2019 - West Coast USA - Day 4
Breakfast today was fair to middling, although the scrambled eggs were hot and fresh. We were soon back in our room to pack up and put our Plan B schedule into action.
It was a easy and pleasant drive through Oregon Wine Country which was quite picturesque. Everywhere was very green and it reminded us of England more than the USA. I managed to get Apple Play working on the car radio which pleased me but Karen was blasé about it. The weather was bright but overcast but we could see blue sky in the direction we were heading which we assumed meant it was good weather at the coast.
Today was also the day of Norwich being back in the Premier League. Deciding to change our plan meant it was unlikely that I would get to see any of the game. Nevertheless I was full of anticipation for the season ahead, Karen less so. When I suggested that we didn’t stop for a coffee during the 100 mile journey as that would mean I definately would miss the game she was not happy.
But the journey was short and we arrived into Lincoln City at noon which was kick off time. It was far too early to check into the Hotel so we looked for a Starbucks. The first one we saw looked just OK but we had seen signs to an Outlet Mall and assumed there would be one there where we could chill out and perhaps find some lunch. We found the mall and parked up. Karen was very grumpy when we realised that there was not a Starbucks here at all . However within a minute we came across a place called Salt which was a local coffee shop. In fact it was better than a Starbucks (in my opinion). Karen got her coffee fix and I had a decent cup of tea. We even ordered hot breakfast bagels for lunch which were really really good.
It took a while but I got the Laptop onto the Wifi, set up a UK VPN and logged into my Sky Go account, just in time to see the 3rd Liverpool goal went in. We sat and watched the remainder of the 1st half before having a wander around the outdoor mall during half time. We went back to the coffee shop after about 40 minutes, but try as I might I could not get first onto Wifi, then the VPN set up and finally into Sky Go until the match had finished. I promise this didn’t frustrate me much at all. At least though, Norwich won the second half.
Then we went back to find the Hotel. It was called Liberty Inn and I had booked it directly on the IHG site. We couldn’t work out why there was no availability on other booking websites. When we got there we realised why. Although the IHG site had mentioned renovations it was actually still a building site. We couldn’t believe it was really open. In the UK we would not have been allowed in the car park alone the building due to Health & Safety. There was a handwritten sign pointing us to a side door propped open by a wheelbarrow, The ground floor had been gutted. Reception was a table in front of a cupboard. When I got someone to come out of the cupboard I asked if they were open and to my surprise they said they were. They said that although rooms on the 4th floor were being used, there was no breakfast, no pool and no laundry facilities. There would also be a lot of noise from 9am - 5pm. The Hotel was apparently being converted to a Holiday Inn Express but the work had run into problems and was already 1 year behind schedule.
I was told we could cancel for free but had no idea where else we could go or whether they had any vacancies. Then I was told our room would not be ready until 3.30pm. I was not a happy bunny. I was already composing a strongly worded email in my head. But we we tried to remain calm decided to take ourselves off to the beach.
We took the road opposite the Hotel and drove maybe 300 meters before parking and walking down to the beach.
What a fabulous surprise we had. The beach was beautiful. It was very wide, very long, very clean and mostly very quiet. There were lots of people walking along it and clumps of families playing various games. The sand was perfect for walking along (which we did) and building sandcastles (which we didn’t). We walked to our right and kept walking for a good 30 minutes before turning around. The air was so fresh and warm. There were some lovely properties overlooking the sea. Although we were disappointed we were missing Crater Lake this did make up for it.
After this sojourn we went back to the Hotel Building site and checked into our room. The room itself was OK although not completely finished. There were no tea/coffee making facilities which did cause Karen the biggest consternation.
We chilled for an hour or so we decided to head out for dinner. Again we didn’t have to drive far to McMennnins Lighthouse Bar. Underneath it was a Dollar Tree which Karen wanted to visit to get some Face Wipes which apparently cost 10 times the price in in the UK.
The Lighthouse bar was full which we took to be good sign. It had a good look and vibe. We were immediately seated. The food and alcohol menu were good. Karen went for Fish & Chips whilst I had the Pot Crab Mac & Cheese with Parmesan Breadcrumbs. They were both delicious.
Next door was a ColdStone Creamery so went inside for Karen to a some sort of Apple Pie Ice Cream Concoction.She declared it not to have been her favourite one of their offerings that she had tried.
Afterwards we walked across the road to the Safeway Supermarket ostensibly to get some wine to take back to the room (but the fact Karen immediately scuttled off to the in store Starbucks made me think she may also have had ulterior motives). Sadly the Starbucks was already closed and so we were able to concentrate on getting somethings to have for breakfast as the Hotel wasn’t providing any. This then resulted in me going back into Dollar Tree to get some mugs to try and and make some tea in the microwave in the room.
Whilst supping our wine we turned the TV for the first time this trip. We started watching a programme called ‘What Would You Do?”. It was an interesting concept. With hidden cameras in different locations they had actors act out different scenarios to see if any one intervened. The first was a mother and two children , in a Taco Bell type place. Without making a fuss the mother bought the single cheapest meal between all of them. The children then complain to her about having to share a single Taco between the 3 of them. The young boy then says it's his birthday and asks for a bigger share and then could he have an ice cream. The mother then gets upset in a calm way saying this is all she can afford and that they should be grateful they are all together. Now I know this is a set up and they were possibly filming for days, but the number of people who intervened by either giving the Mother money or ordering more food for them was heartwarming. After they had done so then the camera crew come out, explain it was a set up and ask them why they did it. Almost everyone who had done so talked about going through hard times themselves and wanting to pay it forward themselves. It reduced Karen to tears watching. There were plenty of other situations they set up as well, some of them more confrontational which was interesting. The show ended in a supermarket where another actor played a packer who was deliberately crushing and breaking the food items as he packed as when the other actor playing the shopper went off to get something they had forgotten. This scenario was just funny watching other peoples reactions in the queue. I’m not sure this show would work in the UK, as we would probably just tut loudly to ourselves and move on.
Anyhow we were pleased how our Plan B had worked out so far.