Friday, May 2, 2008

Mom's visit, part two: The Coast

The sun was peeking out when we left Portland, but as we headed along on our merry way Westward, the clouds started to pile up and the rain started coming down.

Mom and Jack were being really good sports about the weather, but let's face it - if you're going to the Coast, you'd much rather than sun than rain. SOME rain is expected, but not the steady shower we experienced through much of the afternoon. At least we had a stop in Tillamook planned - cheese factories are of course housed indoors and I think we were all hoping that maybe the rain would let up while we went to *BEHOLD THE POWER OF CHEESE* (Remember that commercial?)

Tillamook is pretty cool. When we went there with Jacquie, it was a weekend and the production line was shut down. But on a Tuesday the place was a hive of activity. The girls were absolutely fascinated. Hell, *I* was pretty fascinated too - it was fun to watch them slice through one hundred pound blocks of Tillamook yumminess and then watch the baby blocks go through the wrapping machine. And then of course, there's the store downstairs. Mom practically went grocery shopping. We got cheese curds and yogurt and crackers and spreads and bricks of sixteen different kinds of cheese. We could have built our own factory-direct cow. And after THAT, it was time for ice cream.

Finally, we were Tillamook'd out. I have no idea how long we were there - time inside the cheese factory runs on it's own accord, kind of like Willy Wonka's place. But eventually we made our way out the door, over-laden with cheese and tshirts and ice-cream-covered-kids, and we continued on our way to Lincoln City.

Oh. And it was still raining. Damn it all.

It took about another hour and a half to reach Lincoln City. We caught beautiful glimpses of the coastline through the downpour and played the ABC game with the girls while the baby took a sugar-crash-induced nap. I was a little nervous about what would await us in Lincoln City; it was the first time we were trying the beach house route instead of the hotel route and I didn't really know what to expect. I mean, the lady I worked with was super nice and the pictures of the place were darling but then again, there was "the Kentucky vacation" of my childhood.

Did I ever tell you about the Kentucky vacation? NO???? Let's just say that a glossy brochure doesn't ever mean squat. Mom and Dad rented a "quaint cabin in a forest setting with all the amenities of a resort" somewhere off of Kentucky Lake. We were all set to go on yet another Connolly family fishing and Yahtzee playing extravaganza. Little did we know that after driving ten hours, the "resort amenities" would be a scummy green pool breeding the state's mosquitos, a handful of vending machines, and the assistance of a staff that had fewer teeth than the Chunk. The "cabin" was made out of cinder blocks and seemed more inclined to host wasps than people. Actually, it all looked an awful lot like this

My Dad took one look around, told us to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING, and disappeared for a few hours, mercifully finding us a fantastic little house right on the lake, but holy hell what an adventure.

So yeah. I'm kind of jaded about rental houses. Or maybe it's scarred. Anyway, I was nervous.

Turns out my worries were for naught. Because "The Sunbeam" in Lincoln City turned out to be a little ceder sided piece of adorable heaven. For a hundred bucks a night we had a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and a loft for the kids to sleep in. There was TV and movies and games and it was really just perfect, and only a few blocks from the beach.

We went grocery shopping and bought way too much food while our faithful driver and navigator Skippy and Jack took much needed snoozes and when we got back, we said screw it all, made the kids dinner, and ordered Chinese.

And we listened to the rain. Which was STILL falling.

Got to run!

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