Oregon Road Trip // Part 1 -- California Coast & Drive Through Wildlife Safari
Hey, remember that one time we went on a 9 day road trip and it's all I talked about up until we left and then... never again? That's the extreme procrastinator in me! 9 days worth of photos just seemed so overwhelming, so of course I waited long enough to not really remember what we did in what order. I have a horrible memory. I went back and forth about how many pictures to post, if I should split it up into a couple of posts or not and decided to do it in 2-3 parts so I could ramble as I please and post a lot of photos from each day. Looking back on this trip will be much more enjoyable if I don't have to squeeze a 9 day trip into 10 photos and 500 words, don't you think?
DAY 1: We left so early. Like 3-4am early and I took the first shift of driving because Blaine is terrible when it comes to mornings. I spent 3 hours getting us to the coast with a goal to be there to see the sun rise. We got there in time, but 15 minutes before we got to the coast I remembered that the sun rises on the east so... no sunrise over the ocean. Total brain fart. If you know me, things like this are to be expected.
The California coast is absolutely beautiful. We could have shaved a few hours off of our trip if we didn't take the coastal route, but I am so glad we took the route that we did because it was just gorgeous. We didn't do a lot of stopping, but we did a lot of admiring from the car.
We stopped for breakfast in Monterey at a mall that was barely open. When we pulled into the parking lot we realized we accidentally happened upon a small car show/meet, so Blaine perused that for a few minutes. I made him admire the car of a guy who looked lonely because no one was talking to him/looking at his car. I'm lucky to have found someone who puts up with my weird sensitivity for other people.
After Monterey we shot up the coast, drove through a redwood tree (see photo above) and then ended in Eureka, CA. A cute little, foggy little coastal town in northern California.
DAY 2: Once again we were up super early and ready to go! We drove up to Crescent City and had breakfast there. My dad mentioned that it was the one town in CA that reminded him of Wellfleet in Cape Cod the most. That's where he grew up and I'm in love with it so of course we had to stop. Of course he also mentioned that it was a tsunami zone and being the paranoid freak I am, it freaked me out. Other than that? It was such a cute little beach town! Blaine devoured a large amount of biscuits and gravy and freaked out because there were a lot of old cars driving around due to a car show over the weekend. Then we continued up the coast, drove through the most amazing moss covered redwoods, half-laughing at the "tsunami zone" signs in the middle of the forest when we couldn't even see the ocean. If I could just have a house in the middle of those creepy moss covered trees? Perfection. Except for the tsunami part.
Finally we made it to Oregon and we instantly fell in love. Our first official stop was the Drive Through Animal Safari in Winston, OR. The coolest EVER. We got up close and personal with a lot of awesome animals. An Emu stalked us and it was the creepiest experience ever. And a giraffe walked right by our car to get a drink of water. Then there were the adorable cheetah and dog bff's along with dozens of other animals, half of which I repeatedly asked Blaine if I could snuggle.
Afterwards we went to get lunch at a restaurant just outside the park because we had a coupon (thanks to Blaine's mom who got us an entertainment book!) and we assumed it was related to the animal park. Wrong. It was called Noah's Ark. Let me take a moment quickly say that Blaine and I are athiests, but do not judge any religion or try to tell anyone they are wrong in their beliefs just because we don't share them. However, we expect the same and don't appreciate having beliefs forced upon us. Blaine was hesitant because it was called Noah's Ark, but I insisted it was probably just an animal theme. He almost turned around, but because of the sign that said they aren't affiliated with any religion or church we gave it a shot. Fast forward to a huge room overflowing with borderline creepy religious memorabilia and being ushered into a room where a statue told us about the bible and Noah's Ark for 15 minutes. We decided to take our microwaved morningstar veggie burgers to go. The old couple who owned it were VERY sweet, but it was quite an overwhelming and sort of creepy experience, similar to people who reviewed it on Yelp. Definitely an experience we'll never forget!
After leaving the safari behind, we made our way up Oregon. The further we went north, the more we fell in love and wanted to move immediately. Eugene was gorgeous, Salem, too. Finally we made it to Portland by nightfall, booked a room via my Expedia app and checked in! It was around 9pm by the time we got to Portland so we went out to explore on foot and ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings. We were excited to find out they had a veggie burger and Blaine fell in love with that restaurant as soon as he saw how many sauces they had. After our late dinner we explored a bit more and walked back to the hotel to pass out after 2 days of almost non-stop driving.
Part 2 will be up in a day or two!