We were up early on Day 4 and all set to head south! We checked out of our gorgeous hotel and, after a brief scare when we thought we lost the keys to our rental car, we were on the road.
The first stop was the Ecola State Park where we viewed the iconic Cannon Beach from the cliffs. The view was stunning, just amazing. One of those experiences where you can’t believe that your eyes are really seeing, and your brain is processing, what you’re experiencing. Also it was pouring rain until we got out of the car and, amazingly, at that moment, the clouds blew over and the sun came out. It was ethereal.
The view from a little further down the coast, on the opposite side of the beach:
The whole experience at Cannon Beach was unreal. I had seen pictures and this was one of the places I was most excited to go to and experience first hand. Now being there and seeing how majestic it was, it’s definitely going to be the happy place I go to in my head when I’m feeling stressed or upset.
From there we drove to Tillamook, OR to the Tillamook Cheese Factory!
The visitor’s area where you can view their full production line was awesome. You can see everything as it’s happening!
With an understanding of the factory and their day-to-day operations, we headed to sample some of their award winning cheese! It was tasty. Their Colby Jack cheese was my favorite. I think John liked their Garlic Cheddar the best.
Next we headed to the store to view their massive wall of cheese for purchase and to try some of Tillamook’s famous ice cream.
Ice cream flavors:
We each opted for the 3 scoop sampler, a wise choice. For her, left (cookies and cream, root beer float, and mint chocolate chip) and for him, right (caramel butter pecan, caramel pecan praline, and caramel toffee crunch – nice variety John).
Afterward we stopped off for lunch, the worst lunch of the trip in fact. I didn’t think a bad restaurant existed in Oregon but I was wrong. Needless to say, that was not documented.
The remaining drive to Portland took about 2 hours. We listened to This American Life, enjoyed the gorgeous scenery along the way, and I napped.
Finally, we arrived in Portland and headed straight to The Grotto. The Grotto is a 62 acre catholic shrine and botanical garden. Not being religious aside, we really enjoyed the solitude and peace here. The Grotto is beautifully maintained and has that beautiful green outdoorsy Pacific Northwest charm.
The shrine itself was cut into a massive rock wall. We were speechless. The pictures cannot possibly do this justice, it was amazing.
For a small fee you can ride the elevator to the top of the gardens and explore up there. Well worth it, the view and the gardens were really cool.
View from the top:
View of the seating for the shrine from the top:
Also at the top was a monastery with in-residence clergy. What a cool place to live.
Blissed out, we headed to our hotel to check in. We stayed at the Hotel DeLuxe in a luxury suite (we splurged, it was our honeymoon after all!). The hotel was decorated and styled like old Hollywood. A very cool vibe for a very posh hotel.
The room was nuts, it was huge and so elegant. It felt like a fancy apartment!
We were welcomed with champagne!
After we got settled in our room, we changed and headed out to dinner. We went to the Portland City Grill which reminded us of the Top of The Hub restaurant in Boston. High up in a huge building with great views and an elegant, classy steak house vibe. Except this place was much better, we have had bad experiences at Top of The Hub.
For an appetizer we got the cheese plate and the crab cakes. Both were divine. For dinner I got the goat cheese and prosciutto stuffed chicken, super rich but very tasty.
Look at allll those donuts!
We have the goods!
We brought our donut stash back to our hotel to enjoy with some cold milk. It looks like a lot but we literally took one bite of each and that was it.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of our honeymoon travels where we have the best breakfast of the trip, visit Multnomah Falls, get our first taste of the Portland food truck scene, and visit a few of the best breweries in Portland!