Monday, June 17, 2013

Pacific NW Pt. 2: Modern-day Lewis & Clark!

On the fourth day of our trip, we left Portlandia behind us and started making our way towards the Oregon coast. You know what's the weirdest thing about driving in Portland? You can't pump your own gas. It's true. I thought it was weird when I first visited and I still think it's weird. It's so old-timey, man!

Instead of taking the most direct route to the coast, I decided that our route would take us southwest of Portland to check out some wineries on the way to the coast.

Our first stop was Chehalem Wines in Newberg. We didn't go to the actual winery since it wasn't close, but the tasting room was lovely. I could literally hear Micah groaning as we walked into the tasting room. Man up! lol.

I liked a couple of the reds and ended up buying their SEXT wine (a delicious Riesling) -- which I ended up gifting to my aunt and uncle in Vancouver.

After chatting with the wine lady, I asked her if there's a vineyard that has good wine and pretty views and she sent us straight to Alexana.

Alexana is a fairly new winery that's accessible via a gravel road. You wouldn't know it's back there, but when you get there, the views are spectacular. The tasting room is clean, modern and beautiful -- even the bathrooms were great! I mean, that's important when you're drinking!

The wines here were much more expensive than the Chehalem wines. I don't think I could say that they were that much better than the other ones we tried. They were good, but $50/bottle? I'll pass. Oh, and the tasting was expensive - I don't remember the exact price, but I think it was 4 tasters for $15?

But the view is worth the drive up here. The deck overlooks the vineyards and if you have time, it would be a great place to bring a little picnic and drink some slightly-pricey wine.

Since it was already late in the day, we decided to wrap up our wine tour and make our way through the Tillamook State Forest to find the pot of gold... and by gold I mean delicious golden CHEESE.
P.S. the Tillamook State Forest is an amazing drive. Highway 6 through the park twists and turns and you have to pay attention, but it's so lush and green and there are creeks every which way.

We got to the Tillamook Cheese Factory one hour before they closed. Whew! We didn't even take the self-guided tour, we headed straight for the good stuff!

We both thought the cheese curds was the best!

Micah seriously considered buying crackers to go with all the free cheese.

You know what else is good there? The ice cream. It's so smooth and velvety, worth every calorie. A lot of people mentioned that the lines would be bad here but when we were there, no one was in line for anything! More cheese for us, suckas.

After bingeing on cheese, we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway towards Seaside, where we would spend the night.

We stayed in the most quaint motel ever! They even upgraded us to the "SWEET" since the couple cancelled at the last minute.

Beach on one side...

And mountains on the other. Very cute city!

Seafood dinner at a place near the town square.

Coolest thing I saw in Seaside? People hunting for clams in the morning! Apparently you wait for little bubbles to pop up and you plunge a large tube in to take it out. Very cool.

After spending a night in Seaside, we finished the Oregon coast by stopping off in Astoria to see the Goonies house! Every 80s kid knows this movie! Micah was beyond thrilled.

In Astoria we stopped off at Fort George Brewing and another Rogue Public House. Ft. George was my favorite brewery we came across in Oregon besides Cascade. Very consistent but interesting beers! We took several cans home.

Five hours later, we crossed the border into Canada. Next up, Vancouver, B.C.!

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