Day Trip to Seaside

Heads up. This will be a bunch of photos that are not well taken. I’m not in peak form for photo composition.

I decided to take the bus to Seaside for the day as a summer activity. There was some confusion where to load onto the bus. My ticket very clearly instructed me it was NOT loading at the train station, so I spent 45 minutes waiting at the Greyhound stop outside the train station, only to eventually hear an announcement that my bus was loading at the train station. So there was that.

Once I got on the bus, though, I hit transportation eavesdropping gold. Four college students who had internships at Intel, Nike, and Adidas, but were from the same college in Texas, chatted all about their Portland adventures. Plus they gossiped about people they knew. I find listening to gossip about people I don’t know to be one of life’s more sublime things.

The bus stops at Camp 18 to switch drivers. I think one driver does the coast part and the other does the Portland-to-Camp-18 part.

The bus stops first in Canon Beach, then in Seaside before going to Astoria. In Seaside, the drop off point was the youth hostel. I thought I knew where that was located, but I did not. It’s closer to the cineplex than downtown Seaside, so I had a bit more of a walk than I thought.

I had fish and chips at the place I like to have fish and chips and then headed to the promenade. It was overcast.

I did some beach sitting and reading and people watching, and eventually got tired of sitting. So I did some walking.

I’m not quite sure what happened with this picture. Maybe the blurriness came from how fast I was taking the photo? Anyway, I loved how these teens were dressed alike.

I was happy to see that this building had been rescued from its decrepit state, but do miss the postcard that was painted on the side.

It turned out the overcast morning was a blessing. Because once the sun came out, there wasn’t much escaping it, especially since I’d already eaten. And I had forgotten sunscreen, so I needed to get out of the sun.

And that’s when I discovered the most amazing thing.

Back when I worked at DHM, my coworker had said in passing, “I just love playing Fascination when I’m in Seaside.” Then she mimed a grabbing something and slowly flinging it away.

I had no idea what she was talking about. I think she mentioned the arcade. That conversation got filed in my brain. But walking past the arcade, I stopped and looked in. Then hovered inside the door. Because this was Fascination.

Here’s how it works. You take a seat and put a quarter down. Or, if you are going to play more than one game, you put down a dollar. A bell rings and you roll a ball and try to get it in one of the open spaces. When you do, one of the circles on the mirror facing you lights up. If you get five in a row, you are the winner. A bell rings again and the game shuts down for everyone else. Mostly though, you aren’t a winner and are one of the people groaning that you didn’t win. But it’s still fun, even if you don’t win.

Here’s the winning breakdown.

The combo of working toward something on your own while competing in a group is incredibly fun. Apparently, Fascination used to be a regular thing at amusement parks and boardwalks, but it’s fairly high maintenance. It’s built on telephone technology (rotary telephone technology!) and so parts aren’t made anymore. Plus, it’s fairly labor intensive, as someone has to go around and collected the quarters and make change. So it’s on its way out. But for as much fun as it is, I’m glad I finally discovered it. Here’s the Wikipedia summary that lists all the remaining locations.

The bus ride home provided an equal opportunity for eavesdropping gold. Three tourists (one solo traveler, one mother-daughter combo) chatted about what they’d been up to. They were putting a good face on their trip, but I could tell Portland was kind of bringing all three of them down. I made a list of things they might like to do and handed it off as I was exiting. I hope their trip got better.

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