{Today's Letters}

Monday, July 21, 2014


Dear Timothy James, next week we'll be driving up the coast of California with this little one in tow. Pretty sure seeing her by the ocean for the first time will be just as magical as watching her do a truffle shuffle at Cannon Beach. Dear Begin Again, you were a fantastic movie. Better than splitter shared between two friends' playlists on the subway. Dear Papa, this text exchange made me realize how lucky I am to have you as my dad. Your passion for baking and sense of humor are better than your French Toast Fingers and Blueberry Preserves. Dear Mr. Loerke {who always gets two letters}, the person who catches the biggest steelhead on the Deschutes gets a six pack of their choice and a nap. Game? 

Happy Monday, brave ones! We'd love to hear if you have suggestions of places to eat and things to do from LA to Portland!

44 comments:

Kyle said...

She is so beautiful! Have a blast on your trip- hope she's sleepy on the road & awake for the good parts :)

Ashley Butz said...

Multnomah Falls and the Eagle Creek hike right outside of Portland are both beautiful if you're looking for ways to explore the beauitful PNW. Not sure how much Brave enjoys hiking yet, but Eagle Creek has about ten cascading waterfalls that are breathtaking. Salt & Straw ice cream and Voodoo donuts in Portland are divine!

Anonymous said...

Look at Neahkhanie Mountain from Manzanita Beach while eating a cinnamon roll from Bread & Ocean bakery; taste Sleepy Monk coffee in Cannon Beach as you make your way to Astoria for a photo op in front of the Goonie House. And take lots of photos!

Shandell said...

You could come visit us in Eugene! ;)
Prayers for safe + happy travels.

Georgia said...

I second multnomah! Hope you have a wonderful time, and pretty please share pictures- that part of the country sure is gorgeous :)

Anonymous said...

Stop at Pollo Inka for the best peruvian food in LA. Back Bay Inn is our favorite B&B if you get to stop on the way up, it's in Baywood Park on Morro Bay. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is beautiful, I know there were some fires that had closed some of the redwood trails a couple of years back, but McWay Falls is a gem!

Aileen said...

Left Coast Burrito in Manzanita is pretty great, and Falcon Cove hike between Manzanita and Cannon Beach is a good little hike. Blue Star Donuts in Portland is less well-known than VooDoo, but with donuts like Blueberry Bourbon Basil, it's my go-to Portland donut place. Hope you have a blast!

annie h. said...

you have to check out salt & straw ice cream and deschutes brewery in portland!

Caili said...

You should try to visit Multnomah Village if you are in Portland! It's in Southwest and the strip on Capitol Highway between about 30th to 40th is wonderful! There is Grand Central Baking Co in the area as well as many cute locally owned shops. Oregon is flat out beautiful though, you can't go wrong where ever you land :) Enjoy your trip!

Rachel Lynn said...

LOVE Cannon Beach, make sure to get some local brew at Bill's Tavern with their AMAZING clam chowder. Just Saying. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Homeboy Industries in LA is probably the most beautiful & joyful place I've ever been. It is an organization started by Fr. Gregory Boyle that serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women by giving them free services, such as GED and job-training classes to help reintegrate them into society. Read the book Tattoos on the Heart to learn more about the organization and also for a good laugh/good cry with a side of the desire to grow in mercy and compassion. They have a bakery (called Homegirl Bakery) that serves yummy muffins with lots of sass.

Megan said...

My husband and I got married this past October and our honeymoon was flying out to the west coast and then road tripping from Portland, OR to the coast and then all the way down to a bit south of San Fransisco. Can't even describe how beautiful and fun- we hiked, stayed in a yurt in Big Sur, and explored so many nooks and crannies of the coast. Stop in Tillamook for cheese samples and some ice cream. ;) The rocky coast the northern leg of the trip just blew my mind.

kaitlin said...

I have so many recommendations!

Nepenthe cafe in Big Sur-- stop in for a beer and the AMAZING view. AMAZING. Skip on the food-- it's nothing to write home about.

Splash Cafe in Pismo Beach has famous clam chowder in bread bowls-- holy delicious calories!

Stop at the Santa Barbara pier and walk to the end to crack some fresh crabs while you dine al fresco!

Santa Barbara also has a little area known as the Urban Wine Trail-- it's fun to grab a glass or seven. One winery/tasting room is decorated entirely with repurposed office furniture-- super cool.

Near Cambria you can stop right off the road and see the Elephant Seals (God has a SERIOUS sense of humor with these fellas... you'll see what I mean)

Julia Pfeiffer State Park in Big Sur has a great little walk (right off the road) to a waterfall that's ON THE BEACH. Best of both worlds.

If you're camping-- Plaskett Creek (south end of Big Sur) is a good campground. Sand Dollar beach is right across the road and if you hit it at low tide you can find TONS of sand dollars!

The drive from Big Sur to Carmel/Monterey is just MINDBLOWING. Take your time and play some good tunes-- keep those windows down. OH and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins!! You can see them from the car!!

Everything in Portland is amazing!

My husband and I did this drive right after we got married and we still talk about how magical it was. Enjoy my beautiful California coast! xoxo

Jacey Howard said...

*there's a lovely little strawberry farm called Swanton Berry Farm just off Hwy 1 near Davenport, CA. they have amazing berries, jams & other goodies. it's worth a short stop to stretch your legs.
*just north in Pescadero is Harley Goat Farms. you can taste all their amazing cheeses & see the goats.
*for Portland eats, I highly recommend Sweedeedee, Tasty & Sons or Tasty & Alder, Pine State Biscuits and Pok Pok.
*Base Camp Brewery has a s'mores stout and a canoe hanging over the bar. it's a dream.
*I'd second the recommendation for the Eagle Creek/Tunnel Falls hike. it's a long one, but the end result is SO worth it.

Dylann Stubblefield said...

Nepenthe & Deetjen's in Big Sur. Also the John Steinbeck museum in Salinas is cool!

Maggie said...

Your trip is a waste if you don't start in San Diego. Just sayin'.

Katie said...

How fun! I live in Topanga canyon (in the mountains off the Pacific Coast Highway), and one of my favorite places to eat is at Cholada - a Thai place that looks like a little shack, right on the PCH after Topanga Blvd., if y'all are hungry right at the start of your trip up the coast!
Also, definitely stop to see the elephant seals lounging on the beach just north of Cambria -- so entertaining! Have a great trip!

Anonymous said...

Smith Rock Brewing in Redmond, OR
Seven Brides in Silverton, OR
Fearless Brewing in Estacada, OR
Voodoo Donuts, Portland, OR

Silver Falls State Park
The Oregon Garden


Have such an amazing trip!

Susan said...

have fun on your trip, but if your coming all this way, make sure you stop over in my town..Bend Oregon for some real fishing :)

Jaime said...

I'm told by my foodie boyfriend that the best BBQ in California is at Smoqued in Orange, CA. As he's had KC BBQ at Jack Stack and loved it, I believe him. Have a wonderful trip!

Lelia said...

Check out the Chocolate Cafe in Cannon Beach - where you can eat your chocolate and wear it all over your face too! (It's a chocolate spa & it's memorable)
Also, Bruce's Candy Kitchen had some pretty stellar salt water taffy!
Enjoy the trip!!!
P.S. Go to Haystack Rock at low tide - my kids still talk about the starfish, etc!

journeyfromself said...

Since you guys like good beer, I HIGHLY recommend making a trip into Astoria (because really, the Truffle Shuffle should be done at the Goonies house) and stopping by Fort George Brewery.

Ashley Elizabeth said...

You're headed our direction. I hope you and your family have a beautiful safe trip.

Jennifer P said...

I love your blog- thanks for sharing your life with us! A year ago I was at Cannon Beach for the first time... pure beauty!

Becca said...

Spend an afternoon at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I grew up in Central California. I recently went back to the aquarium and it is just as magical as I remember it. To fortify you for the afternoon get some crepes at the Fisherman's Wharf. http://www.crepesofbrittany.com/

brlracincwgrl said...

Voo Doo Donuts in Portland is a must!

Emily said...

Woot! You're headed to my neck of the woods!! I've lived in OR my entire life, and we've had a house at the North Coast for 20+ years. I hope you guys have a wonderful time. There are a TON of delicious breweries in Oregon along Hwy 101 - and if you're headed central to Bend, or out the Gorge to Hood River, we'll get you linked in there too! I'll DM you in the twitters some links! Yay! Bravey Train is coming to the PacNW!!

Cassie Gant said...

Looks like you have a lot of requests for the Pismo/SLO area...but make sure to stop at Firestone Grill and get the TriTip sandwich. BEST SANDWICH OF YOUR LIFE.

In Santa Cruz, go to either Cafe Brazil for Acai Bowls (lunch) or Cafe Gratitude. Super good and very Santa Cruz-esc. :)

Lauren said...

voodoo doughnuts in portland = must!

enjoy your travels with the little one, we just drove from vancouver (can) to portland with ours; changing diapers at gas stations, stopping on the side of the road to feed and singing nursery rhymes at every red light. a whole new road trip experience and an amazing one at that! safe travels :)

Lindsay Martin said...

Along the Oregon coastline south of Lincoln City is Rogue Brewery, along with nearby boats you can rent and do your very own crab fishing (in case you've ever wanted to channel your inner Deadliest Catch). Don't know how North you're veering into Oregon, but Tillamook ice cream in Tillamook, OR... nomnomnom. The countryside and fresh ice cream, and cheese curds make it well worth a trip. Have so much fun!

TheBorovatz said...

We were there just last month! Salt and Straw has amazing ice cream! And of course, you can't miss Voodoo donuts!! *fist pump*

Debbie said...

Portland is a great city! Gravy is a must for breakfast, try the almond brittle with salted ganache at Salt and Straw, and you can't go wrong with the food trucks downtown!

Hannah said...

If you are guys are spending any time in Bend, OR then Jackson's Corner is a must! My two favorites are their sopressata with arugula pizza and their BLB (bacon lettuce beet- what?!) sandwich. Have a great trip!

Laura Elizabeth said...

You must eat at Nepenthe in Big Sur. Has the most stunning views and a great great menu. Also not sure of its schedule but the Tourist's Club in Muir Woods is supposed to be killer. (I've only ever tried to go on member's only days) HAVE FUN!

Becky said...

Sooooo glad you'll get to the Deschutes! Hoping you get the joy of fighting a big local redside rainbow.

Cortney Soland said...

Everything everyone said is good but the best spot is "the castle", Rocky Butt State Park. Harder to find but completely worth it once you see the 360° view of Portland and the Columbia river. This is my go-to spot to relax and take in God's creation. Bring a picnic and camera for sure. Im from Tacoma and I've driven down just to go to the castle. You will want to be back to the NW before you even leave! Have fun and take a lot of pics!

Aimee said...

Half way between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay is Pigeon Point Lighthouse, a lighthouse turned hostel. It also has a hot tub right on the cliff over looking the pacific. And of all the yummy places in SF to eat, La Santaneca De La Mission serves the most delicious pupusas which is a traditional El Salvador food and their like $2 each.

Anonymous said...

Highly recommend the perfect little beach town, Neskowin, on the Oregon Coast. Split a wood-fired pizza at the cafe -- you can't go wrong!

Becky said...

Are you driving on 5 or the Coast Highway?
On 5 in Ashland, NW RAW and tons of good coffee shops!
About and hour and a half later, there's a great ice cream shop on the freeway. It's a pretty nothing stop, but you will come down a mountain and on the left is an old trailer/mobile home selling burgers and ice cream. Worth the stop!
Once you hit Eugene, you'll be in heaven again for great coffee and raw food. Lots of ethnic food.
If you're on the coast we have lots more recommendations!

Diana Duchek said...

Ok, every year my mom and I spend a few weeks on the Oregon Coast. We have an awesome cottage that we rent in Yachats, Oregon. There is a fish house there, Luna Sea Fish House....there fish and chips are SO awesome! I like to get the Luna Combo Fish & Chips, which is Salmon, Cod and Halibut......mmmmmm! Also, in Depot Bay, OR, there is a little hole in the wall place called Bay Walk Cafe, they have gluten-free clam chowder...it's the bomb-diggity!
We loooove the coastal highway and never tire of hitting up the little shops and cafes that are along the route. I hope you guys have a spectacular time and fill your bellies often with wonderful local fare!
Our 11 year old loves the trip on the coastal highway. He seems to never tire of the sights and actually keeps his head out of the iPad when we do that drive! Brave is a lucky bambino!

Emily said...

Woo! How exciting your trip will be! I second (and third) the notion of visiting Astoria and the Goonie House. 14th Street Cafe is AWESOME for coffee in Astoria. There is the WetDog Cafe and also Fort George Brewery that are fun to visit and try beers.

If you are feeling adventurous, it's fun to drive over the HUGE Astoria-Megler bridge into WA. There is a town called Long Beach that has a lot of neat sights to see. Pickled Fish or the Lost Roo are great places to eat there and Cape Disappointment will not disappoint and Northhead Lighthouse is also beautiful! You can visit goat farms, pick blueberries, or just cruise on the longest drivable beach in the world! It's really cool beans!

If you do make it up, feel free to email! em.s.nash@gmail.com

Erin said...

If you spend any time in Portland, you should host a meet & greet :-) Would love to meet you! Enjoy the westcoast!

Anonymous said...

Visit Elkton, OR! Just a ways off I5 have some great wine, grub, and fish on the beautiful Umpqua River.

Emma Cunningham Rozeveld said...

Ok, I don't know if anyone has said this or not (I'm too lazy to check). BUT Terwilliger Hotsprings (AKA Cougar Hotsprings) is the best. Its about a 10 min hike into some beautiful old growth and is right on the way to Portland. There are 4 or 5 deep pools that cascade into each other and very in temperature. There is also a sauna like cave to sit in. We were there last August and shared the whole thing with about 4 other people. And it is totally baby friendly and free (parking is a couple bucks).

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