At the pink beach house!
A three-minute walk down the road, this beach (seen on two varyingly sunny days):
We had it almost entirely to ourselves; many times entirely to ourselves, which was lovely.
There was more driftwood than I've ever seen, and not little bits and pieces, but enormous bleached trees that arrived here from who knows where to become beach "furniture" and even be turned into strange structures.
Sadly, this particular structure, which was very sturdy, was torn down one evening. The suspects: a group of teenagers we saw get out of a brand-new Hum-Vee as we were leaving. The structure was intact when they arrived, and demolished the next morning. Coincidence? Perhaps.
A few miles away, up the cape that you see framing the beach, there's a lighthouse with gorgeous views:
Something I learned from the lighthouse docent: the Lighthouse Service was its own independent government agency until it merged with the Coast Guard in 1939. Lighthouse keepers had to be married, not just because it was lonely work, but because it was hard work, and the Service needed the free labor that came in the form of wives and children!
Down the other side of the cape is the town of Oceanside, where a dark foot tunnel through the cliff connects to a little string of rocky beaches.
An island group just off-shore is a protected breeding ground for seals and sea birds like cormorants, murres, and puffins. How I'd love to see puffins! I always think of them belonging much farther north, but they're right here. Funny.
Oceanside also has good clam chowder, at Roseanna's Cafe:
(That's a Tillamook crab melt alongside it; when in the land of cheddar ... one has no choice really, but to eat cheese!)
If it seems that we were out and about seeing sights, we weren't. All week we were hermits at the pink house and walking on the beach. I dove back into my novel-in-progress, which had not seen the light of my computer screen in weeks. Jim worked on sketches for various projects, as well as doing a little writing of his own. We walked on the beach plenty, but didn't get out to the lighthouse and Oceanside until the last day of our week away, when my parents came out to join us.
Ice cream was involved. Full-cream ice cream fresh from the dairy:
It would have been madness -- madness! -- not to buy cheese while we were at the Tillamook factory. And, you know, we're not crazy. So cheese was purchased, as well as cheese curds, though I did NOT buy the batter mix they sell for the purpose of deep-frying your cheese curds. Because that sounds awful. (Awful delicious!)
Anyway. It was lovely and lazy. I could certainly get used to walking on the beach every day. I did get used to it, in fact, and our two walks in our neighborhood since we've gotten home have seemed a bit lacking. No seals bobbing in the surf, no mob of red-wing blackbirds bending the cattails in the marsh, no driftwood castles, no shells that look like faerie wings.
Sigh. Back to the land of distractions and chores. (I spent yesterday cleaning, not to mention repainting the fireplace and some kitchen cabinets and trim, and the to-do list is ridiculous right now.)
On the bright side, though, when we got home, the peonies had finally bloomed!
(Are peonies not the most ridiculous show-offs?)