Our second day in Oregon started out with an even greater appreciation of this beautiful state.
The day started out with walking down the street from our downtown hotel for a gourmet breakfast.
Okay, not really. But we did walk down the street toward Pioneer Square, we ended up eating at McDonald’s for breakfast.
Although our road trips typically find us in a new place each day – there are a few things that we do each day.
The first being, my mother stopping by the nearest Starbucks for coffee.
Sometimes, it isn’t always easy to find a Starbucks, but, in the Northwest, there is just about one on every street corner.
The first stop on our itinerary today was to visit Portland’s Saturday Market, which is the largest continually running arts and crafts market in the country.
The vendors have to make the items that they sell and each item must be approved. So, you can imagine that the quality of what was offered was quite high.
There was a unique variety of things to tempt shoppers, including the booth filled with items made from old silverware. I must confess that I was tempted to buy the hummingbird wind chime, made from old butter knives, forks and spoons.
Another booth offered duct tape wallets, custom made to order, which made a great birthday gift for my son. I enjoyed watching them make it.
How about a custom-made garden gnome made in your likeness while you watch?
If you are into bonsai, there were several types of bonsai plants you could choose from.
I liked this succulent shadow box, but there was no drainage for the succulents, which would be a problem eventually.
Other items included hand carved children’s toys, beautiful woodwork kitchen utensils, clothing, jewelry and much more.
At the end of one aisle was a florist booth with buckets of fresh flowers.
The florists created absolutely beautiful bouquets and I would have gotten one if possible.
Those interested in henna tattoos, having their palms read or buying bracelets and necklaces made from hemp, also had places to shop.
The Saturday Market was the place to be on the weekend and it was fun to people watch.
Of course, there were street performers and best of all, lots of food trucks.
There was so much to do and see there, that we had to go back to our car and put more $ in the meter.
After a fun morning of shopping, we headed back to our car and passed by the Oregon Duck store…
As an ASU alum, I decided to pass right on by and tried to forget the last game I went to when the Ducks were playing and leveled our team.
It was time to leave Portland, but I could have easily spent a few more days there. But, the nature of our road trips is to spend only 1 day in each area before moving on. So we concentrate of a few activities and usually make plans to return at a later date to spend more time there.
Our next stop was the coastal town of Astoria. On the way, we visited the small town of Tillamook. Now for those of you who think that name sounds familiar, you would be right.
Tillamook is the home of Tillamook Cheese and they offer free factory tours and cheese tasting. So of course, we made a stop since enjoying regional food is a large part of our trip.
The factory was large and tourists packed the parking lot in front while trucks delivering fresh milk from the county’s farms were in the back. You could also see 18-wheeler trucks ready to deliver the finished product to stores.
The factory is a huge draw and I was surprised at how many people were there. There is a cafe, ice-cream shop and a self-guided tour where you can go and observe the cheese making itself.
After watching blocks of cheese coming out, we were hungry and headed downstairs for the cheese tasting.
My favorite was the medium cheddar.
After buying some cheese in the adjoining gift shop, we found ourselves in the long, but fast-moving, line for Tillamook ice cream. We shared a bowl, which was delicious. I should mention now, that we leave behind our mostly healthy eating habits whenever we go on our road trips.
We got back on the road for Astoria, where we would be spending the night. While you may have never heard of Astoria, you’ve certainly heard of a very famous movie that was made there called ‘The Goonies’.
It was dinner time by the time we arrived and we headed for the ‘Wet Dog Cafe and Brewery’ which was located on the Columbia River.
You could see the ships passing by at the windows where we sat.
While I like to eat at breweries, I don’t particularly enjoy beer.
But with names like these, I wish I did!
Tomorrow, we are off to explore the area around Astoria, including a look at the house from ‘The Goonies’ before heading north to Seattle.
We are having a great time!