Now on with my story...
Saturday was supposed to be a work day around here. We were going to trim some trees and get some other things done around the house. I moped around all morning -- angry and depressed. Meanwhile, G got one tree partially trimmed and just as he got the yard debris bin stuffed to overflowing, he suggested we bag the work day and drive to the beach. It was 12:45, and by 1:30 we were on the road. G is OBSESSED with the Tillamook Cheese Factory. If they had season passes, he'd have one. So, we stopped there first to load up on cheese and ice cream cones. Next we drove down to Pacific City. Ahh... I could feel my mood improving immediately. We figured it would be too chilly to stay long. However, when we hit the sand, we realized how warm and balmy it was near the water. Buddy played in the sand, then we explored the tide pools, which were full of little sea creatures that kept us all interested for a long time. Thankfully I know just enough about sealife to be able to point things out to Buddy. I have a feeling I exhausted my knowledge though, and the next time we go looking in tidepools, Buddy will know more than me. Buddy was amazingly quick at spotting the rock fish, little crabs, etc. Starfish and big crabs are the real crowd pleasers in the tidepools, and Buddy found three big crabs. Another lady near us found three starfish, which got a huge reaction from Buddy too.
This beach also has a steep sand dune. Our commitment to working out really paid off in helping us to the top. Last time we were there, about a year ago, we were really huffing and puffing to get the top. Buddy was the littlest boy we saw up there too, which made us proud to have such a tough little kid. The view at the top -- right before sunset -- was spectacular. The beach is my favorite place, and there was just something special about hiking to the top together with my family and then looking at the beauty of the ocean below. It really rejuvenated my spirits. I immediately felt better about all things concerning my life.
- "Dad, if I cut you with scissors, would it hurt you?"
- "Why don't the zoo trains have seatbelts?"
- "What does this song mean?"
- "Is the museum with the dolphins and whales far away?"
As we were driving, we saw an old fashioned hamburger joint, so we decided to stop. We have yet to find one around our home as good as the burgers in Utah, so we were anxious to give this one a try. It was 9:30 by this point, and Buddy was hungry and tired, so we did our best to keep him under control while we waited for our food. About halfway through eating, I looked over and noticed...
THERE WAS A MONKEY IN A CAGE IN THE RESTAURANT
A real, live monkey in a glass cage. It was even wearing pants. First I thought to myself, "Why on earth couldn't I have noticed that 30 minutes ago while we were not-so-patiently waiting for our food?" And then I suddenly had very happy flashbacks from high school. I had gone there several times with my friends. Probably 13 years have passed since I had been there, and I had completely forgotten about "Monkey Burger," as we had called it.
The monkey looked just like Jack, the monkey in "Pirates of the Caribbean." Buddy thinks he's a pirate, so he thought the monkey was the coolest thing ever. Needless to say, Buddy talked nonstop about monkeys all the way home and has told pretty much everyone he's seen today that "there was a monkey at our dinner yesterday."
A wonderfully relaxing day at the beach. Dinner at "Monkey Burger." Happy memories from high school. A fun day with my family. My over-the-moon happy son because he spent two days at the beach this week AND ate dinner with a monkey.
I guess my life is pretty good afterall.
And for the record, the burgers were fabulous and we will be making the 45-minute drive back to "Monkey Burger" often.