evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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Beach Weekend 2006 - IT GOES TO 11!

Just got back from drawrwenchicken’s 2006 Beach Weekend Birthday Celebration!  Well, not just back; after lunch I took a quick nap, which lasted much longer than planned, as I was right tuckered (I’m from Arizona, I can get tuckered).  Like every year, we have all sworn not to reveal any of the Secret Activities that went on, but I can tell you that the weather was Really, Really Great.  I mean, Really.  If I was the betting kind, each year I’d make some friendly wagers on the weather conditions of the annual Beach Weekend, and I’d win.  I don’t know how she does it, but she always manages to have beautiful weather.  I’m quite impressed.

I carpooled out with Ted and Trixie (male invitees will be referred to as “Ted” and females as “Trixie” to keep their identities hidden).  We arrived in time to join in on the walk into downtown Manzanita (considering we were half a block off Laneda Road, which is the main drag, this wasn’t a long walk).  We amused ourselves for a while with the variety of shops.  There were seven of us.  We’d go into a shop together (filling up some of the smaller shops), and look about.  Then one of us would go stand outside, and it was like a game of Spoons; everyone else would notice and quickly follow, but there’d almost always be one person left looking around (we should have made it competitive, so the last one out lost points or something).  This trip culminated in lunch.  We couldn’t all agree on the food options, which weren’t plentiful, so we split up.  Four of us got Mexican food to go, and we all converged back at the house and ate on the deck as we watched people and dogs walk on the beach. 

That looked like so much fun, that not much after lunch, we went for a walk.  Well, drarwenchicken took a nap, and Trixie, Ted, Trixie and I went walking.  The air was cool enough to require coats, especially as the wind picked up when one was on the beach, but it wasn’t freezing cold, not like how it was in Portland earlier in the week.  We headed south.  We watched a kayaker in the surf.  I wrote “Beware the Wheelers!” in the sand.  We talked about all sorts of things, admired the blue sky and the waves and walked past the houses and the other people, until it was just us, the surf, and a solitary Blue Barrel, keeping a mysterious vigil on the empty beach.  We decided that was a good point to turn around, and headed back for the beach house.  The sun was setting as we arrived, and my face was getting numb from the wind, so we timed it perfectly.  The other Teds and Trixies were huddled under blankets on the deck as we arrived, so we all watched the sunset together.

Then, there was nothing for it but to use the Hot Tub.  Actually, that’s a misnomer.  It was a Fairly Warm Tub (for whatever reason, it never really felt hot, so it couldn’t completely counteract the effects of the cold).  Still, I soaked in the Fairly Warm Tub with three women, while Ted and Ted made Chocolate Martinis and brought them out to us.  I got out first, and went to help prepare dinner.  We’d planned to barbecue, but the grill was “gross,” and outdoors, so we cooked inside.  Fortunately, it turned out that Ted was brilliant in the kitchen, and he prepared (with help from Ted and me), grilled chicken Caesar salads, stir-fried Broccoli Beef, stuffed pork, sautéed yams, and steamed broccoli.  Naturally we muttered about how the men always ended up stuck in the kitchen while the women hung out in the hot tub, but it was really all part of our plan.  We cooked, so we didn’t have to do the washing up.  No one really complained, as dinner was delicious. 

No Beach Weekend would be complete without Birthday Cake and the Playing of Games.  Trixie made a drarwenchicken-friendly Cake (wheatless, using walnut flour).  It makes for a very dense, fudge-like cake, luscious, but too rich to have more than a small slice.    Then there was a round of Cranium  (my team kicked, but I’m not gloating or anything).  Then Ted and Ted arrived.  By that time is was rather late, and as many of the group had been indulging in libations (technically I did too, but I literally only had a few sips; not that it matters, or anything); the point is, I knew that the organized, game-playing part of the evening was over.  It was late, so I went to bed.  Fortunately, the house had a separate apartment downstairs, so Ted and Trixie got the bed, and I crashed on the futon. 

I’m usually one of the first awake, and this trip was no exception.  But when I went upstairs, I found that Trixie had been up for a while, and had made coffee and completely tidied up the kitchen!  So there was nothing for it but to have breakfast (chicken hot dogs with banana waffles, thanks for asking!), and drink coffee while watching the ocean. 

I admire the architecture of the house; for example, the living room had a door that could be closed, so those who were sleeping there wouldn’t be disturbed by someone in the kitchen.  And every room with a wall toward the ocean has a well-positioned window for viewing.  Between that and the deck, the ocean was almost always in view.  So we spent a lot of time just watching the ocean.  Which is exactly what one wants from a beach house, really.

I imagine weekend mornings in virtually every rental beach house are almost identical.  One by one, people blearily amble into the kitchen in search of coffee, food and other people who are awake.  After a time, somebody starts cooking breakfast, and it gets consumed over the course of the next few hours.  Eventually, everyone is awake, and someone asks “What will we do today?”  As we weren’t going to stay that night, the answer was to clean and pack up.  With everyone helping, the process went fairly quickly, and we had time to play “The Game of Real Life.” Not “The Game of Life,” with the little plastic cars and pink and blue pegs for children, but a more realistic, if somewhat grimmer, game.  One goes through from birth to death, having a variety of experiences, including sex, drugs, marriage, jobs and enjoying the simple pleasures of life, like the first snowfall of winter.  The game didn’t last long, because I made a bad roll, started a nuclear war and everybody died.  Really.  Still, it’s an interesting game, and I might see if I can find a copy of it.

Then it was time to go.  It’s always a little sad to leave, even though I hadn’t checked my email for almost a day, and I was sure the Internet missed me.  The ride home was much quieter then the ride out, as we were all tuckered, but traffic wasn’t too bad so it passed quickly.  I got home, had a late lunch and a nap, and then here we are again!  It’s good to be home, but I must say it was yet another Grand Time in a string of Most Excellent Beach Weekends.  On the scale from 1 to 10, it definitely went to 11.

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