I got the idea for this road trip this summer. I was heading to Sequim with Nicole and we were rockin’ to the “Road Trip” playlist I made. It reminded me of my mom; she loved road trips. We took countless road trips down Highway 101 to the coast when we were kids and I hadn’t been back in almost as long.
I texted my sister Rachel right then and said, “Let’s take a road trip to the Oregon coast! It will be like old times!” She replied with an enthusiastic yes and several months later, we were booking hotel rooms for the trip.
We decided to start in Astoria where we’d see the landmarks from one of our favorite childhood (hell, it still is) movies, the Goonies. We put Cyndi Lauper on for the occasion.Â A stop at the visitors center got us a map with more sights than we really needed to see.
Rachel stayed in the car while I ran into a gas station to pick up a ceremonial Baby Ruth as Sloth would have liked. When I didn’t see them, I halfway expected them to be in some special spot for GooniesÂ nerds like us. But no, they didn’t have them.
We traveled through a surprise hail storm that made it look like the ground was covered in snow and eventually made it to Cannon Beach, where we stayed the first night. Our room was small, but cozy with a gas fireplace and an amazing view of the ocean. I delighted in the fact that I could see the Tillamook Rock Â Lighthouse from the bed.
We were all giggles that night, spilling our hot chocolate all over the place because we were laughing so hard. Crying, stomach-hurting giggles about what I don’t know. Although, I know why Rachel was laughing so hard…she loves to pull that one on people. Gets us every time!
In the morning, we picked up the most amazing savory roll from Waves of Grain bakery and took it to the beach with our coffee and tea. It was a lovely start to the most beautiful day!
The sun was breaking through the clouds as we walked up and down the beach near Haystack Rock. The weather was so surprisinglyÂ mild, we were stripping off layers of warm clothes so that by the time we were back at the car, we were ready to change into t-shirts and Toms.
The beautiful, sunshiny weather made for the most gorgeous drive south down the highway and stops in small towns along the way. A recommendation from a friend prompted us to stop in Manzanita and we were both glad we did. I’m still munching on the salt water taffy I picked up when we were there. Maple bacon taffy? Seriously? Yes.
On Sunday, after picking up a couple doughnuts from Voodoo in Eugene, where we stayed the next two nights, we headed back west to theÂ Sea Lion caves, a childhood favorite. We took the elevator down; there were only two options.
Even though it was rare this season, there were about 20 sea lions on the rock in the center of the cave. They made low, echoing sounds as they moved around on their bellies, vying for a better spot. I realized being there again how vague my memories of the place had been. It felt like I was visiting for the first time.
Before heading back inland to Eugene, we decided to head up Highway 101 north a ways to take in a bit more of the ocean views. We stopped off at a park where we could see the water and had ourselves a car picnic of Tuscan kale salad with farro. In true Stacy fashion, I made a ton of food for our road trip, which kept us well fed and only having to purchase a meal a day for the whole trip. Throughout the trip, we noshed on the arsenal of snacks I prepared: turkey sandwiches and sandwiches with peanut butter and ginger pear butter, homemade granola bars, Mom’s chocolate chip cookies, apple and carrot slices, kale chips, and oranges. Plus, a quart jar of almond milk for tea along the way.
We stopped in the town of Yachats before turning around and heading back. I had been told that a stop at the Green Salmon was in order since they had amazing coffee. We were so glad we did! They had the biggest selection of teas and coffees and hot chocolates I had ever seen. Rachel got some kind of latte and I had the Mayan hot chocolate. We were both in heaven, raving in between sips about how our drinks were so good. We wanted to savor them for as long as we could. I was grateful to have gotten that recommendation because it was well worth the extra drive.
On the last night of our trip, we ate dinner at the Pizza Research Institute in Eugene, which was known for having unique and delicious vegetarian and vegan pizzas. I started the meal with the most delicious cup of coconut curry yam soup! It was like sipping the sauce of my favorite Thai dish.
I also enjoyed a glass of a local pinot noir that tasted like cherries. Rachel and I shared a small pizza with spinach, feta, olives and artichoke hearts. We ate the rest of that “small” pizza for breakfast.
As I pulled up to Rachel’s place to drop her off at the end of our adventure, we both agreed that it was the best! Everything went so smoothly and we really had the best time! We’ve been realizing lately that even though we live so close to each other, it’s really easy to take this time and the short distance between us for granted. We took advantage of this opportunity to take a trip together that later, when she’s living in Nashville, where she’ll be next fall, would be a bit harder to arrange. We giggled, reminisced, and confided in each other this weekend like sisters do. And I am grateful.
You can’t catch a wave if you never get in the water!