Jul 012015
 

Saturday morning we got up and went to the downtown area of Astoria to get breakfast. We went to a Bistro that we’d been to in the past and were able to get a seat outside so Bella could join us. It was warm but a little overcast. Michael got the brisket and eggs. I got two eggs with bacon and it came with buttermilk biscuits.

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Sadly the food wasn’t very good. It was really good last time but this time we were both really disappointed and won’t be going back. The coffee and the biscuits were the only thing good about breakfast. :(

The plan for the day was to go for a hike. I found one nearby, Gnat Creek. The description of it sounded nice and it said it was considered easy to moderate. The whole thing was 8 miles. After breakfast we picked up a sandwich at Subway and then drove north about 30 minutes to the campground where the trailhead was.

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It was pretty easy to find and there was plenty of parking right at the trailhead. It was so muggy and humid! We climbed up the stairs and the trail quickly went deep into the forest and wound through the trees along the creek. The ground was really soft from hundreds of years of pine needles.

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We hiked through the woods, setting a pretty quick pace, and then all of a sudden the trail ended! It turned out you had to cross the highway to pick the trail back up. Luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad so we didn’t have to wait long to cross. We got to the other side and the trail was winding through the trees and then all of a sudden we were at the Fish Hatchery.

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On the other side of the hatchery the trail continued. It was getting much hotter out now and this part of the trail wasn’t shaded. We saw some wildflowers, lots of butterflies, and then the trail was back in the woods. Thankfully! It was slightly cooler in the trees. There were a lot of cool little bridges all throughout the hike and lots of different trails you could take.

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We crossed a bridge and then all of a sudden the trail was going steeply up. Our heart rates were climbing as we climbed and we were both DRENCHED in sweat. Not from the exercise really, but the humidity. It was SWAMPY. That was the feeling for most of the hike. Hot and humid and gross. And I wasn’t wearing typically hiking clothes that wick the sweat away, nope! So I was feeling extra gross and sweaty.

We kept on climbing and it was getting hotter. Bella started doing weird stuff on the trail (it was exposed to the sun) like jumping off the trail and hiding under bushes. We figured she was too hot. We stopped a lot for water breaks but clearly it was time to turn around. We hiked back down the trail and found the waterfalls where there was a bench and we cooled off in the shade to eat our sandwiches.

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It was a nice little spot for a picnic. Despite the name “gnat creek” it wasn’t too bad on the hike as long as you were moving. But once we stopped for the lunch break the gnats and mosquitoes and flies were really bad! And of course I forgot to pack bug spray. There was one gnat really bugging Bella and she kept trying to bite the air to get him.

After lunch we hiked back down to the hatchery, across the highway and then back to the trailhead.

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We ended up hiking just under 5.5 miles. I burned 718 calories during the hike. It was a decent number! But I’m pretty sure I sweated out a few extra pounds just from the humidity.

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The drive back to Astoria was slow. There was some nasty traffic jam and it ended up taking twice the amount of time but we eventually got back and cleaned up and then spent some time in the hot tub relaxing our sore bodies. There was another couple in the tub visiting from North Carolina and they wanted to tell us all about what they saw on their trip to Portland. :) I was just happy to be relaxing in the saltwater.

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So one of the nice things about the hotel we were staying at was the free wine and cheese social hour they had every night from 5-6pm. After cleaning up Michael and I went down to check it out. Got some delicious cheese and crackers, some toast with cream cheese and smoked salmon on it and an Oregon Pinot Noir that I love. We sat outside on the patio with everyone else, enjoying the sunshine and view and tried to figure out what to do for dinner.

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In the end we decided to get take out again. There were a few restaurants we’d been wanting to try but they were booked for the Saturday night. We didn’t plan ahead very well. So back to Fort George it was! This time Michael got a Cobb Salad and I got a cup of their clam chowder and the kid’s fish n’ chips. It was two small pieces of fish and just the right amount of food.

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The fries were terrible so I didn’t eat them. Which was fine, who needs the empty calories. The clam chowder was pretty good. On our way to the restaurant we’d also picked up a bottle of Bogle Red Blend to drink in the room and relax.

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Cheers! I’m glad I got the small portions for dinner. It was just the right amount. I had about two glasses of wine and called it good for the evening. We were both really tired after the long, hot day.

Sunday

Sunday morning I woke up and had PLANNED on going for a run along the waterfront on the trail. Unfortunately when I took Bella out to do her business it was shockingly cold, gloomy and sprinkling quite a bit. That was a surprise! I hadn’t seen rain in the forecast. So I ended up running on the treadmill in the small hotel gym. They had a treadmill, exercise bike, stairclimber and weights.

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I ran 2.55 miles on the treadmill with a few walking breaks and then called it good. The hotel offered a continental breakfast, too. It was the usuals–pastries and donuts, cereals, oatmeal, granola bars, bagels and English muffins, yogurts, fruit, fruit salad, juices, etc. I had some plain Greek yogurt with the fruit salad and an English muffin (and two coffees). It hit the spot.

One thing I forgot to mention, the hotel also offers free car rides to restaurants in this car:

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I was kind of bummed we didn’t get a chance to take it! It’s so cute. Anyways, after breakfast we packed up the car. The original plan was to drive south to Seaside and let Bella run wild on the beach but the forecast was stormy and rainy for Seaside so we ended up skipping that.

That was a bummer but all in the weekend was a nice getaway and I was glad we could bring Bella to such a nice place! I really recommend the Cannery Pier Hotel if you are ever in the area.IMG_4089

On our way out of town we stopped by Flavel House and I took some photos. It’s the house that George FlavelĀ built in 1883. It was such a cool looking house on the outside! Next time I’ll have to do the tour of the inside.


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I also walked around the Sunday Market. They shut down a few streets in the middle of downtown Astoria for a Sunday Farmer’s Market. I bought some cherries, blueberries and raspberries and a few other goodies and then we hit the road back to Portland.

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Jun 302015
 

Unbeknownst to us, we planned a weekend getaway to the beach at the perfect time! First heat wave of Portland –100+ degrees– and we were spending the weekend in Astoria. Michael’s dad gave us a giftcard for Christmas for the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria. They stayed there after our wedding last year and loved it.

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Bonus: they are dog friendly and have dog rooms available! We both took Friday off from work (I hit the gym and then had an appointment in the morning) and we drove to Astoria after lunch. It was a gorgeous day!

We got to our room to find a plush dog bed, a water dish and food dish, a toy for Bella, poop bags and dog treats! Fancy jerky and milkbones. B was super duper excited. Check her out:

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Are these for me?!

The room itself was really cute. King sized bed that was really comfortable, decent pillows, a small bistro table with two chairs, a loveseat with plush pillows and a small table, there was a wet bar with a sink, mini fridge, microwave. There was a huge bathroom with separate toilet room, a huge vanity and a clawfoot tub! I was SO looking forward to relaxing in the tub–especially because it had a view of the water. But I never actually used it because our room was across the hall from the spa where there was a salt water hot tub and steam room that was open 24/7 so we ended up using that all weekend.

The room also had a window seat with pillows and cushions so you could just lounge and look out the window. It was so relaxing.

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This was the view from our room:

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Not bad, huh? We got settled in and decided to take a walk to give Bella some time to get her zoomies out after the long car ride. There was a really nice walking/biking path along the water and a trolley.

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It was starting to get to dinner time and we were both hungry. Since we had Bella and it was too hot to leave her in the car, we decided to phone in a dinner order for take out. We ordered a pizza at Fort George and then had some time to kill. We went into the cute little downtown area. There was a ton of art everywhere, which was nice.

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We did some walking around and some window shopping and then walked back to Fort George. It was a super cool brewery pub. Huge! With outdoor patio seating (and you could bring your dog), indoor seating, and then the whole upper level had tables and a bar. It looked like there was a cafe and bakery inside too.

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We went back to the room with the pizza and a filled growler with their Vortex IPA. We sat outside on the small deck and enjoyed the sunshine, the cool breeze, the view and the good food. Bella wasn’t quite sure what to do on the deck. She was super curious about the water and the ducks and birds and seemed to be over-stimulated. šŸ˜‰

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What a nice view for dinner! We saw tons of big ships and small yachts going by. Michael turned on some music and we just chilled.

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The pizza was a half and half– half sausage and peppers and half truffle oil pizza. I didn’t try the sausage and peppers half because the truffle oil half wasĀ so delicious! I had two slices and a few mugs of beer.

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Then we went across the hall to enjoy the saltwater hot tub. It was a cool space and we had it to ourselves. There were windows all around it so you could look out at the water, bridge and boats. There was a nice breeze coming in from the windows and the saltwater tub just felt so relaxing. After spending a good 30-45 minutes in there we sat in the Finnish sauna and then went back to the room. It was a good first night out.

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