Despite summers spent in Hawaii (it’s not as glamorous as it sounds, Mum is from there), when I think of the beach I think of craggy cliffs, freezing gray ocean, and cool, misty Northern California summers. I grew up fishing with my dad on the cliffs at Muir and Rodeo beach. My sisters and I running barefoot on the rocks and feeding chicken bones to the seagulls. We’d all be bundled up in our hoodies, but we always had to stick our bare feet in the ocean. Kind of a ritual with my dad, always greet the ocean with your toes. Even if they want to fall off afterwards like ice cubes.
This is why I fell in love with Oceanside. It had everything that I yearned for in a beach. And this trip did not let us down. A thunderous ocean that you watch at a respectful distance. The horizon eluding us somewhere behind the thick blanket of cloud, fog and ocean spray. Seagulls playing in the crazy wind catching currents as they shifted wildly. The waves crashing on the shore with a fierce passion only a winter storm could bring. I absolutely love it.
Forced to stay inside, Adam and I lounged in our jammies, sipped tea, read, played games and nipped on glasses of scotch. Our idea of a perfect blustery Oregon weekend. On our second day there, the winds and rain calmed a bit and Adam and I stepped out of our cabin and onto the beach. A small handful of folks wandered the shore with blissed out dogs running like mad and greeting strangers.
Others, like Adam, combed the beach for agates and sea glass. A long-standing tradition with Adam, his mom has boxes and boxes of her son’s childhood ocean treasures. Within an hour, Adam had a sack of stones that likely weighed in at 3 pounds. I participate here and there, picking up stones if I happen to see them, but I find I gravitate towards funky shells and the polished bones of some long dead seabird. And some very odd sea creatures.
Our last day on the coast always leads us down the curvy, cliff-hugging highway 101 to Pacific City. All roads eventually lead to a pub, and Pacific City boasts the 16 year-old Pelican Brewery. Great food, fantastic service, a view of surfers (usually) surfing and, on Friday, probably the best beer I’ve ever had. Anywhere. MacPelican’s Wee Heavy Scottish Ale, an unbelievably delicious, creamy, dark amber, robust, ever so slightly sweet and possibly too easy to drink beer. After we ordered a glass each, Adam noted the alcohol content of 8.9%, and at 12:30 in the afternoon a heavy lunch started to sound much more appealing than the bowl of veggies I had intended to order. Hence, blackened chicken sandwich with bacon and beer battered fries. With full belly’s and cozy heads we thought it would be best to pop across the street to Stimulus for a bit of caffeine before we hit the road. Just enough to keep us alert for the rainy drive home.