Sunday morning at Cannon Beach we all woke up early and had breakfast at the Lazy Susan Cafe (oatmeal pancakes - quite tasty) before heading north to Seaside to visit the aquarium!
Unfortunately, this skeleton of a gray whale is all we got to see. The group decision was that even if it’s a good aquarium, it was a little too small to warrant the admission charge, so we tried to get a glimpse of the seals…
… then headed straight back to Cannon Beach.
It was quite a chilly day – I’d bundled up in a wool undershirt, a sweater, a hoodie, and mittens before I felt comfortable …
… and everyone was a little tired, so we spent some time in the hotel relaxing. John, Jennifer, Neil, and AG1 enjoyed the view from the balcony:
while I roped some of the other guests into a couple rounds of one of my favorite games.
As you can see, someone (AG1, maybe?) made a trip for coffee, so my morning was pretty much bliss. A latte and a good rousing game of Set – it couldn’t have been better!
Late in the morning we headed to town to look at some of the shops and eat lunch at a restaurant recommended to us by some of Bryan’s friends who also happened to be in town for the weekend; I think we all enjoyed our meals (at the Lumberyard), although it was a little sad for me since soon after lunch Bryan, Jennifer, and Neil would be leaving for their homes. (Although of course two wonderful and completely unexpected days are better than none, so I felt silly being sad – but it’s unfortunately very easy for me to adjust to new and pleasant situations, so it seemed as if of COURSE my friends should be vacationing with us. What other option could there be?) Bryan’s the only one I got a good photo of at lunch, so here’s Bryan, enjoying his lunch!
After lunch we made a quick stop at a previously-visited hat shop for a little hat-trying. Neil looks a little bewildered by the cow hat…
… but so were we all, I think. It is a strange and mysterious hat, and its eyes glow freakishly red when you press a button in the cow’s hoof.
Sadly, trying on hats could only last so long, and we soon had to go back to the hotel and say goodbye to Neil and Jennifer (who had to drive back to California) and Bryan, who was catching a train back to Seattle.
Afterwards, some of the group headed off to nap and otherwise rest, while John, Jonathan, Ryan and I spent some more time in the shops. We tried many samples at an olive oil and vinegar shop…
… stared longingly at dresses and shoes next door, bought the last 5-6 person Settlers of Catan expansion pack available in town, and played with my new camera’s panorama feature. (Click for a larger version!)
As you can see, it didn’t quite work perfectly – the roof above Ryan’s right shoulder is messed up, and one of the theater’s pillars (on the right) has gone halfway missing. But the panoramas are sure fun to play with, and I think I got some good ones on the beach – I’ll post those later.
I also took some photos of flowers (of course), daisies and a calla and fuchsias.
Back in the room, we played a little more Set and then “the forehead game” which is more inclusive – the major downside to Set is that it requires players to differentiate between red, green, and a purplish-blue, which is extremely difficult for those with red-green colorblindness (like John and Robert). The forehead game is one in which each player writes a name on a piece of paper and tapes it to his or her neighbor’s forehead; then the players ask yes-or-no questions to try to figure out who they “are.” It’s quite fun, although it can be hard to figure out a good level of trickiness – Mary Lou Retton seemed to easy a person for Jonathan, but others struggled to guess Fermat and Samuel Beckett. It was fun, though, and before we knew it we were all quite hungry, and headed to Bill’s Tavern for burgers and more fish’n'chips which were good, although unfortunately slow in coming. Mid-meal we had to say goodbye to AG1, who was catching a late flight out of Portland – so it was down to six of us after dinner.
The idea for the evening was to find some dessert, and then play Settlers (with our new 6 person expansion pack!) but Jonathan had unfortunately gone jogging barefoot on the beach and had gotten some huge and painful blisters, so instead of ice cream, we got oozing, gooey blister lancing (fun!) before our game – but it’s OK Jonathan, I won’t hold it against you.
The game lasted late into the night – not terribly so, but certainly later than expected – before John won, so we didn’t expect to be up in time to breakfast together; Ryan, Robert, and AG2 all had tickets on the same noon-ish flight out of Portland, and would have to leave Cannon Beach early. But somehow we all got up in time to have a brief but delicious final meal together (at the Pig ‘n’ Pancake), after which we made a brief stop at Insomnia Coffee for on-the-road fortification and a few last moments of conversation.
Then Robert and AG2 were off, and while the morning was beautiful in a grayish way, with striated clouds above and fog nestled between the hills…
… we didn’t have time to linger long either – with various rooms to clean up and packing to do, we were in quite a rush. Ryan and I got his things together and took off for Portland very quickly, while John and Jonathan stayed behind to take care of the rooms and the rest of the packing. (Jonathan was not in a rush for the airport, because he had actually planned to stay with us at home for another several days – which was great, and I was very glad to have him with us that week – but surprise house guests are quite a bit more difficult than planned house guests…. A tiny bit of advance warning on that one might have been nice!)
So – that was it. It was a great weekend for me, at a time in my life when having friends and family nearby was particularly good. I still can hardly believe that it even happened – I’m not the kind of person that gets surprise parties, and until a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have said John was the kind of person to plan and execute them – and knowing the busy lives my friends lead, I’m extremely happy and grateful for everyone who came. So to everyone who came, and especially to John, “A thousand times
good night thank you!” You made my birthday weekend delightful.