Bagby Hot Springs

A lot of people do the Baby Hot Springs hike because they want to soak in the hot springs. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do most of the time, but not while I was there!

I was in Oregon was the worst heat wave that they had seen in a long time, and even up around Mount Hood, it was still extremely hot.

Still, we went up to soak our feet in the cold stream near the hot springs, and to relax in the shade where it was cool.

After three years of hiking through jungle, I have to say, it’s really very pretty in Oregon. I forgot the dark shades of green that you find in the forest, and how beautiful the bark is on pine and cedar trees.

As you know,  love plants.

And, the plants in the forest near the hot springs are so lush and pretty even in the midst of the heat and the dry weather.

We even saw various kinds of neat fungus along the trail.

I went with my adopted mom and my husband. The three of us are not the kind of hikers who go for distance. We go for experience. And, this is an easy hike and a nice experience.

That reminds me, if you are interested in other easy hikes in Oregon, I would recommend The Creaky Knees Guide, which my mom got me for my birthday.

It has a lot of trails for those of us who are looking for more -shall we say- relaxing hikes?

I should warn that the stream is snow and glacier melt, so it’s not really a good idea to swim in it. We did see some people jump in (seemingly to prove that they could.) However, they got right back out.

Sometimes people don’t realize that you can get hypothermia in Oregon in the dead heat of summer. However, when you are in 35-degree water for too long, I assure you that you can.

The pools in the stream near the hot springs are absolutely deep enough to swim in. There is no reason you can’t swim in them. If you are hot and sweaty, there is no doubt that it would be refreshing.

Just, don’t stay in too long.

Mom soaked her feet because they swell when she hikes. She’s a nurse, so it was really nice of her to go hiking with us in spite of the fact that she spends 14-hour days on her feet all week at the VA.

However, I think we all enjoyed spending some time in nature. There is something about running water, moss, and deep green trees that soothes the soul, if you know what I mean. It just feels good.

There stream is mostly wide with a lot of deep pools, but it funnels through this one part where it is narrow, and I took a video because I love the way water looks crashing over rocks. Enjoy!

Thoughts on Seaside

Hug Point

One of the places that I went while I was on my stateside trip was Seaside, Oregon.

This is a town that is hard for me to explain, because it strikes right at the heart of middle-class American life in a way that makes me nostalgic and a bit sad.

My biological family (who abandoned me, as you all know) used to go to Rio De Mar in California each summer for a family reunion. So, the adopted family also having a beach reunion can -in and of itself- cut a little deep.

However, there is more too it than that.

Seaside is a town full of what I can only call classic American kitsch and, it can make anyone Generic American feel nostalgic. I fear that bit might need explaining…

Seaside

I hate to talk about race/culture differences because people always attack people who bring it up (like if you ignore it, it might go away.) But if I want to be honest about the Seaside experience I have no choice but to mention it.

See, as a kid I went to a summer camp at Sierra College. My two best friends there were a Chinese girl who went by “Christine” (so white people could say her name) and a black girl named Michele.

I used to sit and eat lunch with them every day, and we talked about our lives and our toys, and things we did with our parents.

Their stories were different than mine.

Christine went to CLC (a kind of Chinese school,) watched her mom pay Mahjong, and helped out at the family business. They went on summer trips to visit family in China, too. Christine always brought food that I liked, so we traded lunches. She was excited to eat my peanut butter and jelly, and I liked to eat her cold noodles and rice crackers.

As for Michele, she usually had a bought lunch because her mom didn’t have time to pack her one. Her family came from Somolia and she didn’t talk much because English wasn’t her first language, but she did tell us bits about being Muslim and attending an Eid festival.

I want to stress that their experiences were no less American than mine. But they are not Generic American. They are uniquely American. (Which is maybe cooler since diversity is kind of our thing as a country.)

There are differences in race/culture in this country, and there is no point in denying that some of us had experiences that others didn’t.

The point is: Seaside is nostalgic for people raised in the Generic American culture of the 80’s and 90’s. Christine would not find Seaside nostalgic because her childhood cultural experience is not represented there. But, mine is.

Also, a disclaimer: When I say race/culture it is because it is not one or the other that determines experience. I know white people from Poland who were raised Polish rather than Generic American. I also know people of Chinese or Mexican decent who had the same Generic American experience as me with crystal-growing kits and light brights and the whole thing. So when I say Generic American, it is exactly that. It is the experience that Americans have when they are not raised with extras, and only get the generic culture laying around.

I hope that makes sense, because I think it helps explain Seaside.

Seaside Aquarium

Seaside is a small town with restaurants, an aquarium, shops, and boardwalk attractions like bumper cars and mini golf. It really can’t be described as anything other than Classic American Kitsch.

I saw a Simon game in a store and remembered the hours I used to spend playing with one of those. I saw a tie dye kit and remembered the adults bringing us one when I was a kid to keep us busy while they sunbathed (and yes, of course we all ended up covered in dyes of various colors, as you do.) I saw bottles to put sand in, bags of shells for sale, and every other generic thing you ever had or saw as a kid.

I guess some of it is classically west coast. I mean, I hear that the shells and beaches are different on the east coast. I have never been to an east coast beach, so I really couldn’t say. But my husband is from Massachusetts and he says its different over there.

me in birthday hat

Seaside has a hat store full of silly hats that everyone goes in and tries on because the photos are amazing. There are squid hats and pizza hats. There are huge hats that look like Jacky-O would have worn them, and silly hats for festivals or Halloween.

There is also a carousel, because on the west coast I feel like every beach town is required to have one. The fee was $2, which I considered a bit steep, but what can you do? It might be things I remember from the 80’s, but the prices have inflated (as, I guess, is to be expected.)

And of course, there are store full of junk. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s just stuff.  I know lots of people like stuff and work their whole lives to acquire it. But, as someone who moves all the time, stuff is just dead weight to me. I guess that means I don’t appreciate it properly. Sorry. But you might appreciate it, so I took lots of pictures.

silly things for sale

We have been stationed in Guam for three years now. Before that I was in South Korea for three years. The plants are strikingly different in those places, and so there is something about walking down the streets in Seaside and seeing pots full of succulent cactus. There were also lots of lavender and hollyhocks, and post of petunias and violets.

As you know if you know me at all, I really love plants. I notice them more than I think most people do, and they are a huge part of what I feel to be the soul of a place.

Anyway, Seaside plants are of the same sort that you find in Northern California (Where I was born and spent the first 12 years of my life.) So, it feels a lot like home. I even saw California poppies in front of the little museum the town has.

hands in the air

The air is amazing too.

I post of lot of pictures of Guam. When you look at one, you can see what Guam is like, but you cannot feel what Guam is like. Each picture of a beach in Guam should come with the oppressive heat and sun that only the equator can provide, and mosquitoes buzzing in your ear the way that they always are in Guam. That’s the full experience, you know?

By the same token, pictures of Seaside don’t really cover what it is like. You are missing the biting cold wind that makes you snuggle into your hoodie, and the clean smell of the air that makes you feel happy and alive.

Another thing that I found striking was to remember the sound of the waves. In Guam, the waves break out of the reef, far away from the beach. But in Seaside, the waves come right up to the shore and you can hear them breaking. It’s a lovely sound.

cute little shops

My adopted mom loves the salt water taffy. I think that was a big part of the west coast experience when she was young, about 50 years ago. She talks fondly of seeing it made in store windows and such. I tried it and it is rough on the teeth. (I have a lot of fillings.) However, I don’t hate it.

There are also a variety of other restaurants. When my friends drove down from Seattle to see us, we even found one on the main street that allows dogs (since they brought their new puppy.)

There are quite a few places to get elephant ears, cotton candy, and hot dogs. I guess that is pretty standard boardwalk food, although Seaside doesn’t have a boardwalk. I guess to sum it up, if you were feeling like an old-fashioned root beer in a glass bottle and something on a stick, you would be able to find it in Seaside.

flower by the beach

There are also a lot of places that are only a short drive away. Canon Beach, for example, is just up the road and full of all kinds of lovely art galleries and bakeries. It’s a nice place to spend a day.

There is also Astoria, just up the coast. It’s the town where they filmed a movie called Goonies, and also another cute little ocean-side town full of kites for sale and beach blankets.

We went to Hug Point this year, and the beach there is charming. I also loved the tide pools, full of sea anemones and star fish. There is even an old section of highways down on the beach, which is completely covered in barnacles and muscles.

So, if you get a beach house in Seaside and then want to take short adventures, there is no shortage of nearby places to go and see.

 

 

bumper cars

I guess my strong emotional reaction to Seaside is rooted in growing up on the west coast in a very generic american household of middle class people. It is exactly the kind of place that people like I grew up with go on vacation, and it is really intense that my adopted family should hold their reunion there.

It is no accident that I was re-reading the Harry Potter series on this trip.

The family reminds me of the Weasleys. They are not rich or fancy, but they love each other deeply. And they adopted Harry because he was alone in the world and they felt that everyone deserves a loving family. That is, as far as I can tell, the same reason that the Layman family adopted me.

It’s not exactly the same as having a biological family. Nothing is. But when you don’t have a biological family, the next best thing is to have loving people adopt you. I am very lucky to have been adopted by the family, and I am very lucky that they let me come to their reunions.

 

 

tie dye kit and such

If any of you are also west coast kids, then I hope you can appreciate why Seaside is such a charming place.
And just because it is so different from my beach (or at least, the beach I live on), here is the ocean at Hug Point:

Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach

While Oahu, I also visited a place that the locals call “Turtle Beach.”

There is not a lot of sea grass or algae in the water for the sea turtles of Oahu to eat. However, on Turtle Beach, there are several rocks that are covered in algae.

Turtles

Every day at low tide, the turtles slide themselves out of the water, and come up onto the rocks to eat.

I was always led to believe that turtles are really awkward on land. However, these turtles seem to have no trouble at all scooting around.

You could even see turtles that were not up on the beach playing in the waves.

Turtles in Waves

The lifeguard on the beach sets up a barrier to keep people from getting too close to the turtles, and you can’t go swimming in the water directly in front of where they come ashore.

However, it is magical to watch them from behind the barrier and enjoy seeing sea turtles in a whole new way.

Kalua O Maua “Three Tables”

While in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, we went to a place called The Pupukea Maine Conservation District.

Within that area, there are a few places that you can snorkel.

We initially tried to go to Waimea Bay, because we had heard good things. However, there was no parking.

Instead, we followed the road a little farther, and parked in front of the Kalua O Maua, or “The Three Tables.”

I was really glad that we ended up where we did, because we saw so many green sea turtles!

Turtles are one of my favorite animals, and I adore sea turtles. There is one back home in Guam that I love to go visit.

You do have to be careful. The waves are strong, and it would be easy to get pushed into one of the “three tables” (which are just big pillars of volcanic rock.)

They aren’t sharp, but they are full of baby sea urchins, so you wouldn’t want to touch the rocks.

However, as long as you are careful, there are a lot of really beautiful things to see. There are some flat corals, and lots of fish.

The turtles looked a little worse for wear. Quite a few of them had shell of flipper damage.

However, they were reasonably calm around us. We didn’t get too close (obviously) because of the restrictions in the endangered species act.

Seeing them from a distance and being able to zoom in and get video was pretty magical, though.

The waves were high, but the water seemed calmer than on the other side of the island.

There were certainly more people swimming, and we didn’t see any dramatic rescues of screaming people like at Electric Beach.

Electric Beach, Oahu

electric beach facing the ramp from far away.jpg

I recently went through Hawaii on my way home to Guam. We were only on Oahu for a few days, but Electric Beach at Kahe Point was one of the best things I saw.

You park across the street from the Power Plant, and then walk past the bathrooms onto the small strip of beach.

There are a lot of signs on the cliff side as you walk down, warning you of the dangerous water conditions.

There are also signs on the little strip of beach, telling you not to go in the water in front of the power plant.

The signs have a point. What you want to do is go to the ramp, and swim straight out from the ramp for about 200 feet. Then, bear to the right just a little.

There are pipes (that are buried) with some coral on top. Follow those out.

You can see the bubbles from where the pipes let out.

The water from the power plant is warm, and it attracts a lot of different sea life.

It’s important to be careful. If you get down in front of the pipes, the rushing water will push you out to sea and you will have to swim back.

The best place to be is right before the opening of the pipes, so that you can watch the animals that come to hang out.

We saw lots of amazing things, including a black trigger fish and several schools of baby fish.

Of course, the best thing we saw was a sting ray, which hung around and played in the water with us.

However, there were all kinds of things to see. The are pillow star fish, sea urchins, trigger fish, and much more.

If you stick your head out of the water facing shore, you can see the power plant. This is what it looks like.

And the best part?

When you get out, they have showers!

If you snorkel often, you know how awesome that is. I hate having to drive home salty.

Again, I should caution you about the dangerous waters.

We saw some people get caught in a rip tide and pulled into a rocky area. They had to be rescued.

Make sure you are a strong swimmer before you try Electric Beach.

Safety First!

Resume for Jenifer DeLemont

me_in_garden

Over the month of August 2017, I wrote about some of my very favorite things that I have done for work.

I thought I would write a post summarizing what I talked about over the last month, and what I learned from all of the cool experiences that I have been lucky enough to have.

Picture 356

In my 20’s I worked a lot with artists and musicians in various capacities. First as a promoter for concerts with Third Eye Promotions, but later in other capacities.

Working with artists and musicians taught me patience. Many of them are very wrapped up in their own world, and so there is a lot of listening and being accommodating required.

Of course, it’s also important to always have a backup plan and make sure that everything is organized way in advance. That way you can work around an artist having a meltdown and being unable to do what they are supposed to.

me and lauren

I was the editor of S.L.A.M. (Support Local Arts & Music) Magazine, as well as the curator of Alice’s Restaurant and Gallery.

This helped me gain years of experience as an effective manager. As Dale Carnegie would say, you have to talk in terms of the other person’s wants. The paperwork end is easy, but it’s handling the people that is the challenge.

Over the years, I was able to learn how to effectively communicate with people, and how to motivate them.

Picture 301

This was during the beginning of the First Friday Art Walk, and when the City of Phoenix was starting Copper Gate Square.

It was a wonderful time to be involved in local arts and music, and I am glad that I had the chance. However, I did learn that culture in a city is not something that just happens. It takes thousands of dollars in investment from a city, in addition to the work of many people.

I value the time I spent at Alice’s Restaurant and at SLAM Magazine a great deal. It was a wonderful way to spend the first half of my 20’s.

SPM Travel

Later I went to Arizona State University. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications (with a minor in Sociology) from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU.

While at ASU, I wrote for State Press News, State Press Magazine, College Affairs Magazine, and The East Valley Tribune.

This taught me time management and disciple more than anything else, because I was always so busy.

However, I learned a lot more than that. My college boyfriend was an Aerospace Engineer working on propulsion system research, so I learned about writing White Papers to apply for grants. In the meantime, I refused to go into debt. That meant scholarship breakfasts and networking. I hardly slept, but I graduated debt-free, having audited classes in Engineering in addition to my degree, and having learned a lot about the politics and funding in academia.

As if I wasn’t busy enough, I also worked as a bar tender part-time at The Dirty Drummer to help support myself.

me_and_danny_shoot_and_stuff 019

Bar tending definitely taught me a lot about handling people when they are drunk and angry.

I saw a lot of the world and learned to strike up a conversation with anyone. Skills like making drinks and getting along with people are very useful, and I am glad that I was able to learn them.

Once I graduated, I moved overseas with my husband, a sailor in the US Navy.

I got a job at Avalon English.

This helped me learn effective teaching methods and how to write a textbook. It also taught me to be adaptive, as the culture is very different from our own.

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It was wonderful being in Asia, because I was able to easily take my vacations in places like Japan, Thailand, and France (which I have written about before.)

However, after three years teaching at Avalon, my husband went for training in Mississippi on an unaccompanied tour. I took that time to see some family in Oregon, which was wonderful. I love the Pacific Northwest.

After that, we moved to the island of Guam, which is way out in the Pacific Ocean past Hawaii but not quite to the Philippines.

sea grill one sixty four

While there, I worked as the General Manager of Sea Grill Restaurant. However, I also worked on a lot of side projects, such as writing a Choose Your Own Adventure audio book called The Vampire’s Sister.

Guam was isolated, and so we faced complications because of that. We had plenty of weeks without electricity or fresh vegetables, and I guess that’s just part of living on an island.

On the upside, I was also able to get my dive certification and take some classes online. It’s never a bad thing to acquire new and different skills, right?


If you come across this post while Googling me before a job interview; hire me. I am dedicated, friendly, and a hard worker.

I am usually looking for a job in Communications, because that is what I went to college for and what I am best at. I do have experience in other fields as well, but when I sit down and reflect, my favorite moments were doing Public Relations work for Third Eye Promotions, or doing corporate training at Sea Grill. I love positions where I can use my skills in Communications to help people.

So, if you are hiring for a position that is related to Communications, Writing, or Public Relations; please consider me. I would be an asset to any company, and I promise to be cheerful and make drinks at the company parties. After all, I did bar tend my way through college.

ocean crop

Sea Grill Restaurant

sea grill ninty two

I spent three years on Guam. When I lived there I worked as the General Manager of Sea Grill Restaurant in Tumon (the largest village.)

sea grill fifty seven

Sea Grill was composed of Tail of the Whale Bar, The Rooftop Beer Garden, Diner Under the Sea (in the aquarium downstairs,) Sky Lounge upstairs, and the main dining room. We sometimes rented the rooms separately for tour groups or schools. However, usually they all functioned as one restaurant. All the food was cooked in the same kitchen.

sea grill one oh three

As anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows, it was long hours. I usually took Wednesdays off because it was the slowest day. However, I worked every other day of the week. Most days I worked open to close (11am to 11pm.) However, every month my managers and I would spend a late night doing inventory until 2am or so.

tables up in sky lounge

Sea Grill did buffets for every holiday, so that required a lot of extra attention. In addition, all events had to be coordinated with our marketing department, as well as with the plaza that we were part of. That meant that a lot of the job was talking to people and making sure that they were happy, or figuring out what would make them happy.

sea grill two

In addition to the routine things a manager deals with, I also did a lot of extra things.

I oversaw the remodel of the Tail of the Whale Bar. I also had to write new training manuals, implement a new food code passed by Guam in 2014, and organize special training for things like carrying trays (which the employees had never done before.) It was a lot to coordinate.

sea grill eighty four

I enjoyed my time at Sea Grill, and my boss Erik Pederson was a great guy. I would have loved to stay there! Unfortunately, I had a medical problem that prevented me from working for Sea Grill the whole time I was in Guam.

guam food code with tabs

Still, I had a great time. Managing a restaurant is hard work, but it’s rewarding. I made sure to leave copious notes when I left, and that things were in good hands.

I will always think of Sea Grill fondly.

sea grill one sixty four