We have settled down in Seaside, OR (map). A few days ago I put Oregon plates on my car, which somehow felt very symbolic. Now we are Oregon residents. So I thought this would be a good time to records my impressions of this small town in which we are currently living.
Life in a small town
Life is refreshingly different in a small town (pop. 6000).
- At the local DMV I took my number and was helped 10 minutes later. Quite a contrast to the wait at the Concord DMV.
- People actually slow down to 20 mph in the 20 mph school zone signs.
- Most people are helpful and friendly. At the DMV my number came up before I had had time to finish filling up a form. The employee said to just bring up the form and he would help me to finish filling it out.
- We have a Costco and Staples about 20 minutes away, but for other stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s we need to go into Portland (a 1.5 hour drive). So we need to plan ahead for shopping.
It’s great to live in a place with a slower pace of life.
We’re not in Concord any more
Things are a lot different here:
- This is a tourist town, so things really slow down in the winter. I saw one restaurant in the small downtown area that already has a sign saying “Sorry we missed you, see you in February.”
- It rains a lot here (76 inches per year vs. 20 in Concord). That’s why everything is so green.
- The back yard of the house where we are staying ends at the forest, so we can literally start hiking from the back yard. Very cool!
- The beach is only 2-3 miles away. This is the Oregon coast, so it is often cold and windy. Great for a walk, but not so good for sun bathing (I don’t enjoy sun bathing anyway).
- The house where we are staying is above the “tsunami line,” so we should be safe here in the unlikely event of a tsunami.