Earlier this month Cindy’s parents joined us for a week. They flew out to Portland, and we decided to head back down to the Oregon beach. We enjoyed it the last time we were there, and thought they might like to see it as well. We rented a house in Rockaway Beach for the weekend, and took them around the area to a few of the sites. Tillamook cheese factory was a must see, and of course, getting to the beach down in Oceanside was also a must for us.
Not quite on the coast is what we would call a gem that would be slightly hidden from the casual tourist. On the way from Portland you have to drive through Tillamook State Forest. It is very pretty even in November with the leaves off of most of the trees. They also have a very nice visitor’s center with good displays and kid friendly activities that teach about the forest and the people that have lived there over the years. We did not get to camp here (yet), but it is worth a return to the area for us at a later date.
For anyone going to the northern coast in Oregon, I highly recommend the Tillamook cheese factory. The way they have it set up is genius marketing, and the kids love to watch the factory from the observation deck. They took many pictures, and then we have had ice cream (pretty much obligatory if you are going to stop here with kids).
The other place that we have been to in Tillamook but did not get to this time is the Tillamook Air Museum. This museum is in one of the surviving blimp hangers built in WWII, and houses about 40 planes. This in itself does not sound special (a lot of museums have that many planes, and many have more). What you realize as you walk around them as a first time visitor, is that most of these planes are flyable! They have drip pans under them to catch oil, they are all sitting on their wheels, and many have towbars sitting underneath them, waiting for their next flight. They have planes there from WWI through the F-14, so it is certainly worth a visit. There are many old cockpit trainers as well, which the kids liked sitting in and “flying”.
With the grandparents in the area, Cindy and I did take some time for us, as we feel that that is an important part of a relationship, and really, they did not come to see us anyway :). They had a good time visiting, and will likely be back at some point.
Next up, moving to California in two weeks for a three month assignment!