Friday, June 25, 2010

a little rytting roadtrip fun

preface: I have to warn you this is easily the longest posting of our blogging career. im sorry, you're more than welcome to scan through it quickly, but i took lots of pictures, like hundreds. and it was hard for me to narrow down. so buckle up because this is a posting marathon unlike any other.

Last week we two ryttings set off on a much anticipated roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest. We have been talking about making a trip to Washington for years and we finally decided to go! We have major enthusiasm for this part of the country, and we wanted to check it out together. Having been born there i use that as an excuse for my obsession with Washington, I'm in love with the place and have always dreamed of living there one day. With its cool temperatures, green, green landscape and lots of outdoor activities it also seemed like a perfect fit for Mckay's personality.
We had a few reasons for going. We haven't been on a trip just the two of us since our 1st year anniversary, (we are quickly approaching our 3rd). Mckay is also planning on applying to UW for graduate school so we thought it would be a perfect time to take a trip just us and visit the campus. We took a few detours on the way, taking our time driving up the coast of Oregon, which made for one amazing trip.

Knowing we were going to be spending hours and hours in the car we checked out some audio books from the Library. I have to say this saved us, and i would recommend it to everyone with a roadtrip in their future. no matter how gorgeous the landscape is you get antsy being in a car for hours on end. The Count of Monte Cristo was up first and provided us hours (19 to be exact) of Edmond Dantes entertainment. In an effort to save money and snack healthy we brought lots of 'good for us' munchies and PB&J ingredients to save us from fast food restaurants. We even made our own roasted almonds, so easy to make, healthy and addicting.

The first day was somewhat uneventful, but we were both super excited for our little getaway. We drove almost 9 hours to Pendleton Oregon where we watched the Lakers win the Championship :( and played at the pool.

Outside my window looked like this most of the way on day one.

{DAY 2-Tillamook and Seaside}
and on day 2 the roads started looking more like this.

We drove the historic highway which took us past beautiful waterfalls that were right on the road, or a short hike from it. This area was full of campsites, so we made a mental note to come back again some time.

Horse Tail Falls

We finally reached the coast and made our way to Tillamook Oregon, where we overindulged big time in the dairy department. We first made a stop at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company for free samples and a quick trip through the petting farm.

"I wonder if they still have brown cow icecream led to a spontaneous stop at the Tillamook Cheese factory. we had no idea the wonder that lay beyond the doors of the visitors center.

Inside we enjoyed free cheese samples of cheese. which led to the buying of some cheese curds.

We watched humongous blocks of cheese being cut, sorted, packaged, etc..

Mckay was overjoyed to discover that they did in fact have his favorite childhood icecream "Utterly Chocolate" formerly known as "Brown Cow". happy boy.

After leaving Tillamook we continued making our way up the coast.

Aftre awhile we decided to pull off the highway and go exploring, trying to find our way onto the beach. We climbed up an unassuming sand dune only to find this lovely on the other side.

Miles and miles of twisted wood scattered all over the beach on both sides.

We finally made it to our hotel in Seaside and quickly made our way down to the Promenade for some delicious seafood and a sunset stroll.

We went to Norma's for their 4 different kinds of fish n chips.

Apparently Norma's clam chowder was named one of the top ten soups in the country. We hate clam chowder. hate. but we decided to be adventurous and try it, anyways. It was surprisingly better than expected but in our opinion not a top ten soup.

such a wonderful day :)

Day at Cannon Beach

The next day we headed down to Cannon Beach, a few short minutes south of Seaside. While looking up things to do on our trip I read about Sandacastle Day, an event they have on a certain Saturday in June, depending on the tides. we were unbelievably excited to learn that we would be in Seaside the day of the event.

Not knowing anything about it other than it tends to get crowded, we left early in the morning and got to the beach hours before the crowd comes. When the tides are low the beach gets super wide, allowing cars to drive right on the beach. Mckay was loving the fact that our first off road adventure in the Xterra was on the beach.

We spent most of the day walking along the beach, enjoying the sun, exploring the tidepools and admiring the Sandcastle builders at work. This might have just been my most favorite day.

The Sandcastles were quite impressive to say the least. although most of them turned out to be something other than an actual sandcastle, like a budha, a pyramid, or an octopus.

After spending hours at the beach and with the crowds getting bigger we called it a day. We had quite a drive ahead of us so we couldnt stay to see the finished products.
The drive up the coast and into washington was beautiful. everything was so green and we drove through the cutest little seaside villages. We took the bridge in Astoria over the water and into WashingtonRiding this bridge was almost like a roller coaster. It was narrow and high with water on both sides. it gave me butterflies.

We arrived in Seattle in the evening and were so happy to find a Chipotle minutes from our hotel.

Seattle Love {REI and the Mariners}

Our first day in Seattle was pretty cold. like March cold, not June cold. and wet. Mckay loved the cooler temperatures so he was a happy man, its hard to hate the rain when it makes everything so pretty and green.
Since the REI mothership is in Seattle we just had to make a visit. The outside of the store was amazing, with trails, trees and a waterfall. a fun sight to see in downtown Seattle.

Mckay found himself the chaco flips he'dbeen lusting over for the last little while. and they were on sale! even better
We then made our way over to Safeco filled, sort of on the sketchy side of town but the field was amazing! and with a retractable roof so we could enjoy the game without the rain. good news!
We enjoyed a Mariners win while munching on fish and chips.
We headed back from the game only to find our lovely looking like this :( only imagine more jagged shards of glass where the window used to be.
Our car and another car in the lot had been broken in to. We had left our camera bag (empty) on the front seat and an ancient ipod on the center console. Not the smartest thing on our part, i suppose. I was upset to say the least, sad that someone would do that to another person, frustrated that we had to deal with this in an unfamiliar town. but that anger quickly turned to pity-we like to think the person was just looking for great fathers day gifts, and tremendous graditude that they only got away with an old ipod (though we were almost to the end of Count of Monte Cristo :( not good timing) and had somehow overlooked my wallet that was conveniently stashed in a compartment. The situation could have been so much worse. This new snag in our plans forced us to drive around looking like this:

yes thats the entire door wrapped in seran wrap. and judging from comments and stares, was an entertaining sight for passersby. We were hesitant to go anywhere else downtown in this state so we headed back to the hotel and spent the rest of the night warming up in the hot tub.

{UW and Crab Pot}

This day Mckay had appointments with UW admissions and a professor who's research is similar to what Mckay is working on at BYU. Since we are planning on applying here in the winter and the school is one of our favorites we really wanted to visit the school and just see what it was about. The campus is gorgeous and in such a beautiful location just minutes from downtown Seattle. There is so much diversity there, which Mckay was excited about. I think we would be really happy there, and they're doing some great research that Mckay is really interested in. We would be so lucky to go here, but it is competitive, so we'll just have to wait and see.


After our campus visit it was time to get our window fixed. you can imagine our relief! We learned from Safelite that people can get really desperate, and break into cars for things as small as a single candy bar. So we completely cleaned out our car-including bottles of water. better safe than sorry. we then felt prepared to head downtown for a delicious dinner on the pier at the wonderful Crab Pot.

Whilte waiting for our table we strolled the pier and browsed a tacky, yet so delightful souvenier shop.

Mckay loving him some crab bisque. soooooo good.

and this: our seafood feast plopped right onto the table.

We love crab, but who doesnt? but we decided to be adventurous and try Oysters, Mussels and clams too. not for us. very not for us. And i had to get up the nerve to rip the head off of this guy:

an experience i dont think i could handle on a daily basis, but such a fun dinner. definitely an experience. and after this meal, we had officially overdosed on seafood.

After dinner we took our stuffed bellies for a walk around Gasworks park, known to have the best view of the Seattle skyline, and boy did it live up to the hype.