Normally we head to the Florida beaches right after school with friends, but since the kids were going to be at camp most of the summer, we needed to fit in a “just family trip” before. So off we went to the Pacific Northwest for 10 days. In hindsight, I know this was not enough time to truly explore all of the places we planned on visiting. But, it was an awesome way to get a taste of cities and coasts and nature. We started here in Vancouver.
We loved Vancouver. Very chill, very modern, park rich, water city. We checked out the Granville Island area for shopping. Mose finds something swag.
We love Canada.
I am a foul for totems. A few of the 9 totem poles at Brockton Point in Stanley Park. We especially liked the raven, thunder bird, killer whale and wolf the most. Can you find them?
Mose at the most stunning Stanley Park, with the view of Vancouver. Awesome.
We hopped a float plane to explore Victoria, the capital of British Columbia and the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest. Coolest take off and landing ever!!!
Awesome views of the San Juan islands. (I really wanted to go there!)
Nice, bigger than life map in Victoria.
Victoria was a great place for a day excursion. We did a walking tour from Lonely Planet’s Pacific Northwest’s Best Trips. We started at the Parliment Building. There is the Queen.
MJ is the newest member of the P.
We had Dim Sum in Chinatown.
And checked out the Historic Fisherman’s Wharf area, which was so cool and kitschy with it’s float house community. Teeny, tiny houses, and yummy food vendors.
Water taxi’s are wonderous!!!
Initially we wanted to drive from Van to Portland. But with only 10 days it became very obvious that driving would take too long (also most car rentals places frown upon renting cars traveling to other countries) so we got a flight from Van City to Weird City Portland. Mount Rainer’s tip in flight.
But first We stopped at Shirley’s Tippy Canoe for lunch. A great northwestern style diner that kept the crazy coming. Everything large and a little off. Hence the name?
We drove from there to the falls that are about 30 minutes outside of the city. I love waterfalls. Multnomah Falls, on the Columbia River Gorge, is said to be Oregon’s tallest waterfall at 620 feet. It was totally astounding.
Ice cream worthy.
There are lost of falls to see and hike near Portland. I would take a whole day and do this if we did it again. Latourell Falls here.
On to Portlandia. Now I was very excited about Portland. I have always wanted to visit and the eclectic, eccentric, entrepreneurial vibe that I had heard was there. It did not disappoint. Portland was smaller than I expected but we loved all the interesting people and shops and restaurants. The original Ace Hotel is here. And although I really wanted to stay at the one here, (I’ve stayed at the hotels in Palm Springs and New York) we didn’t because of the size of the rooms and the noise factor. Honestly peeps, I am a little too old to stay up with the hipsters, and I heard the walls are thin and rooms cold. So we stayed at the little more upscale The Nines. Which we really liked. Not so funky, but awesome beds. Yumminess.
We checked out Voodoo Doughnuts for breakfast one day and died. So awesome and creative. Love the tag line. I think Portland starts all the trends.
Mose wasted no time in the official Oregon Ducks shop. He was so happy. Choices, choices.
I loved many of the shops in Portland. Frances May was one. Here is Canoe. A great home, office, life type shop. Very special.
For the misters, Boys Fort, was a big retail playground. Filled with art and gadgets and locally made stuff. All sorts of stuff. Not just for boys. Terrific.
The food cart scene in Portland is epic. We were so excited I think we circled the many blocks of carts a few times before we could decide. Everyone, of course, wanted something different. Josh and I are brainstorming where we can do this in New Orleans. The best.
We stumbled upon, via yelp, a museum called the Faux Museum. It was Josh’s kind of place. And the kids loved it too. Very Portland, I would say. It is basically one guys creative outlet. He makes, commissions artists and collectors and curates a pretty cool show every few months. Crazy, fun and thoughtful. Silliness abounds and music can be made, just not in the way you would normally think. Nothing here is how you would normally think, which is what makes it so much fun. Worth a trip.
Coffee shops are everywhere in Portland. We met a friend at this one. It was a really good one. Heart.
We have some friends who recommended many restaurants in Portland. We met two of those friends here at Pok Pok. Amazing chicken wings.
They also took us to a small, locally made ice cream shop. Salt and Straw. Wow, with flavors like Black raspberries and smoked ham, the line was out the door at 10pm.
Portland was all I thought it would be. Can’t wait to come back and explore some more!!
So we hit the road to the coast from there. We visited a farm on the way and tasted cheese and bought more cheese.
Once we hit the coast at Tillanook we couldn’t believe the beauty. We stopped a lot for pics and walks.
Our first night coastal we stayed in Newport, OR. We checked in at the Inn at Nye Beach. Great beachfront apartment style 2 bedrooms. We headed to Yaquina Head Lighthouse for a look at the tide pools as it was low tide. (Tide pools are our favorites!) It was a beautiful place at sunset. We saw lots of fab things.
Anemones and sea stars and urchins.
Also saw a killer whale pod off the shore and seals playing on the rocks. Totally wicked.
And MJ found this. Already evacuated but lovely.
The Inn at Nye beach was on Nye Beach and Josh and I woke up early to walk the amazingly large beach at low tide (#tidepools) We saw this.
And the wind whipped up these tiny sculptures that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Mother nature’s sand sculpture garden. So cool!
The view from our room.
We kept heading down the coast. This is where the forest starts to really touch the ocean. It was incredible.
We stopped at Port Orford, OR for a 1 night stay at the Wild Spring Eco Retreat. An off the grid oasis in the lush 100 ft forest, overlooking the ocean. This was a special place with cozy cabins with fire places and interesting furnishings. We loved it.
The beach at Port Orford. Seals played off the shore.
Onward and into Cali we saw Paul Bunyan and friend in Klamath.
And had a fresh picked road snack in Cresent City, CA.
Heading into Redwood Natl. Forest the trees just kept getting bigger and bigger. A camera phone does not do these mothers justice. As does any camera for that matter. We tried to find all the special ones. Here are a few.
Drive thru tree.
The giant tree.
I loved how the trees looked when they fell. The texture of the roots and the enormous wall of awesomeness.
It was just breath-taking to be in their presence and we took every opportunity to hike with them. The weather was perfect and the dappled light. Umm!
We stayed in the very sleepy town of Redcrest. At the Redcrest Resort. Well, I won’t go into too much detail, but resort was definitely the wrong word to use to describe it. (Josh has stories) I loved the old general store that was across the street, abandoned.
Food was pretty scarce around these parts. But we enjoyed the squeaky clean air and the trees. We really, really enjoyed the trees.
So we had big ideas about our last leisurely day in the Redwood area, but late in the evening we got the dreaded news that our flight from Eureka (about 30 minutes away) was cancelled and we were rebooked on another flight leaving the next day connecting here and there and Josh was not having it, so we drove all day to San Fransisco (5 hours away) to get our connection for 6pm. Looking at the map, I saw we would be passing through Healdsburg, CA and I insisted on stopping, at least for lunch in this idyllic, if not a wee bit precious town. I’ve read lots of cool things about it and all it’s micro hotels, modern buildings and artisanal this and that. The finer things in life, and so on. We did, indeed have a very fine lunch and a great 10 days on the road. Definitely loving longer!