For Christmas my mother and aunt gifted us with a weekend stay at the Cavalier Condos near Depoe Bay on the Oregon coast. Months ago, I chose Dylan’s birthday for our getaway, thinking that even if the beach weather was as stormy and wild as it usually is in February, at least we’d have a comfy view to enjoy it from.

We arrived to this:


And it only got nicer. Warm, sunny, and three nights in a row of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life. Oh, it was such a wonderful trip.

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(I’m sorry about the low quality and potential annoying-ness of the Instagram photos, but my Nikon is a hot mess right now and this is all I’ve got.)

Okay, so I tried running on the beach and at first I was like YES THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME I HEAR CHARIOTS OF FIRE! and then I was like oh hey the sand is kind of unstable and boy there sure are a lot of rocks and gosh my ankles/knees/calves/everything kind of hurts and finally I was like THIS TOTALLY SUCKS.

This was much better:

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For Dylan’s cake I made this recipe from Pioneer Woman, and OH. MY. GOD.

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Seriously, it was like a brownie made sweet, sweet love to a cake and they had a sinful chocolate baby made of butter and sugar. SO GOOD.

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The cake was a hit, the birthday presents were a hit, and everyone absolutely loved the condo. If you’re in the market for a truly amazing place to stay on the Oregon coast, boy do I ever recommend this place—particularly unit #36. The view is to die for, you’ve got all the comforts of home (plus a lot of amenities that are above and beyond, like for instance the VIBRATING MASSAGE CHAIR), it’s on a private beach, and you’re close to nearby fun spots like the Newport Aquarium and Rogue Brewery.

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What an amazing gift my family gave us, and I’m so glad we got to use it on such a gorgeous birthday weekend.


33 Responses to “Best birthday weekend ever”

  1. Lisa on February 7th, 2012 11:24 am

    It looks like you guys were in paradise and the pictures make everything look gorgeous. And happy birthday Dylan!


  2. on February 7th, 2012 11:36 am

    I am so jealous! I need a mom and aunt like yours! And I need to get out that way badly.

    Everything looked absolutely awesome. On the other hand, I have a new baby grand-daughter born on Dylan’s birthday! She is so gorgeous, and snuggly, I just love her.

  3. Kirsten on February 7th, 2012 11:46 am

    AWESOME! I always LOVE the jump shots, BTW.

  4. Molly on February 7th, 2012 12:08 pm

    Oh yes. I have made that sheet cake many times before and it is always a huge hit. Happy Bday Dylan!
    I live on the Oregon Coast (Florence) and I am so happy you made it this week-end rather than a couple of weeks earlier when we had the 100 mph winds…yikes!

  5. chalica on February 7th, 2012 12:09 pm

    Great trip! I love instagram photos. I’ve been using them more often too.

  6. Judy on February 7th, 2012 12:22 pm

    How did Dylan get to be FOUR? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was laughing so hard at the one blog entry you did with him leaning on one elbow against the couch and you had him saying funny come-on lines? I think he was wearing diapers. And now he’s a KID!

    Seriously, this place looks like heaven. I was in Newport Beach once and still have fond memories of the sea lions and the clam chowder and bruschetta I ate there. No, I didn’t eat the sea lions, just the soup and bread. My commas have gone missing for some reason and since I’m typing on my knees (the cat is in his new favorite spot, smack in the middle of my computer desk) I’m not going back to fix them.

  7. Junni on February 7th, 2012 12:24 pm

    Great photos!

    I am so making that cake.

    Pioneer Woman’s cranberry pie thing is still one of my favorite things on the planet.

  8. Belle on February 7th, 2012 12:34 pm

    We call that cake a Texas Cake around here but we don’t cut the pecans up that small. Yes, it is too die for, and it’s my favorite chocolate cake, ever.

    Wonderful photos and so glad you were able to escape to all that glorious beauty. Cannot figure out how Dylan got to be 4 years old already! Glad he had a fabulous birthday.

  9. Michelle L. on February 7th, 2012 12:47 pm

    I’ve always preferred the Oregon Coast in winter to summer just for weekends like this. Glad it was a great one.

  10. Rachel on February 7th, 2012 1:15 pm

    Beautiful pictures! That cake is amazing. It’s our go-to cake for EVERYTHING. It’s my 12-year-old’s specialty… she rakes in the compliments every time we bring it somewhere (and I don’t have to cook, so win!)

    Thank you for the Oregon condo idea — I’ve been meaning to ask you for recommendations (cool things to do, places to stay) for the I5 corridor as we’re heading north to visit my husband’s mother in the Tacoma area this summer — we’ll be visiting Seattle, too, and hope to maybe take a coastal route on the way home. We don’t need fancy, we just like fun. Anyway. If you have time and want to toss a few ideas at me, my email address is included in this comment.

  11. sweetney on February 7th, 2012 1:54 pm

    Do people find instagram annoying? I think those are awesome shots!

  12. lisa-marie on February 7th, 2012 2:05 pm

    Oh, that takes me back! I lived in Lincoln City for nearly four years and would spend SO much time in Depot Bay and Newport. The aquarium is awesome! Glad to hear you had a great time!

  13. Becky on February 7th, 2012 2:32 pm

    I apologize for prompting you to block me on Twitter (@optimistbecky). I’m having a bit of a crisis and was trying to reach out to people that I follow who have a lot of influence.
    I enjoy following your tweets, and I will not @ you again if you unblock me. I was just hoping for some help.
    Life’s been kind of shitty for me recently. But I’ll understand either way.

  14. Linda on February 7th, 2012 2:46 pm

    Sorry, Becky, I took a quick peek at your stream and I figured you were a spammer. Unblocked.

  15. Becky on February 7th, 2012 3:45 pm

    I understand that. I looked at my feed just now and realized that’s pretty much exactly what I looked like too.
    I may have freaked out yesterday.
    Anyway, I cleared up my feed. Thank you for unblocking me.

    I love your blog, and enjoy these little peeks into your world. Your boys are awesome. It looks like you guys had an amazing time. Happy birthday, Dyl. :)

  16. Dawna on February 7th, 2012 5:24 pm

    We honeymooned at Gleneden Beach and are sooo looking forward to going back this year!

  17. Melanie Aldridge on February 7th, 2012 7:10 pm

    We also call that Texas sheet cake in my family. We love it so much it’s the cake we chose our wedding.

    Looks like a glorious trip!

  18. Mariya on February 7th, 2012 9:54 pm

    Sounds like an awesome time! We love going to Cannon Beach for little family trips. Looks like we’ll have to venture a little further south next time!

  19. sheilah on February 8th, 2012 8:10 am

    I love love love the Oregon coast even in the rain and wind of February. But to get a beautiful sunny weekend. Paradise!

    BTW – did you make a half recipe of PW’s cake? Because it sure looks like her recipe makes an ENORMOUS cake.

  20. michelleJ on February 8th, 2012 8:53 am

    Happy Birthday, Dylan! I guess this means I’ve been reading your blog for about four years now, too. =) The kite shot is *awesome*. Condo recommendation duly noted!

  21. Elaine on February 8th, 2012 9:51 am

    I want to go to the coast for my birthday in May, and this looks like a great place. Will check it out!

  22. telegirl on February 8th, 2012 10:45 am

    On a whim, I tried to call last-minute for pet-friendly lodging this weekend and found nothing. I was hugely bummed as we are less than an hour away from Lincoln City and it was so, so beautiful here. I told my husband that I do not want presents for my birthday that is coming up in a month. I told him I want our little family and beloved dogs to go to the coast. I rarely can remember who got what present for me from birthdays past, but I guarantee I will remember the year we pushed tradition to the side and had a beautiful weekend at the coast. :) Glad you had such a great time.

  23. Redbecca on February 8th, 2012 3:13 pm

    Oh those pictures are making me heartsick for the west coast….sounds like an amazing time and wonderful place. Will have to remember!

  24. Beth C on February 8th, 2012 3:29 pm

    My husband’s birthday is February 6th, and there seems to be some sort of Pacific NW magical weather vortex in the early part of February that always brings the sun for his birthday–even when he was a kid. Lucky for Dylan his birthday is in that window!

  25. Steph on February 8th, 2012 6:35 pm

    I adore the Oregon coast. Cannon Beach is one of my favorite places in the world. Looks like I have another location to check out.

    Also, that last sunset picture is absolutely STUNNING.

  26. Niki on February 9th, 2012 6:26 am

    I live in GA and would love to visit these condos! What part of OR would i have to fly to in order to be close to Gleneden Beach? Thinking of coming in June or July. Thanks for your help :)

  27. telegirl on February 9th, 2012 11:13 am

    Niki, the least expensive place to fly into would be to Portland, OR. But, there would be a drive from Portland to Gleneden Beach that would be about 100 miles. Salem has a small airport and there’s a shuttle that runs between PDX and Salem Municipal, but it’s a 65 mile drive to the beach anyway from here. Eugene also has an airport and the drive would be about 120 miles. So, given the cost savings of flying into Portland, I think PDX is your best bet and then rent a car.

    Also, Cannon Beach is a nice town to visit, but it can be a bit yuppy-ish and more expensive. As well as Pacific City (has the Pelican Brewery and is a little less busy) and then there’s a small community south of Cannon Beach called Manzanita that’s beautiful and quaint.

  28. Jill on February 9th, 2012 7:35 pm

    Beautiful pictures! I just moved from Portland to Central Oregon. Miss the quick drive to the coast, and these photos made me miss it more… Love the jump shot, especially.

  29. Amy on February 10th, 2012 2:56 pm

    Fabulous!! What a great birthday memory for D. I will have to look into that for future vacations. We stay at a place in Pismo Beach, CA called the Sea Gypsy….not as nice, but awesome views and they take dogs!!

  30. Amy on February 10th, 2012 2:59 pm

    AND….my mom makes that cake and I have never met a soul who doesn’t like it. But her description isn’t as good as yours :)

  31. Lori on February 18th, 2012 7:42 pm

    Perfect description for that cake. Ha!

  32. Shawna on February 18th, 2012 10:01 pm

    Damn that Pioneer Woman and her delicious-looking cakes… that have eggs in them and I can’t make due to an egg allergy in the family. I tell myself it saves me calories, but I’m still bitter. Even more so after reading your description.

    Thanks for the lodging recommendation. Mentally bookmarked…

  33. kalisa on February 21st, 2012 9:25 am

    I have that same cake sitting on my kitchen counter right now. I totally just ate some for breakfast. Fat Tuesday & all.

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