a dry, mostly sunny week: part one

Bringing the summer full circle, I thought I'd end these four months of school-free blogging with a day-by-day recap of our recent week spent in Oregon.


We left Boston by plane late morning last Wednesday, headed to Portland, Oregon by way of Cincinnati, Ohio. With a five-hour layover on our hands we decided to venture out of the airport, actually in Covington, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati, waiting awhile for two TANK buses to take us, ultimately, to Newport "on the levee", Kentucky, home to America's own hofbrauhaus, modeled after the original in Munich, Germany.

I've been to the original but I don't remember what I had to eat and I was only around 12 or 13 at the time so I don't think I drank any of the beer, although I probably could have if I'd wanted to. I do remember it being huge inside, much larger than the Newport version, the first "authentic" hofbrauhaus here in America. I read somewhere that it's actually a franchise of the over 400-year-old Munich establishment, opened in 2003 (catering to Cincinnati's German population, I guess). They serve four tasty regular beers and a monthly seasonal brew from Munich's Royal Brewery, accompanied by a menu of German cuisine and the obligatory hamburgers and chicken fingers.

We were a week too early for the tapping of the Oktoberfest kegs, so we sampled a couple of their four regular beers. Neal had the wurst sampler while I tried the cordon bleu, a difficult dish to find in most stateside German restaurants. While we waited for our food, the hostess told us about other Newport attractions - supposedly, the breakfast scene of "Rain Man" was filmed in a diner just around the corner. We noticed a lot of table graffiti and other customers asking for writing instruments (and they weren't kids' parents requesting crayons) so we figured leaving our mark on the place was okay. I still felt a little guilty, though, as I searched for my trusty Sharpie and added our names to the middle of the table.

We left the restaurant completely stuffed and slightly tipsy, walking the twenty or so minutes back to the transit center to catch the bus back to the airport (a five hour layover flies by when you're not sitting in an airport). On our way, we stopped by the Purple People Bridge, which connects Newport to Cincinnati, crossing the Ohio River. If you have $39.95 (or $59.95 during the weekend...and I thought the Boston Duck Tour was expensive) and about two and a half hours, you can climb across the top of the bridge. They make you change into purple and yellow suits and you're escorted by a tour guide, stopping you from time to time to share tidbits of area history. Tempting, but, you know, we had a plane to catch.

After we landed in Portland and claimed our rental car, we drove about two hours to the Oregon coast, checking into Lincoln City's Captain Cook Inn around 1:30 a.m. east coast time. We stayed awake just long enough to agree that this renovated "autel" sure was charming.

Next time...Pig 'n' Pancake, Tillamook cheese, and a sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

No comments: