Surprise! Greetings from Newport
“Learn to recognize omens and follow them.”
– From The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
If it’s okay with you, I think I will return to blogging weekly on this road trip. Not only is the scenery spectacular, I dare say some interesting stories also seem to be emerging 🙂
After leaving Cannon Beach (I was a bit sad to leave our sweet little Sunflower Cottage), this was our first pit stop:
Then a couple of miles down the road, we had to stop again because THIS was the view:
A couple of hours later, we came to one of my all-time favourite places on the planet (which I visited a few years ago but was grappling with nasty cluster migraines at the time…ugh):
When I got back in the car, I remembered a comment from a WWOW reader (from last week’s blog) who suggested that I stop at the Tidal Raves Restaurant in Depot Bay for the world’s best crab cakes. I’m in!
So I google the address and low and behold, it was five minutes down the road. So I pull into the parking lot, belly up to the bar and order myself a round of crab cakes. All was calm while waiting for said crab cakes. I just sat there, minding my own business, watching the waves and sipping a coffee. And then the crab cakes arrived:
Yum! But it was what happened right after the crab cakes arrived (and I promptly began devouring them) that something interesting happened. The two older men who had been sitting beside me the entire time suddenly decided I was rather fascinating. They asked me where I was from, what I was doing, where I was going, etc.
They were in Depot Bay for a tennis tournament and were just waiting for the rest of their party to arrive for dinner. I asked where they were from.
“Ashland,” said one man.
Perhaps noticing my blank look, the other man asked me if I’d ever heard of Ashland, Oregon.
“No.” I said.
Then I was treated to an extensive description of where Ashland is (near the California border), why it’s so great (it has the world’s largest not-for-profit Shakespeare festival that runs for 9 months of the year and stages half Shakespeare plays and half everything else), which celebrities have homes there (Johnny Depp, Neil Donald Walsch and Bill Gates) and why I have to go (because of the vibe…it’s very special).
Now, here’s the odd thing: I didn’t tell them I was a writer, or that I was in the middle of writing a play or that I loved theatre. They just seemed to think that Ashland was very much a place I needed to check out.
After my crab cakes were devoured, the rest of their party arrived so they said good-bye and went to sit at the table. But a moment later, one of them raced back over to me, leaned down and whispered in my ear, “I am independently wealthy. I could live ANYWHERE in the world and I choose Ashland. You have to go!”
“Okay,” I said with a smile.
Then off he went to join his buddies. And I, stuffed with crab cakes, waddled back to the car and headed to my VRBO digs for the next week in Newport, a.k.a “Crab Cottage”:
The lovely and spacious Crab Cottage is owned by a commercial fishing family. After the 300 square foot Sunflower Cottage in Cannon Beach, Sadie and I are losing each other in 1000 square feet.
As with most of my writing projects, the Bungalow by the Sea play script is turning out to be a valuable (but rather uncomfortable at times) learning experience about life. As I try to make sense of my seven noisy years in Sidney, BC (albeit through the character of “Josie”), I thought this passage from The Alchemist to be rather apt:
“Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that we learned along the way…so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved towards that dream.”
– Paulo Coelho
In hindsight, it’s almost as if the seven years I spent trying to write in the world’s noisiest bungalow by the sea was instrumental in me mastering the lessons I needed to learn for the next leg of my journey…which is now.
“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve upon the present, what comes later will also be better.”
– From The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I’m not sure if I’ll be adding Ashland to my trip itinerary or not – but I’m definitely looking into it 🙂
That’s it from the peanut gallery…take care, thanks for reading & see you next week!
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.
16 thoughts on “Surprise! Greetings from Newport”
Awesome!! I love the crab cakes story and especially the magic of Ashland. I think you should go. Love the photos! Sadie looks very happy and so do you! Who knows what magic could happen in Ashland? Sounds like it could add to the Little Bungalow By the Sea landscape.
happy trails and inspired writing!
Oh MA…you sound so happy and adventuresome! I think and pray for you each and every day. I love the picture of Sadie…so happy too! I envy you having those delicious looking crab cakes.
Wishing you safety and sending hugs of love.
serendipity yet again. So Ashland holds the Ashland New Plays Festival which is an international competition where 4 plays are chosen and then professional actors are brought in for workshopping etc. It happens in October. Deadline for 2019 submissions is Dec 31, 2018. We may have passed thru Ashland on our way back from our road trip. In any case, you are on the right path….
YES! You MUST go to Ashland. I drove there in 2005 for a spiritual retreat and fell in love with it. The retreat was during the Shakespeare festival when the whole town was bustling with people and aliveness. Very funky, very new age, and quaint.
Bay says you should go too.
My wasband Paul and my daughter Amanda and I once accidentally came upon Ashland looking for a camping place. We ended up with front row seats at a Shakespearean Festival that was going on that night (when there were meant to be no seats). A magical experience!
Sounds like you are having a GREAT road trip!
Arleen : )
Your travel blogs are always so interesting Maryanne! I know as a writer, writing your journals gives you great satisfaction, and the photos that accompany them always completes the story…..but have you ever considered vlogging? My favorite travel bloggers do a short 4-10 minute vlog of their trips that are linked in their more extensive blog, and it draws a lot more viewer attention. It’s just a suggestion, although when I travel I don’t want to feel as if I’m taking people with me, as the being alone is the best part. Safe travels, my friend!
Love this blog. Crab cakes! Crab cottage! Coastline pictures! All awesome! Also love the quote from The Alchemist! You are an inspiration Maryanne! Keep up the good work!
Oh thank you Kathleen…that is so kind of you! I LOVE The Alchemist. Have you read it?
Hi Sherelle! I have thought of vlogging and may look more into it. It’s funny but I have mixed-feelings about using video. I love using it for some projects, of course, but just whipping up a short home-made-looking video (on my iPhone) with me just blah-blah-blah talking doesn’t sit right. This might be because I don’t particularly enjoy watching vlogs myself. But I shall ponder further 🙂
Hope you are well!
Oohhhh…that is so neat that the 3 of you ended up in Ashland AND got to see a play! I am hoping to experience that magic, too, if I make it to Ashland.
Hope you are well and enjoying your family!
Okay…that does it – if both you and Bay say I need to go to Ashland, then I may have to go! Geez…I can’t believe how much people love Ashland. I must have been hiding under a rock for the past 50 years, not to have heard of it 🙂
Woohoo! Good to know about the Ashland New Plays Festival competition. I will check into that…thank you!!!
Happy writing 🙂
Thanks Colleen…please do keep up the safe travel thoughts/prayers for Sadie & I! Hope you & Johnny are doing well 🙂
Thanks Pamela for suggesting the crab cakes…look at all that happened because of that! I hope you are feeling better and things are going well.
MA & Sadie
Love this post, Sweety. Full of wonder, exploration, beauty, and fun. And, Hug Point! … sounds like THE best spot to me! Love and hugs to you and Sadie on your writing journey. xoxox
Thank you, Wendy! Hope are you doing well and 2018 is off to a good start for you.