If you happen to be a person who reads both of my blogs – the other being Isabella Bird Miscellany – you’ll know that my summer has been packed with short getaways.
Taking an extended vacation is fabulous when time and dollars allow; when that’s not in the cards, sneaking away for a day or two feeds the desire for exploration.
No matter the length of time involved, I like to find good and quirky places to eat; definitely with the emphasis being on the good factor. It’s like a crapshoot, sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. Yahacts, our beach destination, did not disappoint; the dice rolled all in our favor.
The first evening we (my man and I) arrived late, having grabbed some fish and chips on our way to the beach.
Ironic that we ate fish while we were still in-land, but we knew the joint brought fish in on a daily basis.
After being in the car for several hours, both of us, and our sweet chocolate labby needed a good walk to stretch out riding-weary bodies. There was no dearth of tiny roads to walk, lit windows to peer in and restaurants to wonder about. A few mental notes were made since no pen and paper or phone was available.
The next morning we had breakfast at a joint we saw the night before – the Green Salmon. Thru closed doors and dark windows, we’d peered in, seeing an extensive chalk menu hanging over the counter. It displayed numerous coffee, tea and cocoa concoctions, a list of breakfast sandwiches and assorted pastries.
The place was packed when we arrived, and folks were waiting in line to place their orders. That’s always a good sign for us out-of-towners. We got in line and tried to eye the chalkboard to pick something to eat.
The guys behind the counter were efficient.
The line moved quickly and soon we, as in I, had settled on a cup of Honduran coffee, a bagel with egg, cheese and sautéed mushrooms, and the other half of the we chose a sandwich on house-baked bread with eggs, cheese and sweet turkey sausage. The place was packed.
People appeared to sort of be sharing tables – you know that whole communal eating thing. Some don’t like it. I do. You meet interesting people. People who will invite you to join them, or not mind if you ask, are often interesting people. My theory proved true. We walked toward a table when a gentleman working on his laptop said, “Please sit. It’s a community table. We can share.” So we did.
I didn’t really want to interrupt his work, but did offer a few pleasantries.
And, my did this open up an amazing opportunity. He was a retired professor from Oregon State University; his time now spent with photography. This man didn’t just snap random photos, no; he travels and captures stunning geological formations. The ones he shared were from a trip in April to Bolivia and the southern tip of Chile, exposing rocks and pools and salt flats in mineral colors. He freely shared photos and stories as we sipped coffee and ate breakfast, which was grand and rustic.
Our stuffed selves left and were once again in need of a walk. That seems to be a theme for me, eat and walk, eat and walk. I guess the walking makes the eating possible. Rambling words set aside, the physical rambling found us entering the unlocked gate of a sweet little community garden, where Nancy greeted us with smiles and a handful of fresh peas to nibble, as if I needed more food. This garden was a labor of love for her; tending not only her plot, but other’s if they were not able.
A peace pole was in the center of the garden where cool weather crops and herbs flourished.
We were invited to join their gathering the next day, but sadly we had to leave before it occurred. I was struck by her gentle spirit and free offering of the gift of food freshly drawn from the earth.
My community garden plot is finally producing. It’s been a battle of wills between a late blast of freezing temperatures and voraciously hungry golden mantle chipmunks. They are cute little beggars, but they have an extreme appetite.
The kale is abundant and making frequent appearances in salads and scrambled eggs. Several fingerling eggplants are waiting to be grilled today, along with a couple of Italian roasting peppers. What I’m not gathering at the garden is ready at the farmer’s market. It’s definitely a “yeah” for vegetables time of year, here at home and in the places that I’ve been exploring.