Central Oregon Coast Press Trip: Day 2

22 06 2012

Day 2 started out with breakfast in the same spot I chose to end the previous evening; at the MIST Restaurant. Though this morning, I would be in the actual restaurant and avoid the lounge altogether. We were joined by Revelle Lewis, Sales Manager for Surftides Lincoln City. Revelle was a joy to talk to. She detailed the history of the hotel and the renovations done to the property. As good as breakfast conversation was, I struggled to avert my attention anywhere except on the Crab Cake Benedict and house-made sausage that I was squaring up on. I really liked this place. So much so, I already have plans to go back in September.

We bid adieu to Revelle and Surftides and headed for the Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio. The original plan that morning was to go out to the beach after breakfast and go glass float hunting……Where by an incredible press tour-induced stroke of luck, we would happen upon glass floats. The weather that morning was less than agreeable so Lucy did what Lucy does, and arranged for us to go to an actual art studio and blow glass floats for ourselves. We were met at the studio by Sandy Pfaff, Executive Director of the Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau, Katera Woodbridge, Interactive Marketing Manager for the same bureau, and Artist, Kelly Howard.

Back story: glass floats have been prized finds for beachcombers in the Northwest for quite sometime. Japanese and Korean fisherman once used handmade glass floats for their nets, occasionally the nets and or floats would break free and make their way across the Pacific Ocean and end up on our beaches. The practice of making glass fishing floats is now a rarity in Japan and Korea but every now and then, a real one shows up on the shores of Oregon. What’s less rare now are ornate, vibrantly hued, handmade glass floats created by local artists being spotted on the beach. It’s like the ultimate Easter egg hunt, and people take it seriously. On this day, I had the pleasure of blowing my own glass float. Well kind of. I was given a heavy amount of help and tutelage from the lovely and talented Kelly Howard. Since a greenhorn glass blower is more likely to produce a molten, mis-shapened blob or burn down the place, the amount of help given was necessary and appreciated. I got the finished product in the mail a couple of weeks ago and it rocks! I’m 98% sure it’s better than the one that Roy made.

We went from glass blowing to shopping. We visited the Tanger Outlets in Lincoln City. General Manager, Diane Kusz, gave us the layout of the place and a swag bag containing a discount book. We were off to enjoy an hour of independent shopping. If I recall correctly, we all benefited from this. I learned from my first press trip that you should really bring an additional piece of luggage to tote back items picked up along the way. I might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but I can learn a lesson. And having extra luggage, especially when they let you loose in an outlet mall, is a valuable one.

Next up was lunch at Fathoms Restaurant at the Inn at Spanish Head. Once again we were joined by Sandy and Katera. Roy Fact #2: If you’re a rookie travel writer on a trip with Roy Stevenson, expect to get hazed. Roy is insistent that you earn your stripes. Upon learning of my recently attained bachelor status, it became Roy’s mission in life to “hook me up”, as it were. He insisted that I sit next to, converse with, or propose marriage to any female within 20 years of my own age that didn’t have a ring on her finger. I typically don’t embarrass easy, but I’ll admit that Roy got me a few times. At lunch the incredibly patient Katera was Roy’s chosen Adam Target. Much to my pleasure, she took everything he said with a grain of salt and chopped him at the knees when necessary.

Lunch was fantastic by the way. The views from the restaurant where as good as any I’ve encountered on the coast during a meal and the Spanish Salad I had was remarkable. I once again tried to order “light”, but a salad with grilled chicken, almonds, green olives, piquillo peppers, Manchego cheese, croutons, and creamy piquillo pepper dressing ensured I ate every bite and dang near licked the plate. Oh well.

Then it was time for glass blowing. “Again?” you say. Yes, but this time instead of rookies fumbling around a studio, we were going to watch a true artist in action. Buzz Williams owns and operates Alder House III, and he was mesmerizing to watch. His glass blowing studio and residence sit next to each other in an otherworldly chunk of forest that might as well be straight out of a Tolkien novel. At the risk of getting too steamy for a blog post, Buzz coddles, maneuvers, and takes on molten glass like a skilled and caring lover. If it sounds odd, visit a glass blowing studio sometime. These places are chock full of double entendres. Allusions to lovemaking aside, this was a great stop. I never really paid attention to glass art before, but this day in Lincoln City has converted me into an appreciative fan of the art form.

After visiting with Buzz, we left to check in at the Salishan Spa and Golf Resort, our home for the evening. The grounds at the Salishan where as enchanting as the forest that Buzz Williams calls home. I would have to scope out the place later because we had only a few minutes to freshen up before leaving for the Beachcombers Haven. The Beachcombers Haven offers vacation rentals on a prime spot of Gleneden Beach. It was in one of these charming beach front units that we met the proprietor of Beachcombers, Alyce Thomson, and Owner Operator of the Flying Dutchman Winery, Dick Cutler. We were going to do a little wine tasting and chat about their respective businesses. For me, this was one of the highlights of the entire trip. Sure the wine was great and the beach view was stunning. But Alyce and Dick are world class. Alyce is a spitfire source of enigmatic energy with a quick wit and a sharp tongue. Dick is mellow, smooth, and has a glimmer in his eye that lead me to believe he’s seen and done more good living than I’ll ever sniff at, and there’s a whole lot more to come. I want to be Dick when I grow up. Combined, the two friends formed a chocolate and peanut butter-esque conversation team that was inviting, engaging, and infectious.

After much wine and chatter it was time for dinner. As an added bonus Alyce and Dick chose to join us. Dinner was at the Surfrider Restaurant and Lounge at the Surfrider Resort in Depoe Bay. Apparently the theme of the day was “Try to eat while nature’s splendor smacks you in the face”. The view from the Surfrider Restaurant was on par with the view from the Fathoms Restaurant, only now it was sunset…..and whales where swimming by…..and Allen gave me an assignment for Northwest Travel Magazine….and I’m eating scallops……and Dick was sitting next to me! Good gravy this day was cutting my way. I left dinner full and rosy cheeked. When we got back to Salishan, I decided to explore the grounds. Resorts like these are fun to just walk around in. Somehow my exploration lead to the Attic Lounge for a nightcap. The bar was amazing. So far the Central Oregon Coast is setting the bar really high in many aspects, not the least of which is lounge quality. The Attic was another super cozy, warm, uber-relaxing venue with top notch drinks. I was lucky enough to be joined by Lucy and Allen for a drink and then it was back to the room. Checkout the next morning was 8:15 am.


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