At long last, we’ve arrived at the Pacific Ocean. This is a photo of our Honda CRV looking out at the water and no doubt panting after a 12-hour drive the day before and an additional six hours before we arrived in Newport, Oregon yesterday.
We’re staying at the Elizabeth Street Inn, which sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific and where all the rooms are oceanfront. Our king suite has a microwave, refrigerator and gas fireplace. Heaven. As I type this, the door is open to our balcony and a delicious (though cool) evening breeze is floating in, bringing with it the crash of the waves far below.
We spent our first day at the beach today – not at the beach at all. We drove inland to the Willamette Valley for a day of wine tasting, starting at the Adelsheim vineyard, where we had a delightful tour and tasting and bought far too much wine. This is a photo of us with Eddie, the winery dog, who wandered in front of us as one of the staffers kindly took the picture. They were horrified and apologetic, but we loved the resultant photo.
From Adelsheim we went to lunch at the Yamhill Grill in Newberg, OR (very good burgers). From there we moved on to the Argyle Winery, then the Erath Winery, then some other winery next door to them. We could have kept tasting and tasting and still not visited all the wineries that were open to the public. The afternoon was waning and we wanted to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum, so we bid the Land of Pinot Noir a fond farewell and moved on. On arrival at the Evergreen, we were tickled to discover that they, too, have a winery (yes, I know; who’da thunk it?) and we had a taste of their wares, too.
Our main reason for visiting the Evergreen Aviation Museum is that it was built to house Howard Hughes’ enormous wooden aircraft, the Spruce Goose. There’s a bunch of other aircraft there, but they’re all dwarfed by the Hughes plane. John was fascinated and spent a lot of time chatting to the gentleman who was manning the exhibit (you can actually go inside the thing, which is cavernous as airplanes go).
We stayed at the Evergreen until they practically threw us out, and then noodled around the grounds for a while. There are a bunch of old tanks and other armored vehicles parked outside the museum, literally put out to pasture. John found a plane with special signficance.
Finally, we went back to the hotel, stopping at a grocery store along the way to pick up some steaks. I George’d them and baked some potatoes in the microwave – then, by way of experiment, grilled some buttered bread on the George and made Texas toast. It turned out pretty well. We opened up a bottle of Erath Pinot Noir (their Juliard blend) and had ourselves a feast, then sat out on the balcony and finished the bottle, while below us other visitors romped on the beach. Writing big messages in the sand seems to be the order of the day; one said “Hi Mom!” and another read “Nat + Ron 4 Years.” We’d watched the young man start the message while his wife stood nearby with their baby and observed; finally she took the baby inside but he continued to work in the cold breeze, finishing his message. It was splendidly romantic.