Before this ridiculous heat wave takes over Southern California, let’s take a moment to reminisce about the Oregon Coast, shall we?
I’ve heard by many people that the drive along the coast is beautiful, but I had no idea just how beautiful it is. We were so fortunate to be driving on a clear day because it actually rained the day before and the day after, so I kind of feel like the universe was working in our favor. The forecast for this day kept changing from rain to partly cloudy and to sunny, but check out these photos. This was our first stop on the drive. We were really fortunate to see Haystack Rock in all is glory against this beautiful blue sky.
With a bit of chill in the air, the crowds were minimal and we got to wander the beach with what felt like just the three of us. Small groups would walk by and be seen in the distance but it was otherwise so peaceful. The Rock as our backdrop was seriously stunning.
The photo to the left here is one I’m pretty proud of. It found it’s way onto the Ergobaby instagram 🙂 Yes, that’s my munchkin hiding under the Ergobaby canopy thing. Like I said, there was a bit of a chill.
As we were walking along the beach, I noticed a bunch of crumpled looking pieces of plastic. Actually, it looked like trails upon trails of dried flowers, but as I was walking along the trail, I noticed some looked more lively. I started staring at them, and my inner nerd exploded the moment I realized what these trails were.
Velella velellas! Or, as some may know them, by-the-wind sailors! I had heard about these guys washing up on the shores in California, but I was hesitant to drive out to catch them since they were found at beaches at least an hour away. I just sat patiently and hoped they would show up again in the coming years when I felt more comfortable driving out with my babe. I guess the opportunity for me to see them just fell into place! I took so many photos. They were beautiful and scattered along the shoreline so perfectly. They tend to wash up on shore when the waters are warm (and they also reproduce very easily and live short lives, so it’s not a big issue that so many wash up on shore). The ones that looked like dried plastic/flowers were ones that had washed up earlier and dried out from the sun.
After we found Haystack Rock, we pretty much just drove along the coast mainly en route to visit Tillamook. We stopped at random viewpoints and caught some of the most phenomenal views of the coast. Against the bright blue skies, these views were just breathtaking.
As we drove along, we also drove by inlets of waters and lakes as well.
For lunch, we ate at Tom’s Fish N Chips which served hefty chunks of fish and a solid heap of fish. We were stuffed! The cole slaw wasn’t too bad either.
After that, we found our way to the home of Tillamook Cheese.
Okay, I’m not a huge fan of cheese. It smells, and the smell always lingers, but I will eat cheese and appreciate it for what it’s worth. Let’s be honest. I came here for the ice cream.
They allow for self-guided tours that start off with the opportunity to sample their different cheeses. I tried one of each and they’re definitely on point. If you go, the most unique one is the squeeky cheese. I was hesitant to try it considering it says “curds” underneath it (and the last time I tried curds, I almost hurled), but I figured I should try everything once. It’s not too bad! I remember it being pretty mild and, well, squeeky. It kind of rubs against your teeth in a way that gives you that “squeaky clean” feel.
Check out the long list of ice cream flavors! I was surprised at how extensive it was. I was expecting about 10 options, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was also a little bummed knowing I wouldn’t be able to try them all.
The tour allows you to go upstairs and look down into the cheese factory. We saw some really large blocks of cheese moving around. I know for some people this would be heavenly, but all I could think of was how stinky it must be in there.
There’s a shop downstairs to grab souvenirs and order some icecream/snacks/food. We each bought an ice cream cone (picking a flavor was overwhelming, but they let you sample a few), and we shared a grilled cheese sandwich. Their grilled cheese sandwich is probably the most well-made grilled cheese. The cheese is perfectly gooey. Get it.
After we were done munching, we headed back. Tristan let me take a nice nap on the way back home, so Dominic and I snoozed along the way. I woke up in the middle of the drive and guess what? It started raining. We felt pretty darn lucky to get to see all of the views with simply soft clouds in the sky. Maybe we should’ve bought a lotto ticket while we were at it.
Gorgeous, isn’t it? If we ever go back and do this drive, I’m hoping to invest more time on the beaches to find myself a souvenir or two (sand dollar, anyone?). California has beautiful beaches, but I love that these beaches weren’t overwhelmed by tourists and they all had this amazing backdrop of tall evergreens.
Well, that was refreshing. Bring on the heat wave, Southern California.