For the first time in three years, we went back to Washington together! Carson got to go out last July for a rafting trip, but I stayed behind. It was so good to see familiar old places and to breathe in the humidity-free Northwest air! We loved our time living in the Pacific Northwest and this trip definitely gave us a little twinge of "why don't we still live here?" even though it's not the part of the state where I lived the longest.
We flew out of Atlanta because there aren't direct flights (to anywhere) from Tallahassee. Our flight left at 10:30pm, so we didn't have to be anywhere too early.
I captured this as we were driving to park at the airport. Not too shabby. The planes looked much closer in real life than they do in this picture.
Here's the thing about red-eye flights: you're going to get the worst sleep of your life, if you sleep at all. Carson took a Tylenol PM and it didn't help at all. He did cover his face with his hood, which turned into this weird look.
We arrived in Seattle at 1am, which was 4am to us. When I looked at the picture after we took it I thought "Hey, that's not so bad!" but I take that back now.
Carson and his dad left for their rafting trip in Oregon early the next morning, so Danita and I slept in. We hit the quilt shop where she works and she may or may not have gotten me a quilt kit, all the pieces cut for me to sew together to make my first quilt. I've always wanted to attempt something like this but usually stick to smaller projects but I'm excited!!
I also took a nap in a room surrounded by baby Carson and baby Trent.
And finished off the day reading in the backyard. It's so pleasant outside when it's not muggy and humid!
We had salads for lunch the next day, followed immediately by ice cream, because we must have everything in moderation. We ate these while we watched two movies. Vacation, right?
I started a random embroidery project that I worked on this whole trip. It serves no purpose so I've since abandoned it with not much work left to do.
The third day, we drove to Beaverton Oregon to visit friends. The route took us through Portland.
The home where we stayed had two tiny (2lb) dogs and a cat with very long legs.
We went to HomeGoods for an appropriately long period of time and then to a French restaurant that had the best food ever. I might move to Oregon just for this place. It was delicious.
We curled up that night and watched The Proposal.
The next morning we went to another place in Oregon (not sure where) but it took us past the place where the Spruce Goose is kept. It's no longer visible from the road, but it's in one of these huge glass hangars.
Our destination was this amazing home decor place called Real Deals. Everything was priced quite low and there was an equally low-priced boutique inside. We spent THREE hours in this tiny place.
For lunch, we stopped at the cute place next door. I didn't take a picture of my sandwich, but my macaron was delicious.
I sat on the back porch and read in the sunshine for a little bit afterward. It had been gray and rainy, but this lovely day made up for it.
This person is a stranger (sorry buddy) but he's in this picture because I think it's so funny that you aren't allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. You pull up and people run out and do it for you, swiping your card, washing your windshield if you ask... I've heard New Jersey does that as well. This is almost a tourist attraction in itself because it seems SO different to me.
On this day, we drove to the Oregon Coast. We were in wine country, and passed lots of vineyards.
Our first destination was Cannon Beach, Oregon. It's a popular destination in Oregon and its SUPER cute. Little fun stores, restaurants, token saltwater taffy and ice cream hubs, tiny houses with gorgeous landscaping and brilliantly colored flowers (the soil must be great there - plus all the rain?). I thought this place was very cute. But first, we went to the beach.
These pictures make it appear a lot brighter and sunnier than it actually was. It wasn't exactly gloomy, but it was very cloudy and there was just a tiny tint of blue in the sky. It was also very windy and about 65 degrees. I braved it in shorts and felt fine, but there were crazy Northwesterns there actually swimming in swimsuits. I felt bad for them, since 65 is decidedly un-beachy to us southerners.
I hadn't heard of it which may make me in the minority, but a key landmark at Cannon Beach is Haystack Rock. When I googled it, it said that this big craggy rock is in the opening scene of the movie The Goonies, but it still didn't stand out to me. It was beautiful though.
I don't know why I'm standing at this angle!
I don't love beach water when it's very warm, and cold water is the WORST to me, so I waded a little bit but didn't enjoy the water temperature at all. "Not bad!" said the Northwesterners, apparently hardened to the freezing Pacific.
We walked over a mile on the beach alone on our trek to Haystack Rock. The beach was definitely longer and wider than most beaches I've been to. The walk to the water from the start of the beach was significant.
A windblown selfie.
I was promised lots of starfish to look at, as well as anemone and (creepy) seagulls to see, and while I saw the latter two in abundance, there weren't any starfish to be found.
There was a man with a conservation jacket standing around answering questions, and he told us that there was a "wasting disease" that wiped out 95% of the starfish from California to Alaska in 2013. So we just saw this lone purple starfish hanging out with anemone.
It was so pretty there! I think the lack of bright sunshine and blue sky actually made it prettier.
We up stairs and through the little town of Cannon Beach and saw lots of pretty sights.
We stopped for lunch and I had clam chowder which they served with cold, tiny shrimp. It turns out that there is a way that I don't enjoy shrimp and it is when they are cold. I don't get why/if people like this? Insight please.
Our destination that night was Lincoln City, about an hour and 45 minutes down the coast on Highway 101. It hugs the coast pretty well and the trip took us a lot longer because we kept stopping at lookouts and enjoying the scenery.
We stopped in Nehalem Bay for this shot. A random passerby offered to take it - our plan had been for each of us to put a face in a hole and make a collage of them together!
We also made an unscheduled stop at the Tillamook Factory in Tillamook (surprise!), Oregon. They have a tour of the history and maybe the factory where they make cheese and ice cream. In another section, they have a gift shop, cheese tasting and restaurant where you can enjoy ice cream and food. We skipped almost everything and tasted a bunch of cheese, explored the gift shop, and left.
We (not me) couldn't leave without getting someone to take this suuuuper flattering picture. She's mooing, which makes me laugh so much. I guess I don't know how to pose in these things, but that face hole was really high up there!
In line for CHEESE.
We got Seafoam candy (link to google search here) in Cannon Beach, because it's Danita's favorite. I hadn't tried it before. It was good but took me a long time to eat because it was so sticky - think Sugar Daddy candy!
We finally made it to our destination for the evening after lots of stops (the final one was for fish and chips to take and eat in our room). This was the view of the ocean as we walked up to our room.
And while it was a great place to stay, it had character. Like this plywood divider between balconies and carpet that didn't meet the wall. It was rather oddly designed and the person who renovated may not have been the best for the job, but it was comfy and a huge room.
And the view wasn't shabby.
We channel surfed and watched America's Got Talent for the first time (America doesn't really have that much talent, we determined) and half of an episode of Bones.
We've had better fish and chips. Sorry, local place.
In the morning, it was foggy, which I've come to expect on the west side of Oregon and Washington.
But it cleared up a bit.
And look at the old-fashioned appliances we had! We didn't use them, but aren't they sort of fun?
In the bedroom of the place we stayed, there's a window that faces a mirror. So we took a picture.
Loading up the car.
We went to the outlets in Lincoln City before continuing our drive down the coast.
This was at some random scenic place along the road and I thought it was pretty!
We went to Depoe Bay. I've been there (and actually to Lincoln City also) with the Bay family a few months before we got married, and so it was sort of familiar to me. This is Danita's favorite place.
We watched whale-watching tours heading out.
I wish I'd taken a picture of the HUGE cinnamon rolls at the blue bakery in this photo. They were much bigger in diameter than a dinner plate and about the height of two cakes. HUGE. We didn't get one, but they were $9 and we saw one group of people hefting one around, the cinnamon roll peeking out of the box.
The family had a favorite book store here with shelves upon shelves of books and lots of clubbed-foot cats. I remember coming here and spending a lot of time. It's apparently closed now. There were bags of garbage and piles of STUFF in the aisles, and no cats wandering around.
We stopped for lunch in Newport and shared a delicious pizza from a local place.
Danita is a bakery person, so she really wanted to stop for a baked good but we couldn't find a place (other than the $9 cinnamon roll place) on our drive. We finally found this one at 3:03pm. I remember the time because it turns out that they closed at 3pm.
We continued stopping anytime we saw anything pretty. Our destination that day was Eugene, Oregon to meet the rafting group, and we knew we'd beat them there, so we meandered, and it was fun!
This place had sort of holes where the water would spray up impressively and make a sound that was almost like a deep bell as it crashed down. We decided to "hike" (we were wearing flats and jeans) down to see things closer.
At long last, we found an espresso stand (and by the way if you haven't been to the northwest, these are a THING there. seriously all over the place - I thought it was so strange when I moved there). They closed at 4, and it was 4:15 when we pulled up, but the woman inside was so nice that we didn't realized they'd closed until we noticed the sign with the hours. She offered a blueberry coffee cake and a mocha that satisfied Danita's cravings, which was good because it was one of our main goals for the day.
We got to Eugene, expecting to have heard from our husbands, and instead not hearing a peep. They'd intended to be off the river at noon and home by 6ish after dividing things up and packing the cars, but at 5pm no one had heard from a single member of the party. We got a bit worried (although a 40 person rafting trip with an incident would surely have been news and we would certainly have heard SOMETHING) but it turned out that they decided after all to get off the river at 5pm instead and didn't have cell service to tell us.
At the boutique we'd visited a few days before, Danita bought us coordinating shirts with the intention of taking pictures in them. So since we didn't have anything else to do, we took the pictures.
It wasn't until midnight that the rafters got home. I snagged a picture with Carson's aunt Shannon, one of many people I hadn't seen in over 3 years. Carson's group got home at around 1am.
We were in two cars going back to Olympia, and Carson and I took his mom's car. We stopped at the infamous Dutch Brothers stand on the way.
And this guy hung on for dear life on the highway before eventually letting go. I'm guessing he wasn't in pain for long.
Carson was tan and had HUGE bruises from falling in the rapids.
We stopped in Winlock, Washington where his dad grew up, to visit Grandma Bay's grave.
And then we stopped for this sign, because I guess the "Bay" in question is a relative to Carson.
Aaaand we also made a friend there.
You'd be able to see Mt. St. Helens from here, but of course the clouds were in the way.
I thought this place looked delightfully over the top, for a mattress place.
Traffic on I-5 was SO bad. It was a Sunday afternoon so I was a little surprised, but I guess that's normal for them now! (this is not bad traffic pictured, just an observation)
We had lunch in Olympia with old friends of Carson's from high school. I'd never met Adam and Brandon before and it was good and funny to hear old stories of their growing up.
Carson's grandpa Jack is living with his parents right now, so we got to spend a little time with him.
And we all watched a movie before leaving for the airport (yes, it was a busy day) but Carson conked out and snored really loud through it.
Goodbye picture before we left (our flight out was at 12:55am, so just Mike took us)
We stopped by and saw Savannah and Jordan's house before the airport and it was so good to see them again! (since they haven't been on the blog in a long time, here are pictures from their wedding)
Our journey home.
Pre-flight. Already looking a bit rough.
Carson slept. The entire plane was basically people snoring and sleep-breathing, and I've never seen a beverage cart move down the aisle so fast because no one was awake to serve. I tried to sleep but actually sat there thinking in a state of frustrating almost-sleep + boredom.
Post-flight. We landed at 8am eastern time, or 5am west coast time. We were both surprisingly pleasant and cordial to one another, which is really a testament to God's grace because I didn't sleep at all and Carson didn't sleep well.
So our flight landed and we waited at baggage claim forever for the one checked thing we had (the box of stuff Carson's mom insisted on buying me). It turned out that it was oversized baggage and in a different place the whole time. Oops.
And then we went out to wait for the shuttle to the parking service that was off-site. We waited forever before being informed (we had to ask) that where we were standing was actually a place for departing flights. We got lost when we followed the directions to the right place. Nothing was clearly marked and we hadn't thought to figure these things out ahead of time.
And yet we weren't super angry.
We got stuck in a lot of traffic, which put us back almost an hour. That was a little frustrating, but we were okay. I couldn't sleep and the air finally just decided it was done working, so we were hot but not bothered (see what I did there?). We stopped at a Dwarf House Chic-fil-A for breakfast. So cute!
So another thing I hadn't mentioned was the fact that I scheduled a long-anticipated job interview for the day we got back. They'd wanted me to come in on Friday but I wouldn't be back until Monday so I thought that even without sleep and all the travel, I could figure it out and do the interview and that was that. So time was sort of important, since it's nice to look presentable and be on time and all that.
And THEN, our car wouldn't start after we stopped for gas. Just quit working. I called and rescheduled the interview, which was probably the wisest decision anyway, and then we had to get the car towed.
We sat in the sun and worked on our tans as we pleasantly waited almost two hours for the tow truck to come.
The car needed a new starter. Carson ran down the street to an auto parts place because they had a better price on it. We both slept on couches in the waiting room while our car was fixed. We paid a lot of money. It wasn't fun, but it somehow wasn't all that bad.
And then finally our trip was over and we were home and we had dinner (can't remember what - probably something terrible because we felt we deserved it) and went to bed early and went to work (and a job interview) the next morning. There wasn't any jet lag because we didn't get much sleep, which worked out, I guess.
With the exception of the ending, our trip was fun and relaxing. Carson has his pictures on his phone but if I can get them off, I'll have him share about his trip!