town for some general fun. I intended to get downtown and sample some craft beer and do some shopping. I also intended to hit some industrial areas and see if I could come up with any good ghost sign action. I had fun doing both but this wasn’t too big of a surprise as Portland is always a great destination.

One big reason that I had such a great time though was the Hotel Monaco. Honestly, there were quite a few times that I just wanted to head back to the hotel and hang out there. I was won over immediately by the hosted wine reception in the lobby on my first evening. Turns out this is an every night event. The hotel also included a fitness center, business center, room service, and morning coffee. It was just so over-the-top welcoming from the minute I walked in the door.

The rooms were top notch too and best of all, it didn’t feel like I was in a motel room. The decor was amazing. It really made me feel like I was spending the night in an upscale apartment or vacation rental.

The staff at the Hotel Monaco in Portland were incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable about the local surroundings and fun things to do and see. I was even steered towards a dinner theater that was a blast and something I never would have sought out myself.

I cannot say enough about my time at the Hotel Monaco in Portland. Incredibly, incredibly memorable.

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