BIRCH BAY, WA

 
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This past Labor Day, my beautiful friend, Nikole, and I headed up north to visit British Columbia, Canada for the weekend. But before we crossed the border we stopped in at her friends/super hosts new, cutie 1940’s vacation beach house in Birch Bay, WA for the night.
The entire coastline was filled with adorable vintage beach homes while the calm waves crashed on shore and friendly dogs splashed in the water. And the best thing of all: it’s crabbing town. I don’t have much to say except that I feel very grateful to have spent time here with such wonderful people sharing crab and cocktails.

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OUR FIRST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY // OREGON COAST

 
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ONE YEAR MARRIED!

Holy cow that went by fast! And again, what a year it has been! (married/dog/bought house/moved to new state)

To celebrate, we decided to take it easy and do a weekend roadtrip trip down the Oregon Coast to explore more of what this beautiful new state of ours has to offer.

ASTORIA
Once I got home from work Friday evening, we piled into the van and set off west to Astoria! I've always wanted to go to Astoria - I mean because Kindergarten Cop and the Goonies, duh - but, also because I always hear about how cute it is. And well, yeah it was. I wanted to punch it a little. Steve was super excited to be back in VanLife.

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We arrived just at dusk for dramtic views of the Astoria-Megler bridge which was literally next to our hotel! We stayed at this awesome, super cute place called the Atomic Motel which is as it sounds: Mid Century / Retro! Bonus: they even offer you free beer at check-in and there's a great little breakfast and coffee every morning. Would totally stay here again and would recommend! AND they are ESA pet friendly!

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We didn't have much time in Astoria, but we made it to Fort George's Brewing, up to the Astoria column for some great 360 views, indulged in the most delicious fish 'n chips at the historic Bowpicker, and checked out Fort Stevens and the old ship wreckage. It was Steve's first time on the beach, so it was funny to see how he would act! It was so cute to see the sand between his toes! I think he liked it!

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CANNON BEACH

From Astoria we headed south to Cannon Beach, another Oregon Coast town I've been dying to visit, and to see the Haystack in real life. And wow, it's so impressive up close! I mean just look at the scale of Danny & Steve! Our friend, Rachel, referred to Steve as a mini haystack. The beach itself is very popular, full of families, dogs, kite flyers, and beach bums. You can probably sit here all day and people watch. The town itself is also a very cute, cozy little village filled with cafes, local artisans, and bed & breakfasts. It is definitely a place I want to revisit and stay at soon.

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CAPE LOOKOUT POINT

From Cannon Beach, we traveled a little more south to an area near Tillamook and Netarts called Cape Lookout Point, which  is a National Park/Beach with camping and hiking trails. They offer traditional tent camping spots as well as yurts and car/van/RV camping - so, we appropriately van camped because VanLife is the best life. 

We BBQ'd, sipped wine and beer as we walked along the beach at golden hour, and made dark chocolate s'mores. It was kind of the best, and so low-key. It was exactly what we needed.

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Since hiking is one of our favorite things to do together, we woke up early and tried out one of the many trails Cape Lookout has to offer. Although we did take a wrong turn and ended up on a longer trail (the Cape Trail instead of the South), it was a beautiful time with beautiful scenery, cool weather, and kind people. Steve joined us again in his little backpack and everyone loved it.

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I kinda started to get all gushy and sappy on our anniversary - thinking back on the events of our wedding weekend and all the feelings. Getting married is such a special time. I know it's not for everyone and that's okay, but having all your friends and family around in one place at the same time for a few days is truly a dream come true.

It was a perfect first anniversary and I am so lucky to be married to this man.
Happy Anniversary, Husband. xo

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Wedding photos by Even Keel Weddings

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VANLIFE // LA to PORTLAND

 
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This past weekend Danny and I (& Steve) flew back to LA, loaded up my father-in-law's '89 Dodge Starcraft with the remainder of our belongings, and started our scenic route back up to Portland. The last two drives up were quick and to the point, all up the dreaded I-5. So, this time we wanted to take it slower up the 101, make stops, visit quiet towns, and take in the gorgeous west coast-line. And the best part: we were Van Camping, aka VanLife.

We began our journey just a few short hours after I touched down in Los Angeles. There was no time to waste! We figured we would start the drive up the redundant portion of California at night, being that it is a route we have already seen more times than we would prefer. This stretch includes the infamous cow-death-camp, which can be smelled for miles on end at night. The idea was to drive as long as we could, then stop for some sleep, and then cut over to the 101 at day-break. We spent our first night at a rest stop in Huron, and I was surprised how clean and quiet it was. The three of us cozily snuggled into the van's built-in bed, surround by all of our house plants and Danny's instruments. At that moment I thought: I could get used to this.

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We started our crossover near San Francisco, traveling through Berkeley, and over the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge to the 101. It's pretty amazing how quickly the scenery turns greener once entering Northern California. And of course, what road trip on the west coast would be complete without some In-N-Out, amirite?

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From there, we began passing through the towering redwoods of Humbolt County via the Avenue of the Giants. The air was so fresh and damp through this area that we could've hiked and explored for hours. There is something so majestic about California's Redwoods.

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Our last stop before calling it a night was in Eureka, CA. We had dinner at Nooner Cafe, a small Mediterranean restaurant tucked in an alley up against a speakeasy. I recommend their falafel with their honey tahini - it was really good. Full & tired, we passed over the Oregon state line and stopped at another rest stop nestled in the trees across from the oceanfront. I couldn't wait until morning - it would be the first time I got to experience the Oregon Coast.

Waking up excited, I finally got to see in person what I had been drooling over for years via other's Instagrams. And man oh man, was it better in person. Cameras cannot capture the aqua tone of the ocean on this coast. There really isn't anything like it.

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Left in awe from the scenic seascapes, we headed into Gold Beach for some caffeine before continuing on. We found a place called Rachel's Coffee Shop inside a pretty rad bookstore that also served some of the best homemade sticky buns we have ever had. Per recommendation of the regulars, go for the one with the nuts. I also have a hunch these bad-boys sell out fast, so get there early.

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At this point, due to time, we headed back over to the I-5 to complete our weekend adventure, unwind, and get ourselves ready for the week. Although I am sad we didn't make it to Tillamook and other seaside destinations this time, it only makes me more excited to come back to visit and explore more soon. Now, we just need a permanent weekender van. 

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