My friend K is visiting from NY for two weeks and we thought it would be great to get away for a few days. My dad happens to have a timeshare condo in Newport, so we planned a trip down to the Oregon coast. Newport boasts a wax museum and a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”, so I was a little worried that it was going to be a tacky tourist town and wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
The first thing I didn’t expect was how long the drive would be. For some reason I had it my head that it was just past Portland, but it took more than five hours to get there (and we didn’t leave until noon because we were up till three in the morning the night before playing mah jong). The second thing I didn’t expect was how gorgeous it would be. When we arrived it was overcast and even still, the view of Yaquina Bay was unbelievable—sparkling clear water, working docks, boat marinas and a gorgeous bridge. Newport mainly consists of commercial fisherman and tourists, but our condo was at the far end of the main strip, so it was peaceful and pleasant.
Once we checked in, we wandered through our enormous accommodations. We were spoiled with two bedrooms—one in an upstairs loft complete with a spiral staircase, a fully outfitted kitchen, a dining area, a really comfortable living room, a fireplace, two bathrooms with two Jacuzzis and two large private decks, both with unobstructed 180 degree views of the bay. We were in heaven and couldn’t believe our good luck. After we called my dad to thank him profusely, we uncorked a bottle of wine, sat out on the deck (despite the chilly weather) and soaked in the view.
Even though it was only 6pm, I was hungry, so we decided to hit happy hour in the hotel restaurant ($3.50 French dips!). The restaurant had a lovely view of the marina, but was unfortunately also decorated like a marina: captains wheels, buoys, brass lanterns and the whole bit. And it being Early Bird time, the blue-haired were out in force. I looked around and giggled—at least it really felt like I wasn’t in Seattle anymore.
I ordered what quite possibly was the worst French dip I’ve ever eaten—and I’m pretty lenient when it comes to French dips. The bread was all wrong (rock-hard sourdough), the meat tasted sickly and the au jus was simply water tinted brown. The fries were pale and anemic and barely worth eating. K didn’t fare much better with her Caesar salad that was drowning in bottled dressing. But I was happy our meals were only $3.50 each, as the regular entrees were approaching the $30 range! I was also grateful that our condo had a kitchen. After dinner we went back to the room and spent more time on the deck, watching the lighthouse lights blink off and on, then fell asleep early from all that fresh air.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Dad!