To stretch the “new car”:http://troyandgay.com/blog/2008/01/05/new-car-2008-lexus-ls-460/’s legs, we drove to Cannon Beach, Oregon to spend a couple days.
We left Tuesday morning and drove for almost five hours, including ferry-waiting. The car is the most comfortable car I’ve driven ever, I didn’t even begin to get fatigued driving it, something that happens to me after about 3 hours in any other car. The seats are almost as comfortable as my Aeron desk chair and in interior is almost silent even on the highway at 80MPH. And the navigation system is much easier to use and with a higher-res screen than the Jeep Commander’s. Havana did well the entire drive too (but not on the way back).
We checked into “The Ocean Lodge”:http://www.theoceanlodge.com/ hotel around 3pm, relaxed for a bit watching the New Hampshire primary returns on CNN and then went out to dinner at Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse. The food was okay, we both had fish and chips, but the beer was lousy. It’s the first brewpub I’ve been to where the house beers were undrinkable. The only beer I could get half down was their brown ale, and I don’t like brown ales, which shows how bad their other beers were. We didn’t meet the owner so he didn’t get the chance to tell us how terrible we are as parents like he did to “these people”:http://www.mytravelguide.com/restaurants/profile-46704705-United_States_Oregon_Cannon_Beach_Bills_Tavern_Brewhouse.html. But I wish we did have an encounter like that so I could tell him I’m still a better parent than he is a brewer.
On Wednesday, we drove down Highway 101 to the “Tillamook Cheese Factory”:http://tillamookcheese.com/VisitorsCenter/. That was a fun and scenic drive down the coastline. Tillamook is a huge business but the factory is surprisingly small. There were only a couple dozen employees there. I guess making cheese isn’t that labor-intensive. The bacteria does all the hard work, I guess (free labor!).
On advice from a woman at the Tillamook factory, we had lunch at “Pirate’s Cove”:http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g51877-d654438-Reviews-Pirate_s_Cove_Restaurant-Garibaldi_Oregon.html. The food wasn’t very good but we got the funniest video yet of Havana, which made it worthwhile. Here she’s constantly waving, something we’ve been trying to teach her for weeks:
Notice in the video that while it looks like she suddenly sees someone outside the window she wants to wave at, there’s nothing out there but ocean. She even does an on-demand clapping at the end. And here she is washing her food down with some milk:
We drove back to Cannon Beach so Gay could do some shopping while I stayed with a sleeping Havana in the car:
The car has power door-closers which are a godsend when you have a sleeping baby in the car. In the Jeep, we have to quietly close the doors but push them until they lock, but in the Lexus, you lightly close them and it quietly pulls the door closed and Havana can sleep like a baby. I wonder if Lexus thought about babies when they made this feature.
We had dinner that night at “The Wayfarer”:http://www.wayfarer-restaurant.com/. The time to take a baby out to restaurants in a resort town is off-season. All the places we ate were empty or near-empty, which makes it less nerve-racking when the baby decides to scream with delight while she eats. The food here was very good.
Thursday morning we tried to get a photo of Havana on Cannon Beach before we drove home, but it was raining so hard it wasn’t a great opportunity:
We drove through Astoria and right by the “Rogue Public House”:http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/13505, which is uniquely located out on a pier in the Columbia River. It was 11:30am so we kept going before realizing that the next food stop is in Kelso or Longview, not culinary destinations. So we turned around to go back to the Rogue pub.
We were glad we did, we had the best food of the trip there and the beers were great. Plus, having beer for me meant that Gay had to drive the rest of the way home, her first time driving the car. I had a “Kobe beef”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_beef burger with bleu cheese, Gay had a BLT and Havana had a Kobe beef hot dog, which is the best hot dog I’ve ever had. I bought three growlers of their beer to take home too: Festivus, their seasonal beer with a typical malty and sweet flavor, “Menage-a-Frog”:http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/132/34556, a Belgian style tripel (I normally don’t like Belgians, but this is delicious), and their “Brutal Bitter”:http://www.rogue.com/brews.html#brutal.
See the “entire photo set”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/troyh/collections/72157603688820446/