CHRISTINE AND JORDAN IN THE PNW: DAY FOUR

17 Sep

Final day of the Oregon trip! Christine and I got a solid 9+ hours of sleep Saturday night. We woke up Sunday morning refreshed and so well rested that we went for a jog. We ran/walked 2 miles in and out of the neighborhoods around Christine’s place and let me tell you, the hills and views both far surpass Muncie, IN. 🙂 We got ready for the day after this and went into Portland to check out their Sunday farmer’s market. It was huge with vendors absolutely everywhere selling food, clothes, jewelry, flowers, trinkets and pretty much anything imaginable. The only problem is that the main reason we went to the market was not there! We went to find the Salt ‘n Straw booth but apparently they only set up at the Saturday market. Salt ‘n Straw is an ice cream place that is ranked the number 1 (out of over 3,000) place to eat. They have incredibly unique flavors and a very high butterfat content (which is what distinguishes between good and great ice cream). Sadly we couldn’t get what we came for. We still enjoyed walking around though and Christine got a fruit cup and bought us friendship bracelets. 🙂

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We didn’t have a ton of time to spend at the market though because we had a boat to catch! We’d booked a brunch cruise on the Portland Spirit and showed up at our docking area with plenty of time. In fact we figured we were really on time since we were the first people there…until we found out that we were at the wrong docking spot. What followed was a mad dash of driving to the new area, trying desperately to find somewhere to park and being some of the very last people to embark! Thank goodness we made it.

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Our good fortune continued we we were led to our table which happened to be right by a window and away from everyone else!

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Everyone’s table was next to another table. Everyone that is except for us! We were thrilled, of course, to feel like we had our own little segregated area. The only thing that could make the cruise on this beautiful day any better would be unlimited champagne.

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Which there was. !!!!! Best cruise ever!

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Haha we had looked at doing a dinner cruise initially but it was pricey and drinks weren’t even included. When we saw the good price of the brunch cruise that included the buffet AND unlimited champagne, we were sold. We were seated right in front of the bar area and even though we had our own waiter, the bartender kind of became our waiter as he realized that we were there for the champagne more than the food. 🙂 Although we did each get one plate of stuff to sample…

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The river was beautiful to see out our windows as we headed out of the city-

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We listened to cheesy show tune type music with songs sung by the whole crew about being aboard the Portland Spirit along with piano music played by a blind woman named Barbara. She was very impressive and played “L is for the Way” when Christine and I requested it. It’s always been one of our songs. 🙂 The cruise was 2 hours and only half-way into it we were already lamenting that it would be so short because we were having the time of our lives! We talked and laughed and laughed and talked and generally had the most fun yet, which seemed to be the theme of each day of the trip. The boat went past more great scenery and some pretty ridiculously large houses. If you can even call that a house…

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When we started nearing the end of the cruise we went outside on the upper deck to enjoy the air and take some more pictures. The champagne came with us.

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It was a bit windy but that clearly didn’t bother us in the least. When we’d had enough of the outdoors we reclaimed our table for one more refill and then were literally the last guests off the boat. Best brunch cruise in the world. 🙂

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We wandered around downtown Portland for a little bit finding roses and cool fountains.

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We tried to go get Salt ‘n Straw ice cream from their actual location but the line was so far out the door we decided against it. The next thing we know, and I have no idea how we even came to this conclusion, we are racing around Christine’s apartment, throwing stuff in bags and taking off for the coast. At this point it is about 3:30 in the afternoon and the coast is 2 hours away. We didn’t care. We stopped once on the way to take pictures at a scenic pull-off-

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But other than that we were all business! We made it to Astoria, where we thought we’d be spending the night, only to discover that this isn’t actually directly on the coast. We were bound and determined that we wanted coastline so we drove a little further until we reached Seaside. Now there is a town right on the ocean. We also had determined that we wanted a room with an ocean view. First hotel we tried- waaay too much. We weren’t sure what to do so we were going to sit and search things to come up with something but I said, “Give me one more chance.” Using my travel finesse I eyeballed several places as we drove past looking for just the right thing. I wanted a place that didn’t look so posh as to break the bank but didn’t look so cheap as to be dirty. Enter- The Hi Tide.

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I went to the front desk to inquire about rooms and yes, they had ocean front rooms available. No, the rooms were not out of our budget. Yes, he would show me what  room looked like. I saw the room, saw the balcony, saw the swing set sitting far off in the sand and saw the sun setting right in front of the room that could be ours. Sold.

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This place was exactly what I had been looking for and Christine and I were positively giddy over our find and our last night together and our room and the beach and the wine we had brought and over just about everything. 🙂

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We had some killer views.

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Not to mention a most gorgeous sunset!!

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The swing set that we could see in the sand was the icing on the cake. We love swings and swing sets hold a sort of magical spell for us. The fact that this one was not even part of a park or anything, was just sitting there, and was totally deserted meant it was made for us.

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We put suits on under our clothes and raced down to the beach to try it out.

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Utter happiness ensued. 🙂 We spent a good while playing on the swings, talking, taking pictures and sky darkened over the extremely large beach.

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We had watched people all over the sand digging large fire pits and as it got darker the fires started to pop up one by one.

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Christine and I walked to dinner and shared some nachos then came back to the beach to enjoy beach community. Earlier that day a huge annual race called “Hood to Coast” had just ended so there were people from all countries, all walks of life all over the beach. The race starts up at Mt. Hood (near Portland) and ends up on this exact beach. It’s a 200 mile relay and the people who participated were all pretty serious athletes. Apparently the thing to do is “fire hop”. You sit at a fire, have a drink, chat and meet people and then go to a new fire. Christine and I visited probably 8 or 9 fires over the course of the night and it was SO fun. Almost as fun as jumping in the freeeeezing cold ocean around 3am. 🙂 We had wanted to make the most of our night and get as little sleep as possible which resulted in our crashing at 4:30am, waking back up at 6am. Packing the room in a complete daze, making a horribly sleepy 2 hour drive back to Christine’s apartment, me running around like a wild woman getting my belongings, catching a taxi back to the airport and making it just in time for my flight. One of the absolute best mini-trips ever. We will both cherish it always!!!

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