In July 2001, my wife and I decided to tour the Oregon Coast, starting in Portland and finishing in San Francisco. That trip changed our lives.

The first stop on the beautiful coast was Astoria. I thought — this is an interesting town at the mouth of the Columbia River. Except for a few years when we were younger, we have lived in Texas, especially in South Texas, near my birthplace.

We saw this town and the coast. We came back over the years, renting for a few days, and finally in October 2014 renting for a month. We wanted to just enjoy life in Astoria and the coast for this month. We had no intention of buying a home.

We did, however, and this decision changed our lives. To us Astoria is a magical place — the sea, smell, birds, fish, other animals, picturesque homes of different colors dotted on the hills of the peninsula, and those who live here are wonderful for the human spirit.

Our children were amazed that their elderly parents would take off to another part of the U.S. after spending most of their lives in Texas. Life in Texas was good, but in this unique town of Astoria and the coast life for us is a gift — a wonderful change. We left the South and embraced an exciting new life. Oregon and Astoria were the right choice.

NORM HOOGE

Astoria

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