Category Archives: Restaurants

Birthday = Awesome afternoon in Downtown Portland = most amazing massage and salmon dinner ever

In case anyone was wondering, my husband is more sweet and thoughtful and awesomer than yours.

Yes, “awesomer” is a word, even though Microsoft keeps putting that stupid little red line underneath it.

He gave me a surprise spa day for my birthday and then we had dinner at one of Portland’s most popular restaurants, Portland City Grill.  The whole thing was a surprise, which was actually kind of stressful for me.  How was I supposed to decide what to wear if I didn’t know what we were going to do?  Isaac kept telling me to wear whatever I wanted, and he picked out a dress for me to bring, but still….

I got a facial and full body massage, and then my hair was styled for dinner.  Isaac showed up all dressed up and took me to the 30th floor of the US Bancorp Tower for Portland’s best of the city.  How did he get away with dressing up without me knowing, you ask?  I wondered too…he told me he was going to Macy’s to “return a pair of slacks” (which was actually true) but he bought a nice shirt while he was there and he had worn his nice shoes because he “didn’t have anything besides flip flops.”  Sneaky, sneaky.

Best dinner ever.  

Plus there was a signed birthday card and birthday confetti sprinkled all over the table when we got there.   And the complimentary chocolate soufflé was quite possibly the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten.

Does anyone else love birthdays as much as me?  Or am I just acting like a twelve year old?

Travel Guide: Central Oregon Coast

Central Oregon Coast: Umpqua Dunes, Florence, Cape Perpetua

Some good friends got married over the weekend.  We planned to make a mini-vacation out of it and stay overnight in Reedsport but by the time I got around to calling about a room at the hotel, the block was booked.  Since we didn’t really want to spend a hundred bucks on a room anyway, we threw our backpacks in the car and figured we would try to find a place/beach to camp on.  And if not, we would just drive home.  It’s only a three hour drive from Salem anyway.

So, if you’re looking for an overnight trip – and maybe trying to get out of the 90 degree weather in the Willamette Valley – this is a perfect trip.

On your way to the Coast, make sure to stop at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area.  It’s just a few miles outside Reedsport and there were at least a dozen bull elk in the fields right off the road.

The largest sand dunes in America are found on the Central Oregon Coast.  It’s 40 miles of dunes and they’re absolutely breath-taking…not something you’d be expecting on the Coast.

We snagged the last spot (!) at Waxmyrtle Campground in the Siltcoos Recreation Area before heading into Florence dinner and some firewood.  We watched a group of 4-wheelers on the Dunes and hiked to Siltcoos Beach for this view of the sunset.  Gorgeous.

No camping trip is complete without dinner from a can and roasting marshmallows around the campfire

Old Town Florence is the quintessential beach town.  Gift shops, restaurants, coffee shops.  Adorable.  Have lunch at ICM (short for International C-Food Market.  Clever.)  Reasonable prices, friendly service, and delicious seafood.  I had fish and chips and my husband had clam chowder.  Yum.

Before heading out to explore the Coast, get some coffee at Suislaw River Coffee Roasters.  My mocha was perfect.  And super pretty too :)

Cape Perpetua Visitors Center is 18 miles north.  Take the “tidepool” trail and play on the rocks.  We didn’t see any animals but the crashing waves were worth the mile there and back.

Back at the Visitors Center, follow the St. Perpetua Trail Signs.  The guidebook rates this trail “difficult” and they aren’t lying.  It’s uphill the entire 803 feet up the side of the mountain but it’s worth it.  The fog made everything soft and glowing.

I want to go back now, please :)