In the middle of the night hubby and Ocoee were both laughing in their sleep-both chuckled back and forth in a seemingly hilarious conversation, all while snoozing!
Once we were all up we hit up Stumptown coffee for some caffeine and then picked up the rental car a block away. We wisely passed up the sugar bombs from voodoo donut as we passed by, though they smelled sinfully good! Hubby headed to work and Ocoee and I headed for the ocean.
After a few wrong turns we finally got outside the city driving hwy 26 towards the coast. The sun was shining and the scenery was beautiful. Living in Alaska beauty is everywhere. It is a harsh, surreal beauty that takes your breathe away and stills your soul. This landscape was more lush, green, soft and rolling. Fertile fields and the smell of soil, farms and animals made a pleasant back drop for our adventure. It was like a feast for the eyes with so many shades of green, emerald and jade springing up along the roads as moss dripping from the trees.
Ocoee feel asleep and missed it all. She even missed a appalachian band on NPR singing about the banks of the Ocoee. I will have to track down that song!
An hour and half later we arrived at Seaside our first stop. At seaside we strolled on the beach taking in the huge stretch of sand and frothy breaking waves. Ocoee chased a seagull all over and shrieked in delight as it ate her dropped snacks. We visited the 75 year old aquarium, that though rustic was a hit due to their seals and bait you can purchase to toss and feed the seals. Ocoee totally dug feeding the seals and grabbed the herring from my hand to toss it to whichever one begged closest.
After the aquarium we grabbed some sandwiches from Tsunami sandwich shop. Low key, with yummy deli food it was easy and kid friendly. There were other nice sit down places to eat but I didn't feel like taking the time for that. After lunch we went to ride the authentic wooden carousel. It was so sea town kitsch that I loved it! Ocoee and I rode on a sleigh and she squealed with delight watching the wooden horses go up and down and around. Her first carousel ride was a smashing success.
After seaside we hit up cannon beach which was really cute and homey. I took photos of a dream home, steps from the sand. We gazed out at haystack rock which soars above the beach and sea. I could easily spend a weekend exploring all the unique shops and cafes of Cannon Beach.
On the way home I wanted to try a different route so we headed south to Tillamook, stopped by the factory for some cheese curds and ice cream and then headed back home. We followed hwy 6 through wineries, creeks and rivers with waterfalls popping up here and there.
The entire time I kept thinking. Seriously this sunny warm day, with beautiful scenery is mid-February??? What a huge contrast between Oregon and Alaska. It made me question if Alaska would always be home. I love Alaska so much but when I think of quality of life I can see the benefits of a milder climate.
We got back into town and hubby met us at the rental place to help schlep gear back and I think he missed us a bit. We walked back to the hotel and stopped to grab some street vendor food. Sorta an addiction for me. We had burritos from the same place I remembered from my girls trip this past June and hubby was impressed! They were as good as I remembered.
Now we are back at the hotel turning in for an early night. Nagging cold symptoms come and go leaving us pretty wiped by the end of the day. A good nights sleep usually helps so we are all going to turn in for power sleep fest!