We are home from our week long Miata holiday.  It was a wonderful time.  Aside from the last day (more details later) we had sunny weather every day so could spend most of it topless.  (that means with the top down on the car for you prudes) 

The first couple of days were spent driving through the Cascade Mountain roads to arrive at Leavenworth Washington.  Stopping at every vista and view point and lunches in small towns like Winthrop (a western theme town) 

Two days in Leavenworth with our friends (Octoberfest was in full swing) and then south to Astoria in Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River on the Pacific.   The US Northwest is suffering from a record drought.  86 days of sunshine with no rain.  Good for us travelling except it meant lots of forest fires so from Leavenworth to Astoria we were in very smoky conditions.

We spent a couple of nights in Astoria which gave us the chance to explore the history of this town which is actually the oldest US settlement west of the Mississippi.  Older than San Francisco.  Our hotel room was on the ocean and all night we were serenaded by sea lions (Ooyrk, Ooyrk, grunt, Ooyrk).  Sounds restful but thank goodness for ear plugs. 

After a day walking the beaches and visiting museums we were looking for a special restaurant for Monday (Thanksgiving) and found a place on the dock called Baked Alaska.  A seafood restaurant with a reputation for the variety of the dishes and fancy desserts.  Easily the best meal that Pat and I have enjoyed in many months.  Pat had grilled scallops the size of hockey pucks and I had a clam dish with spicy Italian sausage meat.  Delicious.  Even with a bottle of wine the tab came to $50 for the pair of us (granted we did skip the fancy desserts)  Got to love small town America. 

On Tuesday we drove up to Port Angeles on the old 101 highway and stayed over night.  Ocean and mountain views all the way with a picnic on a beach which we only had to share with seagulls. 

This morning we caught the ferry to Victoria.  Overcast and drizzling so the top was up all the way home.  Finally the drought is over for the west coast so all the fires will be gone.  Lasted just long enough for us.