Monday, August 29, 2011

West Coast Road Trip - Day 1: Seattle to Cannon Beach

Every August, Alex and I try to do a little traveling. Last year it was Greece for our honeymoon. This year, we decided to take a road trip down the west coast from Seattle, Washington to San Diego, California. It’s a trip we’ve been dreaming about for awhile. So, we set out on an adventure across the great United States.

After a long, but relatively smooth flight from Ronald Reagan International to Sea-Tac Airport, we had finely arrived. We headed to the car rental place where we were greeted by a few of the nicest, late-night Hertz workers you could ever imagine. We got fantastic customer service and a pretty sweet discount and upgrade. We were pretty excited, but nothing could compare to our jaw dropping realization that we’d be driving down the coast in a giant Chevy Impala. It’s got chrome, wood inside, and began blaring rap music the moment we turned on the engine. We drove a quick 40 minutes into the city and stopped for our first night at the Homewood Suites by Hilton of Seattle.

Thanks to a little bit of jet lag, we woke up bright and early and decided to go for a run to the Space Needle. After we showered and ate some complimentary hotel continental breakfast, we headed out to Pike Place market.

 On our way, we stopped at a neat little sculpture garden and took a few pictures.

When we arrived at Pike Place, it was a zoo of coffee drinkers, flying fish thrill seekers, and handmade craft vendors.

We spent a few hours poking in and out of shops and boutiques, and decided it was time for a snack.

 We stopped at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory where we bought some salted caramels and chocolate covered cherry cordials.

Totally delish, and oh so salty.

Next we headed back through the market and into Bell Town.

We had a little time to kill before our lunch stop opened, so we decided to do a little neighborhood exploring. 

One of the things Alex and I like to do when traveling is climb really tall, really steep hills. I’m not particularly in love with heights or anything; there just isn’t any better way to really see a city. So up we went, into the hills of Seattle where we got some great views of the Space Needle. We were careful to watch out for upside down trucks, as well. There seemed to be an epidemic in the neighborhood.

On our way down, we checked out the Space Needle up close one more time, and then headed to lunch at Two Bells Bar and Grill.

If you happened to come to our wedding, you might have sat at the Two Bars Bell and Grill table. It’s one of our top 10 favorite bars in the country. Not only do they have fantastic local beers on tap, wonderfully nice and informative staff, but they also have the best burgers in the United States. We’ve had some pretty good burgers in our lives, but these ones are tops. Smothered with local Tillamook Cheddar and presented on a buttery, toasty, French baguette, it doesn’t get any better.

After lunch, and a lot of recommendations for stops in Portland, Crater Lake, and Big Sur, we headed off to Washington’s State Capitol, Tacoma to check out their world famous art museum. 

The Tacoma Art Museum was really neat, heavily focused on Dale Chihuly a glass blower from Tacoma, who I have always found to be pretty cool.

I really thought this tea cup was kind of neat too.

Before getting back on the road, we took in the view from the top of the museum, and sent a few pictures off to our friend Chris, who happens to be from Tacoma and grew up just down the street from Dale Chihuly. It’s a small world.

Back on the road, we headed to Astoria, Oregon.

If you grew up in the ‘90s, you might have been slightly obsessed with a little Ataris album called “So Long, Astoria.” If you grew up in the ‘80s, you probably know Astoria is where The Goonies was filmed. If you are Alex and I, you know you couldn’t drive through Astoria without making a stop or two.

First stop, the Goondocks. We parked, and headed up to the house on foot, being mindful of the owners request and appreciating their kindness for allowing trespassers at all.

We took a few photos of the house.

Then took a few photos of the bridge.

And then got back on our way. Next stop: Cannon Beach, Oregon.


  1. Awesome pics!! I've never gone on a road trip before, I definitely want to get to it some day soon!

  2. Yay! Happy 1 year, Tighes!! Also, hopefully he told you, but Christopher won't be going to SF this week. Irene screwed up all the flights :( I wish he could have seen you guys so I could live vicariously through the visit!

  3. If you hit the wrong note, we'll all B flat!

    Ugh. Happy Anniversary, by the way.

  4. Thanks Bianca! Em, thanks for letting us know about Christopher. Such a bummer. We just got to San Fran. It's a lovely 53 degrees, but sunny. I wish you were here! Hope school is going well!

  5. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip from Portland to Crescent City at the end of May and are overwhelmed with choices of things to see, do and places to go...soooooooo glad I found your blog!!!

  6. Hi Brandi! This was one of our all time favorite vacations. Let me know if you need anymore info on any of the stops we made. Happy planning!

  7. Olympia is the capital of Washington not Tacoma. Just FYI and to put the record straight.