When Dan and I travel we have no shame about trying to make it to a destination right before closing. We parked and ran to the Molly Brown museum in Denver, Colorado and we parked and booked it into the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Now that I’ve edited all the footage from October 23, 2015, I’m really damn impressed with the amount of fun we squeezed into that day. But since the internet can be deceiving I also want to confess, that by the time we were racing to Tillamook my anxiety was sky high. That when we went to the Goonies rock, I was definitely on edge and had to apologize for momentarily turning into a mega bitch, because I’m not perfect. I also had tunnel vision and wasn’t the best listener, as you’ll see in the video. These anecdotes are my truth, but my memory is that Dan and I flipping killed it that day and from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon we saw everything on our travel list. We laughed and ate a sandwich from a Seattle deli around the Oregon / Washington border. We created more dorky memories for us to treasure. Since I’m not super proud of my 2015 vlogging skills, here are pictures from inside the Goonies Museum and Tillamook Cheese adventure. I highly recommend these road trip stops for any big kid!
Based on my 90’s pop-culture obsession, I assume that it would be obvious that my pop-culture obsession dips into the 80’s as well. So, yes I was raised on Goonies and I recommend looking at the following photos with the Cindy Lauper classic “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” playing at the same time.
The employees were really nice and snapped this picture for us. I was trying to take a quick selfie since the factory was closed, but one of the workers said, “No let’s do this right and get in the bus.”
He took my camera and this photo is now in existence.
Our Airbnb hosts told us about Sweedeedee, as they put it, the breakfast spot is a quintessential Portlandia style experience. As two Los Angeles hipsters, there was no way we could skip out on a spot like that and off to Sweedeedee we went. Everything about the eatery was perfect and everything about me that day was falling apart. I was dealing with major in the moment fear of missing out anxiety. That terrible anxious feeling I get where I question my experience while I am experiencing it, wondering if I’m having enough fun – when that question alone takes all the fun out of it. Sitting in our adorable corner booth in this darling restaurant, looking at an old couple eating their food and reading the paper, I tried to slow down.
I tried to enjoy the moment and my amazing fiance tried to remind me that we were on vacation. I ordered corncakes with greens and bacon, and Dan ordered the smoked trout with eggs and potatoes. His breakfast was much tastier than mine, I’ve come to find out I’m not a big fan of corncakes – I can’t blame the restaurant for that. I did, however, drool over the plate my breakfast was served on, the mugs for our coffee, the dish for salt and everything else on the table. When we walked in there was no line, but by the time we left it was clearly out the door. Here’s what our breakfast at Sweedeedee looked like before our adventure in Portland.
Check out the vlog for our full day in Portland post breakfast.
October 19th 2015 was rough, but in the end completely magical. We had turned off all tech when we went to sleep in our tent and woke up with the sun as our alarm. I was content and happy in our little tent paradise and it wasn’t until Aunt Flow visited me did my attitude shift. It all started with some defective tampons that warranted a very heated letter to Tampax later that day. Then when we went into town to check out a brewery in Eugene, I got into a little fender bender in our rental while making a U-Turn. Thank the road trip gods it was just with a curb. The day was not going my way and I was so grumpy when intense cramps hit. I was barreled over in Whole Foods pleading with the supplement lady to give me ANYTHING for the pain. She recommended a cramp reliever with a 1950’s housewife illustration on it and Feminessence Maca Harmony. I took both and still take Femminessence as it ended up clearing up my terrible acne.
We had planned going hiking at Smith Rock that day, but I knew with how much pain I was in it would be impossible. Yet, we still wanted to see the beautiful Smith Rock park, so Bowerbird drove us in that direction while I slept in the passenger seat. I think I was asleep for 2 hours before I woke up while we happened to drive past an Alpaca farm. I didn’t even have to say anything and Bowerbird was pulling off the road and into the alpaca driveway. We parked our car, picking up some alpaca feed from the gift shop to treat the animals to. Unfortunately, most of my alpaca pictures are on my now debunked phone. So, this is the best I have.
This guy was my favorite, I named him Ringo.
We ended up spending 2 hours at the Alpaca farm, we seriously LOVED characterizing the various alpacas and picking up on their personalities. We were the only tourist there, feeding the alpacas through the fence. At that point, my cramps were gone and forgotten. The gift shop at this farm sold lots of goods made of alpaca wool and we bought a cute alpaca Christmas ornament for our treasures. If you’re ever in this region, I highly suggest taking a moment to stop by Crescent Moon as it was just around the corner from Smith Rock.
After we had our fill of alpaca cuteness we drove over to Smith Rock. I was still wiped out from my cramps earlier in the day and all the Alpaca excitement, so we just gazed at the beautiful view. When I’m menstruating a lot of physical activity can sometimes nearly incapacitate me. Thus is the life of being a woman. I felt bad we couldn’t explore more, but Bowerbird was understanding. We had passed a pumpkin patch and corn maze on our way to Smith Rock, since Bowerbird and I are both Southern Califonia born and raise we aren’t that familiar with corn mazes and were really excited to get lost in our first one. The pumpkin patch was nearly empty, a total set up for the beginning of a horror movie, but with the sun setting against fluffy clouds and an adorable petting zoo – it was more serene than serial killer. Sadly all the attractions were closed, so we were only able to view and appreciate the potential magic of the corn maze and extravagant pumpkin patch.
This place meant business when it came to their pumpkin patch!
We arrived in Portland to our Airbnb place around 7:00pm, our hosts were really kind with the best boxer pup. Bowerbird has a really cute picture of him and the dog on his Instagram account you can see, just click here. After we put down all our things we went out to dinner at an Indian food place. At dinner, our booth was right next to a group musicians who travel the country playing music at homeless shelters in order to lift spirits through art. I was so out of it by the end of the day and can barely, which is very clear in the vlog below, so I enjoyed just listening to the table next to us. I found their souls to just be intoxicating with positivity and light, something my tired being needed at that moment.
Thank you for following my adventures. I still have so much of our 2014 road trip to write about and have a rough schedule in mind. I think next up will be our detour to the town of Spector when we were driving from Atlanta to New Orleans. Moving forward I’d like to have travel posts up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so please check back and follow me on your favorite social network for post updates.
We woke up before the sun and filled our bellies with the slim pickings at our motel’s continental breakfast. On this trip I started putting Cheerios in my Yoplait yogurt to make it more filling and fuel me for our adventure. Plus one can never go wrong with a little extra fiber. The Northern California coastline is like no other, especially in the morning when the low clouds and mist of the waves combine to create an ethereal landscape. The soft pastel colors of the sun rise is accented by a pearlescent lining above the sea foam.
Seeing deer signs are not uncommon while on a road trip, but seeing a deer grazing by the road can be unique. When we came upon an Elk sign we figured it was the same thing, until we noticed dozens of Elk all around us, munching on their breakfast right along the road. My car was rolling along at a snail’s pace as we tried to take pictures and not explode with cuteness overwhelm. Then about 20 miles after the Elk party, we saw a perfect “Back to the Future” DeLorean drive past us. Sadly, I couldn’t snap a picture of the car but talk about an insanely cool morning drive!!
We arrived to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park around 9:00am and aside from the park ranger cleaning out the bathrooms, we were first on site. I’ve expressed this on the blog before, but I LOVE being the only couple or person at a place. I enjoy the feeling of privacy and it makes the moment extra special. Even just arriving to an event before everyone else, so I can take in the silence, the electric hum before the world starts up. We took the river trail in Stout Memorial Grove and lost ourselves in nature; looking up at the tall trees, finding wild mushrooms, and letting the birds and river be the soundtrack. After walking along the marked river trail and ending up at the side of the road, we turned around and upon inspecting some interesting moss found an unmarked trail that led right out onto the river. Inside the trail the tall trees created a shadowed canopy and walking out onto the river bed was like opening up the blinds to let the sun shine in; white rocks made the sun brighter and the sky appear bluer. We played along the river for a while and if we weren’t pressed for time, I could have seen us lay down a blanket and read beside the rushing water.
As we walked back to the parking lot, the trail started to fill up with other tourists. We really had the Redwoods all to ourselves.
It was 11am by the time we returned to the car and our next stop was Grants Pass, Oregon to grab lunch before heading to our campsite in Bend, Oregon – four and half hours away. The rest of our drive was beautiful and fun, filled with singing and naptime. We were starved by the time we reached Grants Pass. Bowerbird had looked up a cute organic restaurant on Yelp called Ma Mosa’s. The coffee was self-serve and we ate a delicious brown rice bowl filled with black beans, blackened salmon, avocado, tomatoes, corn and some other yummy real food. It’s funny because the bowl is totally something we could make at home but of course, would never taste as good.
Once again, we were trying to beat the sun and get to our campsite before dark, so we made very little stops or detours. I had to be the grump and tell Bowerbird we couldn’t make a 2-hour detour to Crater Lake. When you’re used to packing adventure into every hour while on the road, a 2-hour detour doesn’t seem like that much but it makes a huge difference if you’ll be setting up a tent while there is still light outside. The one stop we made was at a little café at the end of the highway, a mountain range in front of us and the merging freeway running North and South. We darted across the empty highway to the Diamond Lake Junction café in order to use the restroom. I have no idea who would go to this restaurant as there wasn’t a city or town close by, it was basically made for travelers. We went inside and I ordered a muffin and coffee to be able to use the restroom. I went first but as Bowerbird was relieving himself, I talked to the owner/cook/waiter about Time Life magazines and almanacs. The owner was a sponge for knowledge and loved knowing about different decades and history. He looked like he could easily be a member of the Sons of Anarchy and that café might moonlight as a clubhouse.
As we reached our Tumalo State Park campsite the sun was starting to set. This was a very posh campsite and not very far from the bustling city of Bend. We were slightly bummed that the campsite wasn’t as removed from civilization as we had hoped, but while I was setting up our air mattress in the tent, Bowerbird went to Trader Joes to get us dinner and find some fire wood.
This was my favorite night of the entire road trip, aside from the day we got engaged. We sat by the fire drinking red wine and eating French bread with brie. Bowerbird and I talked about our future together, our plans, hopes and fears. We had fun adding wood to the fire and shifting where we sat on the bench depending on where the wind was deciding to blow. I put away my phone and computer, I unplugged for the night and was present in that moment. Sleeping on the air mattress bundled under multiple blankets and sleeping bags I fell asleep instantly in Bowerbird’s arms and we let our bio-clock wake us up instead of our phones. It was perfect, pure bliss.