Our dear friend Carolyn came out for a visit from our old town in New York. This wasn’t her first visit; she came two summers ago to Gearhart to our rental house. Last time, we got coffee and croissants every morning at the Pacific Way bakery; we walked in the dunes; we had cocktails on the terrace at Maggie’s on the Prom; we hit the Astoria Sunday Market; we strolled Cannon Beach. On this visit, we repeated a lot of the same things. And why not, Carolyn said. It was all so great the first time.
On her last visit, after flying into PDX, Carolyn rented a car. I’m not sure she ever got over the shock of driving over the mountain behind a logging truck. This time I suggested she try taking The Point. We picked her up in front of the Seaside Lodge and International Hostel. She said she loved looking out the window and being a relaxed passenger and gave high points to The Point.
Some tourists come to the North Coast to hike and bike. Others come for the craft beer and recreational marijuana. (For the record, Carolyn does not imbibe and prefers wine.) It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say she came to beat the heat. Temps back home hovered at 100 degrees. Every day, there was an excessive heat warning.
Her first day, we headed into Cannon Beach to pay homage to Haystack Rock before heading over to the Cannon Beach Hardware Store aka Screw & Brew for lunch. Because I knew the three-hour time difference would be catching up with her, we got a Papa Murphy’s “Cowboy” pizza to bake at home. On her first full day, we took a nice walk in Seaside on the beach near the estuary. We swung by Los Tacos Locos to pick up a light lunch. In the afternoon, we watched surfers in the Cove. That night we had a beautiful seafood dinner at the Pacific Way Café.
The next morning we returned to Cannon Beach where after coffee at Sea Level, we took another walk. We dined that evening at Maggie’s where I broke my diet rules to have crab mac and cheese. Carolyn had fettucine with prawns, and my husband had the special of the evening, surf and turf. North Coast Iron Chef finalist Jason Lancaster came out of the kitchen to talk to us. Every evening we walked out to the beach to watch the sunset. Carolyn took a lot of pictures to share with friends back east.
On Sunday we drove into Astoria to take a turn around the market. Carolyn purchased dried cranberries from Cranberry Kitchen, based in Gearhart. We each got a cup of the scrumptious crab chowder and then split a crab sandwich from the Pacific Crab Co. We walked over to the waterfront hoping to see sea lions, but they were busy elsewhere. On the drive home, she briefly spied her first elk.
For Carolyn’s last night, we stopped by Josephson’s Smokehouse to pick up maple smoked salmon which I served with asparagus and scrambled eggs for dinner. As she was catching The Point Monday morning, we turned in early, but not before a final walk along the painted rock beach for one more sunset.
As I write this, I know she’s spending the day in Portland before her red eye flight back East. I told her she had to go to Powell’s; her Uber driver suggested she visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden and the Pink House Café. It’s really something to have such an appreciative visitor from so far away. It’s an impressive journey to get here. I know she loved her visit and hope she comes back to stay.