In 2007, I spent New Year’s Eve in Lincoln City, Oregon. In 2008, I spent New Year’s Day there.
It was all Duckie’s idea. We were tossing around things we could do to have a New Year’s more exciting than normal, and she suggested driving down to the Oregon coast and visit some Pacific beaches. We rented a condo on the beach at Lincoln City, a tiny beach town on the coast outside of Oregon. I went without supplementary health insurance (Mike Moore would blow his ballcap!)
A few hours later, we drove past Seattle for my very first time. Everyone always said that it was like Vancouver, and since I lived in Vancouver, I never saw the point. The point is obviously on The Space Needle. I love Googie architecture.
We did stop in Tacoma to see the revitalized historic core, and especially the bridge to the museum of glass, which is filled with artwork from Dale Chihuly. We’re big fans. We ate a proper cafe breakfast across from the renovated train station, now serving as a courthouse.
We drove on, and made our next stop in Portland at The Grotto. It’s an outdoor shrine recessed in a cliff wall, built by nuns or monks or both. It’s really quite cool! They were advertising their Fest of Lights, but we were visiting in the daytime, so we could only profit from the temporary petting zoo.
It started getting gloomy, then the sky went dark and it started to hail merrily. We bought tokens to take the elevator to the upper gardens and walked in the freezing cold sleet. The gardens have paths that wind between religious sculpture and iconography. We were alone.
I was soaking wet and shivering, so I was happy to get to the meditation centre, a large glass room built into the side of the cliff and overlooking the city away from Portland. There were overstuffed leather chairs facing the view. The room is well sound-proofed and very silent. I tried to dry my hair with my scarf.
Of course, there was a surprisingly intense rainbow.
We had terrifying pizza in Portland, and ended up on the long, wrong road to the coast. It was dark by the time we arrived in Lincoln City.
We rushed straight to the box office to buy tickets for the community theatre production of Moonlight and Magnolias. We were worried that they might have sold out.
The ticket lady informed us that they were having a gala presentation for New Year’s on the following night, but we had high hopes for the gala at the local casino.
So we went to the play that night. It was the retelling of the book Gone With the Wind to the screenwriter who would write the movie. Of course, I have no qualifications to be a critic, and I think amateur theatre is valuable in all its many forms. No matter what a disastrous shambling mess it appears to the spectators.
If it had been slightly better, we would have walked out at intermission.
Community theatre actors, please remember: we can see you, even when you aren’t speaking. However, when you are speaking, look at each other, or something other than the floor. And put your fingers away! Keep gesticulating like that and someone’s going to lose an eye.
OK, that was a bit mean, but I edited out all the worst. The worst was just malign, and didn’t need to be said.
The next day, we went out the the beaches. I love strolling on the beach. It was freezing, but I bought thermal underwear at Target. Canadians love Target! We walked and walked.
We went to the casino to check out the New Year’s parties. We were expecting to get tickets for the forties-themed gala, but the casino was too depressingly gloomy when we arrived. It was well-lit and modern… just gloomy. On a beautiful sunny day, it just seemed so very wrong that the casino was so busy. We left again quickly.
We spent the afternoon on the beach, and wandering through charming curio and second hand shops. At one, the proprietor tried to sell us artisanally handcrafted plush owls with disturbing and perverse storage orifices.
We decided to pick up stones, and attach our worries, problems and anxieties to them, then throw them in the ocean. I picked up one with lots of little holes (for lots of little problems), walked with it for a bit, and threw it as hard and as far as I could.
In the evening, we were both feeling feverish and ill, so we slept until nearly midnight, ordered Chinese food from the wrong town 15 minutes down the highway, and finished our champagne with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin in our apartment.
The next morning (the first morning of 2008) we went for a dip in the ocean. Duckie had her swim attire, but I had to go in my underwear. We both went in only up to our navels; I would have gone in farther if it had felt… less… punch-in-the-ballsy. Duckie was disappointed that we didn’t completely submerge, but my legs were turning blue. I’m convinced we can do better next time.
On the way back, we stopped off at the aviation museum, which looked really cool. It was closed. An enthusiastic man was wandering outside going from aircraft to aircraft and shouting excitedly to his girlfriend, who was following him slowly from inside her car. With her windows closed.
That’s about it! Wait, no… there were TWO bonus adventures!
We had a tweaked out server at the Outback Steakhouse in Seattle. He was speaking English, but he wasn’t making any sense, as if he had come from an alternate planet with frequent and regular drug abuse. Duckie confounded him by asking for a bit of milk with her tea. He ended up bringing a saucer of milk. Like for a cat. And presented it (and every other item on the table) with a flourish.
The second bonus adventure was at Target. Canadians love Target! We had bought some wine, and Duckie decided to ask the cashier if she knew anything about a specific bottle. The cashier replied, no, she didn’t, but she had had “mer-lott” before, and assured us that it was “kinda grape flavoured”.