Monday, June 15, 2009

Here's where I've been:

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?)


tone almhjell said...

Oh, so gorgeous! The landscape, the views, the ice cream and the peonies (my favourite). I long for exactly those things now, and nothing more so than time to walk a deserted beach with boyfriend. Sigh.

Instead I've spent the day constructing a blog for my employer, only to have everything torn down cause she couldn't wait for tomorrow and the tutorial we had scheduled. Sigh again.

But on the upside, there was a pile of lovely, hand-me-down baby clothes.

Kiersten White said...

That second lighthouse picture is AMAZING. That sounds like such a wonderful trip, and I'm glad some good work got done (as well as good cheese getting eaten).

Belle said...

It sounds like you had an amazing time! Really love the pink beach house, and the beach looks wonderful. I'm off to the Maritime coast in a few weeks, and am especially looking forward to the great seafood! The beach will be nice, too.

Deirdre said...

I love that you started this post with a pink house and ended it with pink flowers, with some pink hair in the middle.

Sounds like a lovely vacation. So relaxing.

Lisa Schroeder said...

Oooh, I love that pink house! So cute! And of course everything surrounding it is wonderful. So glad you had a great week.

You know what I've been dreaming of? Those berry muffins you brought to the beach! I want to make them, they were SO delicious. Could you post it, e-mail it, or bring the recipe card with you next week and I promise I'll copy it and get it back safely to you. :)

Anonymous said...

do you have any ice-cream for sweet Thinnychoochoo?

Heather said...

Sigh. I love your life.....

Amber Lough said...

The faerie shells are amazing, but those peonies, yes, they are show-offs!

Gift in the mail, tomorrow, if the kids don't drive me crazy before I make it to the post office! I haven't blogged in ages b/c I've been a mommy succumbing to her children, but I will get back to work soon. I have a book to write, after all.

Some day soon, YOU will be too busy, exhausted, and sleepy to blog, too! Muahahaha!

Stephanie Perkins said...

Oh, it's all so pretty!! I love how the house was pink. Only at the beach! (Or San Francisco.)

And the cheese and clam chowder. YUM.

Every year my family visits the beaches here in NC, but we aren't doing it this year. I MISS it. There's a little hole in my heart longing for beach sunsets and white sand between my toes.

(And that's what Tasha Tudor always said about peonies. I miss her!)

Commander Kip said...

Look at the faerie shells! Can't you just imagine a little seaside faerie girl with dainty shells for wings? She probably lives in an elaborate driftwood castle and eats seaweed salad for dinner. XD

Michele Thornton said...

Oceanside is our favorite secret getaway! How did you know? The girls love the tunnel to the small beach and there are lots of quartz to collect. I also have to confess that Oceanside's spot rising high over the ocean gives me some comfort after seeing all the Tsunami Zone sides along the coast.