The husband and I went to Oregon last weekend to visit my family. The annual summer trek over hill and dale to the homeland, six miles inland from the mighty Pacific Ocean. As is our standard practice, our trip was within a week of our niece’s birthday. This year…the big 1-1. Holy crap. That makes me feel old. The fact that our other niece turned 13 a few months ago…ancient.
As part of her birthday gift we offered to take her to the Emoji Movie and dinner. After some negotiation (ahhhh…I remember when she was 8 and went along with things rather than negotiating) it became lunch and the Emoji Movie. However, the husband and I selected the restaurant, which is how we ended up at a pub sipping cider, beer and orange soda.
One doesn’t have to worry about awkward silences with the niece. This is the kid that didn’t start talking until she was three or so. Now she can carry on a conversation like no one’s business. We chatted about anything and everything as we grazed our way through lunch. After lunch we stopped by an ice cream/taffy store next door for salt water taffy. I am still mourning the closure of Aunt Belinda’s Candy on Newport’s Bayfront. They had the best (the best) saltwater taffy on the Oregon Coast. To get anything close we’d have to drive north to Depoe Bay, which wasn’t on the itinerary. However, the candy store next to the pub had all the right flavors and the taffy is pretty good, though I occasionally hit a piece that’s rather tasteless (which is just weird), so while it will suffice it is not the same. At the movie we bought the niece popcorn and an icee, which she enjoyed along with the leftover french fries she tucked up her shirt sleeve and smuggled in (I kid you not). The husband admitted later that he dozed through parts of the movie. I, too, found my eyes getting heavy here-and-there. The best parts of the Emoji Movie can be viewed in the previews you’ve seen on your television. But, the niece enjoyed it. After the movie she apparently still had capacity, so we stopped at a new fro-yo place in town. Fro-yo in Newport is a big deal. Probably not as big of deal as when McDonald’s first opened (yes, I remember that), but is still causing a bit of a stir. That was probably the biggest highlight of the weekend. We did make it to the beach, as you can see from some of the photos. That happened Friday morning. We awoke to glorious blue sky, which is bit of a surprise on the Oregon Coast in the summer. Often the marine layer doesn’t burn off until noon…if it burns off at all. We were at the beach by 9:30 or so, which meant the tourists hadn’t popped their heads out of their hotels and vacation homes yet. There was a breeze, but it wasn’t ridiculous. And the blue sky matched the blue sea and all was right in the husband’s world. This beach has become a favorite. The wind and waves create lots of interesting small sand dunes and, depending upon where you’re standing, you can see the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Simultaneously if you stand in just the right place and stand on your tiptoes. Plus, it seems that this beach doesn’t get quite as busy as some of the others in town because you do have to trek down a short trail to get there. Or, maybe that’s just because we’re there in the morning and not 2 in the afternoon. I try my darndest to avoid Newport at 2 pm in the summer. Saturday was primarily family day. We took time for a walk in the morning, then prepared for the big Toledo Summer Festival Parade. The highlight is when Georgia Pacific rolls their big truck down main street and employees hand out rolls of paper towels. I always get my roll of paper towels. All of the log trucks in the county (at least that’s what it felt like) had been polished to a high-sheen and chugged down the street as well, horns blaring, breaks jaking. After the parade the husband and I took a short stroll down to the Summer Festival grounds and sat in the beer garden with our corn dogs and Coors Light. The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent at my brother and sister-in-laws house. The grandparents were there…always good to love on the over-90 crowd, as were other assorted relatives. A good end to a too-short weekend with the family.