Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods to Lincoln City, Oregon We Go!

In mid-November of this past year, Oscar's parents decided they needed both to see their grandson and enjoy a vacation by the beach, so they decided to combine them together and invited us to meet them at a hotel in Lincoln City, Oregon. They'd stayed there before and had enjoyed the view of the beach directly from their hotel room. We literally went "over the river" (the Columbia River) and through the woods (big forest areas just before the coast) in order to get from Washington to Lincoln, City. The first day was super rainy, but we still had fun staying inside watching Redbox movies ("After Earth" and "Monsters University") while granny and grandpa played with Tyler. The weather was cloudy but not too rainy the next day, and then it brightened up nicely for the next two. In the summer, Lincoln City and other parts of the Oregon coast get loads of tourists because it's so beautiful. It was nice to have a few nice days in the winter when we could enjoy it's beauty without having to fight the hordes of crowds.

 Here's Ty having all kinds of fun playing with granny!

Here are some cute pics of Ty wearing Oscar's glasses at the Chinese restaurant we went to that first evening.

We've discovered from previous road trips that Ty is good in a car for about 3 hours. After that it gets pretty difficult with a lot of screaming and fussing. He needs to eat, get out, and move around. Since the quickest route to Lincoln City is via Portland, we'd planned to do just over 3 hours of driving to Portland, stop for lunch at our favorite Portland restaurant, "Rheinlanders," and then drive the remaining 2 hours to Lincoln City. This would have been an excellent plan, but we forgot to factor in morning traffic, which added an extra hour to our trip to Portland. True to form, Ty was good for 3 hours, sleeping most of the way. But the last hour was HORRIBLE! He screamed the entire time.

Fortunately things got a LOT better once we got to Rheinlanders. I fed Ty and then let him play in their waiting area. They have lots of toys for kids, so he got on his tummy and played until our food arrived. The food was delicious! I can't get enough of their pretzels with delicious cheese fondue appetizer and their chicken alfredo sp├Ątzel entree! Fortunately it was enough to wear Ty out and he slept the entire 2 hour drive from Portland to Lincoln City. Hoorah!

On our 2nd and 3rd days in Lincoln City, we took a drive down to Depoe Bay for lunch and to see the famous Spouting Horns. Oscar and I had actually stayed in Depoe Bay back in February 2013, but it was dark when we got in, and we continued our waterfalling immediately the next day, so we didn't see much of the city. Little did we know that the hotel we'd stayed at was super close to these spouting horns. They're like inverted waterfalls where the waves rush in and then spout up under the pressure.

I wanted to get up close and personal with them. That's me leaning over the wall. Oscar's dad did it too (he's in the pic below), and there were a few times that we got wet.

Oscar's parents wanted to go to the Sea Hag restaurant, which it turned out was really close to a Thai restaurant we'd eaten at the night we'd stayed here in February. We'd ordered dessert then, which was warm tapioca pudding. Thai tapioca pudding is VERY different from American tapioca. Thai tapioca pudding is made with coconut milk, and this particular place used large black tapioca pearls (like you see in bubble tea), shredded coconut, and toasted sesame seeds. It was AMAZING! Oscar and I talked about it afterwards for months, but we couldn't remember where the restaurant was or what it was called. We were thrilled to see we were right next to it! It was easy to recognize since we'd remembered the restaurant was over water. We ate our lunch at the Sea Hag, then walked down to the Thai place to get Tapioca pudding for dessert only to be told that they didn't have any. We were bummed, but they told us they could make some for us another day. They needed a fair amount of notice since it takes a long time to make, so we came back for it the next day and bought a bunch. Yummy, yummy, yummy! We were a bit disappointed to see they'd used the smaller tapioca pearls this time, but it was still delicious! It's not going to appeal to everyone that likes US Tapioca. Oscar's parents didn't seem to care for it much, though at least his mom is a big fan of US tapioca, so maybe it's just for those of us, like me, who think US tapioca pudding is just okay.

Oscar and his parents went out shopping the evening before we left, and while they were gone I nursed Ty and then took him out for a walk along the beach at sunset. I harnessed him into in his carrier, but was concerned about the cold, so I zipped him up in my jacket. So cute! His cheeks and a bit of his legs got a little chilly in spite of my trying to warm them with my hands, but he enjoyed the walk and never seemed unhappy. We had fun watching the waves.

The day we checked out of our hotel room ended up being a gorgeous day, so we decided to take the coastal route and drop by Cannon Beach. Here are the pics we took at some of the lookouts along the way.
Unfortunately we missed several opportunities and nearly missed saying goodbye to Oscar's parents since we somehow got off the main highway, drove through slow, winding forest roads, and were stuck waiting 15 minutes at a construction site. Oscar had turned the phone GPS off since he didn't think he needed it just to stay on the highway, but next time I'm insisting we keep it on and plugged in so we don't have a bad turnoff like that again. We came out of the forest partway along the road from Cannon Beach to Portland and had to make our way 15 miles back west.

The last time we visited Cannon Beach for our 4th anniversary, we only had a very basic camera. This time we were excited to take pics with our fancy, schmancy Ipad/smart phone cameras, but our old camera actually did better (right pic). Digital zooming just can't do what a camera zoom can.
Our cute family!

We continued up the coast and quickly realized we needed to make some sort of shade for Ty's car seat. Our prius has a huge window in the back, and being rear-facing, Ty was getting a whole ton of sun. We stopped at Home Depot so Oscar could get some gear to create a make-shift shade for him. We propped Ty up in the car cart and had several people stop to stare and tell us how adorable he looked in there. One said "you have to take a picture," so we did.

We asked Bill and Nancy Nelson last minute if we could stay with them again. We'd spent two nights with them in February during our 7th anniversary trip. It was nice to see them again and split up the driving over two days so Ty didn't go crazy after 3 hours. He traveled well both days and, even though he'd had a nap recently, he slept nearly the entire way from their house back to ours.'

And after that trip, Ty got to bring home some new sleepwear. Oscar's mom had made two sleepsacks for him and picked him up some cute Christmas pajamas. I love the Christmas cats sleepsack! What's not to love about seeing my cute baby, adorable kitties, and Christmas all wrapped up in a cute little package!

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