Clearly you already know that we're on a mini staycation and just returned home from a few days at the Oregon Coast....Lincoln City, to be exact. It is only 100 miles from our house and the drive was perfect. we stopped for breakfast on the way out at the McMenamins Oregon Hotel in McMinnville. McMinnville is also home to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum -- which houses the former Howard Hughes Spruce Goose. It is quite the place and in the running to get one of the last two Space Shuttles once they are retired. And the whole area is Oregon's Wine Country -- filled with wineries and tasting rooms. Oregon has done its best to put it on the map for some of the world's nicest wines....it seems like we have a million local wines available to us.
We stopped at the Spirit Mountain Casino on the way to the Pacific Ocean. Lost all of my entire five dollars on the penny slots. We ended up in Lincoln City long before motel check in so we plied the town's star attractions -- the Tanger Outlet Mall, Cyber Garden and Tea House for a coffee, and a walk along the town's small main street which coincides with Oregon's famed coastal Highway 101. It was a really nice sunny afternoon before a 100% pouring rain and windy day to follow. Our nights were spent at the overtly doggy friendly Looking Glass Inn at the south end of Lincoln City....with perfect access to the beach for walking, enjoying, reflecting and walking the pooch. Mason loved the beach...it was his first time to see the ocean. There were other dogs everywhere on this quiet stretch of Oregon sand. The sea lions played in the water right outside of our motel window....diving for a snack and then popping back up to look around and take a gander at us. The tides were low around 8am and then high around 2pm. It was amazing to watch how much water went out and then returned a few hours later. The tides are around 6 feet in this particular location. We watched two movies in our room, something we rarely do at home. The Social Network and Up in the Air.
Monday started out rainy and ended up rainy. 100%. Blowing Pacific wind and rainy against our windows. After a precious experience at breakfast (wait for it....wait for it....) we spend the remainder of the day snuggled in our room watching the wind and waves until we snuck out to the giant Chinook Winds Casino for their dinner buffet. And the experience is precisely what you're thinking right now -- morbidly obese people with scooters eating more mediocre food than you can possibly imagine. "These quesadillas sure are chintzy....." being the words right out of the mouth of the giant young girl at the table next to us playing Keno with numerous used dinner plates sitting in front of her.
Breakfast earlier that day....I told you to wait for it. We stopped in at a place I couldn't even believe was actually there. Lil Sambos. Yes sir, Lil Sambos in Lincoln City. We had them growing up back in Idaho too. Except that they were called Lil Black Sambos at that point in our nation's history....With little black stick figures running across the walls. This place was filled with a nice gift shop -- complete with Christian gifts, books and craft items quoting scripture and such. Oh, and we enjoyed a large television of Fox News above our heads while we dined. And, yes, it did have an ancient copy of the book Little Black Sambo for perusing purposes only. I guess I thought that most of our world was actually in the year 2011. Apparently not.
Yesterday dawned clear and perfect. No wind...which is really something on the Oregon Coast. We trenched back out to the crashing waves with Mason and watched the sea lions playing again. It was a very nice way to end the trip. We ventured back home on a few back roads in the Willamette Valley and stopped briefly at the Woodburn Company Stores Outlet Mall before ending up back at home at a respectable 2pm.
Nice. Relaxing. Perfect. Simple. Easy. Not fancy. Repeatable.