Finding happiness in the city of their dreams

Alexa and Chris Anderson relocated to Seaside from Logan, Utah.

SEASIDE — For Chris and Alexa Anderson, the chance to relocate to Seaside seemed like a dream come true. Chris was offered a chance to continue his 15-year career as an insurance adjuster in a city they both had fallen in love with.

They purchased a condo in Seaside, loaded up the truck and moved from Logan, Utah, in February 2014.

All ready to start his new job here, corporate headquarters threw him a curveball. “They said, ‘Chris, we’ve just moved our field jobs in-house. You can either move to Des Moines or Columbus.’”

Today, he sees it as a blessing in disguise. “I wasn’t shocked, but I was hurt,” Chris said. “They could have handled it a whole lot better.”

In love with the Oregon Coast, Chris decided to stay.

It was the right decision. He soon forged a new career as a property manager and real estate broker.

Alexa, who ran a salon in their former home, found a new role at Shear Pleasures in the Gilbert Building, where she is now cutting hair (full disclosure: including this reporter’s.)

Paige Anderson, 16, attends Seaside High School, and Michael, 18, attends Astoria High School. A violist, pianist and composer, Michael plans to attend music school after graduation. Paige sings in the choir and recently performed in the school’s ’80s musical.

After 20 years, Alexa was ready to retire the scissors.

In Seaside, she went for a manicure at Shear Pleasures, happened to mention her prior experience and promptly received an invite to cut hair.

“If you ever want to know anything about where you’re living, cut hair,” Alexa said. “Sometimes women can get catty, but not in this shop.”

She now cuts hair four hours a day, four or five days a week. Alexa loves the “whole feel” of Seaside. “It’s magical,” she said.

The Andersons first visited the coast in 2012, when they drove from Seattle to San Francisco. “One of the places we stopped was Seaside,” he said. “We pitched a tent at Fort Stevens. The first day, we drove down the Promenade. We said, ‘We love this place!’ I still have the map. I circled it.”

“Everyone was happy here,” Alexa added.

They took a second trip in September 2013, drawn by fishing, the ocean, restaurants, golf and shops. That tipped their decision to make the move.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they found a small, but welcoming, community in Seaside.

“There are a lot of good friends you have with the church,” Chris said.

They share the church’s commitment to volunteerism and community, Alexa added, volunteering with the homeless shelter, beach cleanup, Seaside Kids, and always ready to help a neighbor in need.

“We’re very happy to be here,” Chris said. “We’re amazed at the sense of community. You go into the convenience store next door, and they say, ‘Oh, you’re here for your Grape Crush.’ They know what you want.”

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