October 13 - we woke up to a cloudy sky but thankfully no rains. The weather was perfect for a nice long morning walk. DS and I took a walk along the Willamette river, while DH went for a 7 mile run around it. It was a refreshing walk and the entire area called Riverplace is very charming and boutique-ish! :) I didnt have the chance to actually explore the shops or restaurants along the path but they looked enticing enough to warrant another trip to the city! Since our plan was to drive to the coast today, we headed back to Residence Inn for our "included" breakfast (available till 10 am. After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles and some pretty decent coffee, we started towards Lincoln city around 11 am.
We headed south on I-5, then took state hwy 99W. Driving south-west on 99W we passed many wineries, so decided to stop by one of them. We took a pit stop at Sokol Blosser Winery. The drive into the vineyard was nice and the humidity in the air made the surroundings look crisp and clean. We did the $15 wine tasting of 6 different wines - a pinot gris, 4 different pinot noir and 1 dessert wine. The desert wine was pretty good but at $40 a pop we didnt think it was worth buying. After walking around, taking a few pictures and picnicking on some food that we had brought along, we started on the route towards Lincoln City. We made another detour to look at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum where we drove around and looked at the planes outside but did not go into the museum. We also stopped at a farm and bought some hazelnuts - had never had those before so it was an experience eating them. We reached Lincoln City a little after 2 pm and the fall kite festival was in progress at the D River State Park. It was cloudy and chilly but the kite flyers were out there in full force! We stood mesmerized as a team of 6 flew kites in sync with the musical theme of Star Wars - it was so perfectly choreographed that we stunned to see the kites go up, down, around and even do bows in the air! Absolutely amazing. Then DS got the chance to try his hand at some kite flying - it was pretty neat to watch him learn to control a 4-string kite!
6 kites flying in sync with the Star Wars theme music
We then headed to our place of stay for the night: Surfrider Resort at Depoe Bay, about 20 mins south of Lincoln City. The resort is set on a cliff facing the ocean - so ocean views for every room. The resort itself is very old which is noticeable in the room construction and furnishings but its a clean place. Also, in the summer and possibly into Autumn, one can see whales in the ocean. Unfortunately, we didnt see any although they were spotted a few days before we got there! It has a restaurant on property which we did not try. Instead we ended up at a Thai restaurant called Thai Bay in Depoe Bay. Note that Google maps (as of Oct 13, 2012) gives the location of this place incorrectly. Its next to the Whale Museum, after one crosses the bridge in Depoe Bay. Its a hole in the wall but very clean and utilitarian furnishings. The portions are large (and I mean large!) and their "medium" is pretty spicy (coming from an Indian - this means SPICY). But the food is good, especially on a freezing cold day! We packed plenty of leftovers and headed back. The rest of the evening was spent in the warmth of the hotel room at the resort... it was too cold to venture out and explore anything at all although the beach at the back of the resort looked very interesting.