We took a little trip for my 25th.. er 35th birthday this weekend. Dan took Monday off from work and I made some reservations. It was nice to get away. Here are the details:
Sunday, October 13, 2002 -
Woke up and read the Sunday paper. The drive was only a few hours and we couldn't check in until 4pm so there was no need to hurry. We had lunch at home and then loaded up the car and headed out.
We were stopped in some traffic in Belfair because of a big accident, but that only delayed us 20 minutes or so. The rest of the drive was uneventful.
We arrived in Ocean Shores just after 4pm and pulled into the Quiniault Beach Resort parking lot. There were a lot of cars there, but parking was not a problem. We got our bags out of the car and went into the lobby. Checked in without a problem and got room 460, on the top floor, way down the hall to the right.
The room was beautiful. Good sized room with a King sized bed, fireplace, love seat, table and chairs and a great ocean view. Only thing that could have made it better would be one of those big soaking bathtubs that I love so much. :) The room had a refrigerator for my drinks and a coffee maker that had some coffee from Anacortes. Nice little touch. :)
We unpacked a few things and decided to check out the casino and then get back into the car and head into Ocean Shores to check out the town. We signed up for slot club cards and cashed in our vouchers we got at check in for entries to a drawing they were doing every hour in the casino for money and a truck. Walked around the casino and looked at the lounge and restaurants. Not much to see so we were off to Ocean Shores.
I had told Dan there wasn't much there on my previous trip out that way, but he didn't believe me. We drove into town and took a right turn to go out and drive on the beach. We drove a little ways and then Dan had to get out and take a picture of his truck out by the waves. Men :) We parked and got out and looked around a little at some jellyfish and crabs. Then we were both hungry and ready to head back.
I suggested we turn around and go back the way we came, but Dan wanted to go out the beach access closest to us. The sand looked a little deep to me and I didn't want to get stuck. Dan assured me that we wouldn't get stuck and then immediately got us stuck in the sand. Hee hee! It was so funny. "I won't get us stuck!... oops!" :)
Dan was going to get out and push, but I've got all my arms and legs so I got out instead. I gave the car a push on the back and Dan started rolling forward. He pulled forward to where the "ramp" thing is for accessing the beach and then waited for me to catch up to the truck. :) It was no big deal, but I had fun teasing Dan about the "oops". :)
We drove around Ocean Shores a little bit looking at all the vacant vacation homes and then through the 2 blocks of "downtown". Dan realized I wasn't kidding when I said there wasn't much there. :)
We headed back to the hotel. By this time it was getting to be 6pm and we were both hungry. We perused the room service menu and decided what to order for dinner. My medicine makes me not very hungry. Certainly not able to finish a whole restaurant portion of a dinner. Instead of the standard order, we decided to share some things. We ordered a house salad and cup of razor clam chowder for me. We also got some crab cakes with a wasabi-soy sauce for an appetizer and Dan ordered a plank baked salmon with red potatoes that came with a cup of razor clam chowder. I asked for a large glass of ice (I brought my own sugar free drinks from home) and Dan ordered a Pyramid Hefeweisen. Mmmm.. 30 minutes to delivery!
We cleared off the little table and pulled it out from the wall a little bit and got ready for our sunset dinner. I can't remember if we opened my present before or after dinner, but I seem to recall it was while we were waiting for her to bring food. Maybe not, but now is as good a time as any to include it here. :) I got a great card.. the front had a picture of a small table and 2 chairs in front of a window with an ocean view. It was just like our room! :) The present was something I'd been wanting. It was one of those kits you get at the craft stores that is a "teach yourself to paint" kit. Dan chose an acrylic paint set. I wasn't ever able to decide which medium I wanted to try. Should be interesting to see how bad the painting turns out. ha ha!!
We were joking around at the table while waiting for dinner. I suggested me make prank phone calls on the hotel phone. Dan suggested we call rooms and say, "Hello, this is Hotel Maintenance. Is your refrigerator running?" That sent us into a bizarre giggle fit. I think both of us were getting entirely too relaxed. :)
Heard a loud crash in the hallway and we joked.. Oops! Bet that was our dinner. Dan went to look out the peephole and he said, "Someone's out there, picking something up off the floor". Then a knock on the door. Yup... it was our crab cakes and my salad on the hallway floor.
The poor girl apologized and said she'd go rush another order and bring it right back up. She asked if we wanted the rest of our food in the mean time. I thought that was fine and so she brought in the rest.
We sat down and enjoyed our razor clam chowder. It was the best chowder we have had in a long time. The sun put on quite a colorful show for us and then we both ate off the plank of salmon. It was excellent too. It was cooked on the alder board with green apples and sweet onion. It was wonderful! As Dan was finishing the potatoes, the girl returned with our appetizer and salad. I was starting to get full already! She brought in the food and some bottles of Perier I guess as an apology for the inconvenience. We thanked her and dug into the crab cakes. They were so good! I only picked a little at the salad. Not sure if it was because it was so late in the meal or if I was just full from all the other food. Dan finished it and then it was dark outside and we were stuffed.
I didn't think I'd ever had a Perier before so I cracked open one of the bottles. It tastes like that nasty water that Dan always makes me drink up at Soda Springs in Tuolomne Meadows. Bleck! I added some Cascadia orange flavored water stuff I had brought to drink with breakfast and that made it better. :)
After a little bit of digestion we decided to go down and hit the casino. I'm not at all used to playing in the Indian casinos. I'm not used to not being able to just sit and a machine and feed in money. It's far too complicated for me. :) We stood around and waited for the drawing at the top of the hour. We didn't win the money. Oh well.
I bought a ticket to use in the slot machines and found a machine that looked okay. I put in my $50 ticket and hit the spin button a couple of times. I was still trying to figure out how the game worked when bells started going off and the credits started counting up. I won 1000 more credits (another $50) and I wasn't even sure what I did. :) My first instinct was to cash out, but I wasn't sure how to do that. At the other Indian casino we had been to, the points were racked up on your card, so you just took your card out. This one had tickets and I couldn't find the "cash out" button so I just kept playing. That machine never paid out another nickel. Played it down to $75 and finally found the cash out button. I took my $75 ticket over to Dan at the blackjack table and noticed his stack of chips was pretty small. :) I asked if he was ready to quit and he wasn't.
I went to the cage and cashed out my ticket. I asked how to play on the other side of the casino with my card instead of the tickets. They showed me where to go to put the money on my card and I found some video poker machines. There were three video poker machines in the whole casino. The pay tables were terrible, but at least I knew what the return was going to be, unlike the slots that could be anything! Unfortunately the machines were all being used.
I sat down at a nearby slot and played while keeping an eye on the machines. Two women were playing together (one younger, one older.. I presume mother and daughter) and the older woman stopped playing, but didn't get up out of her chair. I considered a couple times asking if she'd move so I could play, but didn't. Then the older woman got up to go to the bathroom and I slid right in there and started playing before the daughter could say anything. :) I had put in the $25 that was left over from my win on the slot machine and played on that. Didn't take too long to lose that. :)
I looked over at Dan to see if he was ready to go, but he wasn't making eye contact. I took out my original $50 and put that on the card and played about 3 hands when Dan appeared over my shoulder asking "Ready to go?" He'd lost his allotment, plus a little bit and was done with blackjack. :) I played a few more hands and then took my card to the change cage to get my money. I cashed out $50.30. That $0.30 was pure profit! Woo hooo! I'm ready to go professional! NOT! Dan lost a bunch. Bad Dan. :)
We went back up to the room and then Dan decided he wanted to walk on the beach. I wish he had mentioned that while we were down there. :) I put my shoes back on and we headed downstairs. It was cool and breezy out, but not uncomfortable in my fleece jacket. We talked about how different the beaches are in Washington, Oregon, Northern California (like Mendocino and Eureka), the Bay Area, and Southern California. Okay.. it wasn't as boring as that sounds. :)
Once we started to get too cold, we headed inside. We stopped downstairs at Emily's and picked up some dessert. Dan had called them before we went down to the beach to find out what they got, but he didn't know what any of the desserts were. He said, "chocolate tart" instead of torte, and remou-lee instead of creme broulee. :) He didn't even attempt tiramisu! We got a creme brulee for Dan and I had the torte. It was delicious but WAY too sugary for me. It had some carmel filling that I knew wasn't good. I should have just had a scoop of ice cream. Dan finished my dessert after licking his dish clean. :) Then I got a birthday massage and we watched a little news and turned off the lights. Dan crashed out immediately (past his bedtime by a long time. It was almost midnight and late for a guy who gets up at 5am most mornings!) I read my new book for about 45 minutes and then I went to sleep too. The bed was so comfy.. fluffy pillowtop, down comforter, fireplace at the foot of the bed.. mmmmmm.............
Monday, October 14th, 2002 -
I woke up to a strange noise in the room. It was Dan trying to figure out how to get the shower turned on. It was a little after 8am and Dan volunteered to go downstairs and bring me up something for breakfast. I offered to get up so we could get room service and he said he'd rather eat with me than eat alone downstairs and bring me something up. I agreed. We ordered breakfast (eggs benedict for me and something called a lumberjack for Dan that was 2 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage and 2 pancakes) and I got into the shower.
Right after food showed up, I started to feel a little sick. Not sure what that was all about. Anxiety? Medication? Not enough sleep? Not sure. But at least our breakfast didn't end up on the floor outside. :)
Breakfast was wonderful! We watched some people flying kites out on the beach and had our breakfast. Dan finished reading some of the newspaper he had brought with us and I went back to bed. :) I did need a little more sleep and that bed was too comfortable to not get as much of it as I could. :)
Dan packed up most of our things while I dozed on and off. Then it was about 10am and time to get moving. I finished packing and we went downstairs and checked out.
We headed back towards Hoaquium and then turned North on 101 and headed up towards Lake Quinault. Not a very exciting drive, but once we got to the lake, it turned out to be worth the drive. It was really lush (gee, it's a rainforest.. you'd figure it would be lush) and beautiful. We didn't do the whole loop drive because so much of it is gravel road and time waas short. We did see a golf course I bet Mom & Dad haven't played yet. :) It's L****something Landing. -->
We stopped at the Lake Quinault Lodge. It's an old lodge with a great fireplace and comfy chairs in the lobby. We stopped and rested for a few minutes. Dan loves that kind of place. I can't stand the fact you can hear every footstep and voice in the whole place from every corner of the hotel. :)
We went across the street to the general store and had them make us a couple of sandwiches. I got a regular turkey and swiss on sourdough and Dan got something called a Willaby which was like a grilled cheese, ham and turkey sandwich. We took the sandwiches and drove up to the North Shore road. We found a great picnic spot right by the lake with a creek going next to the table. Very quiet and pretty place to have a sandwich.
We were only 30 miles from the Kalaloch Lodge on the coast. I'd been wanting to check out that area since we moved up here and I read about it, but that 30 miles was going to make our drive too long so we headed back south on 101 towards home.
Pretty uneventful drive home. Stopped in Shelton for a snack and then got home a little after 4pm. I kept pestering Dan to go out and check the mail, but forgot it was Columbus Day. Oops. :) We watched a little news and some stuff recorded on the Tivo. We had cold chicken leftovers for dinner and watched Vanilla Sky on the DVD.
All in all, I think it was a pretty great birthday. :) I wish we could do it every weekend! Can't do it next weekend because Dan's already got a date with Paul McCartney at the Tacoma Dome. :)
Oh yeah.. one more thing. The Friday before we left (10/11) just as we were getting ready to eat dinner, the fire department arrived because the building next door was on fire. Apparently, from what we hear now from fire investigators, someone had flicked a cigarette into the decorative bark (gorilla grass) next to the building and it smouldered for quite a while before it ignited and set the facade around the fireplaces on fire on the exterior of the building. All I know is that my whole kitchen window was orange and the fire was huge just before the firemen sprayed it with water. As they were spraying water into the wall on the first floor, fire was shooting out the roof by the 3rd floor balcony. Scary stuff! Here are a couple pictures of the aftermath.