March 22, 2009

Down the Oregon Coast

Well, despite the Hit-and-Run, we managed to make it on our trip, thanks in a huge part to Andrew Ma at Park Collision (604-279-5545). My insurance estimate was moved to Tuesday morning, the day I had planned to leave for our trip. I called Andrew explaining the situation, and he offered to order me a replacement mirror for next day delivery on Monday, before I even handed him my paperwork. He told me as soon as the mirror arrives, he'll put it on immediately so that I can make my trip without worry that my taped-up mirror would fall off on the highway. We'd worry about the superficial damage to the rest of the car after I come back.

And that's exactly what he did. After I finished with the insurance estimate, I dropped off the car and paperwork at Park Collision and went out to have a quick bite. Within 30 minutes from the mirror's E.T.A. of 12:30pm, I get a phone call from Andrew telling me the car is ready to go. I walk back to the bodyshop, and we were off on our vacation right on schedule.

We spent the first couple of nights at a friend's in Renton, WA as they just had a baby boy. It was fun playing with him and his two year old sister. I also visited a Renton Motorcycle Company, which can only be described as a Costco for motorcycles. On Thursday, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend arrived at our friends place, and we headed down towards Astoria, OR for our first night on the coast.

That night we met up with Sandy, someone I met on the forums. He was very kind when I posted about my hit-and-run, and offered to meet up if I still made it down. He offered some good tips on lodging and dining in the area, and we met for coffee and had a great chat that night. Of course, I totally forgot to take a photo.

The next day we had breakfast at the cafe Sandy originally wanted to take us, but was closed as we arrive to town kinda late. Then we set off down 101. We had borrowed a GPS unit from a friend, and for some reason it took us on a detour off 101 for a short bit. It wasn't too bad though as the detour was a bit of a winding affair and even if my tires couldn't grip the wet roads too well, my friend in his modified Audi 225TT sure enjoyed the drive.

We stopped by the Tanger Outlet in Lincoln in the afternoon, then continued to Newport for the night at a beachfront hotel. The rain was just terrible at some points during the day. But the beauty of the coast was worth it. We must have looked so funny being the only people to get out of our cars at some of the lookout points in the heavy rain and wind, just to take a few photos. Still, I'm sure we missed a lot of views due to the weather. I think this trip is definitely worth taking again.

Due to the limited number of days we had, Newport was as far south as we went this time around. In the morning, we woke up and went down to the beach by out hotel for a nice walk, which ended up with wet shoes and socks (boys being stupid). Then we visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. I really enjoyed the Oddwater and Passages of the Deep exhibits. We spent a bit more time in the aquarium than I had originally planned, but it was well worth it.

We then cut across 20 to get to I-5, then followed it north until Woodburn. Why, for the Woodburn Company Stores of course. Outlet prices and no tax. Because we left the aquarium late, we went back the the outlet the next morning. I scored myself two pairs of sneakers before calling it quits and heading back up to Vancouver.

Thanks to everyone who made this trip wonderful.

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