We spent well into the afternoon soaking up the marvelous sights of the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. This left us both hungry for a bite to eat. One option was to drive back the way we came and stop at one of the restaurants along the way. Or we could continue our adventure southward and see what we could find. The discussion of those two options lasted about ten seconds as we said to each other – “what the hell! – let’s just keep heading down the road!” The next town along the 101 that our travels would take us through would be Florence, Oregon. Neither one of us had been to Florence for a very long time and we had never visited there together. We decided that would be our destination for a late lunch and off we went.
Driving along the 101 Nancy and I both reminisced of family trips we had taken as kids in this area. In particular we both recounted our visits to one of the Oregon Coasts most famous attractions The Sea Lion Caves. My childhood memory of the Sea Lion Caves was one where I was terrified that I would be blown out to sea by what seemed at the time to be 500 mile per hour wind gusts. Nancy’s childhood memory of The Sea Lion Caves could be summed up in one word, “stinky”. She also mentioned that she mistakenly wandered off hand in hand with the wrong mom while in the darkness of the cave! Who says precious moments can’t last a lifetime?!? Not to knock The Sea Lion Caves but we prefer the Newport’s Historic Bayfront to view these masters of lounging about.
Soon we spotted sand dunes along the highway and we knew that Florence would not be far beyond. Florence lies at the Northern edge of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. A place where people from far and wide come to play in the sand. Personally, I marvel at this part of Oregon because it doesn’t really look like Oregon at all, but rather a landscape right out of some far away desert with some lovely fir trees at its edges.
By this time we had worked up quite an appetite so the hunt was on for a nice place to stop into for lunch. I remembered there was a section of Florence called “Old Town” on the South end of town so I suggested we check that out. Have you ever noticed that if there is an “Old Town” section of a town that the most interesting things can be found there?? Well, Florence, Oregon is no exception! Go figure!
There is ample parking in Old Town Florence so we were soon out and about exploring the area. At this point we were famished so our first mission was to find a place to have lunch. When I visit the coast I always try to find a seafood spot somewhere in my travels and on this day we found a good one. Sitting next to one of the more over-rated seafood restaurants on the Oregon coast we spotted the “The ICM Restaurant”. ICM stands for International C-food Market. With an interesting name and a great location ICM sounded like just the ticket. I’m happy to report we picked a winner. This large restaurant is locally owned and operated and is situated on the beautiful Siuslaw River. I enjoyed a sumptuous Salmon Caesar Salad and Nancy opted for a lovely Halibut fish and chips which we accompanied with a nice buttery Chardonnay. Just what the doctor ordered! The food and service were wonderful and it was a nice chance to recharge our batteries so we could explore town with renewed energy.
With such a gorgeous day at hand and feeling re-energized from our wonderful lunch we decided to go for a walkabout and explore the area. We discovered galleries, more restaurants, coffee shops, a couple of antique shops and even a great ice cream place! If your ever in Florence be sure and check out this kitchy cool part of town for sure. By now it was nearing late afternoon and we had aspirations of heading out that night so we decided to bid farewell to Old Town Florence and head on back to the comfy confines of Tyee Lodge. We were so relaxed at this point that I don’t think we had a care in the world on the drive back. Sharing all of the wonderful experiences of the day with my best friend and partner made the day even more memorable and romantic. The scenery, the relaxing music, the discoveries that we made together, and some good food and wine ta-boot. We were two happy campers as we made our way back toward Newport and it showed as we held hands and gave each other loving caresses as we motored along. It should come as no surprise then that when we got back to the Tyee Lodge we decided to round out the wonderful day we had with a lovely enhanced snuggle and some down time before heading out for the evening later on.
The plan that I put forth for the evening was to head on down to Newport’s famous Bay Front District and catch Mr. Bill’s Traveling Trivia Show down at the Rogue Ales Public House. You see… not only is Nancy beautiful, she’s also super smart, and on many occasions we have talked about going to a trivia contest because both of our heads are chock full of useless yet interesting facts i.e. trivia. Having decided that we would indeed unleash upon the world the awesome combined trivia power of our collective brains we made our way down to the Rogue a bit early to fuel up with some pizza and bevvies. As we sat there enjoying our fare we were sizing up the trivia worthiness of our competitors nearby. Thinking rather highly of ourselves (and for good reason) we did not see too many outwardly stereotypical trivia buffs nearby. However, one table seemed to contain a good mixture of people that looked as though they might be worthy competitors for us
At the appointed hour Mr. Bill took to the mic and started his explanation of the format and rules of the contest ahead. Like true trivia geeks we were now giddy with anticipation! The first round started and surprisingly we seemed to be a tad rusty out of the gate. If we have a trivia Achilles heel it would definitely be country music trivia. Each round of trivia took quite some time and by the end of the first round Nancy and I were finally finding our trivia stride.
We owned the second round of questions. In fact, at one point during the answer reveals some of the other teams gave Nancy a “we’re not worthy” bow for a particularly obscure answer that she knew. By the time the third round was to start our cocktails and pizza were making us long for our cozy bed back at the lodge. We decided to call it a night and head back to the Tyee Lodge for some lovely evening downtime after an absolutely perfect day of fun and adventure, By the way… we were tied for first place in the trivia contest when we left. We still got it!
Each of us had enjoyed another blissful night of cozy slumber and were stirring just a bit in the morning light. From our bed we could see the early morning sunshine filtering through the trees and awakening the bluest hues of the ocean before us. Pair that sight with the consistent melody of the waves crashing upon the sandy beach beyond and we couldn’t help but slip softly into a wonderful snuggle. For the time being the outside world ceased to exist. At moments like this the love we share fills us with a peace that is truly rejuvenating. We’ve said repeatedly that if we could package that feeling it would sell better than hotcakes and surely remedy all of the worlds ills. Speaking of hotcakes, soon we would be treated to another fantastic Tyee Lodge breakfast. Life can be most difficult indeed!
We managed to leave our nest of snuggletude and make ourselves presentable, none too soon as a knock came at our door soon afterward. It was Dee, of course, with this mornings sumptuous breakfast. On today’s menu a delightful crustless smoked salmon quiche was the main attraction. The supporting cast was made up of a savory, slightly fennel flavored breakfast sausage (we heart fennel), another appearance of those made to perfection home fries, and a local fruit assortment with berries and melon! Some fresh OJ and some super delish coffee rounded out the mornings feast. I would highly recommend the “breakfast in your room” option at the Tyee Lodge as it is such an intimate and romantic setting to have a lovely breakfast with the one you love. After such a satisfying breakfast we had to gather our will and start thinking about checking out of our weekend love nest. We finally managed to do so and made our way downstairs to say our good byes to Dee. However, we had a plan for this day as well.