NOTHING LIKE A FEW DAYS IN A HOSPITALITY ROOM with a bunch of 90 year olds to make you feel young again. I had my ass handed to me in cribbage by a lady who was nearly blind. I mixed Black Velvet-and-Gingers for men who require great effort to stand. I joined in a tone-deaf karaoke rendition of “We Are the World” with a small crowd of warbling Marine wives, which I promise sounded worse than you imagine.
You know you want on this party bus.
Rewind to the fourth of our six recent trips, late-August in Oregon. Why were we there again? What happened? The pictures should help.
Sarah and Jo flew out before me. Within a day I was in psycho-bachelor mode: a lunch of raw peppers and stale pastries with sugar.
Sticking around meant I could go to Witt’s Change of Life party. He’s going back to school, switching careers, and having a baby. So we showed support by letting him cook us dinner and get us drunk.
Later that night at the Red Stag, somebody sang “Total Eclipse of the Heart” from the floor. I laughed uncontrollably, which doesn’t happen enough.
I arrived in Portland to find Sarah and Jo dying to leave. We hightailed it to low-key Manzanita for a beach day. Johanna rolls her own.
From Highway 101, a steep hike through old growth leads you to a sweet secluded beach.
Naturally lacquered beach wood.
Things eventually burned off and brightened up, our moods included.
Jo befriended a mermaid near the tidal caves.
I tried to take a nap in here. No dice.
Sarah chillaxing with Sand County Almanac.
My one wildlife sighting.
If you can tolerate lactose, you gotta do ice cream at the beach. I had a beer.
On to McMinneville to celebrate friends Sheila and Dan’s nuptials (they were married on 1/1/10, but saved the party ’til now). Our refurbished old hotel had spectral portraits of historic patrons on the walls.
The party was held in a Frank Lloyd Wright dwelling 50 miles away in Silverton (we weren’t in any one place more than a day). The entertainment included belly dancing and sword balancing. Ah, Oregon.
The coloring table, my preferred refuge from small talk.
“Friends Play Day”