Spring break is the perfect time for a getaway. The weather is just beginning to get warm and the snow has just disappeared (though there was none this winter, here in Vancouver). The best part is, there aren’t too many tourists! This year, Mom, Dad and I decided on a road-trip to Portland.
Early Thursday morning, we threw our bags in the car and got ready for the long ride. Our plan was to take the scenic but longer route, along the Oregon coast. It was definitely worth the extra time.
The beaches are unlike anything that we have ever seen. Mountains in the sea and caves by the shore. Each time we stopped, our breaths were taken away by the sheer beauty of the vibrant azure water against the glistening ivory sand. Just look at it!
As we made our way down the coast, we marveled at the unique rock formations that have been carved and shaped by years of erosion. Hug Point was my favorite beach of them all. With a waterfall right by the shore, caves to explore and boulders to climb what is there not to love?
(A cave at Hug Point)
Nearing 5 o’clock, we realized that time was slipping away. We raced to Tillamook to get to the Tillamook cheese factory before they closed for the day. With 10 minutes to spare, we snagged some deliciously creamy ice cream as well as some sharp cheddar cheese. I relished the sweet tangy taste of my marionberry pie ice cream.This ice cream is unique in that you could actually taste the dairy once the sweetness faded away. Bonus: Pie crust chunks spread throughout!
(Marionberry Pie ice cream from the Tillamook Cheese Factory)
Our last stop along the coast was at Cape Meares where they have a cute little lighthouse and the 300 year old octopus tree. This is where we watched the sky turn from blue to a dazzling flaming orange as the sun set below the horizon. With the octopus tree behind us, and the sunset over, we began to head to Portland.
(Sunset at Cape Meares Lighthouse)
By the time we arrived, it was nearly 10:00pm. Luckily for us, the restaurant that I had picked out for dinner was still open. It was happy hour at “The Observatory”, though Mom and Dad were not up to drinking for the night. Since we were not very hungry after eating the ice cream at Tillamook, we decided on a few small dishes to share: the bbq pulled pork sliders, the blackened fish tacos, the smoked trout salad, and a flourless chocolate torte for dessert.
The salad was definitely the star of the night. The smoked trout balanced out the bitterness of the greens and gave the salad a sharp, unique flavour. The bbq pulled pork sliders were seated on a pillowy soft brioche bun with juicy napa cabbage bell-pepper slaw. This one was a winner for my dad (he ordered a second round!). The blackened fish tacos were not very black though the tortilla that it was on was definitely tasty. Finally for dessert, we swooned over the luscious and rich chocolate torte that was paired perfectly with chambord crème, raspberry sauce and ice cream. The tart raspberry cut through the richness of the torte, making it a perfect combination.
(Unfortunately, the lighting was terrible so I was unable to take any good photos to show you how good the food was.)
With a satisfied tummy and a day’s full of natural beauty, we headed to the hotel for a good night’s rest. Ready for tomorrow’s nature and food filled day.
Bonus Picture: THE OCTOPUS TREE
8115 SE Stark Street
Tillamook Cheese Factory
4175 Highway 101 North