Monday, August 26, 2013

Oregon Trail

Our anniversary weekend was awesome!
- It bothers me greatly that I was born with water skis for feet and in case you can't tell,
mine are the ones without all the hair -
It was mostly an eating adventure with bits of sightseeing sprinkled in. Also, it was a constant rollercoaster of emotion ranging from the depths of depression:

I miss my babyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!

To moments of revelation (read: happiness, relief, etc.):

 This is what life was like before the babyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!! 

And then back to the first one. Gabe was pretty tired of my emotions by the end of the trip. Needless to say, we cannot wait to go back to the Oregon Coast. WITH Kuen next time, of course. She would've had lots of fun. I highly recommend the whole Pacific Northwest coast in general.

If you're looking for a recipe, check back next week.  I know, it's a food blog and all I'm posting is personal stuff but I'd feel remiss if I didn't recount all the places we stopped to eat.  So it's kinda food related.  That and by writing it I'm reliving the whole long weekend all over again.

First meal: Burgerville in Centralia, WA. If you're headed south from Seattle, don't bother stopping at these outlets - save yourself the sales tax by shopping in Oregon! Do come here instead and fuel up on your way to a Portland shopping bonanza. We split the Double Bacon Cheeseburger, an order of Walla Walla onion rings and a blackberry shake (SKH gets full credit for the suggestion - thx!). This way we could maximize the number of places to try instead of stuffing ourselves with huge meals. That's me, always thinking about more efficient ways to eat more food. Hence, the 20+ lbs Gabe and I have packed on after getting married. It's just a fact of life, people. Unless there's a wedding (other people's don't count) be prepared to pack on a spare tire a few years after those vows.

Dunch: Bowpicker in Astoria, OR. As if the very loooooooong line wasn't a dead giveaway, this place has the best fish & chips in town. Someone in town told us it was featured on Diners Drive-ins & Dives and regardless of whether it was or not, this place has some seriously good fish & chips! I almost got run over by a car, after leaving Gabe to wait in line, only to wander aimlessly around the humble boat they were selling this fish from (30 freaking minutes to get our damn fish) until we got an order but damn! Fish was awesome. They were serving albacore tuna that day. A little malt vinegar, tarter sauce..YUM. And $10 for an order of 5 pretty good sized pieces of fish and a bed of fries underneath. 2nd split meal, really good. 

-  Sweet sweet victory -

- I should've gotten a picture of the long line on the other side - don't let it discourage you! -
Late dinner: Pizza a Fetta in Cannon Beach, OR. After an hour long or so walk on the gorgeous beach (and some minor beach wrestling, more on that later), we worked up a pretty good appetite. Gabe somehow convinced me to get the crab pizza and it was actually pretty awesome. Don't bother ordering a salad from this place. It was $7 for a large styrafoam box with 2 pieces of lettuce a calamata olive and a ring of onion (essentially). We actually just stopped by the Costco in Warrenton (love you, Costco) for a supplemental bag of salad to account for the pittance of salad from Pizza a Fetta. 

- Dogfish Head for me. Some strange uber hoppy IPA for Gabe -

- Don't leave OR without some gas (which attendants pump for you) and a Roomba -

Breakfast: Blue Scorcher Bakery in Astoria, OR. Very tree hugging hippy bakery in town labeling themselves as an 'artisan cooperative' that is all employee owned. Decent bread and pastries but we couldn't eat too much because our hotel actually had a not-so-well marketed continental breakfast. 

I wonder if he looks as cool in his head
Lunch: Fort George Brewery in Astoria, OR. Unbeknownst to us, our anniversary weekend happen to be the same weekend they were having the Astoria Regatta so right outside our hotel room we grabbed some bbq salmon from a Fort George Brewery tent before heading to our room to eat and watch the parade. Salmon was delicious and tender as only the best kind of salmon can taste - wild caught Pacific salmon. Looked like Sockeye to me but I'm not 100% sure and Gabe and I inhaled it before I could take a photo. 

We decided to try to catch the boats after the 1+ hour parade but missed them and instead ended up wandering along the waterfront all the way to the Goonies House (in not so comfortable shoes). How many Goonies fans are out there? It was kinda cool until we walked up and saw there was a donations box. Really? Why does a homeowner need a freaking donation box? Maybe there was some upkeep because there's a gravel road leading to the house that they share with a few other houses and it takes money to keep that up with all the foot traffic (they don't allow cars up the driveway), but really? Tacky in my opinion but if I'm not considering something, please enlighten me on why a donation box is necessary.

- Maybe I should leave a donation box outside my condo -
Dinner: T Paul's Supper Club in Astoria, OR. Anyways, we ended up at T Paul's by default because I wasn't willing to walk anywhere other than across the street because my dogs were barkin'. T Pauls' got similar reviews to Clemente's where we were originally planning on grabbing our anniversary dinner (after a restaurant unceremoniously cancelled our reservations VIA EMAIL without any explanation or call - eff them, I wrote them a bad review on Yelp since they didn't bother calling to explain and I had even notified them that it was our anniversary, jerks), but I wasn't going unless a rickshaw was taking me there and Gabe wasn't offering a piggyback ride. Hell hath no fury like a foodie scorn.   

T Paul's prime rib special - "No bahd."

- Gabe's seafood pasta something or another - cheese w/ seafood still weirds me out a little bit.
Anyone else? -

After that, we decided to spend our last day of freedom baby-free vacation in Portland.  I hadn't ever been and with as many rumors about how hipster and weird Portland is, I had to see for myself.  I was pleasantly surprised!

- Mighty big flavor for such a little burger -
For lunch we found Little Big Burger and Blue Star Donuts. Little Big Burger had these adorable little burgers that were cooked to perfection. I just got a cheeseburger w/ Tillamook cheddar and a side of fries. Fries were amazing - tossed with white truffle oil. Hands down best thing I ate on the trip. 

- Delicious spicy catsup I had to buy a bottle of -

- Notice the glass partition to protect the helpless donuts from drooling customers -
Naturally, we had to chase it with dessert. Cinnamon vanilla sugar donut at Blue Star. I had no idea where Voodoo Donuts was and we only had a few hours. It was a pretty good donut but that isn't saying much. Donuts are like pizza, if it's bad, it's still kinda good. 

Other places to see:

Astoria Column – Buy a wooden airplane for $1 and climb up an ungodly amount of stairs and hope they have an AED at the top to bring you out of cardiac arrest as you launch your plane off the top. It can be super windy here so it’s crazy the distance the planes can cover. Amazing view of the water and territory.

- That's a nice column you have there -

Ocean Park, WA – kinda cool drive on a thin peninsula in WA. When you get there, you can drive right on the hard packed sand on the beach (4WD is best, obviously). Drive a few minutes east to the Willapa Bay side of the peninsula too – very cool and lots of oysters there. 

- You can definitely hear the banjo from "Deliverance" playing on your drive there -
Cape Disappointment State Park – don’t be fooled by the name. We only drove around for a few minutes but I was sorry we hadn’t gone as we were running out of daylight. There’s an absolutely beautiful view of the water from several viewpoints. Can’t wait to come back and explore this place. It should be called 
Cape Not A Disappointment State Park. I’ll drop that off in their suggestion box when we go back.

- Cape Disappointment State Park -

Seaside, OR – reminded me of the my hometown in the DAB! T-shirts 2 for $10! Saltwater taffy! Cheesy arcades! We drove by when they were having a huge volleyball tournament going on there. 

- Complete with tourist trap shops and cheesy beach decor - 

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, OR – kinda obvious but don’t miss it. It’s probably a little more touristy than we were looking for but so pretty nonetheless. The beach is pretty but the houses are just as amazing.

- Just like Florida except for the big fat rock in the middle of the cold-as-hell water - 

- Make sure you stare longingly at the rich people's homes - it's what they live for -

Mind Gabe's shoulder in the last photo - we got in to an all out wrestling match on the beach after he 'ruined' my picture.  That sounded waaay more sexual than it was.

Happy 5 years, Boo!

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