Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vacation - Oregon Coast - Day Four

Day four was a great lazy day. We spent most of the day in Rockaway Beach, OR, just hanging around, walking on the beach and popping into the little shops along the main drag.

First thing, we took a stroll on their phenomenal beach. We love Rockaway because of it, its gorgeous and clean, there's never anyone on it and the water is amazing. It was pretty cool and stormy in the morning so we only walked for a bit, but it was a great start to the day.

We headed into town and ate at a little diner for breakfast, eating some good, but unspectacular chowder and chicken fried steak, (A little bit country, a little bit... lunch.) then headed back to the room, where we read books and wrote for a while, before taking a little nap.

When we got up, the day had gotten quite nice, sunny and clear with just a slight breeze. The Getaway had been working on their parking lot since we arrived, smoothing it out and rolling it flat, which made everything in the room vibrate pretty wildly, so we decided to take off and spend the day in town. First stop, Flamingo Jim's, a great, crazy shop with everything from lawn gnomes to alligator heads. We wandered around town a bit more, before we decided to look into lunch. That's when we started identifying a problem with Rockaway. While its charming and has a great mix of tourist and non-tourism feels, there's not really a great place to eat there. There are a few restaurants, but they're without fail, all mediocre. There isn't a single one that you walk away happy and satisfied from. It really seems like people are running them because they want to make money, not because they love the job or have something truly great to cook. We stopped in the Tourism Info booth to ask her where she recommended, and without hesitation, she told me the Pirate's Cove was the only place she ate at. Which is in a different city. Time and time again, when we asked someone, they would name a restaurant somewhere else. Eventually we decided to take their advice, and headed back North, to Wheeler, OR. After mailing a postcard and wandering around the exterior of the Old Wheeler Hotel, one of the many that is for sale in the area, we got lost in a crazy old antique mall, where we bought a couple of great, but mildly creepy photographs and some sea glass.

After that, seeing that the place the girl at the post office recommended was closed, we decided to eat at the pub across the street. Best. Chowder. Ever. The place itself was kind of a shambles, unsure of what kind of decor it wanted to have, classy expensive stuff or old-school ocean, but the view of the bay was nice, and the chowder was perfect, creamy without being too thick, and just the right mix of clam, potato and bacon.

When we got back from Wheeler, we checked out a fun little shop where the sweet little hippy lady that runs it collects rainwater everyday, storing it and making beautiful little gifts out of it by putting the water in cleaned, recycled light bulbs, adding a Tibetan prayer bell on top, and forming what they call Oregon Du Drops. Lindsay and I found this fascinating, especially as we both celebrate their rain as well, and they really did look absolutely gorgeous! I did find it a bit odd that she seemed to spend the day listening to her CD of her own singing, but i suppose she had to have it playing to sell it. We got a real kick out of her, she was friendly and cool, hand fed a raven outside and had found a way to make money off of something unique that allowed them to live on the coast and write. An enviable accomplishment!

Back to the Getaway after that for more relaxing, reading, wandering the beach and a little packing, the next day we were checking out. Sigh.

That night we ordered a most spectacular pizza meal. Earlier in the day, as we wandered the town looking for food, we stopped in at the local pizza place, which wasn't open yet. As Linz looked at the window menu, the owner slipped a menu out to her. As we were driving off, he leapt out and started chatting, turns out he'd been shopping for a car and liked the Honda Element. We talked for a while about it and other things, and after meeting the charming owner and looking at the menu, we'd chosen it for dinner. We ordered a Greek Gyro pizza with gyro meat, feta, garlic, olives and more on it, and a calzone style cheesy garlic bread thing that looked intriguing. When I picked the pizza up, the owner, Chuck chatted with me again, and expressed some hope that we'd be able to move out there. A cool guy. The food was friggin' great. The pizza was every bit as good as it sounded, and the garlic bread, while initially leery, was one of the best things I've ever had at a pizza place, with just the right amount of pesto, cheese and creamy garlic sauce. Very filling, and we had enough left over for breakfast the next day.

All in all, a great day. It was going to be hard to leave Rockaway Beach the next day.

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