Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sloth Love Chunk

Our recent Oregon trip made me realize that I never really posted photos from my first time through the area. A couple of years ago, a friend and I took the super scenic route from Seattle to Vegas. One of our detours was through the coastal town of Astoria for the simple reason of visiting the Goonies house.

As we parked, we heard loud cannon noises coming from the bay. So we checked it out. One-Eyed Willie's ship?

Back up the hill, it's strangely awesome how the current resident embraces the house's fame.

About half an hour south of Astoria is Cannon Beach—the location of the end of the film. I previously posted a similar photo, but it's so beautiful that it's worth revisiting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

UPS Amigo

About a month ago, I was asked to take some photos at work. Here are a few highlights.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oregon Coast

The Oregon coast is so beautiful, it's completely worth the 90-minute drive from Portland. We took our time because I knew I wanted to be at Cannon Beach for sunset.

First stop? Tillamook Cheese Factory!

They have a viewing platform upstairs where you can watch the cheese production in action and read about the process. They call it a "self-guided tour."

Quick tip: There is also a secondary ice cream stand upstairs with less of a line.

Cruising up the coastline, we saw a sign for a winery and took the chance.

Their selection of "regular" wine wasn't that great, to be honest. But their sweet wines made from non-grapes are delicious. We picked up a bottle of their Blackberry to bring home.

There are myriad spectacular viewpoints along the way.

Our dinner stop was Cannon Beach. Unlike last time, the sunset on this day wasn't amazing. So I tried to capture something a little different. Also unlike last time, we parked on the southern end of Haystack Rock for a different perspective.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Storm Unchasers

We had planned to camp up in the mountains near Las Vegas, but the forecast showed thunderstorms. So instead, we made a return trip to South Carlsbad State Beach. The seaside campsites on top of the bluff provide for a fantastic sunset view and it's tough to beat the lullaby of the waves crashing on the beach below.

Barely a week old and we're already taking my car on road/camping trips. It wasn't even registered yet! I was surprised at how easily I was able to pack all our gear. The trunk isn't that much bigger than my previous car. The navigation and the free satellite radio trial were a nice bonus.

I was watching the weather throughout the trip. The TV news said the hurricane off the Baja coast would bring some rain. The online weather sites were all over the place. But in the end, it was great weather—albeit a little hazy.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

We had planned to camp at Hilltop Campground in the Mt Charleston area, but the forecast showed thunderstorms. Rain is fine. Lightning no good. (Though I'm sure the flood victims have something to say about that).

So we made a last minute switch and headed down to San Diego instead. I discovered Ocean Beach Dog Beach through It's a great place to let your dog roam off leash.

For those who don't know, Bawoo's eyesight is mostly gone. It happened pretty quickly over the last couple of months. As a result, he's nowhere near as active as he used to be. It was nice to let him roam around on his own. It's just too bad we never brought him here before.

He even gained a little sidekick.

There were tons of dogs running around like crazy.

Bawoo actually got in the way of the shot below, but a little cropping and I still like it.

I thought this dog looked quite majestic. Full disclosure: there was a girl wearing a pink top walking in the background. She was a distraction so I removed her. Not a bad Photoshop job, eh? You can probably see the remnants of her reflection by the dog's left hind leg.

I thought this dog looked cute in a weird way.

Swallowed by the ocean! A little wave came in and swept him off his feet. Bawoo normally hates water. Actually, if he could see, he might never have gone anywhere near it. So this was a funny moment.

Trying to dig himself out.

He gets tired pretty quickly these days.

And now we have a sandy dog to clean up before going back in my brand new car!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Roaming Portlandia

This will be one of my largest blog posts. I decided to lump most of my Portland photos together.

On our first day in the city, we didn't have our car rental yet, so we took the MAX light rail and walked around. We stumbled on this fairly popular ice cream shop called Ruby Jewel Scoops.

Our hotel was near Providence Park, which is where the Portland Timbers play (Major League Soccer). Too bad they were on the road the weekend of our visit.

To cap off our first night in the city, we took the bus down to Deschutes (after a detour through Powell's Books). I wasn't all that impressed with the brews this time around (I had been there before), but the food was excellent and the Steamer Clams come in a very healthy serving size.

The next day, after our trip to the Columbia River Gorge, we stopped by McMenamins Kennedy School. Aside from the tasty Morning Coffee Cream Ale, their beers were rather forgettable. It was interesting walking through the various corridors of this former elementary school.

The Boiler Room bar is probably the coolest spot. It is in fact the school's former boiler room!

We ended our second night in Portland with a quick visit to the Waterfront area. I'm happy to report that I captured the shot I wanted on the first attempt.

On day three, we drove to the coast, which I'll leave for a separate post. Day four, I woke up early and visited the International Rose Test Garden. Not that I'm into roses, but I figured you can't take your first real trip to the city of roses and not visit a rose garden!

And as this bed of miniature roses clearly states, "Why Not?"

One thing I realized on this trip is that I'm really not a "foodie." Portland is definitely a food town, but we didn't exactly seek out many food spots. One exception was the famous Pok Pok Thai restaurant.

The food was good but no better than Pan Asian in Las Vegas (granted I haven't been in a long time). I did love this "Drinking Vinegar" though. As it turns out, we have the stuff to make it at home!

In my limited experience, my new favorite Portland brewery is Cascade. As the self-proclaimed "House of Sour," they aren't kidding. Most of their beer list seems to be comprised of sours, which is currently my favorite style. I was in heaven.

In the "Keep Portland Weird" category, you'll never guess what's across the road from Cascade Brewing. A goat field! While we were enjoying our beers on the patio, I noticed some people who looked like they were feeding some animals. What an awesome find!

Upon further research, it seems like they will be relocating soon.

Finally, it only makes sense to close this post with more beer. In the photo below, meet Fred and Adam. Yes, those are the beer names. Delicious, complex, and strong!