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Adventures in early literacy

Valentine’s Day Weekend on the Coast


For Valentine’s Day this year Kev and I decided to head to the Oregon Coast. This was our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple, after all. Why not celebrate big? Plus, we will always take any excuse to go to the coast. Usually we stay in Cannon Beach, but for this vacation we chose to stay in Astoria. We are so glad we did!

We arrived at the fantastic Cannery Pier Hotel at about 7pm on Saturday evening. The very nice lady at the front desk gave us the run down of amenities, etc. including the fact that each evening from 5-6 they have a complimentary wine reception. She apologized that we had missed the reception for that night, but said she would be happy to get us a glass of wine if we would like. Not knowing how to react to such service we graciously declined. We did take advantage of the wine reception on Sunday, however, and it was too much fun! We both had Cabernet and snacked on a plate of a variety of cheese and smoked salmon.

Cannery Pier Hotel

The entire hotel is very inviting with plenty of comfy seating, fireplaces, a library, and huge windows looking out on the water. Our suite was on the 3rd floor and was beyond amazing. Not only were there huge windows right on the water, there were binoculars on the window seat for ship and wildlife viewing.  The windows (and small patio) gave us perfect views of the mouth of the Columbia and the Astoria bridge (the longest bridge of it’s kind).  We saw a sea lion swimming around for breakfast on Sunday morning and several blue herons fishing after dinner Sunday night. The ships were hard to miss as they floated right by our window!

Astoria Bridge

Passing Ship

Sea Lion

The suite also offered a fireplace, claw foot tub, big shower, HUGE bathroom with french doors, and all the usual amenities.  We took baths both nights! From the tub you have a view of the water and the TV thanks to a window in the wall between the bed and the bathroom.

Claw Foot Tub


Saturday night we ate at Rio Cafe on a recommendation from the front desk gal. By far this is the best Mexican food I have had in the states. It is so authentic! The tortillas are homemade and they use pinto beans and black beans, not gloppy refried beans. It really is a hole in the wall, but if you get the chance you have to try it! I had a burrito with black bean and fresh veggies inside. Kev had chipotle pork. Everything was just so good we spent our time yumming instead of talking.


Chipotle Pork

Rio Cafe

Sunday morning we had continental breakfast downstairs and then took off to walk around town.  We headed to Mise En Place, a kitchen store, and found several really fun things including a bright green lime juicer! Perfect for key lime pie. Kev found a really cool salsa dish and we got a new potato peeler (our old one was pretty rusted). Then we decided to get lunch at Wet Dog Cafe (They have the funniest titles on their menu, including the Astoria Assburner!). On the way I slipped and fell on the pier dock.  In the process I took out a chunk of my palm and bruised my tush pretty well. The best part was that every table in the restaurant had front row seats! Luckily they all pretended not to notice. 🙂 We had garlic bread and salmon corn chowder for appetizers and a Hip Hop burger (bacon and cheese) and Sole fish and chips, both with steak fries for entrees.

Hip Hop Burger

Sole Fish and Chips

After lunch we hit up a game store (we found a new game called Blink that looks fun) and one of the bookstores in town. Then we decided to drive around and look at all the beautiful houses and views, including the one from the base of the Astoria column.  We’ve been up to the top of the column before so we just drove by this time and got some pictures of the view from the ground. If you find yourself in Astoria definitely check out the column. It is really cool and they only ask for a $1 parking fee.  Another must see is the Flavel house which is beautiful inside and out. It is pricier, though, at $5 each for adults.

Astoria Column

Astoria Bridge

At 5:45 we had to catch our ride to dinner-a 1938 Packard. This service is complimentary at the hotel-you just have to call down the morning of to reserve a car. The ride was awesome!

Our Ride to Dinner

Reservations at Baked Alaska were for 6pm. We started with drinks: chocolate covered cherry martini for me and a Bering Sea iced tea for Kev. We had Garlic Treats for an appetizer along with bread, garlic butter, and olive oil/balsamic vinegar. Kev had a ribeye with a bourbon glaze with risotto and grilled zucchini and squash on the side. I had grilled chicken with fresh tomatoes over a spinach penne pasta. Some kind of mushroom sauce was drizzled on top. Everything was totally phenomenal. We finished the evening with a Half Baked Alaska- a soft cookie topped with ice cream and pecans, brought to the table flaming. Kev really enjoyed the fire part. 🙂


Garlic Treats


Chicken and Spinach Penne Pasta


Half Baked Alaska

After checking out on Monday we headed to Cannon Beach for Bruce’s Candy Kitchen and Pizza a’Feta for lunch. We also ended up making a stop at the Wine Shack, taking away some chocolate dessert wine and a Riesling with Jones on the label. We bought way more candy than we probably should have at Tom ‘n Larry’s and Bruces Candy Kitchen and then headed to lunch. Thanks to the most amazing hair stylist in the world, our lunch was paid for (we got a gift certificate for a wedding present). If you think you have had the best pizza in the world you are wrong unless you have eaten at Pizza a’Feta. We had half smoked basil chicken and half pepperoni supreme (comes with pepperoncinis). Yum!


We had so much fun we are a little sad to be home. We won’t stay away long, though. It is only a couple hours away, after all.

Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

4 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Weekend on the Coast

  1. I shouldn’t be reading this on an empty stomach…

  2. I love it when an entire trip revolves around food. Can’t wait to see you soon!

    • Why else travel? 🙂 Can’t wait ’til March!!!! I talked to Bryan-we will all have to get together while you’re up. Loves!

  3. Thanks for sharing, I drooled all the way through it. 🙂 OXOX

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