Saturday, August 9, 2014

vacay, part I

I'm not going to write a book about my little vacay like I did last year about the residency. For one thing it was a totally different experience. For another, there was no agenda and far fewer people.

A small group of us artists agreed to get together and spend five days on the Oregon coast for fun and companionship and relaxation with no expectations of how we wanted to spend the time except to be together.

It was so much fun.

It was a thing of beauty.

It definitely rated up there with all the other 'bests' of my life.

When Catharine conceived of the idea and sent it out to the rest of us, we all responded yes within 45 minutes.

Leigh from Australia
Natalie and Denise from Canada
Abi, Terri, and Catharine from Portland
and little ole me from Texas

Lest you think that these are old high school buddies who have kept in touch with each other ever since, I met Denise, Leigh, and Natalie at the residency last year, Catharine I have had contact with over the years via glass, and Terri and Abi were total strangers and there was not even one moment of hesitancy or regret or uncomfortable moments or drama or any negative feelings whatsoever. It was total acceptance from the start.

Leigh and Denise that first night at Catharine's. Denise turned out to be our bartender extraordinaire.

Denise and I arrived Friday, Leigh a few days earlier, to Catharine's in Portland and all members of the group came together at her house on Saturday morning, we introduced ourselves, loaded up the two cars, and set out for Manzanita to spend 5 days at Terri's house which she so generously provided.

Almost there, we stopped at Cannon Beach for lunch but being on a weekend day, it was very crowded and parking was not to be had around where we planned to eat so we ended up eating at the restaurant associated with a little hotel there.

Our waiter was an older man who had recently started working there and was not fazed by a group of 6 loud and boisterous women between the ages of mid-40s to mid-60s and in fact made jokes with us. He was very cute and I don't mean attractive though he was not unattractive.


I ordered a salad because it was hot (I was sitting in the sun) and it had everything I liked in it as well as a 'slow cooked poached egg'. Well, OK, I thought, that was pretty weird, but I figured I could easily push it aside.

I wish I could have seen the look on my face when he put my plate down in front of me. Catharine described it later as 'abject horror'. In front of me was an egg with an uncooked yolk surrounded by what looked like a sea of snot albeit somewhat whiter and clearer, right on top in the middle of my salad.

The whole table went silent while the waiter apologetically asked me if something was wrong.

Well, I guess my idea of a poached egg is a little different from this, I said.

I can bring you something else, he says.

No, no, this is what I ordered and I knew it had a poached egg with it, I just expected it to be a little more...cooked. I'm poking at it tentatively with my fork as I say this.

It's wholly cooked, he tells me, slow cooked at a low temperature for four hours.

I'm not sure if he is pulling my leg or not but I decide I will just eat around it so, no, no, I tell him, this is fine.

Almost immediately the yolk breaks but I manage to eat around it as best I could, the laughter and boisterousness continued, and then we all piled into the two cars and made our way to Manzanita where we work out the sleeping arrangements and then head to the beach.

The beach at Manzanita with steam? fog? rising from the beach.

The Pacific Ocean.

After we returned from the beach, we settled in to wait for Natalie to arrive, who was flying in that day and renting a car and driving. 

The order of the day.

Natalie took a wrong turn and ended up on a curvy scenic route but finally showed up at least one cocktail behind and more likely two.

Natalie finally arrives...

and gets to wear the tiara.

Loud hilarity ensued. 



  1. I believe one day I will write something that will try to capture your maybe-cooked-for-four-hours-poached-egg. I couldn't stop laughing just imagining your face... and the poking fork.

    This sounds wonderful, Ellen. I think more of us should do the same. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

  2. what a great group you landed in! :) the uncooked egg would have made me wretch. i'm an egg geek and need mine cooked very hard.

  3. What a beautiful time! I'm so glad you got to do this. I've recently been getting into poached eggs but I poach them until they are done, at least. It takes three minutes, not four hours. And the eggs have to be fresh as can be. Out of the chicken and into the water!

  4. Six women almost make my ears hurt and my heart smile.

  5. this looks like so much fun. I love the energy that comes from just looking at the photos. I'm sure you had a super good time. Lucky, lucky you. xoxo OMa LInda

  6. OK, Manzanita! I don't know where that is but I will look it up. I have been to Cannon Beach.

    The company looks terrific and I can imagine you had a great time. Slow-cooked poached eggs are kind of gross, but I'm used to them now. (Dave is very into egg poaching.)

  7. If ever there was a time for a selfie, that moment of seeing the faux poached (faux pauxched?) egg would have been it. Sounds like a great group and a lot of fun.

  8. So jealous!!!! I love runny eggs, but NOT on salad - EWWW!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.