WARNING - YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ THIS IF YOU'RE HUNGRY.
So I don't want to go into too much detail, but we're sitting in our little studio condo on the coast of Oregon, just a smidge north of Newport at Otter Rock. iGoogle tells me that the current temperature is 61 degrees, which happens to be about 35 degrees cooler than the current temperature in Phoenix. Sorry guys!
The rain is drizzling outside, which it's been doing all day long off and on. We had a little bit of a rocky start last night with a flight delay and arriving in Portland to find that the rental car office where we reserved our car had closed at midnight (before we got there). Everything worked out fine with a few minor adjustments and now we're enjoying the cool cloudy days of Oregon. Ahhh...heaven!
The first picture above is of Terry standing beside our rental car, which happens to be an Escape Hybrid! We've been thinking about a hybrid for our next car and he got a great deal on this one, so thought it would be fun to try it out. So far we're getting around 33 miles per gallon and it does even better in the city.
After leaving Portland we headed toward the coast and made a stop in the town of Tillamook at the cheese factory. We got to see the folks dressed in white, packaging all those slabs of cheese. did you also know that Tillamook makes award winning ice cream and fudge? We were so tempted to get some Marionberry ice cream, but decided against it since we hadn't had any lunch yet.
After we checked out the assembly line, we went downstairs for a cheddar taste test. We tried medium, sharp & extra sharp yellow cheddar and a Smoked Black Pepper White Cheddar cheese which was really scrumptious! I've never seen that one in the stores so we'll have to look for it. They have a few others up here that I haven't seen in Phoenix. After tasting, we were led into the "cheese store" where we found every shape and size of Tillamook that you could imagine; little 2 inch square snack size slices up to large blocks of all kinds. They also had lots of goodies to go with the cheese. We picked up a few items to have as snacks during the coming days and hit the road.
Well, we hit the road for a mile or so, until we saw a cute little restaurant, then finally stopped for lunch. I have photos of all of our food, but won't bore you with that. We started on our week of seafood exploration and had 2 cups of clam chowder, halibut fish & chips, and a fried oyster sandwich. Then we drove a few more hours down to Otter Rock, checked into our hotel and decided to take a walk and do some exploring before it got too dark.
While on our walk, we went to Devil's Punchbowl (pictured) and right next door, was a little place called "Mo's". Our friend, Bruce told me that Mo's was one of the places with the best clam chowder in this part of the country, and since Terry and I didn't have any specific dinner plans, so we decided to try it out. It was this tiny little place that looked like a beach cottage had been gutted and 8 long skinny tables for 8 had been crammed inside. There was nothing smaller than a table for 8, so if you want to eat you sometimes have to share with strangers. This was the case with our little party of two. We sat at an empty table and were soon joined by 2 women and a little boy. Of course, when you're sitting at a table together you inevitably start visiting and low and behold...the older woman is the mother of the other lady and the grandmother of the little boy. She and the little boy happen to be visiting from PHOENIX!!! And get this! She lives at 32nd Street & Thunderbird!!! Seriously! Can you believe it? Anyway, what started out as a quick stop for a cuppa local chowda turned into this delicious meal that Terry and I shared with our new found friends from home. We had an appetizer piled high with Oregon Bay Shrimp cocktail and an amazing bowl of what they call "Slumgullion", which isn't anything like what my mom called "Slumgullion". Theirs is a bowl of delicious clam chowder, with a creamy base, perfect potatoes, and chunks of clams, but added in to the mix is a heaping helping of those wonderful bay shrimp and a little bit of butter for good measure. Oh my gosh! It was awesome!!! And on the side were two thick slices of homemade bread. No doubt, the PERFECT Oregon coast meal. Even though we shared all 3 of these servings, we were too full to try the Marionberry cobbler, so we had them pack it up for us to take home for later. What a fun Day One!!! I can't wait to see what we get to do tomorrow.