When you have houseguests, everyday life is put on hold. With company in the house, I fix special meals, eat out more often, walk all over Florence’s Old Town gawking like a tourist, and share my favorite places up and down the coast.
That’s exactly how it was this past week when my sister, Edna, visited from Bakersfield, California. But I couldn’t put everything on hold; I still had to deliver flyers and posters about the Florence Festival of Books to libraries, bookstores, and visitor centers between Florence and Bandon. So here’s how we combined work and play last Saturday. I had called ahead, so each venue was expecting us.
It started off as gray and overcast, despite my hopes for spectacular. When the sun comes out and turns the ocean and sky blue, it makes all the difference. So I uttered the words those of us who live here tell anyone who complains about the weather, “Just wait five minutes or drive five miles; the weather will change.” So we headed south. On this day it took more than 5 miles or five minutes, but by 2 p.m., we had sun. And it was spectacular.
Although, someone else was responsible for distributing flyers and posters in Gardiner and Reedsport, I stopped at Tsunami Gallery. I love the place and just wanted an excuse to visit. You can’t miss the bright yellow exterior and the two bronze figures, sculpted by Mack Holman, the artist/owner. Most of the artwork displayed is by coastal artists and ranges from bronze sculptures through watercolor and oil paintings, pottery, blown and fused glass, flax wall hangings and others made from kelp, and much more—a fabulous assortment displayed beautifully. I know several of the artists, so that makes it special.
Mack put the FFOB poster in the window and the flyers on the counter, and Edna was suitably impressed with the artwork. Before leaving, we paid homage to his giant jade plant, which Mack says garners more attention than the artwork.
This small town a mile off the highway but on the largest fishing venue on the Oregon Coast—Tenmile Lakes––has a small but well used library. They endear themselves to me by having my book, Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges, in circulation.
The Coos Bay Visitor Information Center, located between the north and south lanes of Hwy 101 in Coos Bay, couldn’t be more convenient or easy to find. They gladly put the poster in a prominent spot and the flyers easily accessible. Then I got totally lost trying to find the Coos Bay Library. Apparently, not so easy to find! I’d done a presentation there last winter on a dark and stormy evening and was sure I could find it again.
Since we were hungry, we gave up looking and headed for Bandon, with plans to try again on our way back.
Sometimes you just hit it right at a restaurant with perfect service, spectacular view, and fabulous food––a nothing-could-be-better meal. That’s exactly what our experience was at Lord Bennett’s. We had a view of the ocean’s offshore rocks and the sun came out just as we were seated.
I ordered fish tacos, which came with red tortillas (who’d a thunk it?) with a very complete salad accompaniment and warm fresh baked bread. Not only was the presentation beautiful but the meal was delicious. My sister’s smoked salmon panini with salad was also perfection. We splurged for dessert and split a slice each of marionberry/blueberry pie and hazelnut/chocolate torte. Both were to die for. I’ve reviewed many restaurants for Oregon Coast magazine and usually find something that could be improved—but not this time.
Satiated, we headed for Winter River Books in Bandon’s Old Town and dropped off our posters and flyers, which they were also glad to receive. While there, we read every single Shannon Martin card, burst into giggles over and over, and bought several. They have a great selection of cards as well as books. Another favorite place.
Back to Coos Bay
Then we headed back to Coos Bay. Amazing what a difference it makes, when you’ve got the address firmly in hand. We went straight there and dropped off the posters and flyers, which they appreciated.
Then we were off to Charleytown Marketplace in Charleston—another favorite, and we browsed for some time after dropping off the posters and flyers. They have a little bit of everything—art, crafts, books, and preserved foodstuffs—all Oregon coast made/written/created. They have a photograph of the cathedral view of the arches under the Umpqua River Bridge that I’m going to buy someday. I don’t have space on my walls for it, so I don’t really need it . . . but I want it.
For our last stop, we drove out to Shore Acres State Park. We watched the waves. Not as impressive as the 100 footers of winter, but still a picture-postcard sight. In winter, this is where you can see the highest waves on the coast, and there’s even an enclosed viewing building.
Then we entered the seven acres of formal gardens. At this time of year, dahlias are the showstoppers as well as many of the roses.
And since both my sister and I are gardeners, we checked out every single dahlia and rose. We got our feet totally soaked walking across the damp grass again and again in our sandals.
By the time we left, it was evening and the light was fading. Time to head home.
We dropped off flyers and posters at six venues and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at some of my favorite coastal haunts. Combining work and play turned into a day to remember.
TO BUY JUDY’S FIRST BOOK
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or email@example.com. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society; in Made in Oregon stores throughout the state; and more and more bookstores, libraries, and museums in western Oregon.
The half-hour interview with Dr. Veronica Esagui for the “Author’s Forum” program on public access TV in the Portland Metro area ended it’s two-week run June 1-14, 2012, but can be seen on YouTube in two parts: Google Judy Fleagle YouTube.
September 17, 7 p.m., Bandon––I’ll be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Bandon Public Library (1204 11th Street, 541-347-3221)
September 29, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Florence––2nd Annual Florence Festival of Books–an authors and publishers fair held at the Florence Events Center (715 Quince Street, 1 block east of Highway 101). I’ll be there.
October 13, 11 a.m. Oregon City––The historic Arch Bridge designed by McCullough reopens in Oregon City on the weekend of October 1314. I have been asked to be part of the festivities and will be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Museum of the Oregon Territory on Saturday. The actual bridge reopening celebration will be on Sunday, and I’ll be there.