A planned departure at 9am was delayed by 2 hours when KK’s camper shell key broke off in the lock. The closest locksmith was in Eugene, Oregon, about 50 miles away, so we unexpectedly had a little time to kill in Florence.
KK, PK, Scott, Erin and Ellery went to a diner for breakfast, and our crew had other plans. We visited Dutch Brothers, a drive thru coffee joint. Mallory had been wanting to try them, as we had seen several on this trip. The employees were super friendly and they even gave us a free drink when they learned it was our first visit. Go Dutch Brothers!
Next we had to make a visit to Fred Meyer to pick up some clothing items. The man at the hotel desk suggested it. We had seen many Fred Meyer stores on this trip, and had assumed it was probably a grocery store. Well, it is part grocery store and part everything else. It became a family favorite on our first visit.
Fred Meyer has a full grocery store, a clothing section like a department store, jewelry store, paint store, kitchen store, lawn & garden, pharmacy, etc. Marissa said it was like having an entire mall inside one store. Mallory was even interacting with the locals…
[Mallory was shopping for clothes]
Shopper: Do you work in this department?
Shopper: Well, can you help me?
Mallory: No, I don’t work here at all.
Shopper: Oh well, you’re wearing a blue shirt.
Mallory: Well, I don’t work here. (and walks away)
Later, as we looked around the store, there were no employees wearing blue shirts. It is a mystery.
While I was sitting in the waiting area outside the fitting rooms, a lady and her daughter came walking up. Marissa was standing near me and we were both wearing our matching vacation t-shirts.
Lady: Do you all travel full-time?
Me: (thinking this is an odd question) No, we are just on a summer vacation. Do you travel full-time?
Lady: Yes, we’ve been on the road for five years.
Further discussion revealed that this family of 4 drives a 40 foot Bluebird school bus around the country. This husband and wife had caught my eye earlier while I was sitting at the fitting room, as they were both carrying their coffee mugs around the store, as if they just poured themselves a cup (and I guess they did).
We had a great time at Fred Meyer and even found the school bus in the parking lot as we were leaving.
Our first real stop of the day was the beach at Florence. We drove over to South Jetty Beach, took some pictures and played in the water. The water is cold, of course, but it’s hard to resist getting in.
While at the beach, we saw a sign with various warnings on it, and one was for Sneaker Waves. This reminded me of a conversation with a lady at the Glass Blowing Store in Lincoln City yesterday. As we were checking out, we mentioned we were going to the beach later and she said, “Don’t turn your back on the waves.”
Me: Is that bad luck?
Lady: <laughs>, then looks at me seriously and says “No, they’ll kill you.”
Lady: Every year somebody dies from these sneaker waves that come up and wash the swimmer out to sea. You could also call them a tennis shoe wave. I call them sneaker waves.
Well, we were careful at the beach today. Zero sneaker waves got a hold of us.
After getting our beach time in, we drove to Eugene and visited the University of Oregon campus. Scott found the location of a Duck statue and we checked that out.
We stopped by Autzen Stadium, the football field, as well, and many of our group checked out the Duck clothing store next door.
Our original plans for the day involved a visit to Crater Lake National Park, but with our delay getting started and our extended beach time, that was not going to happen. Not a problem…we are flexible.
We made a beeline directly to our hotel, where we are delightfully staying two nights. It’s our last multi-night stay in a hotel for this trip.
There are extremely limited dining options where we are staying. So everybody except KK and PK walked across the parking lot to a truck stop and we went grocery shopping for dinner. Marissa got a hot pocket! I told you this was fun!
We had a picnic dinner in one of our hotel rooms and planned out the activities for tomorrow. Ooh, there is talk about watching the sunrise at Crater Lake tomorrow. It is going to be a short night.