Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trip to the Oregon Coast.. Country Style

Our long weekend trip continued onto the Oregon Coast after Portland. We loaded up in the van, we call her Ol' Suzanna and headed still west. We decided to forgo breakfast in luo of a seafood lunch on the ocean. I could hardly wait as we revved up Ol' Suzanna and headed out and as a generous kiss good-bye Mt. St. Helen's come out to wave us off and tell us.. "Y'all come back now, Ya Here!" (or something like that).
On the way we found a charming farmer's stand and fresh tickle-your-taste-buds apricots and I couldn't resist. We bought a whole bunch of them which inspired my Apricot Chocolate S'more that I made later in the trip. We also picked up some fresh sweet corn that inspired my Oven Roasted Cobs. I did a few cartwheels (yes, really) and we loaded back up and in a few short hours, we were on the coast where the smoke stacks were beyond imagination. Large majestic peaks in the middle of no where and the foggy dampness just added to the drama.
 We landed at Mo's Restaurant where they are famous for their clam chowder. And they should be the food was divine. We had blackened cod, garlic grilled shrimp, fish n' chips, and the top it off Marionberry Cobbler that was to die for (sorry no picture, we were too busy eating!)
After stuffing ourselves, my mom and I thirsted to touch the water. It was cold and rainy, but small things like that don't really stop anyone in our family and my mom and I went in. Okay, only to our shins, but the water was something like 60 degrees. My toes burned, but my face smiled. 
From there we are off to find our lodging. But on the way we see a sign that is irresistible even to us. It is like kryptonite... It reads "WINE TASTING" and we can't help it. We stop. And we find the wine masters that call themselves Hip Chicks Do Wine (I call them geniuses) and we have to try to Drop Dead Red. All of their wine is delicious and I am secretly envious of this brilliant idea! We have some around a camp fire hoping to wait out the rain.
We finally get to Jetty Fisheries where we had reserved cabins with a little bit of trouble. The person on the phone had been quite confused most times we had called. When we walked into the 'office' we understood. We checked in and were led to our cabins and given a 'grand tour' of the bathrooms all the while Scott is giving me sideways looks.

And after we are given the key and left alone, my dad walks over and says, "If you have ever wanted to stay in a gypsy camp, you can cross that off your list now." Scott laughs and I secretly think.. I am home. Not to mention they caught 33 crabs that day. Okay not only is that my magic number that is also a ton of crab. My favorite thing to eat on this planet!
But it's still raining and our dreams of cooking by the fire are squashed. Instead we find Pirate's Cove and let me say this was one of the ultimate highlights of my trip! My mom and I shared the steamed crab and drawn butter.
 While Scott had the Tuna wrapped in bacon.
My dad had the Blacked Sea Bass served with Shrimp (yes that is a GIANT shrimp). This meal and service was everything I had hoped for and more. At the end, I had a chance run in with our server who told us that we tipped her way to much. And there were so many things I wanted to say like.. You made our trip.. or.. There is no such thing as tipping too much (I'm a server too). But what I said instead was, "You totally deserve it." And I meant it.
The next morning we opted to leave Gypsy Fish Camp, although I will go back again and this time I will go crabbing. They were delightful and the experience was worth repeating, but the weather and our desire to be closer to home for our last day, made us journey forward. Not to mention the untouched wineries... Which we uncovered a little more of when we discovered Blue Heron French Cheese Company in Tillamook, OR 
We tasted wine, cheese, and ate a delicious lunch of Caprese Sandwich (the best ever, just look at it!) 
and barbecue chicken with a roasted corn and black bean salad...
Of course a delicious cheese tray complete with cantelope, brie, grapes, and salami to name a few of the suspects that attended this glutenous party.
And then we were off again driving along the coast on route 101. We hiked to a lighthouse and saw views that were breathtaking just as the sun was peaking out from it's shy slumber.
I, of course, had to get my feet in the sand and the ocean one last time before we headed home. And I along with the baby sea turtles took one last dip in the vast ocean.
On the way to our lodging we stopped at the Powers and Badger Mountain Winery. They make all organic wines without sulfates. The taster was extremely knowledgeable (she is getting her PhD in wine making) and they sold boxed wine that was delicious! We purchased a few boxes for good measure and headed to the Vagabond Lodge in Hood River where we reserved a suite to sleep all of us for next to nothing. It overlooked the Columbia River Gorge and we sat watching the wind surfers work their behinds off. The suite was perfect and had a full kitchen where we could finally cook our brats and sour kraut.  The next morning, we couldn't leave the area without visiting one more winery.. the Apolloni Winery where we finally bought our bottle of the aclaimed 2006 Pinot Noir.

The first line from one of my favorite Anita Shreve's novels Fortune's Rock sums this trip up perfectly, "In the time it takes her to walk from the bath house at the seawall of Fortune's Rock, where she has left her boots and discreetly pulled off her stockings, to the waterline along which the sea continuously licks at the silver and pink sand, she learns about desire." And the sea does exactly what this quote does.. It leaves me wanting more... When we arrive home, we begin planning our next trip to the coast.

We shall return.. And I hope we have inspired you to take a trip, to the coast or somewhere else! Just pack a bag and get going!

More from the kitchen to come from our inspirations from the trip... Seafood and apricot delights are on the way...!

Wishing you safe and happy travels this summer,

~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes back home


cris said...

I may not get to travel with you, but I enjoy the experience of re-living it through your writing!

Hot Mess Cooking said...

One of these days, I can see you and I in a hot red car, the wind in our hair, and a map... I believe!