Monday, November 26, 2007
We are back from a well deserved family break in Newport, OR (if there is such a thing as a break from a toddler!) For the last few years we have been looking forward to getting away on this long weekend, and escaping the obligatory invitations to join family dinners. Really, whose idea was it to serve Turkey of all meats as a centerpiece at this rare American family gathering?
So we head off and our first 'you gotta be kidding' encounter was at a little state park campsite called Ellmaker, where we stopped for lunch and the needed potty break. An old couple on their way to TG dinner stop by, and the gentleman asks us where we are from, we say Sri Lanka, and he says with confidence 'subha udaasanak wewa' and as astonished as we were, we were able to mutter a 'esema wewa'. Turns out this older gentleman was stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf war and the compound had a lot of Sri Lankan laborers employed (who knew!). We all agreed that it was INDEED a small world.
We spent the weekend walking on the beach and checking out the various tide pools and watching the waves. For anyone who has not seen the Oregon coast, it is just out of this world amazingly beautiful in a haunting way. Its not the 'lay on the beach with a margarita' kind of coast but a harsher, commanding coastline with two low and high tides each day. Anjali loved the water and the tide pools, and I realized that like some others in our family she is drawn to the ocean. Once, she just marched right up to the crashing waves and a few minutes later fell down in the freezing water as the waves dragged back to the ocean. The girl still didn't want to budge from her perch.
We topped off her beach experience with a visit to the Oregon coast aquarium supposedly one of the top 10 in the country. Its just amazing to watch Anjali absorb all the information in her little brain as she observed all sorts of weird sea creatures like moon jelly fish, sharks and Japanese crabs. I keep thinking that I had no idea what an anemone was until I was about 17 and here she is just 2 and probably can identify a dozen or more sea creatures. Its all about providing that experience.
Other highlights from our trip were a visit to the Rougue brewery for amazing beer, fish and chips, and chowder, Yaquina Head lighthouse, and the Zia restaurant in Corvallis for some yummy carne adovada (haven't tasted anything this yummy since being in New Mexico).