First of all, I’d like to introduce someone very special to me. I met Meaghan online a couple of months ago and ever since our first date in early October we’ve barely spent a moment apart. She lives in Eugene, which has certainly put a few extra miles on the odometer, as well a few extra hours on the cell phone, but by taking turns to make the journey on alternating weekends it really hasn’t felt like such a huge distance. What to say about her? She’s the oldest of two with a younger sister, sharing roughly the same age gap as Ellie and I. She works with children, teaching an after school program that covers arts, music, and literature that have been dropped from the regular school curriculum. Originally a music major in college, she earned her bachelors in English Literature and is about the only person I know to have watched and memorized more lines from The Lord of the Rings than I have.
It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Beaverton to Eugene on a particularly uninspiring stretch of I5, so this Veteran’s Day we decided to take a three day weekend in Lincoln City and drive down the coast for a change. Despite encountering rain, wind, and even a little snow, we had a truly fantastic weekend together and managed to pack a heck of a lot into three days.
Friday November 10th
The drive down on Friday was both wet and dark. Route 18 gets waterlogged pretty easily thanks to ODOT’s fastidious maintenance schedule. After trundling along through puddles and being splashed by passing trucks, we pulled into the hotel parking lot a little after 7:00pm. Following check in and having deposited our luggage in the room, we ventured forth to Fathoms for dinner; an appealing looking restaurant we had passed just a few minutes earlier. The Penthouse Restaurant & Bar for the Inn at Spanish Head, it proferred an appetizing menu which, while slightly overpriced, was a very welcome way to end a week. Refreshed and restored, we returned to our hotel to take advantage of the room’s Jacuzzi and a nice bottle of Christian Moueix Merlot. A side note of interest in the hotel room was the ridiculously small clearance between the bathroom door and the toilet. (I took a picture- the style borrowed from the Travis School of Evidencing Photography.) Talk about having space usage down to a fine art! To get inside the bathroom, you had to squeeze in between the toilet and the sink, then skim the door through the 1/10th of an inch clearance available to get it shut. On the plus side, you don’t have to worry about anyone walking in on you. Were the door thrust open, your painfully dislodged kneecap would give more than fair warning of any untoward intrusion.
Saturday November 11th
Saturday morning was kind enough to treat us to a clear blue sky and a little sun. Taking advantage of the illusion of warm weather, we shivered our way through a stroll down the beach. I managed to capture a picture of one brave family playing in the water (silly, silly people!). I wasn’t about to be so brave as to dive into the water, but it was really nice to just take a couple of days without a phone or a laptop and walk on the beach together on what could arguably be one of the final days of clemency we see in 2006.
Having warmed ourselves enough in the wonderful 22 degree ocean air, we decided it might be time to head to the mall, at least until feeling had returned to both fingers and toes. The Tanger Outlet Mall sports a variety of stores (albeit mostly targetted towards senior visitors) with very reasonable prices. A nice lady was kind enough to take a picture of us sitting together on a bench; (the Hanselman School of Photography style will have to be mimicked in a later post). We ended the day with another walk along the beach, this time a little further South, just walking hand in hand enjoying a beautiful sunset.
Sunday November 12th
Sunday morning heralded a quickened pace as we raced to meet the 11:00am checkout deadline. After a quick breakfast at a very IHOP-like establishment, we waved farewell to our hotel and made a last stop into the Lincoln City glass studio before turning North to return home. On the way, we took the 101 highway instead of 18 to make a quick stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I hadn’t been to the cheese factory until earlier this year when Jenn decided we should visit to celebrate her birthday. Meaghan had never been and so we decided to stop by to break up the return journey…and, um, perhaps have a couple of cones of Tillamook Mint Chocolate Chip ice-cream! All in all, an absolutely fantasmic weekend and a great reminder of why its important to leave the cell phone and the job behind once in a while to just get away and relax.