Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Coast"ing thru the weekend...

Sometime the end of the year, our Texas family shared a Groupon featuring our favorite little piece of heaven on the Washington Coast. Imagine our surprise! Needless to say my interest was peaked and I signed on for our own Groupon updates, all the while keeping a close eye on that discounted weekend in heaven. The timing wasn't quite right. We had a new grand baby to meet. However, I did find a special for one of the other four Olympic National Park lodges which did work.

Fast forward... New year, new grand baby, new month and we were headed west after work. We've discovered a comfortable place to stay along the Columbia River just east of Portland. It fits perfect into our itinerary for leaving town after my Friday shift, provides a great night's sleep and puts us 'nearly' there for our morning departure.

Mt Hood was missing from view when we crossed the river from Oregon to Washington confirming the bleak forecast for the weekend's weather. No matter. It's part of the coastal charm. We packed music, books, deck of cards, rain gear AND wine!

We met up with our DIL and oldest granddaughter for lunch. Family news and catching up between bites. Debbie has always been such a good friend. Granddaughter Andrea is gorgeous, owns her own home, has a great job working for the State and SINGLE! Seriously she doesn't need her Gramma finding dates as she has a very nice gentleman in her life - but I'm just sayin'...

Our trip to the coast was met with patches of rain as we expected. Lake Quinault Lodge is 30 miles closer than Kalaloch but just as quaint. Its nestled about 2 miles off Hwy 101, in a small, sleepy community which I'm certain is buzzing in the summer months.We had a cozy fireplace room with a balcony overlooking the lake.

We made reservations for dinner as encouraged after we unpacked. We added our jackets and set out to explore the immediate area around the Lodge.

There are several trails in a variety of lengths. The weather was trying to clear. With my hubby's still gimpy ankle we didn't stray far. We scooted along the edge of the lake and found a small water fall as well as a nice camping area. There were several trails we want to explore this summer including the 4 mile nature trail.

We returned to the lodge, surprised to see it much fuller with folks playing cards & chess, putting together puzzles, reading by the main fireplace and socializing. We ordered a couple of adult beverages and followed suit.

Dinner at a table for two, looking out on the lake as the sun set over the mountains, was delicious. Mike had salmon and I had prime rib.

We focused on our weekend away from home but our children were on our minds.  As the day wound to an end we were back in the room enjoying a warm fire, hot shower and comfy bed.

Sunday morning we were greeted by sunshine on the lake as we started our morning with a vigorous hike before coffee after 10am. I can't recall the last time we both slept in that long. Coffee and homemade banana muffins in our room for breakfast and we headed out to explore.

Naturally we had to stop at Beach 2 to visit Nan and Papo. It's also a good spot to recall memories of Uncle Ric and Rex. . As we approached the beach I watched a bald eagle landing where the snow run off blended into the ocean. It wasn't long after we were joined by a circling female 'balden' eagle (a Tate-ism).

From Beach 2 we headed for the closed campgrounds. The Or-Ida Shaws are returning for their 9th year this summer. Despite the winter storm debris we were able to walk thru and check out our adjoining sites reserved in January. I think we have some good sites. Plenty of room for the WA-Shaws too!

We did some further 'research' on the beaches with a cup of coffee. The sunshine was warm but the wind was brisk.

We circled Lake Quinault on the way back to the Lodge, exploring some graveled, narrow, terrain with muddy roadsides that dropped severely on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Dinner and drinks back at the Lodge. A new choice for dessert... Bananas foster. Ok so I'm not a banana connoisseur. Once in awhile a nearly green banana with cereal is consumed. This was a walnut tuille... A bowl which looked like burned sugar. It held ice cream, sliced banana and a caramel sauce. The combination was different odd not my favorite. Honestly except for banana splits or banana pudding how does banana end up in a dessert, let alone an overpriced splurge. I kept thinking "this is a dessert that would be created in an Iron Chef competition where the chefs learn bananas are the mystery ingredient". (Comment attributed to the time spent recently with our daughter as I've never watched those shows before...)

But despite the bananas we enjoyed our meal and the weekend in total.

The sunshine carried us home. Our departure was acknowledged by Mt. Rainer, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood, all standing tall and white against a brilliant blue sky.

We stopped at Centralia Deli and picked up lunch to share with our oldest grandson, his wife and our two adorable GREAT granddaughters. How blessed are we?!  They moved from San Diego to Seattle this year and we finally met our beautiful Greats.  It was great to catch up with Adam and Alexis as well. 

No comments: