West Coast Road Trip – Day 15 
Monday, March 29, 2010, 10:58 AM
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And week 3 begins! It began with pouring rain and so we took our time with a morning workout in the hotel fitness center. Then, around 10am, we got all suited up in waterproof gear and walked outside - into sunshine. The weather can change in an instant in the northwest. We were fortunate to have very little rain, although temperatures remained quite cool, in the 40’s.



We walked around the Space Needle, but did not bother going to the top as the clouds would have obscured our view.



We then strolled along the waterfront and the Olympic Sculpture Park to Pike Place Market. This attraction definitely lived up to its reputation – fresh produce, gorgeous flowers, men throwing fish and a huge variety of ethnic restaurants.







For lunch, we enjoyed a lentil soup and beet salad at the Yarmarka Café, a Russian establishment. Although it was a tiny, open-air stall more than a restaurant, it was one of the best meals of our trip.



We walked down to Pioneer Square, which turned out to be a shopping area, and then decided to get out of the cold by heading indoors for a self-guided tour of the Seattle Library. This building is fairly new and is unique, beautiful and quite high tech.





Next up was the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum – two separate museums that share a building and have joint ticketing.



EMP had some historical exhibits (including, of course, the birth of “grunge” in Seattle), as well as opportunities to play a variety of instruments. Visitors could have their own rock star photo shoot (complete with props) and perform onstage with a simulated screaming audience. Not being the rocker types, we didn’t take advantage of all EMP had to offer, but this museum is a must-see for music lovers. I did really enjoy their photography exhibit though.





I cruised through the Science Fiction Museum fairly quickly and waited for Paul at the end. You really need to be a bit of a sci-fi geek to enjoy this one.

That evening, we had a reunion dinner with Kristin, one of my girlfriends from Mount Holyoke whom I’ve seen only a handful of times since I left Boston 11 years ago. It was great to catch up!



She brought us to Café Flora where we had our second lentil soup of the day, followed by gluten-free Moroccan crepes.



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West Coast Road Trip – Day 14 
Sunday, March 28, 2010, 12:24 AM
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Okay…I’m falling behind on the blog, so I'm going to keep it short and hit the highlights.

The Olympic Peninsula is spectacular – so lush and green! The day was overcast, but a light rain only fell occasionally, and so we were able to enjoy a hike in the Hoh Rainforest, as well as some time admiring the waves and driftwood at Ruby Beach.









Twilight fans know this area for the tiny town of Forks, which now has vampire and werewolf references everywhere you look.









We had planned to spend the night in Port Angeles, but, upon arriving, decided to drive another 2 hours to Seattle. The trip ended up being more like 3 hours due to an unexpected ferry ride.

We expected high hotel prices, being back in the big city and all, but we scored with a $70 per night room at the Best Western Loyal, just a few blocks from the Space Needle. The location was fantastic...and I was able to catch up on laundry before calling it a night.

I chose just a few photos to post here. If you'd like to see more, check out Paul's blog.
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West Coast Road Trip – Day 13 
Saturday, March 27, 2010, 11:43 PM
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As today was expected to be the only rain-free day in the foreseeable future, we set an alarm to make the most of it. We started off with a much needed 8-mile run on a hilly, but scenic, forest service road. After a few days of little exercise and lots of sitting in the car and yummy treats (like pizza and donuts), the run felt fantastic.

Afterward, we made a brief stop at Lincoln City’s indoor kite flying festival which was fascinating in a bizarre sort of way. Did you know there is a world championship competition for this “sport?” People actually choreograph routines to music.



I was quite impressed with what the performers could do, especially considering there was no wind. However, it seemed odd that the sport appears to be dominated by older men. Paul agreed, confirming that this is definitely a chick thing.

The Tillamook Cheese Factory was quite a tourist destination. It was a little more commercial than I had hoped, but we enjoyed the samples, which included my first ever cheese curds.

We stopped in Seaside, a cute coastal town that marks the end of Lewis and Clark’s journey. We browsed the shops, sat on the beach with an ice cream, and watched the spring breakers playing volleyball and digging enormous sand pits.



Our next stop was Astoria, where Goonies was filmed 25 years ago. Classic movie!

We took in the waterfront, a cool vintage hardware store and the impressive Astoria Column.





Then, we replenished our food supplies at the Astoria Cooperative and drove across the state line to spend the night in Aberdeen, Washington.

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West Coast Road Trip – Day 12 
Friday, March 26, 2010, 12:22 AM
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Today brought more rain, but it did not dampen our spirits as today was our 5th wedding anniversary. Paul has truly lived up to his vows, especially the part about being my “partner in adventure.”



We took our time in the morning - I used the sorry excuse for a fitness room while Paul worked on job hunting – and, by the time we were back on the coast, the rain, for the most part, had subsided. Just in case, I had my brand new waterproof boots that we had picked up at REI in Eugene. I think these will serve me well in Massachusetts



We made a number of stops throughout the afternoon.

Heceta Lighthouse



Cape Perpetua,with it's fantastic blow hole.



Seal Rock, with it's rocky coast and fun tide pools. Paul made this find which he thinks might be a whale vertebrate.





And we stopped for an anniversary dinner in Newport at Sharks’s Seafood Bar where we enjoyed their fantastic Cioppino and a Vera Cruz Cocktail.



After dinner, we strolled the downtown area and watched the sea lions lounging under the dock.



We covered a little more ground before calling it a night and ended up staying in Lincoln City.

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West Coast Road Trip – Day 11 
Thursday, March 25, 2010, 11:50 PM
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Now that we’ve arrived in Oregon, we’ll have to get used to being wet. We awoke in Coos Bay to 46-degree temperatures and steady rain. The forecast shows a respite on Saturday, but, otherwise, rain for the next week.

Feeling the need to prove to myself that I can handle inclement weather, I suggested a run. Our 30-minute jaunt was cold and wet, but also invigorating.



After a hot shower, we continued our trek north with a brief stop in Florence to check out the dunes.



Then, we turned east to spend the day in Eugene. In addition to being a funky, little college town, Eugene is known as Track Town USA.



It is where Steve Prefontaine made his mark in the world of running and then tragically died. We left a bib number from the Pirate’s Cove 20K at Pre’s Rock, the site of his car accident and, now, a shrine of sorts.



Eugene is also where Bill Bowerman made a name for himself as a track coach at Hayward Field and, later, co-founder of Nike.



We would have loved to check out some of Eugene’s great running trails, but decided that one rainy run was enough for the day.

There appear to be lots of fun restaurants in town, many with gluten-free options. We had a phenomenal lunch at the Pizza Research Institute. The name gave me pause…but I’m glad we took the risk. We started with a coconut curry yam soup – it was out of this world!



And, of course, we had to try their gluten-free pizza – a smoked tofu with roasted cauliflower, cheddar cheese and onions. It was a little heavy on the cheese for me, but was delicious. And the crust was the best gluten-free one we’ve had. Even better than Picazzo’s, if you can believe it!



Later in the day, we headed to Holy Donuts. All of their baked goods are vegan and some are also gluten-free. This doesn’t necessarily make them healthy, but it was a special treat for Paul to enjoy coffee and donuts the following morning.





With the poor weather, we called it a day early and were checked in and settled at our hotel, America’s Best Value Inn, by 5:30pm. I caught up with phone calls and emails while Paul did some job hunting and online applications.

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