We've had a not very "summery" summer this year, so when, 3 weeks ago, we planned a "Last BBQ of Summer" party with our friends, I wondered if it would end up more of a "Fall Kick Off" party. But, after some clouds this morning, the sun came out and we were able to actually enjoy our party in our backyard, instead of crammed around my dining room table looking out at the rain.
We have a group of friends that gets together, oh about every 6 weeks to two months to plan themed dinners. Awesome cooks, all of them, each dinner, is a culinary treat. For this barbecue dinner, Eric smoked an 8 lb. brisket all day...I'm sure every dog in the neighborhood was salivating smelling it cook throughout the afternoon. He also made some grilled corn and we cooked up some vegetarian baked beans (our friend Norma is anti-meat. :-) ). Bill and Norma brought cucumber, tomatoe and onion salad and tofu sausages (and regular ones); Barb and Rod brought fried chicken, biscuits, and sweet potatoe tarts; and Terri and Christine brought non-vegetarian baked beans and some "set-your-mouth-on-fire" cheese stuffed jalepeno's. We finished the meal with s'mores around the campfire....what a great way to toast the last bit of summer!
Almost too pretty to eat...but, uh, I managed to eat it...all!
Barb, Rod, Norma and Bill.
The best part of camping is the campfire...especially when it's in my backyard with friends!
Although you can't tell it from this picture, Rod got the award for the messiest s'more maker.
Bill making his s'mores. Norma the vegetarian passed..telling us marshmellows had cow hoofs in them....hmmmm...I may never eat a marshmellow again. :-)
Oooey, goooey, yummy, s'mores!
As the party was winding down...two party crashers snuck in through our open gate in the backyard. Max and Maddie...two lively, sweet, puggles! Liberty was none too happy about it, but Peanut thought it was great that a couple dogs stopped by to join the fun. Maddie had a phone number on her tag. We reached the owner who told us she was in Seattle, but she called her daughter to come and get the dogs. Turns out Max and Maddie had wandered about 100 blocks away from home...amazing! I think they probably smelled the brisket cooking and just followed their noses till they found our house.
Maddie eyeing our dog's food.
Max helps himself to a drink of water.
Liberty didn't want to be anywhere near the two party crashers...jumping into whosever arms she could.
Our good friends, Joan and David made the long flight out from New York to spend Labor Day weekend with Eric and I. We decided to spend the weekend at our beach place at Otter Crest. I had fretted about the weather forecasts, but as it turned out we were blessed with sunny skies and temps in the low 60's.
We started Saturday with a walk over to Devil's Punchbowl for the views and wine tasting at The Flying Dutchman Winery. After that we walked along the Otter Crest beach where Joan hunted for seashells to bring back to the kids...unfortunately our seashells aren't exactly the prettiest.
Next we hopped in the car and headed to Newport, stopping to see Yaquina Head Lighthouse along the way. We strolled the waterfront checking out the sea lions (who were incredibly loud and active..mating season perhaps?) and the boats on the pier. We finished our walk with bowls of world famous Mo's chowder (grilled cheese for Joan who loathes seafood).
On the way out of Newport, we shopped in Nye Beach and then stopped at Yaquina Bay Lighthouse to take the tour, but unfortunately the tours were done for the day, so we just walked around a bit and planned to come back on Sunday morning to climb the tower.
We ended the evening with an amazing dinner at Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay and cocktails at the ever-kitschy, and fun, Sea Hag.
View of our place from Devil's Punchbowl.
Joan collects shells at the Otter Crest beach.
Wine tasting at the Flying Dutchman Winery at Devil's Punchbowl. Joan liked the raspberry wine best...much to Eric's utter confusion.
The beautiful Yaquina Bay bridge in Newport.
The Chelsea Sea was selling fresh tuna right of the boat down on the docks. We didn't buy any, but it was amazing to watch the skillful fishermen filet the tuna.
Eric and David on the docks at Newport.
I love the sign over this bar on the Newport waterfront. One day, I've got to go in and actually sit at the bar and have a drink to make me an official "riff raff".
Joan at Yaquina Lighthouse. Probably one of my favorite pics ever of her....love that smile!
We finished the day with cocktails at the Sea Hag....girly drinks for us.....
A couple weekends ago, Eric and I and the two dogs headed down to our beach place. It seemed like forever (really just a month) since we'd been, but our last trip the weather was awful. I so wanted a little summer sunshine this trip. Saturday...it was cloudy and cool, so we went hiking, enjoyed a nice dinner out and then a relaxing evening by the fire. On Sunday I woke up with hopes of sun, only to be greeted with thick fog....what a bummer. So we loaded up the car and figure we'd head home a little early since the weather was not cooperating. On the way out of town, I told Eric, I just couldn't come out to the beach for the weekend, and not spend any time actually ON the beach. He agreed, so we pulled over at Gleneden beach for a stroll.
We parked the car and walked down the short path to the sand. It was warmish, but still foggy, as we began walking along the long stretch of beach that extends to the Salishan Spit. The further we walked the fewer and fewer people we saw...until we had the entire beach to ourselves. And, lo and behold, the fog began to lift and the sun came out. I raised my face up to the warm sun and gave God a smile for giving us this little bit of glory he bestowed upon us. We walked for quite a while and saw several sea lions "body surfing" in the water (well it looked like they were body surfing, but they were probably fishing).
Eventually we got a bit tired so we found a log to lean against and laid down in the sunwarmed sand, holding hands, not speaking just watching the waves and enjoying the moment. No cell phones, no laptops, no traffic, no TV, no chores, no other people....it was a bit of heaven...and something I decided we should do much more often.
The fog starting to lift.
Smiling and squinting into the sun!
I couldn't resist taking off my shoes and putting my feet in the ice cold ocean.
Eric takes a nap, using the log for a pillow.
Liberty rested her head on the log too, but she refused to take a nap.
I love this billboard in Lincoln City. Every time I see it, it makes me smile...it's so kitschy in a 1960's sort of way! I figured out a way to climb up on it and convinced Eric to take my picture. (He wasn't too thrilled about me standing on his shoulders to get up there, but he's a good sport....even helped me down, he did.)