Anyway, after driving through a seemingly endless forest, we reached the coastal town of Newport.
First we hopped to the Aquarium, and though it was much smaller than the big giants like Osaka and Monterey Bay Aquarium, it was still very well put together.
|Loved the door handles!|
They had an incredibly fun and active puffin/sea bird exhibit, some otters and seals, and a big octopus. I also really enjoyed a unique section featuring tanks with baby sea-life, like this baby dungeness crab:
|Grow up so I can eat you!|
Anyway, after the aquarium we continued South to Seal Rock Beach.
|Dude, I've got a serious Gollum pose going on.|
|Mussels and crows? What, did they scare the seagulls away?!|
|Nope, not raw chicken legs or briny sea lion snout.|
Of course, there are two things you can always find in a quality coastal town. First - clam chowder.
We ate at Mo's, which has a bit of a chain around coastal Oregon. Though I liked the addition to shrimp in my chowder bowl, they put bacon in it which totally overpowered the poor clams. And just for the record - my favorite chowder is from Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf, my favorite bread bowl is from San Francisco (the more sour the better!), and my favorite overall is Splash Cafe in San Luis Obispo, because they toast their bread bowl and put butter all over it. Chowder is very near and dear to my heart! Anyway, Sak had fish and chips because he loves fried fish, and they were amazing in chunky, flaky, juicy goodness. Probably the best fish sticks I've ever had. Mmm.
To be good Oregon-tourists, we ordered a piece of Marionberry Cobbler to go, and then searched for the second Coastal-town-staple: salt water taffy. Yum.
|College flavors, and butter!|
|Creepy morning beach fog!|
|What is that black shell thing on the right?|
But beautiful beaches aside, it was high-time we got to the point of this trip - the cheese!
The Tillamook Cheese Factory was pretty cool, and the best part is that it's free!
We walked around the self-guided museum, and got to see people packaging the local cheese.
Squeaky cheese was my favorite - it literally squeaks as you eat it!
I think I'm a Tillamook convert now, especially after I figured out Lucerne cheese isn't actually made in Lucerne, CA. What's up with that?!
We topped our cheese trip off with some grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream!
|Sticky bun ice cream is a great flavor, fyi.|
Next, it was onward to Portland!