Sunday, May 18, 2008

Family Visit

Today, Ron's parents Hank & Eyla Emineth have arrived from Florida for a visit. It's been a year and a half since we last saw them. By the way, you'll never hear me cracking in-law jokes, I've been blessed with the best!

We'll hopefully get to taste some of that wonderful Tillamook ice cream tomorrow. That is if we can plow our way through the hords of tourists who are pigging out on all the free cheese samples!

If you've never been to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, it's worth a visit just for the ice cream. They also have a nice gift store and Bar & Grill. Have a stop, it's worth it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Largest Sitka

Largest Sitka is but a shadow of the old champ

Trees - The Cape Meares Sitka is striking, but smaller than the Klootchy giant was

Thursday, February 28, 2008
LORI TOBIAS The Oregonian Staff

Two months after the demise of Oregon's beloved Klootchy Creek Giant, the state has a new champion Sitka spruce.

Standing 144 feet tall, with a circumference of 48 feet and an average crown spread of 93 feet, the Sitka spruce at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is the largest of its species in Oregon and the third largest tree overall in the state, according to the Oregon Big Tree Registry.

Compared with the Klootchy Creek Giant, which topped out at 206 feet and a circumference of 56 feet 1 inch, the new champ is a bit on the puny side but impressive nonetheless, said Brian French, one of two arborists credited with documenting the old spruce.

"The reason it is so small is that the top blew out probably 100 years or more ago," said French, part of a group dedicated to documenting champion trees. "At one time, it was a massive, massive tree. It was very close in size to the Klootchy Creek Sitka spruce."

The new champ is less than an hour's drive from the remains of the old champ, which sits in a small Clatsop County park just off U.S. 26 east of Seaside.

The old champ was toppled by the big Dec. 3 windstorm, but its days were numbered after a 2006 storm knocked a chunk of rotted wood from its core, creating a cavity 15 feet long and 2 feet deep. Word that the giant might fall any time brought visitors by the thousands and suggestions on how to save it. In the end, state foresters agreed to let it go naturally, which it did during the December windstorm.

That spruce was believed to be between 700 and 750 years old.

No one has put an official age on the Cape Meares Sitka spruce, but French believes it could be the same age or even 100 years older that the old champ.

"This one is in pretty rough condition," said French. "We have two trees left like it in Oregon -- the other is in God's Valley in Tillamook County -- and a small handful of trees like it in Washington. There is only a small handful of these in the world."

French and Will Koomjian, who helped measure the tree, learned of the Cape Meares spruce from a friend in Tillamook County, where the tree is known among locals. The new champ is easy to spot, sitting as it does at the end of the park's Big Tree Trail.

Designation as one of Oregon's champion trees does not earn it legal protection, but people are much less likely to damage it if they know it's on the registry, said Cindy Deacon Williams, program coordinator for the Oregon Big Tree Registry.

"Keeping track of the big trees is worthwhile because it sort of sparks the public's imagination to think about the weight of history that has passed since this tree was germinated," she said. "Since these trees got tall enough to cast shade there have been a lot of storms and a lot of fires. A lot of salmon have swum by in streams and a lot of fawns have gamboled around them. And all of that provides for us a context for the world in which we live.

"It reminds us that were are part of something bigger," he said.

Lori Tobias: 541-265-9394;

Monday, May 12, 2008

Photo Contest

2007 photo contest winner

Cape Meares Lighthouse 11th Annual Photo Contest

Are you an avid photographer? On your next stay with us, take a drive to the Cape Meares lighthouse, enter your photo in their contest and you just might be the next winner of their 11th annual photo contest. Cape Meares is the northern most cape on the 3 Capes Scenic Route. The lighthouse is the shortest one on the cape and has a beautiful red Fresnel lens.

Currently, they have a camera focused on a Peregrine Falcon nest and are waiting in anticipation for the eggs to hatch. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species due to the use of pesticides, especially DDT. Since DDT was banned in the early 1970s, the populations recovered due to protection of nesting places and releases to the wild. Click here for current status of the nest Peregrine Update

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you! Ron & I were able to attend a lovely afternoon tea with my mother yesterday. Some of you may know that recently we moved my mother close by to a wonderful retirement community. The environment they have created is so warm and loving and I want to thank all the residents and staff of Five Rivers Retirement Community for embracing my family into their community.

Next week Ron's parents will be visiting us from Florida and we'll have a belated Mother's Day celebration. We haven't seen them since we got both of our families together for a family cruise to the Bahamas in October of 2006. What a great time we had!

Give all your Moms a big hug today!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Are You A Vegetarian?

For our non meat eater guests, we offer a large variety of vegetarian & vegan breakfasts. We also are able to accommodate those guests with dietary restrictions such as gluten, dairy & egg allergies.

If you need any special dietary needs, please let us know when you make your reservation and we'll do our best to give you a 4 course breakfast you won't soon forget!

Our local restaurants also have a large selection of vegetarian entrees to choose from. One of my favorite vegetarian dishes is at Rosanna's Cafe in Oceanside. It's certainly not our closest restaurant, but it's my favorite. A beautiful 20-25 minute drive north on the Three Capes Scenic Route will take you to Oceanside and Rosanna's. Not only does it have the best food in my opinion, but the view is spectacular. Overlooking 3 Arch Rocks, this little restaurant has about 10-12 tables with great views. Try the Gorganzola Pear Pasta.....oh my!!! If you're not a vegetarian, you can order it with either seafood or chicken. Be sure to save room for dessert because they have a huge selection.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Spring is Everywhere

Ok, even native Oregonians have been pretty grumpy lately because of the weather. Starting yesterday, everyone on the coast seems to have a smile on their face. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming and we just can't get enough of it. Even the bees are are happy. What a great time to pack your bags, take a trip to the coast and enjoy the great weather.

Our very old ornamental cherry tree is in full bloom and looks spectacular.

If you haven't stayed with us before you have missed this amazing camillia. Usually these plants are the size of bushes, but ours is over 100 years old and would tower over a one story house. It has beautiful pink flowers.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's Our Anniversary!

Today, Ron and I celebrate our 7th wedding Anniversary. As we were getting married, we were in escrow for the purchase of Sandlake Country Inn and getting ready for our big move and new life. It's been a great ride so far and we're looking forward to many more.

I'll make this posting short because after all, it's my anniversary!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Aspiring Innkeepers &"Wouldn't It Be Fun to Have a B&B?"

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase, I truly would be rich! Don't get me wrong, we definitely have fun and a wonderful lifestyle, but if you really knew how much work went into having a B&B you would never be heard uttering that phrase.

Like all businesses, some B&Bs fail. In my experience, those that fail do so because the innkeeper didn't do their research. Some are ill prepared for the reality of not only cooking and cleaning and greeting guests, but also the major tasks of marketing, PR, guest relations, networking with your community and exactly how do you get those "heads in beds" and keep them coming back!

I've had the wonderful opportunity in the past several years to mentor aspiring innkeepers and find it very rewarding. For 4 years we've worked closely with VocationVacations as a mentor. If you're thinking of changing careers and want some hands on experience, check out Vocation Vacations and "test drive your dream job".

This summer we will have an aspiring innkeeper intern working side-by-side with us! We are honored that Annette has chosen to intern with us this summer. After many offers from B&Bs all over the U.S., Annette decided to spend June, July & August with us to learn first hand what life is like as an innkeeper.

After meeting Annette in person a few weeks ago when all of us were attending the PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) convention in Anaheim, CA we knew that she would be a perfect addition. We're looking forward to helping Annette figure out if her dream will/can become a reality.

I'm sure we'll be posting here often about Annette's experiences, so especially if you're an aspiring innkeeper, stay tuned!