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Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Trip Reports | 0 comments

Trip Report- A Surprise Destination to…

We needed a weekend getaway on the cheap.  Disney was out of the question, as we currently live in Seattle, and there’s no way to make that happen without spending a chunk of change.  I booked Great Wolf Lodge (I’ll tell you later how I got a free airline ticket in doing so!), but we wanted to getaway for a bit longer.  What to do?  I researched a ton of driving distance destinations.  Portland, Vancouver, Leavenworth, Mt. Rainier..  You name it.  In the end we decided to roll the dice, quite literally.

I’ve had the Hotel Tonight app installed on my phone for about a year.  If you’ve never heard of it, this app books highly discounted hotel rooms for same night stays.  I’ve collected credits through various promotions and referrals, equaling $85.  Not too shabby!  If you’d like a free $25 credit use referral code SMACGILVRAY.  I’ll get a credit too!  Now onto the adventure..

The night before we were to leave, we stopped at Costco and stocked up on cold cuts, chips, bread, water, etc.  We were packed and ready to go.  But to where?  Well, we were leaving that up to the app.

I made sure we were all up and showered at 9am, the time the hotels become available.  Hubby wanted to be surprised.  So, I perused through the offerings and gave him two options, the beach, or big city…

He voted for….  The beach!  But I still didn’t tell him where we were going..

We loaded up the car, got ice, and were ready to drive at about 11:30 am.  We pointed the car south!


However, about 45 minutes into the drive, we hit gridlock.  Not your average stop and go, but stopped.. completely.  As in, everyone get out of the car and walk about.  There were truck drivers sunning themselves, moms frantically trying to entertain kids, and curious people standing on hoods.  We tried to make the best of it and made lunch.  After a while, I was reminded of that old REM music video where you start to wonder about the people next you, make up stories about their lives..  Yes, really I was that bored.  It didn’t help that I had no phone reception.  And, it was 90 degrees.


Finally, after about 2 hours and 45 minutes traffic started moving again.  A log truck had jackknifed and lost its load.  There were overheated cars littering the highway.  Ironically, the crash was right in front of Great Wolf Lodge, of which we’d be visiting the following day.


We had to make a pit stop (along with about a 1,000 other people!) and found a rest area about 60 miles north of Portland.  It was hot, and we were already tired.  But we had to keep trucking!

In Kelso, Washington we headed off the highway and onto a ginormous bridge, I have no pictures since I was white knuckling it!

Pretty soon we headed on the Oregon Trail..  Yes, that computer game from elementary school!


That sign says “Welcome to Oregon”.  In fact, it’s the first time we’ve been.  The area for the next two hours or so was rural and very pretty.

There’s an 80’s movie that needed to be paid homage on this trip…

Goonies House Astoria Oregon

Can you guess it?  If you’ve paid attention to the Pixie Budget Facebook page you know this is the Goonies house!  Actually the Goonies were a big part of this trip, and one of Hubby’s favorites growing up.  The Goonies house is just a block or two off the main highway in Astoria, OR.  You can’t drive up to it directly, as there’s a steep incline up a gravel driveway.  There is however plenty of neighborhood parking.



The views from the house were pretty spectacular



We still had another 45 minutes in the car.  No one was happy about this.  I felt like a schmuck because I had clearly miscalculated how long it would take to get to our destination.

Which is………  Cannon Beach, Oregon!

Cannon Beach Oregon Haystack Rock

In the next post I’m going to tell you all about our stay at Hallmark Resort Cannon Beach!  I will say it was awesome!  Stay tuned for some pretty amazing photos, some directly from our room!  Like this one..

View from Hallmark Cannon Beach

See you soon!



  1. Trip Report- A Surprise Destination to… | Awesome Family Vacations - […] We needed a weekend getaway on the cheap. Disney was out of the question, as we currently live in…

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