I needed a trip to get back on the solo travel horse. It had been while since I had traveled by myself, but my new reality is that I won’t always have someone to travel with, and if I want to keep traveling, I knew I had better get used to doing it by myself again.
I booked a long weekend trip to Astoria, Oregon in November, 2016. Close enough to drive to, in case I decided I really wanted to come home early. Far enough away that it wouldn’t be too easy to come home early…
Thursday, November 10, 2016
I headed out mid-morning on Thursday, for the long drive. Traffic wasn’t too bad and I made it to Astoria about 3 pm, enough time to do just a little touristing before the light faded for the day. I headed out to Fort Stevens State Park, to walk on the beach and see the Peter Iredale. I have blogged about the Peter Iredale before, but this trip I had more time to walk along the beach and enjoy the ocean. The tension of the long car ride melted away as I walked along the beach. It was too cloudy to catch a beautiful sunset, but it wasn’t raining, and it was warm! Certainly more than one can typically hope for on a November Northwest day.
I checked into my hotel and discovered it was just a short walk away from the pier where the sea lions like to hang out! It was dark when I got there that first evening, but I could definitely hear them! I know some people think they are loud and a nuisance, but I was excited about the idea of waking up to their barks in the morning!
Dinner was at the Rogue Brewery in Astoria. I walked there from the hotel and parked myself at the bar. I had the Sriracha Tacos and the Fruit Salad Cider, which is made with Rogue Farms Cherries, Rogue Farms Plums, Apples, Pears, Marionberries, Peaches & Apricots; Pacman Yeast – they pack a lot in there! I also had a schooner sized Chocolate Stout. I chatted with some Canadians who were making their way back up north, and got hit on by a drunken guy almost 20 years my junior. Thankfully, the bartender seemed ready to intervene on that one if needed…
A good night all in all, capped off by hearing the sea lions barking some more on my way back to the hotel. I left the window open so I could hear them as I drifted off to sleep…
Friday, November 11, 2016
Friday I slept in; it was a holiday after all! After a leisurely morning, I headed out into a beautiful late fall day. Of course, I made a beeline for the sea lions, to check them out in the daylight! There were so many of them – I spent awhile watching them and taking pictures.
Then I headed downtown, and poked around in the shops and antique stores. I had no agenda and nowhere to be and it was glorious!
My late lunch was at T Paul’s Urban Cafe. I had the Hood River salad – grilled chicken breast served over spring greens w/ fresh Anjou pear, fuji apples, candied walnuts, tomato, bleu cheese crumbles & bleu cheese dressing. Yum! I had a beer too – just because! Why not when you are on vacation!
After lunch, I did some more wandering and ended up finding a little thrift shop that had 2 Howard Pierce geese for my collection for $15. Score!
I wrapped up my afternoon wandering at the Fort George Brewery. I have been there once before and the beer is awesome! I ended up having the Seafood Chowder and 2 Willapa Bay oyster shooters, along with an IPA and a Pekko Pale Ale. Everything I had was delicious!
I also checked out the Albatross & Co., a cocktail bar around the corner. The drinks were fabulous, and the atmosphere was very eclectic and cool. I sat on a couch near an electric fireplace – you know the kind with those fake flames. A great place to end the evening, before heading back to the hotel.
It was a great two days, and I still had two left!