Friday, August 26, 2011

When a Plan Comes Together: Cannon Beach

When I first started planning our trip away I had a very tropical plan in mind. Cabo is only a few hours away by plane and the thought of lying on the beach drinking (non-alcoholic) margaritas sure seemed dreamy. Thatboy wasn't so big on the idea of Mexico. Thatmom suggested Denver, but that was also vetoed.

I started doing some research on "romantic cities." I know most people love San Francisco for that kind of trip, but frankly, you couldn't pay me enough to make an additional San Francisco trip given that we're outside the city multiple times a year to visit the inlaws.

Portland came up on the radar and sounded like a good idea, but the more I researched, the more I thought maybe outside Portland would be nicer. Something along the Oregon Coast, which was supposed to be beautiful. I narrowed down the possibilities to Cannon Beach. I showed a picture of the gorgeous coastline to Thatboy who immediately began to hyperventilate. "THAT'S THE GOONIES BEACH!" Goonies is only Thatboy's favorite movie of all time. Even still, I was a little skeptical that he could recognize a beach from a movie based on a single picture of rocks. But you know what? He was totally and completely right. And totally and completely on board with the entire idea of Cannon Beach.

(This is in German, but will give you an idea for the area. The following scene was filmed in Cannon Beach at Ecola State Park. There's a little artistic licensing with regard to the fact that Haystack Rock appears both behind and in front of Mikey, but I'll remind you that Goonies is a work of fiction.)

Where we stayed:

Given that we were married at the Surf and Sand, this seemed like a fitting place to celebrate and anniversary! And the place was absolute perfect. Steps away from the beach, complete with a fireplace across from the bed and fresh coffee from the roasters across the street.

Thatboy was SO excited about the tempurpedic mattress. He talked about it all night and how he always wanted to try one out. And then we couldn't sleep that night. He was disappointed, but spent the next day telling me how he agreed with me that our next bed would be a Westin Heavenly bed. Which is my bed of choice.

Our view of the famed haystack rock from the bed. Our last night there it started getting grey and rainy, so we curled up in bed, watching the rain and the rock in front of the fireplace.

What we did:

Well obviously the first thing we did was take pictures with the giant Seaman outside the hotel on the way to the beach.

See that sweater there? Thatboy made me wear it. I got about as far as the beach before it had to come off because it was so warm and beautiful out. We were even able to walk in the water a bit.

And walk on the beach we did. When we first arrived at the beach, the fog was obscuring Haystack Rock for a bit.

But as if on cue, when we arrived on the sand, the fog started rolling away to give us the view we were looking for.

Thatboy spent his time walking up the beach and looking for the Fratelli's restaurant. When he wasn't holding up an imaginary coin with holes that fit the locations of the rock. I should probably point out that he had specifically asked if I could schedule in some time to look for One-Eyed Willie's treasure.

Of course, we had to take in the local wildlife...

Seriously there were a gazillion dead birds on the beach - or I should say dead bird wings. Anyone with a clue as to the cause of dead bird wings all over? My theory is sharks, Thatboy disagreed but couldn't come up with a better explanation.

We headed over to Ecola State Park for some good hiking and other Goonie views.

This is apparently the scene where One-Eyed Willie's ship heads out into the ocean. Which Thatboy tried to explain to a little girl. Except neither she nor her mother had ever seen the Goonies and couldn't understand what Thatboy was talking about. And I'm sure it sounded far dirtier than it actually was.

We went on a 3 mile hike, with the first half being almost completely uphill. The second half was described as "treacherous." Thatboy called me superwoman a couple of times as we meandered our way through dense forest, overgrown brush, and over giant tree trunks. The goal of the hike? A view of Tillamook Lighthouse. (Which would be ever so much better if I had my camera and not just my little bloggie). By the way, click on that lighthouse link. The story behind it is truly worth of a Hollywood epic. It's amazing and jaw dropping.

Where we ate:

Bill's Tavern:

As soon as we arrived in Cannon Beach, Thatboy wanted to go find a place where we could sit down for some local beer. A quick walk into town found us at Bill's Tavern. Which turned out to be an excellent choice. First, because they obviously care about the well being of my unborn child.

Second, because they brew their own beer, which Thatboy always appreciates. AND he really liked one of their beers, which is even better!

Third, because while Thatboy was trying all their beers, I was drinking some of their "other brew" - root beer! Now, I preface this by saying I'm not usually a rootbeer girl. I don't drink soda in general, and when I do, it's usually not root beer which is a little overpowering for me. But since they made their own, I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm so glad I did. It was the best root beer I've ever had in my life. Sweeter than any rootbeer I've ever had and the anise bite that kicked in toward the end was subtle and perfect.

: The food here was so good! Thatboy won the ordering with his mushroom ravioli topped with dungeness crab. Creamy and rich, he couldn't finish it after being so full from the beers at Bills and the free beer that magically showed up on our table when the bar poured him two by accident. I also went for dungeness crab, stuffed along with spinach and cheese into my roast chicken.

Pig and Pancake
: The name says it all. While Thatboy enjoyed his taco omelet, the real star here was definitely the pancakes. I got buckwheat, which should definitely be more common. Way too much of a portion, but since I love cold pancakes I was able to wrap up my leftovers for some after-hike snacking.

Bruce's Candy Kitchen:

Okay we didn't really eat here, but after watching them make fresh taffy, and tasting it, we knew we'd be bringing a giant bag home.

We're still making our way through the fabulous taffy. So far Thatboy's favorite has been the "butter" flavored. He'd like a whole bag of them on their own. I'm really into the peach.

The Lumberyard: We visited the Lumberyard after spending 4 hours running around Ecola State Park. We were hungry! We both wanted to order burgers. The smallest burger on the menu was the 2x4, which came with 2 patties. I really don't need 2 patties. I'm not a Big Mac/Double Double kind of girl. When our GIGANTIC burgers showed up, Thatboy noted we probably should have just split one. Ummmm did I mention the 4 hours at Ecola Park? The 3 mile strenuous hike? We both completely finished our burgers. And most of our fries. (Actually, Thatboy might have eaten all of his fries)

Sleepy Monk Coffee
: We grabbed some coffee and breakfast at the coffee shop that had been supplying us with our coffee during the trip. Thatboy wishes we had a coffee shop like this by us, with giant tables and oversized pillows. I was dumbfounded by the gorgeous pastries, trying to figure out which I wanted, switching my mind numerous times before deciding on the marionberry bar. Which was unbelieveable. Buttery, sweet, like a crisp you could pick up with your hand. Only more buttery. Did I mention the butteriness?

We had such an amazing time on this trip we were sad to have to leave and head home. But we're already planning a return trip. And one after that. And pricing property in the area so we can return again and again. We've even mapped out a driving route so we can bring Thatdog with us next time. It was the perfect little getaway, and the last we'll have for quite a while since we're definitely nearing the homestretch.


  1. Oregon and the coast is on my bucket list of places to visit. It is also a foodie Stae with world class cheeses, the Willamette Valley Marionberries plus the facty that whenever I am in the States I buy Tillamook cheese and dairy.

  2. great round up! I need to go out west.

  3. I just can't get over how adorably pregnant you are.

  4. Looks like a nice relaxing trip. I love how he recognized it as the beach from Goonies based on a single picture. I also quite enjoyed watching the clip in German. They did a good job with the voice selection for the dubbing.

    Speaking on San Francisco -- I think we're taking a trip there in the winter (R for work, me to tag along).

  5. You weren't far from where Micahel's family has their beach house. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Oregon coast; it is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I don't know anything about the bird wings, though...

  6. That sounds fabulous. Joe also really loves The Goonies. I can't believe that didn't come up in conversation.

  7. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Someday, I hope we can get to Oregon. And I just saw the goonies for the first time this year!