I swear this is the very last post about Oregon! . . . brah.
And again, I have infinitely deep issues when it comes to narrowing down photos, but I promise there are no more than 58,230 images in this post. Not bad, huh!
I feel like it’s growth.
This post is the FINAL WEEK of our Oregon relocation. And it’s funny, I think a bucket of people have been missing when I say “relocation” or “stay” or “time here” or “vacation” because now that we’re back, there are a number of followers all, “Wait where are you. I’m confused. Didn’t you move?” Ha! No move. We’re home. In K.C. In the 90-degree weather and humidity so thick it washes my hair for me. I’m fine.
The very last week we finally ate at this darling breakfasty/brunch spot on the strip called Yolk (not the chain you’re thinking of). Always bustling, always luring us in with its big windows and airy charm.
But guys. I had the huevos rancheros, and it was dope. BUT the FRENCH TOAST? I didn’t get a photo because it vanished within seconds of being placed on the table. THE FRENCH TOAST.
THE FRENCH TOAST.
Absurdly custardy on the inside, crispy (LIKE, CRUNCHY) on the outside. It seemed to have this tiny crust of turbinado sugar mixed with something else that I couldn’t quite place. It was so ridiculous that I had the waiter go ask the chef what she did, and her reply was, “Nope. Taking this one to the grave.”
It was stupid good, and I’ll pay anyone who knows how they do it. The end forever.
It was a Friday, so after brunch we decided to spend one last afternoon in Cannon Beach (just 20 mins up the road) to shop for stained glass (never found any), but all month we’d been seeing this mini kids amusement park on the side of the road near Seaside, so we popped in for a gander.
It was tiny, a little bit scary, totally vintage and kind of cute. In!
This photo is IN MOTION. Like, FAST. If you consider my nervous puttering around the track fast. Nat was like, “MOM DRIVE FASTER EVERYONE IS BEATING US.”
Me, “No one can beat us, it’s a circle! Maybe WE’RE the ones ahead!”
And then it reminded me of that moment in Father of The Bride when Steve Martin is looking out the window as Bryan MacKenzie drives up for the very first time, and Diane Keaton goes, “Well?” And Steve Martin looks back at her, purses his lips and says, “He drove too fast.”
Best movie of all time. That and Amélie, Dirty Dancing, Sound of Music, When Harry Met Sally and Annie. And Lost in Translation.
And oh – Wet Hot American Summer! And Father of the Bride.
Wait what was I talking about?
After the scary park, we got back on the 101 and drove back into CYANNON BYACH (said like Karina on the Californians) to look for cute spots.
I’m amazed at the amount of breweries that Oregon has birthed. It HAS to have some sort of record. Isn’t Portland number one in the country, as far as how many breweries per capita something something? Don’t you have to have a beard to run one? I think that’s the main rule.
Here’s a photo of me. I’m never in any photos, so I’m including this one to prove that I actually don’t only drink rosé. I AM capable of enjoying a light, lemony brewski.
Promise never to say brewski again for at least five minutes.
After our stop in Public Coast, we headed to the other end of the strip to visit the much-talked-about Screw and Brew! It’s a BAR INSIDE A HARDWARE STORE.
Or is it a hardware store inside a bar? I’ll let you make the call, ya drunk.
It’s so much fun in there. Small, quaint, only a few things on the menu (including some of the best beery steamer clams I’ve ever, ever had).
If you’re ever in CYANNON BYACH, ya gotta stop in for a beer and clams. And a nut and bolt or garden rake if you fancy.
Once back in Manzanita, it was time to hit the farmer’s market, which I’ve already talked about thrice so I won’t torture you again. Once our final salmon collar was purchased (don’t look at me like that), we went across the street to mark another restaurant off our last-week list. Neah-Kah-Nie Bistro – it’s one of the finer dining places in town, so we sat outside next to Little Mermaid jewels (Nat’s words) fire pit thingy, and split coconut shrimp and green beans with a garlic aioli. And a crisp sauv blanc. Duh.
Here are the kids discussing molecular disintegration among compounding components surrounding NASA theories only written in Python.
Just kidding I think they’re laughing at toots.
The next day we ventured into Portland! It’s only an hour and a half away, and I hadn’t seen my girl Michelle yet so we had to MAAAKE IT HAPPEEEEEEN (sung like Mariah.)
We met Michelle and Jay at a spacious, hipster lunch spot called Picnic House, where we caught up on all things music, work, home projects and Arkansas gossip (don’t look at me like that).
This creamy mushroom soup is officially allowed to govern my every move going forth.
After an afternoon alone with Michelle, a pop into my favorite home shop for hippie candles and a tea towel, and three glasses of rosé later, we headed to my official blog meetup! You see, I pretend to know what a meetup is. I basically invited anyone who lives in the Portland area to join me for a drink. And they did! DANCE, PUPPETS DANCE.
Michelle and myself, former Conor Oberst obsessors/band mates/house mates/designer of my website. With years between our current and last visit, we still managed to fall right back into our Bev and Michelle rhythm, that only the two of us know how to possess.
Also, I need a tan.
Tope is where my meetup was held, and WHAT AN ABSOLUTE DREAM BOAT THIS PLACE IS.
I’m telling you, if I had a restaurant, this would be it. I’d just steal it from Portland and stick it in my bra.
I’d say overall there were about 10 lovely ladies who joined me that afternoon. We gorged on tacos and salsa and harassed our cute Leo DiCaprio waiter whilst discussing kids, jobs, blogging, hair, and favorite rosés. Obviously it was perfect.
And of course we got a photo after most had left, but here’s some of the crew! Thank you, thank you again, girls for humoring me and hanging out for over two hours. I’ll PayPal you later.
After a couple days of rest (CRUCIAL on these trips), we spent Tuesday on a mission. And that was SALT, OYSTERS and CHEESE.
67% of the mission was fulfilled. Lawd.
We started the day in Netarts Bay, at the ADORABLY quaint Jacobsen Salt Co. It’s not only a tiny retail shop, but they harvest and make all the salt right there on the bay! I wanted a tour, but a whole crowd walked in right behind us, so I never asked. Waaaah.
But look at this place! I bought the sampler, including their most popular Black Garlic salt. So far I’ve put it on my morning egg. It’s stupid divine.
We also bought the sea salt caramels and they are literally (and I mean literally, not the millennial literally) the best caramels I’ve ever put in my face. Literally.
After that – oysters! And only the best – Netarts Bay oysters. There’s a freaking OYSTER FARM that you pass on the coast that’s right near all the restaurants. And it’s all so lush and green and cool and beautiful and Oregony.
We lunched at The Schooner (“a schooner IS a sailboat, stupidhead.” – name that movie), another restaurant highly recommended by all of you. It did NOT disappoint. I had a blackened shrimp po’ boy that I basically sacrificed myself to right there.
After that, CHEESE.
Except. Here’s where the “only 67%” part comes in. We walked in. With the masses. Looked around at the factory. I sang the Laverne and Shirley theme song really loudly in Stories. Looked at the cheese sample lines and cried. Looked at the ice cream lines and . . .
Yeah. No. Nope.
I can handle crowds, it’s not that. It’s just . . . so big. Give me tiny. Give me boutique. Give me charm.
But I’m a good mom so we braved the crowds for the promised-land ice cream and got OUTTA THERE.
No cheese. But I’m okay. I’ll be okay.
The next day we went on one last clamming adventure in Nehalem State Bay park. But this time, not the enormous demon razor clams. Gosh no. Our mission was purple varnish clams! So we grabbed our buckets and shovels, hiked through a path apparently made for horseback riding.
Guys, I was doubled over in laughter over this. They would NOT move past the horse poop. Paralyzed in fear. Aaron was so annoyed and they were on the verge of TEARS and I’m howling trying to get a photo.
“Just walk AROUND IT!” – Aaron.
“Hold on let me take a picture hahahahhahahhahaha!” – me.
They eventually walked around it. I think.
We found 16 clams! Nehalem Bay is purty.
Would you believe you have to get this far down in the sand to grab those suckers? It’s like that scene in The Neverending Story when Artax sinks into the Swamp of Sadness. “ARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAX!!!!!!”
No one thought I was funny.
This sea moss was randomly all over the beach and I thought it was lovely. That’s all.
After we’d cleaned up from clamming (so disgusting), obviously we had to harvest the second half of our foraged Oregon dinner with more crab! But this time, we tried out the much-smaller-than-Kelly’s but still pretty cute Jetty Marina. A few yellow picnic tables, a tent, and a rustic firepit surrounded by giant wooden adirondack chairs line the bay, and it’s just . . . well, precious.
We only had an hour to dock crab, so we snuck some beers and cheese puffs down to the dock in my backpack (shhhh), and spent 60 minutes bobbing calmly in the water. Caught a bunch! 99% barely made the size cut.
Yeah I cannot handle that.
At the very last second we did mange to catch one large enough to keep! They cooked it there. We didn’t. We sat on the giant rustic wooden adirondack chairs next to the fire pit and drank another beer. And it was good.
This is what tired Will looks like.
And at last – our foraged meal! (besides the bread) Clams from Nehalem Bay, the crab from Jetty’s, salmonberries that Aaron picked at the base of Neahkahnie Mountain, and of course local beers. The rosé is California, but I bought it from a tiny local wine shop that I fell in love with on Laneda all month, so I’m counting it. Leave me alone.
Aaron made a salmonberry crumble for dessert, and I pretty much surrendered my soul to it at this very moment. (served with Tillamook vanilla ice cream, duh.)
Oh, here’s Dixie herself! I forgot I had this photo next. Her shop is the size of a thimble, and it could not give me more life joy. One of my favorite things to do all month was slip away from the family for an afternoon, stroll the strip and end at her shop for a tasting. She’d tell me stories about growing up in Oregon, how she moved to California for love, stayed a while for said love, then moved back to Oregon for true love, Oregon. I loved this little lady and all her little hippie hats.
Another gem on the strip – Manzanita Espresso and News. Surrounded by trees and a meditative water flowing fountain thingy, it’s just so cute. Magazines and handmade keepsakes adorn the narrow walls. And the cappuccino ain’t bad!
Cloud and Leaf bookstore. It was in here that I bought both City of Girls (one of the best books I’ve ever read) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (reading now, trying to get on board). I LOVED this tiny slice of a bookstore. Imagine sitting outside with a book and gla- bottle of rosé from Dixie’s. Total dream.
The final evening we took one last stroll down the beach to look for washed up treasures (them) and human bones (me).
Check that out! This little girl has a knack for finding beautiful sea glass.
This big girl has a knack for ignoring pedicures.
You knew Nat could levitate, right?
We had to buy an extra suitcase for all the shells and rocks we brought back home. You think I’m joking.
Us. Nostrils. Visor. A gray Lily Munster streak. That’s us.
A few photos left. Are you making it?
I love this about Oregon. Craggy rock structures along all the beaches.
I love this about Oregon. Neahkahnie Mountain. I climbed this moutain, and ran along the beach to its base 11 times over the course of the month.
I love this about Oregon. The fact that it constantly looks like a scene from a Steven Spielberg movie. Or Twilight.
And I love this about Oregon. SO MUCH MOOD, brah.
The final evening we blew up some fireworks in the gravel driveway, but they were tiny and hilarious. So this is what you get.
Goodbye, house! I hope Will flushed his toilet.
And goodbye, Pacific Northwest! You’re a flower, you are.
And that’s an official wrap of Oregon! Come Thursday, I’m 100% back to my regularly scheduled programming with a recipe (!), and Flotsam on Friday (!) Thank you for humoring me for what probably felt like 27 years of your life just now.
Okay who wants to count the typos?!