Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Touring the Pacific Northwest: Tillamook and Seaside

Tillamook Baby Loaf Bus

We decided to take a detour on our way from Portland to Seattle and head out to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Cheese is probably Isabelle's favorite food. She could eat cheese or any dairy product all day long if we let her. We thought it was only fitting that we take her to Tillamook, the land of cheese, while we were kind of in the area. We wanted to tour the factory and try their products at their source. Obviously, Andrew and I were overly excited for the visit as well. The detour was definitely out of our way, but we figured it was the only time we could easily visit.

Tillamook Cheese Factory and Sample Bar

The factory and their self-guided tour was pretty lackluster. It included a little walk-through with info to read and a smaller second level to overlook part of the factory with more info to read. The factory itself was pretty sparse. There was part of one section running and maybe a handful of employees working it. The kids weren't interested in reading any of the info so we didn't stay there for long. Instead, we headed downstairs to try out all the samples.

Visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory

The best part of our visit was definitely the food. The samples were good and we had lunch at their ice cream counter and creamery cafe. The kids enjoyed their huge ice cream cones and we had an amazing grilled cheese sandwich. The visit was complete with purchases from their store including Tillamook swag and their factory exclusive squeaky cheese curds.

Seaside, Oregon

The next leg in our trip was a visit to Seaside, Oregon. Andrew really wanted to take in the Pacific Coast scenery and take the kids to see the ocean which is why we ended up staying a night in Seaside. It wasn't until we got there that we realized that Seaside is definitely a seasonal town and we happened to be there in their off-season which meant a lot of things were closed. After reading up on the town, we learned that this is where they have a commemorative statue to signify the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail. We took a walk along the beach in the very cold, windy weather, took a look at the aquarium to see they were closed for maintenance, then got in the car and headed out to Seattle. The drive was less scenic than expected. It was very gloomy weather and the sun pretty quickly so there wasn't much of a chance to in any views.

A bridge we crossed as we made our way north.

It actually ended up being a good thing that there wasn't much to do in Seaside, because I woke up that morning to a very awake and chipper Andrew (who is not a morning person at all) in my face telling me the "good" news. Apparently, the friends we were visiting were a lot further away than Andrew thought which meant we had to get on the road if we wanted to make it there at a decent hour. Basically, the lackluster visits were an even bigger waste of time than originally planned and we could have avoided all of it had we known how long it was going to take to do the extra loop. Even though this was a failed leg of the trip, our final destination was well worth the drive. Next stop: Seattle!
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