Friday, December 18, 2015

One Day In Oregon

This past weekend, we took a little vacation to Portland, OR to see a few of the (apparently) many friends we have who live in that city.  I say "apparently" because it came as a complete surprise to us just how many people we actually know who live there.  We didn't advertise ahead of time that we were going because we thought we had gotten in touch with the few people we know there.  But once I checked us in to PDX on Facebook, we received several notices from other friends who are also living there without us being aware of it.  Suffice is to say, we may need to make a second trip back soon.

True to form, Kevin and I murdered our vacation.  By that, I mean he and I pack more experiences into a trip than anyone else I know.  We are not ones to sit around.  Rather than recount our entire vacation, let me just give you 1 day as a sample:  Monday, December 14th.

That morning, we woke up and drove to Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, OR.  It was a sometimes-dicey drive through the Tillamook State Forest due to rain, fog, and even a little snow.  But once we arrived, it was lots of fun.  In the factory, you can actually watch some of the cheese making and wrapping process.  It was actually fun to stand over top of the workers like a boss and watch the processes as the cheese made its way along conveyor belts.  What was cool was to watch the automatic weight devices kick out any block of cheese that didn't meet expectations.  And of course, there were lots of free samples to try, too.  That always makes a trip better!


Once our bellies were sufficiently loaded with lactose, we drove onward to Cannon Beach, OR to photograph the Haystack Rock, or as Kevin knows them, the Triple Stones from Kevin's favorite movie, The Goonies.  Once that was accomplished, we drove a bit further into the town of Astoria, OR to see the "Goonies House" used in the film.  There have been many reports lately of how the current owners, despite originally greetings movie buffs, are now vehemently turning people away.  There are several "No Goonies" signs near the house to keep spectators away.  They've even previously covered the house in blue tarps to dissuade movie fans.  But we got lucky on the day we were there - no tarps.  We got as close to the house as we felt comfortable doing while still respecting the owner's privacy.

Triple Stones & Goonie House
When we take trips, I do most of the driving while Kevin scours apps like Atlas Obscura and other Roadside America to see the weirdness that is the world we live in.  On our way to see the World's Largest Frying Pan, the road we were on closed due to mud slides.  So we re-routed to see the next best thing, the World's Largest Egg in Winlock, WA.

World's Largest Egg, Winlock, WA

After which, we drove on to Olympia, WA to have dinner with friends Peter and Suzanne and their son, Stewart.  Kevin and I have a thing about visiting State Capital buildings (it's a fairly new thing we've started.  So far we have Wisconsin and Texas under our belts).  We popped into the capital building and snapped a few photos.  That would be Kevin sitting in what I assume to be Santa's chair at the base of the tree. 

This whole vacation was a great opportunity for us to see some of our dearest friends who all seem to live in this same part of the world.  Peter is one of Kevin's oldest friends, having gone through high school and college together.  This was also a chance for me to meet their son, Stewart, who I've been watching on Facebook since he was born 3 years ago.  We rounded out dinner with Pete showing us Olympia's Artesian Well at the Artesian Commons, which also has its own Facebook Page.   Both Pete and Kevin had to sample the water.  So far, no cholera!

After our goodbyes, Kevin and I drove the 114 miles back to Portland to our hotel.  All total, this one day we drove about 500 miles round trip; went from sea level to about 3,800 feet above; 
drove through sun, rain, sleet and snow; passed through two states; walked through a state capital building; saw the sites from a movie; ate cheese and sampled many flavors of ice cream; saw the World's Largest Egg; ate seafood; drank from an Artesian well; and saw dear friends.  THIS is how you vacation.
Oh, and the next day?  We climbed a waterfall.

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