West Coast Adventure 2016

A summary of our 2016 friends trip from MPLS TO Portland, OR to celebrate Mandi and Eugenes BDays! 

Wishing I could be on Cape Mears – in Tillamook – but now I have something to look forward to! 

Left MPLS on Saturday June 25th – only 1hr late- left at 7:30am. I drove from MPLS to Jamestown, ND. Boring drive but safe! Roads got scary in Montana! We Stayed in a Buddha house on top of a hill with mountain views in Livingston. Took us like forever to find the house, that was embarrassing. Tested my vegetarian morals with tons of beef jerky temptation. I took a small piece (size of a broken pencil lead and chewed it and spit it out. I’m still a vegetarian. 

No coffee creamer at the first place to no coffee in the am – drank chai tea on the balcony staring at the mountains. Ate great pizza & brunch in Livingston, MT @ Gills Goods! Got a Birkenstock tan. Saw The Garden of 1,000 Buddhas. Got a free rock there. Saw a deer poop in a field outside of Billings, MT. 

Decided 1/2 way to Spokane that I need a pop up camper & that I needed to take Reed across the country with me. The mountains in Idaho are scary as hell – “just because the speed limit is 80 doesn’t mean you gotta go 80” – pretty but scary. I used a nasty dirty rest stop potty. Used a lot of hand sanitizer. Didn’t see any: deer, mountain goats, bear or other wildlife. 

We stayed in a cozy house in Spokane. Shopped for groceries at a discount market with mostly almost expired food. Met a puppy and a cat. Took some fun pictures and passed out while the gang played monopoly deal. Someone made breakfast & had coffee before we drove off through the mountains – we made it without accident (whew).  

Left my glasses in Spokane 😦

Got off track after a random rest stop and ended up getting routed through a mint farm – we rolled down the windows and enjoyed the wonderful smell! Drove through Portland for our next rental, in Cape Mears/Tillamook, it was fun to get a sneak peak. 

We had a drive through Tillamook State Forest to get to Tillamook which was gorgeous and like an hour drive. Wanted to hike a bit wish we could have. 

Tillamook is the cutest place ever. A lot of cows of course so it smelled like manure which both Cory and Eugene agreed smelled aiiight. 

Stayed in a beach cabin on the ocean at Cape Mears. Decided the beach is ALWAYS the place to be. Used a wood burning stove to warm up the house. Cory became the worlds best lighthouse operator. Played games all night and chatted about stuff. Cory and I shared a room. I had a funky lopsided bed and slept with the windows open while listening to the ocean. The air was salty. It remained in the low 60’s during the day about low 50’s at night so basically my kinda weather. “Sweather weather” according to Cory! 

We all sat on a bench outside of the ocean our first night and listened to the waves. We discovered that Cory would make an excellent lighthouse with the flashlight his mother got him.

Had some great coffee from Seattle with breakfast – cinnamon rolls – dropped one on the floor and Eugene ate it anyway. Drove up the coast on the PCH —Amazing drive, peaceful and serene on the PCH – 101? – awesome views of cliffs, oceans, bluffs, hills and forests. Visited Cannon Beach where we screamed “Goonies Never Say Die” with the sand in our toes and splashed in the freezing water. Saw a starfish. Had fresh seafood in Astoria. Drove over a lot of bridges. Had a bonfire on the beach and listened to Prince and the Beach Boys while making smores and laughing. Got scared on the beach. Danced down the street in the moonlight with flashlights listening to Robyn. 

Woke up and cleaned up and had more cinnamon rolls on our last day in Tillamook. Adventures the beach and found a fort made of driftwood. Saw a bunch of jellyfish. Decided that Reed would love Tillamook and that we will go here someday. Seymour chased a bird into the ocean.. It was scary.

Stopped at the Cape outlook to see the octopus tree and lighthouse. Never saw the lighthouse but saw the big octopus tree and wandered the edge of the cliff to get pics of the bay. 

Went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and had amazing cheese curds and grilled cheese. Bullied a little boy about the souvenir penny machines. 

Drove to Portland and saw a scary screaming man on the side of the road in downtown, obviously mentally disturbed and or high on drugs. Discovered Oregon is pronounced “OR-eh-GUN”. 

Went out on the town while the van was running and unlocked for over two hours. 

Ate some great food and laughed.

Had a great ass brunch at The Waffle Window (10/10) … Watched GOT season finale. Went thrifting and got cool stuff (KILL sweatshirt!) went to an art festival and saw giant bubble blowers. Ate two dinners, one at a rice shop and one at home – veggie hot dogs.. We stayed up late & played “The real game of LIFE” and Eugene won – I almost won! Didn’t sleep well! 

Slept in and Eugene made French toast for everyone, and coffee. It was delicious!! Bummed around. Walked to get coffee and tea and bakery tasty stuff (Eugene got a Bavarian cream filled popover from a bakery owned by an intergenerational gay couple). Eugene and I explored the neighborhood and picked out houses we’d want to live in. 

Went zip lining an hour away from Portland and saw 2 waterfalls on the way. Laughed at Eugene for trying to zip when he wasn’t suppose to. Bummed around some more when we got back. 

Went out to dinner and got amazing French cuisine at a small Portland bistro (Petite Provence) we all shared our dishes – fries, marrow, salads, salmon, shrimp, pork, steak & some other fish, a ton of amazing amazing desserts) got an after dinner cappuccino to pair with my Black Beauty triple chocolate cake. Ate too much and had to hold my food baby while walking 6 blocks home. Left my favorite jean jacket (got it when I was 16) at the bistro and our server ran two blocks to catch up to me to return it. 

Laughed a lot. Got upset because I was too full to eat Corys homemade guacamole. 

Picked poems out of a collection of Shel Silverstein books to read aloud – we recorded our poetry. Laughed more. Packed – took pictures and looked at pictures. Stayed up way too late and finally crawled into bed around 12:30am. Got up around 1:00am to tell Cory and Eugene to be quiet and then just stayed up even later gabbing with them. 

We all overslept and got a late start to get on the road! Well Mandi woke up but decided to go back to bed! Stopped for gas and breakfast an hour out of Portland and some guy was upset that we were blocking a gas pump.Oh yea, it’s illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon! Whoops.

Stayed on the Missouri River in Montana for a night. Took a bunch of pics of the sunset. The house was next to a street called “old woman’s grave road”, not creepy. We watched an episode of friends while eating garbage pizza and gummy bears. Smoked a cigarette by the river with Eugene and let a ton of bugs into the rental. Slept very well. 

Got a late start in the am and spent hours on the road. I drove 86mph for 2.5 hrs into North Dakota. Listened to hot JAMZ and laughed told stories. Texted Bre a bunch. Watched fireworks in the country during the drive. Stargazed while listening to Lou Reed. Almost hit two deer on the side of the road. 

Made it home around 2am on July 4th! 

XoXo

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