Sunday, July 15, 2007

Oregon Coast Vacation

Post-race, battered feet....what better time to get off the aerobic train and get in a little R&R right? I drove back from Bend, Oregon the day after the race just in time to pick Deb up at PDX. We had planned a quick run up the Oregon Coast staying a couple nights in the Newport area and a couple nights in Manzanita. I'd like to say that I was able to come up with the itinerary myself but I did the easy thing and asked resident expert and lifelong Oregonian, Steven, for some suggestions and he didn't let me down. He suggested The Inn at Cape Kiwanda, located in Pacific City, Oregon and The Inn at Manzanita. They both get two big thumbs up from Deb and I.

We started out early Monday morning and drove straight to Newport which was just south of where we would stay in Pacific City. We didn't stay too long in Newport but long enough to check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium and The Rogue Brewery. I'd have to say the Rogue is one of my fave microbrewers in Oregon...great food and tasty beers.

Rogue Nation Baby!!

Oregon Coast Aquarium...yes, I'm a dork!

I love the jellyfish exhibits...pretty darn cool...gave me flashbacks of Ironman Florida...they had some big ones there!

We then drove up the coast for the short drive to Pacific City. We really didn't have any formal plans, just wanted to get a chance to spend some time together and relax. The Inn at Cape Kiwanda was located right across the street from the beach and The Pelican Pub & Brewery. We hit the pub for a bite to eat and to sample the brews. The food was pretty good, we probably could have done without the TOWER OF RINGS...probably belongs on one of those lists of things that should never enter your mouth! ooof!

The Tower baby!!

all those pretty colors....

The food was all my fault of course, Deb is usually my voice of reason...she eats much cleaner then I do...she was a vegetarian for a long time and usually lets me know when I am going sideways...I guess she relaxed a bit for this vacation and let me get crazy...everything in moderation right? ;-) After we waddled out of there, we took a nice walk up the beautiful beach and climbed the biggest sand dune / mountain, I've seen. I called it the hill of doom and I tried to convince myself that I was able to work off the damage from dinner by climbing to the top...maybe not but fun, nonetheless. We just relaxed around Pacific City....did some sightseeing, hiking etc before we drove North to Manzanita.

Deb and I on top of the world aka, the hill of doom!

Pacific City was nice, but I LOVE Manzanita. Such a nice *little* town without all the tourist trappings of the larger coastal towns like Lincoln City or Seaside. Our Inn was really nice and the town had everything I needed, a great coffee shop,a bookstore, a good pizza place across the street and the beach within walking distance. Two big thumbs up here. More relaxing and quiet time....nice to just spend time with Deb. The only bummer was that it ended up raining while we were in Manzanita but it is Oregon right?! No worries, we just made the best of it. We also drove up one day to check out Cannon Beach. Also a very cool town up the coast. I'm a coffee addict and we found a really good local coffee shop in Cannon Beach and Deb bought me a couple different bags of the good stuff....if you're ever driving thru Cannon Beach...STOP!! at The Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters....great, fair-trade organic beans!

Much too soon, the week was over but again, a nice relaxing time with Deb. She is definitely my better half, my voice of reason, my biggest cheerleader, and best friend. :-) I still think she let me down on the Tower of Rings could she let me order that artery clogger!?! ;-) Happy to report that all that "throw caution to the wind, vacation eating is done!!

I also need to throw a shout out to Karen and Steven for a great b-day dinner last night - THANK YOU. Yes...I hit the big 41...but I heard that 41 is the new 31 so It's all good. Steven and I did a hilly 100 mile bike / 4.3 mile run so the dinner really hit the spot. He makes a mean barbecued double-patty, cheez burger which was paired with a tasty fruit salad, roasted potatoes, and beers. YUM...the best part was that Karen sent me home with a bag of her homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies. A couple even made it safely in my car all the way home! :-). I spent my birthday counting my blessings.....Deb, my family, my health, my wonderful friends, my job and realized how lucky and truly blessed I am. The glass is always half....or three-quarters full, it's all about your mindset and perspective right? I also threw in a 73 mile / 4 hour ride for good measure!

Have a great week!



Blogger robtherunner said...

Sounds like a great relaxing time. Happy belated b-day! You earned the tower of rings.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

I hope you had a wonderful B-day, my friend!

Your vacation pics are great...very creative. Sounds like it was very relaxing.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Happy Birthday, Mike! The 40 somethingss are not all that bad.

I succumbed to the tower at Red Robin the other night too on my bday. It was totally NOT worth it. Live and learn.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Crash said...

Rogue's Hazelnut Brown is the heat...happy b-day - I guess 41 is the new 31 when your clocking a 5hr half IM!

2:00 PM  
Blogger Jessi said...

Happy Birthday! 41, huh? I never would've guessed.

I clicked on the pic to embiginate it, because Deb looked so cute, and I wanted to see what she actually looked like - but the Flickr acct is set to private! Booo! Oh well, she looks adorable anyway.

Happy Bday again, and glad you had such a fun weekend. I really need to come down and ride with you and Steven again now that Nats is over and I can just chill and enjoy myself. Mainly I'm just hoping for one of those delicious meals at Stevens place. :)

9:40 PM  
Blogger Donald said...

If you're ever back in Monterey, let's meet up at the Aquarium for lunch. I LOVE that place.

Enjoy your vacation.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Cliff Tam said...


Happy b-day. Love those beer shots.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Lora said...

Happy Birthday!!! The 40's are the best time of life! Savor the moments!!

7:46 PM  
Blogger stronger said...

Happy 41!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Happy b-day! Glad to hear vacation was great.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Mia said...

Belated Happy B!!

I used to live in Portland and boy, do those pics make me long for the Pacific Northwest...particularly the microbreweries ;)

3:32 AM  

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