Well the plan was to get up early this morning and hit the road to get to Tillamook (cheese factory!) and then spend the day at the beach on the Oregon coast.
That plan changed a little when we didn't hear the alarm and rolled out of bed around 8am. We both showered, and then went to breakfast with Corri at the restaurant she works at -- Biscuits Cafe.
I rarely eat out for breakfast. It generally is a huge waste of money to me. And I'd much rather just have my green smoothie. But I sucked it up today and went all out. Since Corri works there, the waitress brought us out a giant cinnamon roll for an appetizer (who gets an appetizer with breakfast?). I mean, it was huge and oh so good. Warm and just soaked with butter cream frosting. And about the time we were getting through that, they brought out some sort of strawberry shortcake or something? It was warm biscuits, fresh strawberries, and a giant MOUND of whip cream. Who eats this stuff for breakfast!?
Needless to say, none of us were hungry when our giant full breakfasts came. I tried to be healthy with a veggie omelette. But I ate the biscuits and fresh jam first...then some potatoes...and then I was too full for the eggs. See! Such a waste!
After sitting around and talking at the restaurant, we finally hit the road to Tillamook at 10:30.
The deal with Tillamook... When I first moved to Tahoe and Shannon was my instant BFF, we would always take the individually wrapped Tillamook cheeses from our bosses fridge for a snack. They were for his kids, but we were so addicted to them. So when we decided to come up to Oregon and realized the Tillamook cheese factory was just over an hour away from Portland, we had to go. In fact, we said at the same time, "That was our thing!" so yeah, we had to go check it out.
Of course we got stuck in traffic, just like we did last night. We're two for two on Portland traffic. The bridges are not good here! But once we got out of the city, the view was incredible! Green trees covered in moss, waterfalls, rushing rivers and little windy roads. The two hour drive went by quickly. Even Wembley enjoyed hanging out the windows in the Oregon country side.
She got to get out for a pee break, but she wasn't allowed inside Tillamook Cheese.
Inside, there were lots of very large people eating buckets of ice cream. Literally. Small buckets. Full of ice cream. I couldn't' believe it!
A few facts were learned on our self guided tour of the factory: They make over 1 million pieces of cheese a week. They are the second biggest cheese retailer in the nation. The place is all machines and like 12 actual people working.
We snagged two big buckets that used to have ice cream in them. For what, I have no idea. But Shannon wanted them, so I picked them up for her. (We put Wembley in one of them for a picture.)
We got some chocolate and an ornament in the gift shop and left for the beach.
The coast and Oceancity was just 20 minutes away from Tillamook. Oregon really isn't a very big state! We quickly found a free parking spot and started walking with no plan. It was 1:30 in the afternoon by that point.
The weather was perfect in the upper 60's. The sun was out and the waves were crashing on the beach. The mountains in the distance. It was beautiful! And Wembley just loved it. She ran and ran and ran. She chased birds and chased dogs and chased frisbees. We ended up walking for over an hour before Shannon realized her knee was kind of hurting. It's broken, remember. Well, she has a stress fracture in her knee cap. But this was the longest she's walked since hurting it in early February. So we turned it around and made it back to the car around 3:30.
After a couple more stops at viewpoints and for a Kansas road sign, we hit the road back to Corri's house in Portland. Well, after another stop in Tillamook at the cheese factory for some food. Shannon had her heart set on a grilled cheese sandwich -- even though she doesn't eat cheese or any dairy for that matter. But whatever. We went back and I went in to order while she kept Wembley outside. We couldn't decide who had it worse. I was inside surrounded with people eating buckets of ice cream, and she was outside where it smelled like cow poop. To make the situation a little worse, it took FOR.EVER. to get the grilled cheese sandwiches...and they sucked. I mean seriously, how can you make a bad grilled cheese? Especially at a cheese factory!? We were so disappointed, unsatisfied, and sick from all the grease. We had to eat apples and oranges just to compensate for all of that!
So back to Portland now, hopefully to meet Corri for dinner. Buuuuut we hit traffic. Again. Three for three. Every time we've drove through or near Portland, we've got stuck in traffic for a minimum of 20 minutes. Today was 37. And I had to pee! We even tried to just go around it, but there aren't many bridge options to get where we needed to go. So we had to U-turn and go back to sit in the traffic. Ugh. We found what we thought looked like a shorter route though. I think it was, it just happened to take us right through the ghetto. So that was fun.
Washington and Oregon are separated by the river, so this was the only picture I could get of a state sign.
We made it to Corri's neighborhood around 6:30 and went straight to Safeway. I still had to pee, and we needed something semi-healthy for dinner. We loaded up on fruits and eggs -- and chips. Still way better than what we ate all day!
Shannon saw a tennis ball in the parking lot and backed up for me to pick it up for Wembley. She needed a new toy since I lost her frisbee in the blackberry brambles yesterday. She got so excited for the ball, and for some reason I thought tossing it over to Shannon would be a good idea. While she was driving. Well of course the ball went down to her feet, and of course Wembley went diving down there to get it. A crazy dog between your feet while you're trying to drive isn't a good thing. I thought there was at least a small chance we were going to die. Wembley was down there fighting her legs to get the ball, I was down there with my hands trying to grab her or the ball or something just to end the madness. And Shannon was just trying to keep us on the road between the commotion at her feet and laughing so hard she was crying. We are quite the scene sometimes.
We made it back to Corri's and just like we said we would, we only had fruit and veggies for dinner. Cantaloupe and strawberries and carrots. Oh and those chips, too, but they were the healthy kind! We boiled the eggs and were doing pretty well...but then Corri and her husband got out cookies and granola and ... yeah. We had to try all of that! Ugh. Not a good food day. Not at all.
We sat around the table and talked and watched tv for the rest of the evening. Off to bed around 9:30 (early, I know!) - and hopefully we will actually hear the alarm tomorrow. Waterfalls, Mt. St. Helens, Seattle, Vancouver...another full day of adventures in the Pacific North West!
(Wembley still thinks she needs to sleep in my spot in bed...)