Thursday, April 23, 2015

Girls’ Getaway

 Last weekend my daughter, Melanie, and I spent a wonderful time together at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast.  We don’t get to see each other very often so it was really fun to catch up and talk and just relax for a couple of days. 

We stayed in a cute little cabin on Hemlock Street, a block from the ocean.  We could see the waves from our doorway.  It wasn’t fancy, but had everything we needed and was comfortable.

I hadn’t been to Cannon Beach in a very long time, and it’s a great little town.  Very quaint with lots of shops and restaurants crowded together along the main street.  I noticed there was a library, book store, fabric store and yarn store, as well as many cafes, art galleries and souvenir shops.  What more could you possibly need?  A New Seasons or Whole Foods, I guess.  There was a small grocery, but apparently the nearest supermarket is at Seaside, nine miles away.  There were lots of tourists too – I bet it’s very crowded later in the season.

Our first morning, we walked the length of the town checking out the shops, then got coffees and walked all the way back along the ocean.  What a beautiful day and beautiful site!  Haystack Rock is the most popular view at Cannon Beach and we wondered how it got there.  Here’s what it says on the City of CannonBeach website:

Good old Mother Nature 'built' Haystack Rock. The rock part of Haystack Rock is actually lava from a volcano that erupted millions and millions of years ago on the borders of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Molten lava flowed seaward down what was once the Columbia River Gorge. When it hit soft sediment on its journey west, the lava went underground. When it came to a vent or soft spot (like it did here in Cannon Beach) it "popped up." Scientists know this because they have identified "signature" chemicals in Haystack Rock that only match volcanoes on the other side of the state.

Later in the day, my son-in-law Ben drove up with Wilbur, my sweet granddog, for a visit and romp on the beach.  Wilbur loves the beach!  In this photo I'm sure he was thinking "Hurry up with the picture so I can get back to running and swimming!"  You'll see more of him in my next post.

I always enjoy hearing about Ben and Melanie's work.  Ben is a fifth-grade teacher, and he's the kind of teacher all the parents want their kids to have.  He'll be taking his kids on an overnight camping trip in a few weeks.  This is mind-boggling to me - I'd be terrified!  Ben takes it in stride - you can tell he truly enjoys what he's doing.  I know Melanie loves this time of year as the school year winds down and she has a lovely house-husband-chef for the summer!  (He's a great cook!)

Melanie is a software engineer, and since that's what I did in my pre-retirement life, we have lots to talk about.  Technology has changed so fast - she's way ahead of me already, and it's exciting to me to hear about her projects.

I can't say I was perfectly true to my eating plan, but I don't think much harm was done.  I'll be extra careful this week to compensate.  Our first night we had a beautiful dinner at The Wayfarer, an upscale restaurant a block from the beach.  I was so busy talking with Melanie I never thought about photographing my Salmon with Pinot Noir Gastrique, but it was beautiful and delicious.  I wasn't sure exactly what the difference is between a sauce and a gastrique.  The blog Serious Eats says:
In plain terms, a gastrique is a sweet-and-sour sauce at its simplest. You caramelize sugar (or sometimes honey), combine it with equal parts vinegar, and reduce it slightly to make a tart, slightly thickened syrup.
 After that delicious beginning, we ate less formally.  Salads for lunch - a shrimp Louis for Melanie and a chicken Caesar for me.  (Not the most attractive chicken Caesar I've ever had, but tasty.)

I did have two bready meals.  We had walked by a pizza place that smelled so great we were happy they had room for us at dinner time.  It was very good and we shared a salad and only ate two slices each.

Our last morning we had breakfast at a cute place called Local Grill and Scoop.  We'll definitely go back there again next time we're at Cannon Beach!  I did consider a Denver omelet, perfectly healthy, but it sounded big (3 eggs) and I wasn't up for that much.  We both had croissant breakfast sandwiches and they were yummy.  (I ate all the egg, but only half the croissant, honest.)  The best part was the latte, absolutely perfect!

All in all a great weekend that I'll remember for a long time.  We both feel grateful for each other and the time we spent together.  Times like this are what we spend the rest of the time working for!


  1. Hmm. My second try at leaving a comment. What a wonderful week end with your girl! Lucky you. I am enjoying all your posts but don't always comment. Your food pics are wonderful and i am sure you have become a go-to for others trying to eat correctly. Way to go.

  2. I loved our weekend together, Mom, and am happily re-living it through your blog. Let's do it again soon!