The long journey home

First step: check out of hotel in Portland.

Next, fly on a rather small plane with propellers to Vancouver.

Arrive in Vancouver. Catch train to Downtown. Get really good coffee at Revolver cafe.

Eat lunch at Meat and Bread. Great sandwiches.

Wander around Downtown Vancouver until we got tired and had to rest on a giant chair.

Catch train back to airport. Board Air New Zealand plane bound for Auckland. Settle in for 14 hour flight.

Note: we splurged on Premium Economy for this flight. It was so worth it. Best flight ever. Also, look at the fancy food you get.

Arrive in Auckland feeling pretty good, having slept for a good portion of the flight. Waiting around Auckland airport for 5 hours though….not a great amount of fun.

Checking the board to see if it’s time to leave yet.

There’s our plane!

And we are back on a plane for 7 or so hours.

Look at the cute little bottle of olive oil you get with bakery items. Fancy premium economy snobs.

And then, ladies and gentlemen we were home.

Full sized flamingos

It was raining in Astoria this morning when we woke up. And really foggy over the river. Today we were basically going to be doing yesterday’s trip in reverse. But first, breakfast. We had breakfast at a cafe adjoining our hotel. It was good. Apparently they use all local produce and the like.

After breakfast we went for a bit of a wander around town. The 80’s film The Goonies was filmed in Astoria. But don’t go trying to visit the house used in the movies because the owner will call the police on you (note: this did not happen to us. We only read about it on the internet)

We decided we had to drive over the massive bridge into Washington.

Then we drove back over it again, back in to Oregon.

Coffee stop at Cannon Beach at Insomnia Coffee.

Had some lunch down on the beach. Views of Haystack Rock in the background.

More views on the drive back down the coast.

Apparently there are cougars here (we didn’t get out of the car)

We went back to Tillamook cheese creamery today in the hope that it would be less crowded. It was still busy but not as bad as yesterday so we had a Grilled Cheese sandwich and icecream.

And then it was back to Portland to pack up and get ready for our flights outta here tomorrow

Day trip to Astoria

We decided to hire another car and go for a drive to the coast. Look, to be honest, we started getting a bit bored of Portland. It’s cool and all, but really, there is only so many donuts you can eat before your jeans stop fitting you. Besides, the Oregon Coast was calling us and go to it we must.

First stop was Tillamook state forest and visitors centre.

Blainie and Smokey the Bear.

We had planned to stop at the Tillamook cheese factory for lunch, but when we got there it was CRAZY busy. We managed to get a car park and had a look around for a bit, then left and went to a different cheese place up the road that had far less people at it.

After lunch we headed to Cape Meares lighthouse on the coast. Nice views. Tiny lighthouse.

We stopped at a beach for a bit where you had to beware of sneaker waves apparently.

Kept driving up the coast. Stopped at a few places along the way – Rockaway Beach, Seaside and Manzanita.

Then we got to Astoria where we had planned to stay for the night. Astoria is a cool little town with a lot of micro breweries and a very long bridge connecting it to Washington on the other side of the river. We had dinner at Buoy Brewing Company. It had really lovely views out on to the bay. We even saw otters in the water off in the distance.

Got lost in the places I’ve been

We went to a Farmers market this morning. The berries, in particular are very good here. We nearly bought some red currants, but then Blainie tried one and it was very, very tart.

Oh and massive Walla Walla onions. They have an onion festival there apparently.

Other things we did throughput the day, included: coffee at Stumptown, lunch at Pine street market and Icecream at Ruby Scoops

In the late afternoon we headed off to Mississippi Street, as we were going to a gig there in the evening. We thought we could check out some cute shops there and get some dinner before. Of course, the one day we have to go to this street, they are having a massive street party and it’s all crazy busy with people everywhere and loud doof doof music blaring. It was really hot too.

Luckily, we realised the venue for the gig was a bit away from all the madness and we found a nice cafe to relax in for a a while.

For dinner we went to a small restaurant and had calamari, sardines and manchego cheese. We also had a glass of wine from Washington.

Then we went to Polaris Hall to see Tyler Ramsey (one time member of Band of Horses) and Carl Broemel (from My Morning Jacket). When we got there, there was only 2 other people there! It got busier by the time they played but it was still a very small and intimate show. Really cool. Not something we’d ever get the chance to see in Perth.

After the gig, we caught the bus back to our hotel. That was kind of fun.

Surprise zoo visit

We caught the tram thing up to Washington Park this morning, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mt Hood.

When we got there, we decided to go to the Oregon Zoo instead.

It’s a pretty cool zoo. Quite large.

We saw these eagles. How cool are they? They had large talons.

But the best bit was seeing an elephant swimming.

We liked this porcupine guy too.

After a couple hours at the zoo, we were tired and hungry. So we left the zoo and went to Blue Star Donuts for donuts and coffee. Pictured here, Blueberry Bourbon doughnut and Bacon Maple (for comparison to Voodoo Donuts).

Went for a bit more of a wander around, before finding an awesome large Whole Foods supermarket across the road from our hotel. We bought dinner in there and ate it in our room.

Here’s our hotel, it’s very cool.

There may have been another quick visit to Powell’s books later in the evening.

Eating and walking

We walked a lot today. I feel like we didn’t really do too much else. Except eat. So it was probably good that we walked so much.

Breakfast at our hotel in the morning. Steve had oatmeal and Blainie had eggs with bacon and grits. Good, but too much food.

We saw these large duck/geese things down by the waterfront.

We walked around a bit. Saw some things.

Caught the tram/light rail thing to the Alberta district because we wanted to go to Salt and Straw icecream because EVERYONE said we had to go there. It was really delicious. B had wasabi raspberry and salted caramel, S had goats cheese or something and almond praline. Deliciously large servings too.

Next door to Salt and Straw was a pizza place called Via Chicago. Not really interested in their pizza or anything, just like their name. (Wilco reference)

Then we walked to another street, missed a bus because of something that happened last Thursday (we are not sure what), went to a smaller Powell’s books, got hungry because by now it was like 3pm and we’d only had 1/2 kg of icecream for lunch, couldn’t find anywhere we wanted to go for food, caught the tram/light rail thing back to downtown and went to Pine Street Market where we had lunch/dinner(also known as lunner) – a roast pork roll thing, that was quite tasty. And some chips, that we had once again wrongly assumed were going to be actual chips but of course we are in America so they were chips (crisps). We will never learn this lesson. Fries =chips. Chips=crisps. Or something. They were still nice though.

Afternoon coffee at Stumptown and then later we went to Powell’s books and bought all the things.

4 States in 3 days

We had breakfast this morning at the hotel, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea, but we wanted to get an early start, so what can you do. Incredibly average breakfast done, we packed the car and headed off. We wanted to make time today, so our first stop for the day was about 2 1/2 hours away, in a place called The Dalles. We are not quite sure how to even pronounce that name, so don’t ask. We saw some very interesting scenery along the way as we left Washington and crossed in to Oregon. Oh, and so just to recap; We started driving in Bozeman, Montana then on to Syringa, Idaho, next Walla Walla, Washington and our final destination Portland, Oregon. Phew!

Lunch stop. We cleverly packed a picnic lunch, which we ate it the car.

Then, more driving. We saw at least 3 of these wind turbine propellers go buy on trucks.

We stopped briefly at Hood River and went in to the visitors centre. The lovely lady in there gave us a good map and explained how we could get to see Multnomah Falls on the way into Portland. So that is what we did.

We saw Horsetail Falls first, which was pretty impressive.

And then drove on to Multnomah Falls (which we like to call Multinova Falls). When we got to their location, suddenly, as if from nowhere, thousands of people appeared from out of nowhere and Blainie’s heart sank as we drove past the full car park. Luckily, just as we were about to turn the corner, away from the Falls forever, a car left, and we snaffled the slightly suspect car park. Hey, it was worth the risk.

The Falls were spectacular. We even walked up to a bridge which was really cool.

Made it back down to the car before we got a wheel clamp, and headed up a huge swirly road to the top of a mountain with a spectacular view.

It really is hard to capture these things in photos, but trust us, it was high and the view was quite amazing.

Then we were back in the car, down the mountain and heading to Portland.

We made it!

Checked in to hotel. Dropped hire car off at rental place. Went for a walk. Found Voodoo Doughnuts. Ate doughnuts. Bacon and maple doughnut. Mmmmmmmm.

This sign sums up Portland pretty well.

Then we found Powell’s Books. The biggest bookshop ever. Blainie lost Steve in there for several hours.

Drinks in the bar in the basement of our hotel.

Goodnight.