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Pacific Northwest Excursion - Day Four

Day One - Tacoma
Day Two - Hood River
Day Three - Hood River
Day Four - Depoe Bay
Day Five - Depoe Bay
Day Six - Cannon Beach
Day Seven - Port Angeles
Day Eight - Friday Harbor
Day Nine - Orcas Island
Day Ten - Seattle

Saturday, July 14, 2001

We were up early again and went back downstairs to Pasquale's for breakfast. This time Keith got the cheddar Omelette and Lori chose eggs benedict, sans meat. We checked out at 9:30, loaded up the car, and programmed Maggie to direct us to the day's stops. Our eventual destination was the central Oregon coast, but we had calculated we had at least a 3-hour drive, so we planned to make some stops. We drove east on Route 84 towards Portland. Several people we had met had encouraged us to stop in Portland. As we reached the city limits, the traffic got worse (although it was a Saturday) and we consulted each other to see if we wanted to go into the city. We decided to pass it by (neither of us are big city people) and head for the coast. Lori had chosen a couple wineries for us to stop at. The first was Argyle Winery, located right on Route 99 (691 Highway 99W, Dundee, OR 97115), 1-888-4ARGYLE. Lori had noticed in her research that they were right on the way and they had sparkling wine, hence our stop. We sampled their 1997 Brut, which was good, and the 1989 Extended Tirage Brut, which was spectacular. We marvelled that a sparkling wine aged 11 years could taste so fresh. We purchased one bottle of each (we would have bought more but remember we had to drink all we purchased before we returned home) and Keith bought a shirt. Argyle has a big white friendly cat named Snowball (you can read and see more about Snowball on their website) and Lori - who desperately missed our own cat Stephanie - spent a minute petting the very friendly cat.

We continued towards the coast and made it to Lincoln City around 1, where we decided to stop for lunch. We found a large restaurant called Kyllo's right on the beach along Highway 101 in Lincoln City, and stopped there. Kyllo's looks very new (we could not find it listed in any directories we picked up), and has a modern interior with lots of light wood. We were shown to a table overloking the beach - a spectacular view. The place was crowded, so we figured the food had to be good. It was. Keith had a huge chicken caesar salad, and Lori ordered the shrimp and crab sandwich, which was really a melt with cheese served open face over English muffins. There was so much shrimp she couldn't eat all of it, and it was accompanied by tasty french fries. It was a beautiful day, and there were people flying kites out on the beach.

There was a tide pool with weather worn logs across it, and it was pretty entertaining watching people trying to balance as they crossed the logs, hoping not to fall into the water. One woman got down on her knees and crawled, and it seemed several in the restaurant were laughing shamelessly (including us). We wondered if the restaurant had placed the logs there to entertain the customers. There was also a bar and outdoor dining available - all in all a very nice setting for a meal. Likely, it was probably a great setting in the evening watching the sunset over the water.

We finished lunch, but still had a couple hours before we could check in at our next inn, so we headed south on Route 101 towards Depoe Bay. We slowed down when we reached Depoe Bay - a scenic little town - and saw where we would be staying. We decided to venture a little further south on 101, and made our way to Newport. We stopped several times to take in the scenery along the coast and take some pictures. It was nothing like the New Jersey and Delaware beaches we were so familiar with, and we thought it was perhaps closer to what some of the Maine coast may look like. At Newport, we turned around and decided to try to check in a little early.

We reached our accommodations - Channel House Inn, 35 Ellingson Street, Depoe Bay, OR 97341, phone: 800-447-2140. We arrived at 3:30 and were greeted warmly by a smiling man behind the front desk who said of course we could check in; the only issue was that he had just placed the champagne in our room and it might not be cold yet. No problem - we were prepared with cold beverages in our handy-dandy styrofoam cooler.
He showed us to our room, which was #1 - The Admiral's Suite. As soon as we walked into the room, we felt like we were home. It was that good. It was on the top floor, on the corner facing the channel, and had a view of both the ocean and the chanel. This was the place Lori was most excited about, and it met and exceeded our expectations.
There was a separate bedroom that was ocean front with two huge windows overlooking the ocean and sliding doors that led out to the covered balcony, where there was a Jacuzzi on the deck. No, not a hut tub, but a genuine Jacuzzi with running water that was refilled every time you use it. The living room also had sliding doors out to the balcony and windows overlooking the channel.
A couch and chair were in soft, muted tones, and the room was trimmed in light wood. There was a wood-paneled gas fireplace. There was a wet bar and refrigerator, which thoughtfully included bottled water. There was a bottle of both white and red wine in the room which were available for purchase. (There was also additional wine available for purchase down in the lobby, and a plate of fresh cookies that were free.) There was a tv with cable and a DVD player. There was a pedestal sink and cabinet next to it in the room, and a separate water closet that contained the toilet and shower. Little extras like shampoo, conditioner, and bath grains were provided, along with two sets of towels and robes. The room also included a lot of local guides and information and was extremely helpful.

After bringing up our bags, we filled the tub on the deck. We sipped our champagne and relaxed out on the deck, watching the ocean. It was a windy day but beautiful and sunny. We were loving it. When we returned inside, Lori reserved a whale watching tour for the following afternoon (it is a good idea to call ahead, especially on weekends and in the summer). We decided on an early dinner so we could come back in time to watch the sunset and hopefully see some whales. We didn't want to drive far, but there was an Italian restaurant just two miles north on Route 101. We couldn't seem to reach them by phone, so we asked our friendly desk clerk. He said reservations were an absolute must on a Saturday night. He was very helpful, got them on the phone, told them he was calling from Channel House, and said he had a "nice couple" (guess he didn't know us very well) who were hoping to snag a table for an early dinner. He told us if we could get up there right away, they were holding a table for us. We took off, stomachs growling.

We went to the Italian Riviera Restaurant and Piano Bar, just north of Depoe Bay on Route 101. The mother of one of the owners greeted us warmly and showed us to our table. It didn't look very crowded (we were there at 5:30) but it filled up with people quickly. For an appetizer, we split roasted garlic, which was at least 50 cloves of garlic. It was accompanied by a huge scoop of goat cheese (more than we had ever seen), sun-dried tomatoes in a paste that tasted like a fine pizza sauce, and fresh Tuscan-style Italian bread. It was delicious, and we asked for more bread to enjoy as much of it as possible. Keith had a salad with gorgonzola cheese dressing. Lori was loving the option of chowder instead of salad offered in the Pacific Northwest, and had the Italian Riviera's version of clam chowder. Lori had the manicotti stuffed with ricotta cheese, with cream sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese and baked. Keith had the veal canelloni. The pasta was made fresh every morning and just melted in our mouths - it was wonderful. We ordered a bottle of local pinot blanc. We stopped into the piano bar, where Ric the owner was playing and singing. There were a lot of locals drinking, dancing, and enjoying themselves. We stayed for one drink, then headed back to our inn for some serious Jacuzzi time.

As we drove through Depoe Bay, we noticed everyone was mobbed along the bridge looking out to sea, and realized the whales must be out. We went up to our room and out on the deck - we saw several whales and they came right up to the sea wall. They were very close and it was amazing. If you have never seen whales, the experience can be very liberating and calming.
What was so amazing was they we could see these wild creatures in their element while sitting in the Jacuzzi on our deck! It was simply spectacular. We sipped some red wine and watched a mother whale swimming with her calf. We stayed outside until the sun went down and we finally lost the light, and went inside at 9:30. We shut the privacy shades on the windows and slept peacefully in our cocoon of a bedroom.

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