I’ve spent this weekend in Toledo, OR visiting the family. The husband headed home this morning, I’ll go home tomorrow. It’s been a good weekend. Toledo is 6 miles inland from Newport, which sits right on the Oregon coast. In the summer Newport is a primo tourist location. Technically, I’m probably considered a tourist. After all, I’ve not lived in the area for over 15 years now (I had a short stint back after grad school in my mid 20’s) and the car I drive has a Washington license plate. However, I try my best not to act like a tourist when on the coast, with a couple of exceptions, both of which I indulged in this weekend.
But, before I get to that I’d like to explain the pictures that accompany this post. I went to Newport to run a couple of errands today. By “errands” I mean I needed to go to the liquor store to stock up because the tax on booze in Washington is ridiculous. I was a little embarrassed to be buying the number of bottles purchased on my own (as I mentioned, the husband headed home this morning) and felt compelled to explain myself to the cashier so I didn’t look like I had a problem. I’m not going to share the exact number of bottles. Let’s just say it was less than a baker’s dozen and more than a handful.
After my errands I considered going to the beach to take some pictures for the blog, but that would have been…well…too touristy and too predictable. Instead, I elected to take the “bay road” back to my parent’s house. This means that, instead of taking the main road between Newport and Toledo I chose to take the scenic route that goes up Yaquina Bay, which turns into Yaquina River. The husband is going to be irked…he loves the bay road and I usually don’t indulge him because it’s twice as long as the main road.
But, I wanted to give you a taste of life beyond the beach at the Oregon Coast. This is not intended to entice to you visit…good grief, no, they already get enough tourists each summer. It’s simply proof that there is more to the coast than the beach.
So, back to my touristy indulgences: the first is Aunt Belinda’s. This is a candy store on the bay front in Newport that sells the best salt water taffy in the US. Yes, I just threw down that gauntlet. You heard me: the best. Wanna challenge me? You send me your taffy from wherever and I’ll send you some Aunt Belinda’s and we’ll see who comes out on top.
The other regular stop is Rogue Brewery, a microbrewery that got its start in Newport many years ago. The Rogue tradition started with the husband and has continued with each visit. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but their hazelnut brown is super tasty.
Yesterday we hit both. Our niece turned 9 in July and in her birthday card I told her that we would take her to lunch and the candy store when we came to visit. Now, she would have preferred McDonald’s over Rogue, but we were buying, and driving, so she didn’t put up a fight. Plus, she had her eye on the prize: the candy store. After lunch we fought our way to the bay front and found parking less than 1/2 mile away (a summertime feat).
The problem with Aunt Belinda’s is that they have a dizzying array of salt water taffy. Grab a paper bag, start tossing it in. A couple pieces here, a couple pieces there. Oh, wait, there’s maple….four pieces. Oh, wait, there’s molasses…four pieces. We were putting together a bag for ourselves and one for Dad (because he’s a sucker for the taffy, too) and the niece had a bag for herself. She also wanted to buy some chocolate for her Dad (my brother) for his birthday this week. So, $37 later we got out of the candy store. It should be noted that she paid for the birthday chocolate. She’s a good seed, that one.
We left the bay front and headed up town to the ice cream store. The husband and niece got cones, I deferred because I knew Dad was cooking 1/2 a turkey on the Traeger for dinner and didn’t want to be too stuffed. After the ice cream store I called my aunt and uncle, who are in town from CA, and agreed to meet up with them at the Toledo Elks club. I asked the niece if she wanted to go back to Grandpa & Grandma’s house (my parents) or if she wanted to go with us. With us, of course.
When we arrived at Dad and Mom’s house later my brother and sister-in-law were already there (for dinner) and I led with, “Well, we took your kid to two bars this afternoon…” We win the Aunt and Uncle of the year award. We would have stopped at the liquor store, too, but we didn’t think we could take her in and it didn’t seem right to make her sit in the car. Turns out that minors are allowed in the liquor store with a parent. Dang, we could have played parent yesterday and picked up our booze. But, then I wouldn’t have gotten to take the bay road home and you wouldn’t get to see these pictures.