Sometimes you just need to take a break and a few weeks ago I was really feeling that. I had been working at my new job for a few months and it was summer which means my husband and I see each other for about two hours each evening before he goes to bed. We were really craving some time away, and an adventure.
That is how we ended up booking a trip to the Oregon Coast and Portland a week before we left (something that a planner like me never does). We knew that we didn’t have much time so we would have to really plan out our time well which meant that it wasn’t the most relaxing of times away, but it was really great.
Nigel picked me up straight from work and we were on the road. We wanted to get a few hours (and the border crossing) out of the way as soon as we can to save time the next day and it was a great plan. Nigel even managed to find a super cool drive in for dinner that had amazing milkshakes and gave us the chance to eat in the car with our food hanging out the window for the first time. Before we got to the hotel for the night we also made a quick Target stop to wander around and pick up a few snacks and goodies for the trip.
Up bright and early to start our trip to the coast. Our first stop was in Astoria where we visited a cute bakery and climbed 160 steps up a tower to a beautiful view of the Columbia Valley. We then made our way to the beach, where I got to see Puffins! Now puffins are my favourite animal, but sadly I had never seen any, even when I went to New England a few years ago. Although the western puffins aren’t the same as the eastern ones (the statue is a lie) I can now say that I have seen a puffin. We drove down the coast, stopping every few miles for photo ops as the views were amazing and we couldn’t believe what was behind every bend. Next was Tillamook dairy where we got to see the process of how they make their cheese, eat some delicious cheese (and deep fried cheese curds), and end our time there with ice cream. As we headed back inland we found ourselves in the desert as we drove to Salem for the night. Today our fun US grocery exploration was Trader Joe’s where we picked up a few other goodies as well as some frozen Indian food to heat up when we got to the hotel, because we were so full from the amazing lunch and also tired from everything we did (such a good idea).
Saturday was a big walking day, over 25,000 steps, and it started bright and early with some delicious Biscuits for breakfast at Pine State Biscuits. We then parked the car for the day and started our walking tour of the city. We walked through the Portland Farmers Market which was so amazing and made me wish that I had a market as abundant as that one close to me to frequent all the time. We then headed down the river to a different market where we bought some local goods and checked out some of the really cool things being made in Portland. We then alternated between walking and eating, checking out Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell’s books, and Salt and Straw for a ice cream flight. Our last two stops of the day were an ethical clothing store, EcoVibe Apparel where I treated myself to a few new pieces, and to Paper Source where I picked up my planner for the next year! We then headed out of the city, with a stop at the grocery store New Seasons Market where we picked up a salad for dinner. We then drove about an hour and a half into the middle of nowhere where we stayed at the cutest AirBnB and woke up to a rooster crowing.
Our last day was just spent making our way back up to Canada. Because we were already off the beaten path we got to spend the first few hours on back roads and avoiding the I-5 which was a great way to end the trip. We spent the morning talking, singing, and easing ourselves back into real life. With a stop at Panera for lunch and Costco for groceries our trip came to an end.
Though we could only get away for a few days it was refreshing, energizing, and just what the two of us needed. Vacations don’t need to be extravagant, but it is great to take those moment and a few days when you can.