Oh, you guys.  We had the most amazing trip to Oregon.  Seriously, it was possibly my very favourite trip in recent memory.  I know I can speak for both Jesse and I when I say that we had such a fabulous time with my wonderful parents and fell madly, deeply in love with the Oregon coast. 

Anyway, that being said, it’s taken me a long time to write up this extremely text-heavy entry, simply because I miss it SO MUCH.  Oh Vegas, I really do like you, I promise, but you’re just not Oregon. 

First, the food.  OMG.  I am sending up quite a few silent thank-yous to whatever forces determined that I could consume endless amounts fried seafood and chowder (topped with totally unnecessary but delicious pats of butter) and not gain weight.  Hurrah!  My metabolism must still exist after all.  Newport is full of absolutely amazing restaurants.  Our first night, I had the most amazing crab cakes with a lemongrass risotto at Panache, followed by a few bites of a lemon and marionberry napoleon for dessert.  Our second night there, we went to Quimby’s where I had the most amazing steamer clams done in a spicy cream sauce followed by (my favourite thing ever)… seared ahi tuna!  Night three was cioppino at Saffron Salmon — I was almost heartbroken when I noticed it on the menu as it had mussels which I am allergic to (more of an intolerance, really, but still… I stay far, far away from them).  Then I asked our waitress who made sure they were left out for me.  It was just what I’d been dreaming of and getting it without mussels was so sweet I got a little bit choked up.  For our fourth night, we headed out someplace that my parents had never tried before – a little Thai restaurant that I can’t remember the name of.  It was… fantastic.  We had a halibut curry that was to die for, a great eggplant dish, pineapple fried rice and a few other things.  The guy who seemed to be the owner seemed very concerned that we were pleased and brought us sticky rice and mango to finish off the meal.  Now to remember the name of the restaurant so I can recommend it.  Mom?  Dad?  Next up was Nana’s, the Irish pub in Newport.  I went prepared for simple food and ended up with an amazing seafood pie, freshly baked and full of fragrant cream sauce.  Nana’s also played a lot of Bob Dyland that night, pleasing both me and Jesse.  We ended our culinary tour of Newport at Tidal Raves, a restaurant that, quite possibly, has the most amazing view imaginable.  I spent the meal watching gulls soar past the window in between bites of salmon.  The really amazing part of that meal?  Dessert (!) and anyone who knows me know that must mean the dessert was fantastic.  We split a fantastic chocolate and orange truffle cake and a peach sorbet with hazelnut shortbread.  God, my mouth’s watering just thinking of it!

Now that I’ve babbled on about food for ages, let’s move onto something less fattening, shall we?  We went back to the Oregon Coast Aquarium!  Oh, I love that place, I really do.  I don’t know what it is but aquariums are possibly my favourite attraction, anywhere.   I love the Singapore aquarium, the one is Baltimore and this one.  I just wish Las Vegas had one!  We saw sea lions, lots of jellyfish, otters and all sorts of birds (I think the tufted puffin was my favourite), not to mention some extremely strange fish in their Oddwater exhibit.  Even better?  We saw all sorts of cool things outside the aquarium as well including seals in the old section of town, a grey whale spouting at Cape Foulweather, lots of pelicans circling and pigeon guillemots to name a few. 

Of course, no vacation is complete without some shopping.  We went to what might be the best used book store I’ve ever been to, Robert’s, where I found some fabulous-looking finds.  I think I could have spent a whole week just in that store!  I also bought… my first Coach bag.  It’s gorgeous, the lightest sand-coloured pebbled leather. 

Then there was our road trip up the coast to Cape Meares (with a stop in Tillamook for fantastic ice cream), a few lovely walks on the beach and a lot of stops in galleries and artist co-ops to admire some beautiful pieces… I didn’t want to go back!  Of course, now that I AM back, it’s good to have my routine and a little more structure to my life. 

Best thing of all?  We found a place to get married.  We booked the most amazing looking B&B.  We’ll be overlooking the ocean, rather than on it, alleviating my anxiety around getting sand on whatever dress I end up with.  They have a beautiful area for outdoor ceremonies, a greenhouse for the meal and dancing in the main building.  It’s… perfect.  I was really worried that we wouldn’t be able to find anything that didn’t feel like a conference room.  But the people who own it have done a beautiful job with the property and they’ve made it clear that they want what we want.  Hurrah! 

Now I’ve got tons of stuff to do, not least work on the wedding website.  I still can’t decide if I want to buy a domain name or not.  I guess as long as I have the content written out and ready to upload, it doesn’t really matter which way I go.

Anyway, pictures coming shortly.  I’m going to do some editing and uploading tonight so you may be able to see them by tomorrow.