Last summer, my parents took a trip to the Oregon Coast and returned a week later with whale sighting reports, pictures of beautiful beaches and a deep desire to return the following summer, but this time, with the entire family!
I’m so used to travelling places and feeling all go-go-go to see all the “must see” spots, so when my parents warned that there wouldn’t be a ton to do and lots of down time, I was so absolutely THRILLED. If the whole point of vacationing from your normal workaday life is to return feeling rested and rejuvenated, you sometimes just need a vacation without an agenda, ya know?
Before leaving Portland, we hit the grocery store and piled our rental cars full of fresh food for the week. I’m all about hitting up new restaurants when we travel but staying somewhere with a fully stocked kitchen and people who wanted to cook made my heart so happy. It was like I didn’t realize what was missing from my vacations was home-cooked food until I had it.
Also, my parents weren’t kidding when they said the ocean was right outside the window. Wow, wow, wow! We whale watched for a bit then Joey and I were on dinner duty and cooked up some crab cakes for everyone. We maybe didn’t realize there might be shells in there so they had a little added crunch but whatever 🙂 Maybe also retreated to our room to watch Game of Thrones afterwards (LOOT TRAIN!) and remember when GoT was still on? Those were the days.
The Oregon Coast does NOT mess around with the fog, you guys! It was eerie in the best possible way. On our second day, we took a little drive to Newport for lunch and then we took off our shoes and walked around on the beach. I was so surprised by how warm and soft the sand was! I wonder if people who live near the ocean ever tire of seeing it? I don’t think I would.
We did margs, guac and tacos for dinner that night and whoa, Oregon, whatcha doin with those teensy shrimp? I’ve never seen such a thing!
Hit the other side of Newport the next day — after the Dorsey Girls made a beautiful chicken Caesar salad for everyone, of course — and these sea lions were ornery! They were not about sharing space or having their nap disrupted by another sea lion moving around. It got a little heated between them at times. Highly entertaining though!
Afterwards, we headed back to our condo for a little happy hour action and my sister and Wayne made wings for everyone! Afterwards, I was like, “WHY DON’T I EAT WINGS MORE OFTEN??” And then we watched The Matrix like a good little 90’s family and look, if I’m living in The Matrix right now, please leave me here because I am not cut out for that bleak real world of bald heads and rag clothing. Let me get a blue pill over here!
We hit up Tillamook for the County Fair the next day and I was so excited at the prospect of eating a really legit grilled cheese and then there wasn’t any. Sad times! But we DID watch a horse race (thrilling!), pet a baby cow (aka a calf) and saw a bunch of pigs that really grossed me out. We were so close to the actual Tillamook Factory that we couldn’t not go, so we stopped in long enough for my mom, Joey and I to eat several cheese samples (CHEESE CURDS, FTW!), for me to realize I should have just held out for a grilled cheese from the factory and for Joey to discover he also has multiple stomachs and is maybe part cow?
For dinner, Joey and I made everyone our favorite spinach goat cheese turkey burgers (plus waffle fries, roasted broccoli and margaritas!) and tried not to be sad that we were leaving early the next morning while everyone else stayed for a couple more days. Family vacations are a dicey business and even though my sister was making side bets on which family members would be the first to fight, this trip was so fun and so easy going and now I’m plotting our next vacation destination 🙂
Thanks for this trip, Mom and Dad! ♥♥♥