I spent 52 years of my life in South Florida where I equated a “beach day” with sunshine, temperatures above 70 degrees and a bathing suit with sunscreen slopped on generously. For the past dozen years the Oregon coast has introduced an entirely new and amazing meaning to “a day at the beach.” Nowhere is it more wonderful than at what has become “My Little Beach Town” like it has for so many others. We took a late September long weekend at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda recently and were greeted by weather that – at one time – would have encouraged me to be indoors. Not now!
Overcast skies only served to bring us all a bit closer – to our toasty beach fires. The wind was barely moving the colorful kites streaming along behind flocks of kids using barefoot running for wind-power – fueled by giggles and glee. A toddling towhead decked out in cozy fleece danced close to the waves adding a glisten to the low-tide sand while his watchful dad put finishing touches on the sand castle. Two sprightly seniors were sipping coffee mid afternoon as the tide began to switch from low to high. As the glassy waves built into more organized sets, they hopped up, donned their wet-suits and headed out for a standup surf session. I have to admit – the two seniors were me and Ed.
It was so much fun catching wave after wave, even though the rides were short that afternoon, the waves were glassy goodness over and over again. We came ashore and back to our room (and the toasty fireplace) in time to shower and dress for the 5:30-6:30 Friday night wine and cheese sampling party in the lobby of the Inn at Cape Kiwanda. This week’s end ritual begins with few people knowing each other – but soon conversation is lively. We took turns checking out the birds on the haystack with the telescope in the lobby. As we snacked on fruit and cheese we recalled the day’s fun – how many hiked up the dune and took photos of the awesome view. Those who hadn’t quickly made plans for the next day. As the hour wound down a few of us lingered by the fireplace while others made plans to meet for dinner at the Pelican Pub.
Saturday morning dawned a bit foggy with the haystack rock rising ghost-like out of a low bank of cloud. Again, it was no time to remain indoors and miss the wonder. As we walked across the parking lot of the Pelican Pub we had to look twice at what we were seeing. A lone guy was standing mid-way between the waves and the dunes doing – something? The air between him and the fog was all glimmering with light refracted somehow into rainbows in the shape of a sphere. Holy cow! He had a bucket of soap and a huge bubble blowing wand. He’d dip the wand into the bucket, hold it high and allow the light morning breeze to billow out bubbles nearly 4 feet in diameter. They would bounce and dance for a bit then disappear in a poof.
In a light drizzle that was mixed with peeks of sunshine in the blue windows between the clouds we took our coffee out to the beach for our walk down to watch the dory boats launch for their early morning catch. After a hike up the dune at Cape Kiwanda we began to make our way back to enjoy breakfast on our balcony. As we were strolling back, the muted hoof beats of a group of horses caught our attention, just in time to snap another photo of what makes Pacific City beach wonderful in every sort of weather. Don’t miss it!