Highlights of the week or so we split between coastal town Cannon Beach and hipster hangout Portland include:
- Tidal pools: When I think of starfish, I used to think of dried-up, sand-colored creatures. No longer. Since we had the opportunity to wade through the tidal pools that form around the 220-foot high Haystack Rock during low tide periods, I now know that starfish come in colors including orange and purple. We marveled at the number of shellfish attached to the rocks and the brilliant colors of the anemones. And, we got to look through telescopes and see nesting puffins high up in the rocks.
- Hiking: Buying Elliot his very first pair of hiking boots before our trip was a flash of inspiration. One day, he hiked three miles! Up and down hills, through mud, over tree roots and rocks went out nimble-footed almost five-year-old. Whenever there was an opportunity to further explore, Elliot took it...whether is was using a downed tree as a pathway or seeing how many tree trunk hole "animal shelters" he could squeeze into.
- Portland Blues Festival: Tim, Elliot and I love live music, and when we're on vacation, we really enjoy attending local events. The waterfront Portland Blues Festival was a great chance to blend in with the Portlanders and listen to some tunes on a beautiful night. And, we just happened to catch Los Lonely Boys, a band we actually know!
- Ice cream: No vacation would be complete without ice cream, and the ice cream we enjoyed in Portland was especially memorable. We went to two artisan ice cream shops where we sampled homemade flavors like bourbon coffee (not Elliot), strawberry balsamic and ooey-gooey brownie. One advertised flavor none of us was brave enough to try was habanero goat cheese marionberry!