Being laid off from Kohler at the end of February was indeed a shock and yet, were it not for that situation, we would not be here in Oregon, looking out over the Pacific and listening to the waves crashing onto the 7.5 miles of pristine beach below our window her in Lincoln City. My emotions are mixed. I am enjoying this trip more than I would have ever imagined, and I know that if I were still in full employment I would never have been able to take off a month to accomplish it. However, part of me is also concerned that the right job opportunity has not yet presented itself despite enormous amounts of work in the networking and personal branding arena. I receive conflicting advice, some saying to hold out for the right position and not sell myself short, while others suggest that in the current market there are not many companies looking to hire someone at my level, and to therefore take whatever I can. So much comes down to serendipity, being in the right place at the right time, and overall, I still feel confident that it will work out. If I could choose where to relocate, this side of the country, the West Coast, is very appealing, and the northern part of this coast even more so. However I have to be realistic and I am continuing the networking while I am traveling and hoping that something will break soon.
We continued up route 101 today and arrived in Lincoln City, Oregon at about 4:00pm The hotel is great and very reasonable. We took Hopi for one of his longest beach runs ever. He loves beaches more than any other environment and he wore himself out. He also got very dirty and so we bathed him before Ginnie and I headed into town to the Blackfish Cafe, a restaurant that specializes in seafood dishes. Being West Coast it is very casual and certainly not upscale, but the food and wine were delicious.
I ordered a bottle of 2008 Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley, just to our east, and it was delicious. Although Pinot Gris is the same as Pinot Grigio, the Oregonians tend to make the wines more in the Alsace style than the (often) rather insipid Italian style. This wine had tons of fruit, a stiff acidic backbone and aromatics that simply shout out for shellfish. Eyrie Vineyards claims to have made the first Pinot Gris in USA and the first Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley!
We both opted for a cup of Clam Chowder, as Blackfish claim to make the best one on the Oregon coast. It was certainly good. I then followed with a signature fish stew (Cioppino) full of seafood, swordfish, clams, mussels,shrimp, scallops and topped with croutons and sweet local Dungeness crab. Ginnie had a seafood pizza that was also good although a tad salty.
We managed dessert too (it was by birthday!) and I had a great pot de creme while Ginnie had the signature chocolate "ding dong" that she declared light and fluffy. I had an apple brandy (not a Calvados, a local one that was pretty good and reminded me of my time in Switzerland when i would have a "cafe pomme" - (coffee with clear apple schnapps), and the day was another success.
So I am a year older and the weather has turned a bit cloudy, but we are enjoying our epic journey and keeping a positive attitude to life, love and the future.
Thanks to the many people, friends and family who sent me birthday wishes today. The power of the internet is wonderful for keeping in touch, and it seems that a lot of you are enjoying reading these updates.