Spring Break Birthday Vacation

Rewind to the week before spring break. I get sick on Sunday night with a fever, aches, and just plain miserableness which leads to me missing Monday and Tuesday of work. I push through a rough Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at work, and make it through Friday night of school. Saturday starts with me in urgent care for an eye infection on top of being sick, on top of allergies, on top of finals. I get to class Saturday morning with just moments to spare but make it through to the end, even using my lunch break to pick up my eye drops for my very irritated, scratchy eyes. After school, I run a multitude of errands including going to Fred Meyer, Pets on Broadway, Petco, home to get my camera, Pro Photo Supply (while my camera stayed put, forgotten at home), and then finally back home to clean up and get ready for my birthday party in just under an hour. Everyone showed up that I was expecting and we spent the night in my tightly packed apartment talking, laughing, telling stories, eating and drinking while Cole and Emma played and made friends with the group. After the last person left, the next hour or so was spent cleaning up and then soon thereafter I was in bed, ready to get an early start the next day.

A great group of friends turned out to help celebrate my birthday!

Sunday morning, with school and work officially on hold for a week, after loading up the car, Kris and I hit the road amidst the rain. I drive for awhile, then Kris drives for a while. We stop in Reedsport for lunch at Harbor Light Family Restaurant. I drive the rest of the way to Gold Beach but make a quick detour in Bandon at Face Rock which was quite windy so we didn’t stay long. Once in Gold Beach, we checked into our hotel room at the Inn of the Beachcomber and at first the sketchy folks hanging around outside made me weary of what was to be expected of the hotel room on the inside but luckily they turned out to not be connected. The room was very nice; there was a clear view of the ocean, a hot tub on the balcony, and gas fireplace inside. All in all, it was what I expected. After lounging for a bit, the guests next door let their children loose and all sorts of loud noises permeated the peace and quiet I drove all the way to the coast to find. Using that as a cue, we decided it was a good time to head out for my birthday dinner at Spinners Seafood and Steak Chophouse. Once we had our fill of food and drink, we went back to the hotel room, put a bottle of wine on ice and got into the hot tub to enjoy the sound of the ocean and wind sans children screaming while our bodies relaxed from a long day of travel.

Hotel room at Inn of the Beachcomber, Gold Beach, Oregon

The weather didn’t seem to care that I was on vacation and decided to rain off and on quite frequently the first day on the coast. That did not stop me from taking Cole for a walk on the beach in the morning with hotel coffee in hand. Sure, I got a little wet but time spent on the beach is always good. With the outdoor plans I had made on hold, we decided to drive into Brookings and check out what treasures we could find at the Goodwill store there. I ended up walking away with a Brookings t-shirt, a pair of comfy lounge pants and another pair of stretchy work out pants, perfect for hiking! I also took some time to sit down and look through all of the records in the corner of the store and decided to add Elvis Presley, Carole King, JJ Cale, Jackson Browne, The O’Jays, Chi Coltrane, and Tommy James and the Shondells records to my collection. Once we were done thoroughly scouring the store, we headed out for some ice cream at Dairy Queen and then drove around a bit to explore the town. When the time came, we decided to have dinner at Pacific Sushi & Grill which unfortunately did not sit well in my stomach.  After we were done eating, we drove back to the hotel to call it a day while my stomach made strange noises.

We slept in a bit on Tuesday but headed over to the Port Hole Cafe in Gold Beach for a delicious lunch followed up with some shopping at Jerry’s Rogue River Museum and Gift Shop next door where I found a couple of t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and a sticker and magnet decal for my on-going collection on my car bumper.  I even managed to find a couple pair of earrings I liked as well which is rare for me. Lucky for me, they were having a sale so everything was 17% off plus they were adding on the bonus of being able to use store receipts to claim glass floats at the Visitor Center. After picking up my new glass floats (which look lovely now on my bathroom wall), we decided to head toward the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor and check out some of the beaches since the weather had cleared for a bit and the sun was shining. First, we stopped at Myers Creek, then a viewpoint on Highway 101 followed by a stop at Whaleshead Beach where after some time of exploring, it began to rain again. At that point we decided to head back to Gold’s Beach for dinner riverside at the Silver Hook Restaurant & Lounge.

Myers Creek Beach, Gold Beach, Oregon

I used Wednesday to catch up on sleep and spent most of the day in bed with the patio door open and the sound of the ocean in the background while the warmth of the fire kept the room a comfortable temperature. Eventually though, hunger caught up with us and we headed out to Black Trumpet Bistro in Brookings for dinner. Afterward, we stopped at Harris Beach State Park to enjoy the deep purples and blues in the sky while the sun went down. There I ran into a couple from Colorado on a bucket list RV coastal vacation who asked me to take their picture after making fast friends with Cole. I also enjoyed photographing the large, rainbow colored rocks that darted up from the beach sand and was even surprised to come across a couple of Canadian geese floating among the seagulls in the ocean tide, something I have never seen before in all of my visits to the Oregon coast.

Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon

Thursday morning came quick and it was time to load up the car, say goodbye to our cozy hotel room and head out.  We stopped in Coos Bay for a German lunch at the Blue Heron Bistro which was delicious but word of wise to fellow travelers: do not attempt to pay with a credit card, you will not be well-received and possibly quite overcharged for your meal.  After a filling lunch, we continued on our way back to Portland but first stopped in Reedsport to check out a thrift store where I picked up a few more records for my collection: Bob Dylan, Connie Francis, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles and Leonard Cohen. We stopped across the street at Mindpower Gallery where I fell in love with the trade sculptures of George Johnson. Having exhausted my allocated funds for shopping, I had to forego adding one to my collection but I hope to stop in another time.  Several hours later, we found ourselves stuck in Portland rush hour traffic and soon thereafter, parted ways.

Once home, I quickly got unpacked, started a load of laundry, watered my plants and relaxed on the couch with Cole and some reheated leftover food from the day before.  Home, sweet home!  Despite the overabundance of rowdy kids at the hotel (and most restaurants) and the unexpected rain and sickness, my spring break vacation had some pleasant moments. I’m using what remains of the weekend to rest and gear up to head back to work and start the spring term on Monday. It will be another 2 1/2 months before I can come up for air again, I suspect I will be in need of another break at that point as well.

To view more of my photography visit Kristin Roosmalen Photography

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