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Pacific Northwest Excursion - Day Six

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

Monday, July 16, 2001

We took our time on this, our last morning in Depoe Bay. We went downstairs for another great continental breakfast and feasted on fresh fruit, brioche, chocolate scones (sinful!), and strawberry coffee cake. After breakfast, we sat on the bed for a long time, gazing wistfully out to sea. We felt drawn to this place; we had since first setting foot in the inn. We simply were not ready to leave. We drew it out and waited until late morning to check out. We filled up the gas tank and got some fresh ice for the cooler, and programed Maggie for our next destination.

We were basically heading north on Highway 101. We had calculated that the distance to Cannon Beach was not great, so we were taking our time. We stopped at Cape Kiwanda for lunch - a planned stop. There is a huge, scenic rock seemingly plunked down in the ocean a few hundred yards from shore. When we got out of the car, it seemed warmer here - perhaps it was more protected. We noted that cars were allowed on the beach. We went to the Pelican brewpub. The dining room is full of dark wood and has plenty of windows that overlook the ocean and that big rock. We both had pretty darn tasty cheese burgers. Keith tried the IPA, then followed it up with their own brewed root beer. There was also outdoor dining available. They were setting up a volley ball court in the sand just outside of the restaurant as we were leaving.

Next we went to the town of Tillamook, where we were hoping to visit the big cheese place. We saw the Blue Heron, mistakenly thought it was the cheese place, and stopped there. The clouds in the sky was threatening and tourists were looking for indoors activities, and this place was mobbed. There was wine tasting as well as tasting of various dips and cheeses. The tasting was self-service, and as there was a petting farm outside, this looked like a recipe for disaster for us, so we opted not to taste any of the food. We did buy some Tillamook sharp cheddar and crackers. It was simply too crowded, so we left. Just as we got to the north end of town, the Tillamook Cheese place came up on our right, and we swerved in. The Tillamook County Creamery Association is located at 4175 Highway 101 North, Tillamook, Oregon 503-815-1300. This place was truly well done. It was very clean, had plenty of restrooms, and had its own food court. There were lots of tables and cash registers so no lines backed up. There was ice cream, fudge, cheese, pepperoni by the foot, and other goodies and accessories. There was a line that moved very quickly that allowed visitors to sample a few cheeses (curd, medium sharp, and monterey jack). We bought some monterey jack and a cheese slicer.

It was time to find our next accommodations in Cannon Beach. We found the Stephanie Inn, but it was too early to check in, so we checked out the town. Cannon Beach is home to Haystack Rock, the second largest free-standing monolith in the world, after the Rock of Gibraltar. During low tide, it is possible to walk to the rock, but during high tide, there is water between the rock and the shore. It was mid-afternoon, hence low tide, and we could see people out at the rock.

Cannon Beach allows people to build fires, something which we weren't used to seeing. Cannon Beach was a quaint, sleeply little seaside hamlet. It was drizzling while we were there, but there didn't seem to be a great deal to do. There were lots of galleries, free parking, and the majority of the buildings had wooden shingles, which looked very much like New England.

It was finally 4 p.m. and we checked into our room at the Stephanie Inn. The inn is on the beach south of town. The Stephanie Inn has approximately 50 rooms and they stake a claim to personalized service. We were greeted with a smile. Toby took our bags to our room and showed us where everything was. This is really an adult inn, and did not accept children under the age of 12.

We went down to the library for the wine social, where complimentary wine, cheese, and hors d'oeuvres are served from 4-5:30. We noted we were the youngest in the room (we heard other guests talking about their retirement), so after a glass of wine, we headed into town for dinner.

When we were in town earlier, we had decided on Schooner Bay for dinner. It was Monday, and several restaurants were closed. Schooner Bay is located on the main street and is upstairs above a gallery of shops. They have karaoke and live entertainment on selected nights. Lori had clam chowder and fried scallops. Keith had salad and a mediocre cajun chicken pasta. We had a bottle of local white wine. The decor was unique, and they were decidedly better for seafood. We went into the tiny bar for an after-dinner drink. It truly was a small bar, and the outdoor deck was even tinier. While we were there, it started to pour outside. A couple women in their early 20s were sitting out on the deck drinking beer and they stayed out there, even in the rain. We waited for the rain to subside, then went back to our car and back to our room.

We had reserved a second floor room on the ocean side. We had ordered the anniversary package, which included a bottle of sparkling wine (in the refrigerator), keepsake glasses, confetti bubblebath, a scented candle, dozen roses, chocolate, and rose petals on the bed at turndown.

The room was very spacious and was accented by wood. There was a gas fireplace in a style reminiscent of the southwest. There was a tv, a king-size bed, a CD player, VCR, mini-bar stocked with spring water and Coke, and a wet bar. The bathroom was also trimmed with wood and contained a corner Jacuzzi (yes, most of the whirlpools we had in the Pacific Northwest were the Jacuzzi brand), two vanities, a separate compartment for the toilet, and a stall shower. We lit the candle and found something to sit it on in the bathroom, filled the tub, and added the confetti bubble bath. We popped open the bubbly and sank into the corner tub, which was surprisingly comfortable (we had never been in a corner whirlpool before). After a nice leisurely soak, we put on the silk robes and sat out on the balcony. We had used an extra towel to dry off the chairs. We brought out some of the monterey jack cheese and snacked on that. We had a nice view of Haystack Rock. We watched some couples huddled around fires on the beach.

It was still misting outside and was a little chilly. Our bed had been strewn with rose petals and Keith was laughing at it. We dumped them onto the sheets. Of course, they were falling off us all night long and we suspect the maid had quite a mess to clean up in the morning - but then again, they are probably used to that.

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