In order to have a little fun and get me back to SCU, the parentals and I went on a little coastal road trip! Here are our four days!
Sorry to promote stereotypes, but seriously, the dream of the 90s IS in fact alive and well in Portland. People are weird. Things are quirky: like the fact that the bike lane takes up 3/4 of the street, and the fact that it is significantly cheaper to park your hybrid than regular car at the hotel we stayed at. Or the hair and outfits of many. Just quirky! Not bad! I actually love things like that! It spices it up! Man does the city have charm! Saturday market during the day and Voodoo doughnuts for dessert (then breakfast the next morning) of course! A dozen to tell the truth. That’s four donuts a person. Excessive much? Nope! Only for me. I ended up having at least half of them. That’s what happens when my back seat road trip companion is a pink box of sugar and grease. #thuglife Portland was great to us! I would love to visit again- in order to fully shop the Saturday market and other “hip” areas of town as well as explore the crazy-cool fountains and rose gardens nearby! We traveled by foot after parking the car so we could only do so much in the 24 hours we were there! Luckily, the Kimpton matched my dad’s Hilton gold status so we had an spacious SUITE (what!) with so much complimentary food! And wine…. but I didn’t drink any of that! Portland, I’ll be back someday.
Canon Beach |Tillamook
Yes, I did google “places to see on the Oregon coast” to come up with most of the places we visited. I also read a couple of the travel blogs I adore for a few helpful hints and tips! I had seen many many pictures of Canon Beach, but my oh my, once we got there it was PERFECTION! Exactly my definition of Oregon Coast. The weather was foggy, misty and chilly. People and dogs walked about the beach while the fog rolled closer to us along with the tide. AND THE ROCK! HAYSTACK ROCK WAS HUGE. I mean, I knew it was big, but I would call it more of a mountain than a rock! My mom loved walking down the beach, and my dad and I took way to many pictures of basically nothing. After lunch and beach-adventuring, it was back in the car for us! Eventually, a couple hours later we made it to the Tillamook factory/store that is literally two feet from the road we were on. There is no possible way to miss it. There is also no possible way to eat enough dairy when it’s Tillamook. I learned that from the people who put five pieces of cheese on a tiny toothpick in the sample line, then went back around to the start, then repeated that, THEN bought ice cream. Obviously I was the less obnoxious version of those people. The place was just so American and dairy-filled. I was in love.
Cape Perpetua | Dunes | Wildlife Safari
After stopping in Yachats for the night, we headed out in the morning to Cape Perpetua! It’s basically just a nice overlook filled with lush plant life and vicious waves that come slamming in! It was very pretty and some good exercise after all of the doughnuts and driving. After more driving, we entered the beautiful Oregon Dunes Recreation area. In a matter of seconds we drove through the trees into a dreamy dune paradise. The park was quite expansive but we pulled over in a lot right behind a dune/hill. We climbed to the top to get an even greater overlook, and then ran down to the beach below. It was gorgeous and not a soul was in sight! So serene. And photogenic! The stop didn’t last too long since hanger was on the horizon. But with some peace inside our souls we headed out into the middle of nowhere! We ate Taco Bell for lunch (sorry not sorry) and eventually made it to Winston, Oregon, home of a drive through safari! This time I was in animal heaven. There were animals from all over the world walking near our car! And I was very thrilled when the “Unlikely Animal Friends” documentary I watched a while ago on Netflix came to life! They had a cheetah living with a dog as its bff!
Avenue of the Giants | Back to SCU
Grant’s Pass Oregon did us well…. for less than 24 hours. We got food. And slept. THEN DROVE. Into the forests! Of California technically! To “Avenue of the Giants”…… basically a long windy road filled with GINORMOUS redwoods! Basically one form of heaven. Until we realized our long road trip day was falling behind schedule because of the road less traveled so we hopped back on the highway! And kept driving. Didn’t make it to Santa Clara til about 8:30pm. Awk.
And that concluded summertime bliss. Sad day. Yet happy since I loved moving back in and getting back into the swing of things!
It was parents weekend recently, and of course my parents came to the good old SCU to learn and celebrate with me. Mostly we celebrated the fact that they had a rental car. A glorious Chevy Impala. It was black. With cloth seats. And some major vrooming when my dad drove aggressively! We (I) celebrated having the Impala by driving to all the best places just out of walking distance from campus: Costco, Target, downtown San Jose, Muir Woods, and Sausalito.
Not going to lie though, most of my happiness was acquired from our trip to Costco. Because my parents spoiled me. And I got FOOD, DRINKS, AND A DORM PET! That’s right! A pet! If you consider a fake wire cage with three chocolate bunnies a pet. I do. What of it?! Anyways, more than Costco, it was so fun seeing my parents! Yes, they were way too excited about going to their parent information sessions, and yes, my dad did try way too hard to be funny when meeting my friends, but some things never change!
Saturday brought us to the study abroad info session (I seriously CANNOT wait til it’s my time to shine -aka go abroad) and after, we went to the movies! We saw side effects. I fell asleep at the beginning of the movie (it was my nap time ok?!) but I didn’t miss much and I’m happy to report that the movie is thought provoking, twisted, and (Channing Tatum is) extremely good (looking).
It was so nice to get off campus and explore nature in Muir Woods on Sunday! Did you know that those trees are basically as popular as Disneyland? That’s right folks, there were hoards of families with children walking into the park. There were people taking pictures of everything. And there was crappy parking because it was so popular! Unlike Disneyland, we experienced real, live nature. We even crossed a river in our bare feet (shh don’t tell the park rangers. we might have disturbed the salmon that were supposedly swimming there even though they definitely were nowhere in sight).
After some “exhausting” (we didn’t pack water) “hiking” (walking ~3 miles), we trekked back to the parking lot and eventually took a cruise over to perfectly cute and touristy Sausalito. Lunch was lovely. Lovely in the sense that we got a lot more walking in (thanks for wanting to see ALLL of the possible options mom) and lovely in the sense that eating a relatively mediocre sandwich was incredibly rewarding since my hanger was dissolved.
Successful weekend no? It went by way too fast. But on the plus side I decided I’ll be going home for spring break! Can’t wait to see those rents, my friends, my puppy (old dog), and the Rocky Mountains at the end of next month! But for now— just wanted to post this update about parents week! And say MY PARENTS ARE THE BEST AND I LOVED HAVING THEM VISIT.
Yesterday was my lucky day!
On Monday, my neighbor bestowed upon me TWO tickets to the Denver Zoo that expired today!
It was my mission to use them before they went to waste. So what did I do?? I grabbed my best friend the day after she got home and we went to see all of the animals!
There are usually only two types of people at the zoo:
1. Those with young children
2. Those on a date
We made a third type:
3. Really happy best friends who love spending time together and think animals are hilarious and awkward.
Unfortunately, a good chunk of the animals were behind the scenes in warmer areas where people couldn’t see them.
Fortunately, we paid $0 to be there so we were oh-so-happy and way too amused with what we did see!
It was so fun. I hadn’t been to the zoo since seventh grade and I loved the quality time with the best friend! Winter break is slowly picking up!