Who isn’t in love with long weekends? It’s just extra special and those months between January and April seem to stretch out for eternity.
I usually stay put for long weekend and get in as much laziness as I can muster. This year as a part of my birthday month, the boyfriend planned a road trip; the longest one I have taken so far.
This road trip featured visiting: Astoria, Cannon Beach, SeaSide and Portland.
Saturday: I awoke bright and early at 3AM to my already packed bags (yay me) and headed off to the border. Wait time? 5 minutes! We even got a chance to browse at Duty Free and bought a bottle of Grey Goose only for $35. (The great savings already begun). This day consisted mostly of driving, yet with us being chatterboxes it seemed to go by fairly quickly. For breakfast, we stopped by McDonalds and I am envious of how many more menu items they offer. A girl who was starting her first day there asked me if I could lend her my ponytail. ??? Was my initial reaction but it clicked she needed a hair tie!
We made our destination around noon in Astoria. Lucky for us, they were celebrating their 200th birthday! Even though it was a bit windy, it seemed as though the whole town was out to celebrate. They had free rides on their pirate ship, choirs, lion dancers, the marines and much more to gander at. When our tummies started to grumble, we decided that this weekend’s theme will be Seafood! Looking around the town, you cannot spot one familiar chain restaurant. We stopped in at place called Dooger’s Seafood Grill. Although we sat at the bar area, the restaurant seemed catered more to seniors and families. For lunch, I ordered the Steamers which was plentiful and delicious! The first taste of the weekend! After energizing ourselves with fuel we continued our drive into Cannon Beach.
Yet before we had a chance to arrive, we made a pit stop at Seaside. I highly recommend this stop, it’s something we really don’t see nowadays. A strip of boutique shops, diners and arcades that eventually lead you to the beach. The sun is shining, the town is just enjoying its day out and strolling casually. The boyfriend and I hit up the arcades and I evened up our score in Air Hockey! There was a lot to see and it just felt perfect. When you arrive at the beach, it’s not overly crowded and the sand is soft. The best part about it is that they had swings on the sand. SWINGS! Yes simple things make me happy. I would’ve loved to say here awhile longer but it was time to continue on.
After checking into our accommodations, Haystack Resort Motel we just relaxed. I am very surprised of this motel actually. I had my reservations about staying at a ‘motel’ but it had the same amenities as a hotel with the exception it was only 2 stories. There were only about 2 other occupants, so it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. For $70/night, I felt it was a great steal.When we pulled back our curtains, you can step out onto the balcony to view the beach, water and the famous rocks. The day was a bit chilly so we walked one side of the beach with the wind fluttering and was in awe of the vastness of the beach.
When evening started to dawn we headed out into ‘town’ where attractions were limited but it was very quaint. Settling for a Mexican cuisine, I was delighted. This restaurant had the authentic decor and the food was fantastic. Even though it was Saturday night, the town was quiet and it set a nice vibe for the relaxing weekend.
Sunday: There is nothing better than waking up and knowing you have absolutely nothing to do. There is nothing better than waking up next to a beach as well! After we checked out, we headed to the restaurant situated by the beach, Mo’s. From the outside, it seems like a tacky tourist restaurant and that thought is only extended by the decor inside with its plastic fish and netting. It’s made to seem as though you are on a ship with its wooden tables and bench seats. But you forget all that upon two things: 1) their clam chowder 2) the breathtaking view of the beach and water.
I swear I was in awe. The windows are stretched all along the wall so all you see is the view. The boyfriend was ecstatic because he finally got his fish tacos, I was happy to try shrimp Quesdillas and the best part of all? NO TAX! Makes me very happy to tip heavily when I don’t have to account tax on my bill.
After our big lunch we decided to finish walking the entire beach. Hand in hand we made our footprints in the sand. There was a lot to see due to the families, dogs, and non-motorized fun. We tried climbing one of the rocks (succeeded!) and saw a lot of sea items was ashore. It seemed like hours we were there just walking and walking. It feels very nice to remove yourself from the city sometimes and just enjoy the skies.
Back into the car we went with our sandy shoes and off to another one of my past times….shopping! Our destination was Woodburn Company Stores. The outlet was very big and even though I spent two hours wandering around….I hardly shopped. I know, disappointing! Even the no tax deal couldn’t convince me to buy things just for the sake of buying things. At the end of the day I came out with a Coach Wallet ($90), Heiress fragrance ($30), and Tommy Hilfiger Flops ($20). (I need to stress again, NO TAX!).
We headed into Portland Downtown to find our hotel, Park Lane & Suites. This hotel was different. It seemed more like we were guests at someone’s house instead of a hotel. The furniture was modern (think IKEA) and the floors were wooden. It was a nice change and attractive so I didn’t complain. ALTHOUGH, it was $100/night and I don’t feel it was worth that much. The front desk was extremely helpful and with the concierge’s help we formed our evening plans.
For dinner we cabbed (side note: the cabbie drove a Scion! ) to the recommended restaurant, Basta’s. It was a quiet dining place, very stylish and low key. The boyfriend said we should be different, so this is what our dinner consisted of: Escargots, (which surpisingly wasn’t so bad, now I am part of the snails club), Wild Boar, & Ragu Baby Back Ribs with Rigatoni. Continuing with my observations in LA, the States don’t make their liquored drinks like Canada at all. Lesson learned.
After dinner we called the cab and was offered the same driver! (What are the odds of that?) After checking out a few venues, we settled for the famous Dante’s.
This place is…weird but so very cool. It’s a conjuction of a pizza parlor, bar, club and cabaret. For $8, we got our money’s worth for all the entertainment that we viewed. Koodos to Portland for having such a lively crowd on a Sunday evening. Their go-go dancers were energetic, the drinks were good, the music was bumping, the fire eater was fantastic and much more. This is a recommended venue for anyone who is looking for interesting night life but know that there is no place to dance in this venue.
Monday: Even when you are on vacation, time seems to fly. We didn’t get the luxury of sleeping in due to the very thin walls that the hotel had. I suppose it didn’t help that it was also a working day for the residents in Portland either. We got an early start and headed to the mall. The mall had a good selection of high end stores but even that didn’t open up my wallet. Before we started the long drive back, we drove around Portland to suck in some scenery. Yes, a perk is they do not pay taxes in their city but it is also constructed differently from ours that do. Their downtown hub shares the narrow road with their transit system (which I think is free) and also a bicycle lane too! Can you imagine this?
As before, even though the drive was long we didn’t feel it. It’s all due to your company I suppose. We ended back into Seattle just in time for dinner. I’ve been craving Crab Pot for awhile now and it was the perfect way to end the weekend. The sun was starting to peek through after it was absent all weekend. We beat the dinner rush and got seated quickly on their patio. After putting on our bibs we were ready to dive in. Everything you could want, crab, salmon, oyster, mussels, corn, potatoes etc were on your table. There’s something savage about eating with your hands, a bucket, a hammer and a bib. STUFFED is what we were. It’s a great novelty experience and I recommend it. After dinner, we checked out Post Alley where the famous wall of gum was displayed. EW is the word I would use to describe it. We added our additions to the wall and called it a day. Heading home was no fun as the border wait time was 2hrs 30 mins. Thank goodness for the genius boyfriend who knew a shortcut and we only had to wait about 1hr.