Say CHEESE!!

Welcome back, friends.  Today, I will take you on a journey that spans the Oregon Coast and goes inland a city or 2, a cheese factory, 4 wheeling on sand dunes, bowling and the color seafoam green.  Also in there somewhere is 38 flavors of ice cream ❤ not just any ice cream, but the best.icecream.evah.  Enjoy.

So on Friday, September 3, 2010 We left the Kalaloch campsite going in the Portland Oregon direction, with a stop on the way at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park; Fort Clatsop section.  There isn’t much to do there, and We were on a tight schedule due to needing to be in Portland at 2:55.  Being on a tight schedule creates the perfect circumstance for things to go wrong…I believe that is almost precisely the reason that I, again, locked the keys in the car.  I’m beginning to feel like a professional, Im just so good at it!!  We tried and tried, but this time it was not in the stars for Us to get the car open.  No Park Ranger to borrow a flyswatter from 🙂  We call a locksmith who gets lost on the way to Us…yes, he got lost.  Finally, locksmith arrives and goes through so many keys trying to open the door while talking about how good he is at his job(?), and then eventually he grabs the good old “slim jim” and pops it open.  About.time.  We then didn’t have cash for him and We don’t carry checks so…he followed Us to the nearby supermarket and closest ATM.  All of this took about 2 hours and We were no longer on a tight schedule!  We eventually got to Portland and to Stephen’s friend’s house where Stephen had already arrived and We would all be staying for a few days until the wedding.

The house in Portland was pretty relaxed.  The folks We stayed with were super cool and their kid was adorable.  We drove to Eugene on Sunday for the wedding which was fun 🙂 We didn’t know the bride and groom, but everyone else did, so We just went along with it..

The bride 🙂
We fancy huh.
The boys at the hotel pre-after-party

First stop, Oregon Dunes!!  The dunes are in the Siuslaw Natl Forest and are technically the Dunes Natl Rec Area.  We rented ATVs and hit the sand 🙂

Sand dunes, then a tree island (black line behind sand) and then the ocean 🙂
I.am.extreme.
The Boys and Their toys.

We spent about an hour and a half cruising around on the sand, getting stuck and having FUN!!  Wouldn’t you know that the keys were locked in the car uh.freaking.gin?  Being stuck there turned out to be a good thing.  We were invited to hang out with the proprietors for a while AND they had a slim jim 🙂  The 3 of Us returned to Our campsite and enjoyed a fire…wierd thing is, Stephen did not suggest that We make s’mores or tell ghost stories.  When asked why, he said-“I don’t know any, why would I suggest that?”.  Exactly Stephen.  Exactly.

We all survived the night and woke up to a misty morning.  The drive up the coast would be overcast with drizzle and fog, but the show must go on!!  We were headed up the Oregon coast to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  If you’ve never had Tillamook cheese, and you like LOVE cheese, you are missing out in life.  It is the best.  Before We arrived at the “Magic house o Cheese”, We had a wonderfully relaxed drive and a few things to see along the way…First stop was Heceta Head beach.  It was a nice beach, but it was fuh-reezing so We didn’t spend much time there.  Next was Cape Perpetua where the view was spectacular even with the fog.  There is a Spouting Horn (sea spout) there that makes this crazy sound just before shooting way up in the air-it is quite a spectacle.  We hung out in the area watching the “Horn” and even went on a short hike after exploring tidepools which kept Us there for a couple of hours.

The "Horn" being blown

See the foam on the water there towards the bottom right?  Its “sea foam”, and yes, I see now why the color “sea foam green” is called such.  Ive never come across actual sea foam before and therefor never really understood the correlation, but now I am in the know 🙂  I also noticed, especially that day, how different everything looks on overcast days than sunny ones.  The color of the water and the wildlife and the rocks are all so dreary and monotone…the only thing that keeps it from feeling dreary is the life teeming from every inch of what surrounds you.

Upon leaving the Cape, We headed further north towards the cheese factory and began to realize that it was getting later in the day and more rainy, meaning We should find a place to rest for the night.  I, being the internet research genius that I am, found Us a hotel room directly on the coast for next to nothing (28$) since it was off season and rainy.  The town was a little out of Our way, but literally on the coast.  I mean, it was called the “Clifftop Inn” in Oceanside-could it be more perfect?

Driving along the coast towards Our night's accommodations.

As it turns out, yes, it was more perfect.  We enter the fully furnished room and can’t help but notice the view off Our balcony…

The view from inside looking through the livingroom window ❤

We watched the sun set directly in front of Us, conversed and sipped drinks.  None of Us were disturbed by technology since there was no service for Our phones and no WIFI.  Since it was all one big room, the view in the picture is from the bed through the window and that meant going to bed listening to the ocean waves.  We definitely recommend this place if you are ever in the area and We hope to stay there again sometime. ( At the time of writing this blog, their website is down, but I hope to be able to direct you to them from here soon 🙂  )

Checking out of the inn might have made me sad-except that We were finally on Our way to the Cheese Factory (and the only place in THE WORLD where you can get every flavor of icecream that Tillamook makes.  Every.flavor.  For those that don’t know, there are 38 of them.  We finally made it to the factory *squee* and when you go inside you can take a self guided tour around the facility and see how the magic happens.  There is a viewing area where you can watch the cheese get cut into blocks and packaged, all the while making a video post card for emailing to friends and family.

I sent a “Cheese Mail” to my family in minutes for about $5- I thought it was fun!!  After the tour, you are, of course, led to the food court.  There is a sampling line where you can try the different cheeses they make and then a cooler section where you can buy what you tried and liked, and then there is the restaurant where you can have-for example- a grilled cheese on sourdough bread that beats any grilled cheese you’ve ever had, ever.  This is also the area where you find the ICE CREAM!!  I couldn’t decide which flavor to have…so I tried ALL OF THEM ❤  Its called the 38 Flavor Ice Cream Tour.  They give you one scoop of each flavor that ends up looking like a mountain (and weighing over 5 lbs) while singing you a song and then topping it with a flag.   Im not kidding.  I made this video myself.

In the beginning
Holy crap.

They named every flavor as they put it in, and there were a few I was terrified of (like white licorice, eww) and some I couldn’t wait to taste (pumpkin!)…there should have been a picture guide to help you discern what it was before putting it in your mouth.  I was tricked by the white licorice and almost had to quit, but I pushed on. It had to be dismantled to preserve the independence of each flavor.

Reinforcements were necessary, there was no way I could do it alone.

By the time We left, We had all eaten enough icecream to last Us the year.  At least.  We had some time before We had to head back to Portland and decided to go bowling.  We learned that Stephen had never before been bowling and that meant We simply must go!  It turned out to be a ton of fun 🙂  none of Us did very well, but We laughed the whole time.

The rest of the eve was spent driving back to Portland so that Stephen could catch his plane back to Albuquerque in the morning.  We dropped him at the airport and headed into the day.  We would be seeing him again soon…for now, there was a night in a hotel in Meridian ID and then on to Utah to meet a new friend.

Stay tuned…

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