But it was to a different cabin in a different town than we've ever stayed at before. We traveled down a different highway, went to different beaches, ate at different restaurants, saw different things. All of this was quite by accident, but it was also quite wonderful.
And man oh man, did it get my creative juices flowing.
I'm lucky to live in Portland, Oregon which is about an hour from the coast. This is a good thing, yes, but it also tends to make me complacent. I live so very close to the Pacific, and yet I can go months or longer without visiting--when it is a quick hour drive away. Last week I started jonesing for the ocean. Big time. I wanted just to see it, to hear seagulls, to smell the sea air. I wanted to feel the sand beneath my feet. Needed the sensory experience of the sea.
And yet, the upcoming weekend was Memorial Day. We could only go one night because of obligations on Friday and Saturday night (the Eagles concert!). What were the odds of getting a reservation for one night? None, even in this recessionary time. Enter my new son-in-law, who offered up the use of his family's cabin in one of the small fishing towns that dot Tillamook Bay.
And thus beginneth the different trip to the beach. A drive down the Wilson River Highway through lush, green, rainy woods where woodsmoke and mist hung low to the ground and the river burbled along next to the highway. The cabin on the hillside above the bay with a tiny view of it obscured the whole time by mist. A visit to Oceanside, where long ago a local family blasted a tunnel through the cliff to get to the beach on the other side. I kid you not. See the photo of the bunker-like entry below. It was dark and moist and, well, creepy inside, but also irresistible.
And there was Netarts, home to Lex's Cool Stuff, the best second hand-store on the Oregon Coast, and a visit to the Cape Meares Lighthouse and then back to Tillamook to eat at a scrumptious Mexican restaurant which featured the best Margaritas this side of Texas and my friend George's blender.
The funny side note to all of this was that the weekend before, I was in Manhattan, as far as you can get on the eastern side of this continent. And a mere week later, I was as far as you can go on the western side. Ah, modern life.
But here's the best part: I kept pulling my journal out and scribbling madly. I wrote a bit about what I was seeing, but mostly I wrote other stuff. Ideas for stories. Ideas for blog posts and newsletter articles. Ideas for the novel I'm sort of working on. Ideas for life in general. Something about experiencing the new that just jogs the ideas out of the brain. Maybe the new sensory input literally pushes out the old to make room it.
So my new rule in life is do something new every day. Drive a different way home from the grocery store, skip around the block, wear your hair in a crazy style, write something completely different. I dunno, what do you think? Give me some new ideas for newness in the comments, if you please. And, um, be nice.