May Ocean

IMG_7742

Our May adventure to Lincoln City was filled with blue skies and wonderful sunsets.  We got some “good news/bad news” from the desk when we checked in.  The good news…..no one had the room above us.  The bad news…..the whole top floor was empty because they were re-roofing while we were there.  No way to warn us.  The company was supposed to be there last week.

I was not looking forward to three days of hammering, but it all went rather smoothly.  The hammering was not as bad as all the equipment (and the sounds the shingles made when thrown from the top floor. *shudder*)  Thank goodness ocean waves can overwhelm so many other sounds.  Plus BLUE SKIES – NO RAIN

Robert spent extra time during low time to find some beautiful rocks.  He treasures them.  Collecting was just half the fun.  The second half was organizing them with a “look at this one” and “see the layers in this one.”

IMG_7746

It was my job to pick out a new breakfast spot, since we try to do something different each visit.  I’ve always been fascinated with a swanky hotel called Inn at Spanish Head not too far from our modest digs.  I read there was a great breakfast so we were there when it opened.  The restaurant served good food, and the view was crazy beautiful.

IMG_7727

We tried to get a selfie without backlighting ourselves too much while still showing the view.

Don’t file the next part under “too much information.”  As it is with being human, I had to visit the bathroom.  I walked in and was confronted with this scene.  I KID YOU NOT.

IMG_7729

When a restaurant’s bathroom has a better view than your hotel room, one might imagine the cost of a room. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t switch.  We love The Sandcastle, and stay there every time we can.  Note: I made sure to catch a corner of the sink just to prove….holy cow, it’s a bathroom.

While I didn’t see “our” seal this time, I was lucky enough to see the spout and body of whale/s!  Such creatures.  I either saw one whale four times or four different whales.  Either way, it was a thrill to experience.

Advertisements

Friendship

lucy

How lucky was I to get a phone call from a friend of mine…. such a globe trotter…who was in town.  She came over and we had a 3-4 hour visit where I don’t think we took a breath.

So much to share.  She had been a mentor and colleague of mine at the community college where we both spent many many hours at work and at home trying to make a difference in our students’ academic lives.

My friend, Lucy, has never retired.  I don’t think one day or hour goes by without her coming up with a new plan to make the academic lives of students EVERYWHERE more successful.  She hosts a study website.  She travels around the country giving workshops or presentations to instructors.  Add to that, she supports her friends across the country and visits family in Australia.

She continues to inspire me with her passion for learning and teaching others to make learning a part of their lifestyle.

Such a great visit.  Thanks for stopping by, my friend.  Happy trails.

March Ocean

IMG_7510

Our March visit to Lincoln City, Oregon, was a strange mix of wonderful and not so good.  The weather was warmer and it’s always great to see the sun peek behind the clouds at the moment it sets.  The reflection of sky and ocean makes for a visual feast.

Speaking of feast, my husband and I agree that the best pizza in the area is called Tie-Dye Pie Pizzeria (formerly known as Humble Pie).  It’s a tiny place on Highway 101 that does a brisk take out business.  One of our meals is always a trip to this place.  This makes for a very happy husband.

IMG_7514

The first night we were there, after the pizza was eaten, I started feeling a stabbing pain in my back, left side.  It got worse as the night went on.  A little past midnight I announced that I needed to go to the emergency room.  My husband flew into action as if I had just said, “My water broke.”  The Lincoln City emergency room was very nice and we walked out at 3:00 AM with medicine and knowing the reason.  (My kidney was not happy.)

With each coast visit, there is something old and something new.  The new was the emergency room.  Hopefully we will not repeat this.  The old was spotting a seal, surfers, and plenty of dog owners having a blast with their dogs.

feedbirds

My husband loves to feed the birds, and I caught this picture of him.  The five birds grew to about two dozen, all calling out for their share.  There must be some kind of “food” call because it didn’t take long for the seagulls to swoop in.

We are now half way through our adventure of spending three days at the coast each month for an entire year.  More fun to come…

 

February Ocean

monet

Our February adventure at the coast was different in a number of ways.

First, we decided to stay over a Sunday and Monday night instead of a weekend, which changed the ebb and flow of tourists. On the drive out, most were “going home” driving in the opposite direction.

Secondly, while we are used to rain, we did not expect horizontal rain which turned our windows into camera filters.  I call this rain filter, “Monet” because it reminds me of paintings by Claude Monet.  The splashing against the windows was soothing and I think gave the ocean a dreamy effect.  Once the horizontal rain stopped, we had very clean windows.

Lastly, our usual eating spots were closed, so we explored different places.  While I like to hold up in the hotel (we paid for it, I want to BE in it) we took some trips to walk around the local mall and also eat at a famous landmark, Mo’s.

moes

The food was good and the place uncrowded.  On Monday morning we ate at restaurant that had recently changed hands.  It was decked out with surf boards and nets…entitled “Macadangdang’s Reefside Bar and Grill.”  What a name!  We asked about the history of the word “macadangdang” but the new owners just shrugged and said, “It’s what the last owner called it.”

The service was friendly and the food hearty.  But that word – still a mystery.  A bit of advice: If you look up the word in the Urban dictionary, you may choose not to eat there.  I assure you, the food is fine.  The owners are about the get a smoker in and the menu will change to include BBQ. *happy dance*

While some things were different, there were many things the same.  Two little girls squealing as they chased the waves and were chased back.  Loads of soaring seagulls and floating black birds.  “Our” seal even made a showing.  We were worried we’d miss it.

img_7286

Wednesday morning we arose at low tide to see all the branches, seaweed, and logs that the surf had left on the sand during the storm.

As we got ready to leave, I was reminded of my dad, who loved the ocean as I do.  He would say, “I wonder how long it would take for me to get tired of this view.”

I wonder that, too, dad.  I wonder that, too.

January Ocean

sunsetjan

Our visit to the coast in January was clearly separated into two parts: the traveling and the ocean.

We started our trip over the pass, basking in the glories of giant evergreens heavy with snow.

snowtrees

I would be lying if I said we didn’t break into a Christmas song or two along the way.  The roads were clear and the traffic light.  The trees, however, were putting on a winter show we don’t often experience.

coastjan

The second part of our trip began as we sat before our glass windows and soaked up the view.  Once at the ocean, the temperature was less snow-like, although it was “frigid” for the coast (the locals told us).

img_7061

There were three surfers beyond the waves, not wanting to tear themselves away from their fun at sunset.  A seal, much closer to shore kept an eye on these three.  I wonder if it was thinking,  “Food, foe, or friend?”  It was a most curious seal and stayed out as long as the surfers.

Saturday was the real show.  Ten surfers marched out to sea, at different spots along sand, to surf, sit, and play in the waves.  I wondered if it was a convention of sorts.  That seal showed up again, swimming back and forth, its little head peaking out to watch the surfers with me.  After a couple of hours, the surfers further out were greeted by a pod of seven seals, swimming, dipping, jumping, and rolling around some of the surfers.  What a joy to watch!

img_7059

Robert went out for a long walk, and sure enough…that curious seal popped up to check him out.  Made me wonder if we go to the coast to look at sea life and they come to watch US?

Sunday morning was clear.  Long shadows stretch out at low tide.  Breathtaking.

img_7069

What a joy, this “year at the coast” one weekend a month.  Goodbye January ocean.  See you next month.

 

 

December Ocean

img_6844

Our third monthly trip to the coast is a rare view of the winter ocean since we rarely come over so close to Christmas.  First, I’m not so keen about traveling the pass if we have to use chains.  Second, the list of “to do’s” for Christmas is getting rather long.  Are we crazy to take off three days the week before?

We are committed to our “Year at the Coast” as explained in an earlier blog.  Off we go, chains in the trunk.

We arrive to a gray sky, but the 45 degrees make the place seem downright balmy!  Instead of seagulls hogging the sand, there are these black birds sitting between the first and second waves.  HUNDREDS of them….just sitting there.  Dawn to dusk  Anyone who knows bird habits may have a clue to these little sturdy birds.

I watch the waves as the “to do” list melts away.  We enjoy three days of art work and reading.  The TV is rarely on and we don’t take any day trips.  We simply relax.

img_6848

Robert sketches waves while I work on my “Goldfish Diaries” cartoon series.  Later we switch out to books, then back to art.  What bliss.

img_6864

I get up early on the last day to watch the ocean at sunrise.  Since we face the Pacific on the west coast, the sun rises in back of us.  However, the ocean changes as the sun rises and begins to peek over our hotel.  It hits one wave at a time turning it a glowing white until the sun is high enough to  turn all the waves white.  A wonderful, slow, peaceful transition.

What an incredible winter holiday.

Oregon State Fair

The last of August and the first of September has been the traditional 11 day run of the Oregon State Fair.  It’s a friendly combination of food booths, musical shows, and critter watching during the day and bright lights, fireworks, and rides at night.

Robert, my husband, puts his hard work and love into his booth, which is part of the Artisan Village.  This unique part of the fair features artists who not only sell their work, but demonstrate it.  He brings his torches, kiln, supplies, and even sets up a special viewing area with safety glass.

As much work as there is, Robert loves the customers that drop by the booth.  Most of the year he works in the shop behind our house (a rather solitary task).  But during the fair he embraces one and all, shows them his newest marbles or turtles, and touches bases with the other artisans in the area.

The highlight of the fair is when his grandkids drop by for a hug before prancing off to visit the petting zoo or buy a special fair treat.

img_4330

2cropfair

This year was Robert’s 8th and last year.  Sadly, Oregon has bit by bit privatized more of its attractions, on the backs of artists who can not afford doubling or tripling booth prices. He has loved it, but it’s time to say goodbye to the Oregon Fair as it moves into its new more commercialized era.

He’ll remember the fun and all the great people he worked along side in the Artisan Village. Robert will even probably take a day and visit the fair he has been too busy to see for the last 8 years.  There’ll still be plenty of 4-H kids showing their cows, sheep, and llamas.  Music with the crazy good smells of food booths will fill the air.  There’s not a better place around to people watch.  Hope you can make it there some year.