The weekend before my 30th birthday, my husband whisked me away for a surprise vacation, which I feel like I have said so many times now that you all must be just saying “yes, Kristina, we KNOW”. Regardless of how many times I’ve said this, it bears repeating one last time because these photos are in front of the lovely Gilbert Inn and Suites in Seaside, Oregon, where we stayed for three days and two nights. It was a beautiful, beautiful historical home which was built in the late 1800’s and added on to for a few years until it morphed from a modest 2 bedroom cabin into the gorgeous 11 room Inn that it is today. Staying in these beautifully decorated rooms, with their many antiques and vintage items scattered throughout, was a delight!
Despite being a lover of photographing every little thing, I somehow forgot to take any photos of how majestic the inside of the Inn was. Walking through the front doors was almost like walking into another time period. Tall ceilings are met by rich wood paneling over a majestic fireplace. Displayed on the mantel is a beautiful Victorian era painting that I wish I would have asked about; I’m not sure if it is Emma Gilbert, the wife of Alexandre Gilbert who built the Inn, or if it’s just a pretty painting to accent the room. The original pump organ belonging to the couple sits to the right beside the original staircase, and to the left as you walk through the foyer you can see two chairs that are upholstered by gorgeous needlepoint sewn by Emma herself.
The house began as a small cabin in 1885, when Alexandre built a little getaway for weekend vacations in Seaside, Oregon. Due to the popularity of his little house, he began to add on until, in 1892, it stood complete as it is now with 11 beautifully decorated rooms for visitors to stay in. But this is not all that Alexandre contributed to Seaside. He is known as one of Seaside’s most prominent historical figures, having donated all of the land that the beautiful 1.5 waterfront promenade runs along, rebuilding a significant portion of Seaside during his run as Mayor around 1912, and taking active interest in the growth of the city and its real-estate.
All in all, it was really the most wonderful little stay. You can see some of our room in my weekend getaway video on YouTube, and I really wish I had gotten more of the Inn while we were there!
But, I noticed myself being much less afraid to go for the opportunity to take photos in front of the Inn, despite people coming and going on the street and maintenance men very close to us fixing up arbors and fire pits. These days it seems I have become less and less worried about what people think, and more prone to just doing the thing without worrying about what people will think.
I think this is what many women say when they say their thirties are their best and most confident years. There’s a point somewhere between turning 29 and turning 30 where I quit caring so much what other people thought, and started doing what I think is right or worth doing without really needing someone else’s approval to do the thing.
That was especially prominent on this weekend when I garnered quite a bit of attention for the way I dress. In this small town, as touristed as it is, I saw exactly zero other pinup/vintage style women as we toured the area, and it was quite apparent that nobody else ever saw them either. I was approached more on this weekend than I ever have been, to the point that my husband started whipping out his phone to record interactions if they were more dramatic. If you watch the above video I linked you’ll catch a small snippet of one such person in what was likely the most awkward of all the interactions we had, but also kind of the funniest.
It made me realize that how I feel comfortable dressing was at one time a bold choice. There was a time when I felt absolutely conspicuous stepping out in just a simple skirt and tee. I felt as though people might ask me who I thought I was trying to be, or why I had suddenly changed, or why I thought I was allowed to be so different. But now? Now I don’t even think about it as being different. It’s just me.
And that thought is freeing. Somewhere along the way the insecurities and reservations I had about changing who I was on the outside melted away, and who I am on the outside perfectly matches that vague idea I had so many years ago about who I wanted to be inside and out. Someone asked me recently (Hi, Violet!) what personal style meant to me, and I think this is it, essentially. Personal style is choosing to wear what makes you feel most like yourself or who you want to be, and not just blindly following momentary trends.
I hope that my style reflects who I want to be always: happy, positive, bright, welcoming. And never perfect because I always have room to grow (if you wanna see outtakes, check my instagram stories. I’ve been having fun sharing outtakes there when I have them!)
What do you think your personal style says about you? And, what do you think mine says about me? I’m curious to know!