Since my last post was full of whining about my preaching engagement, I'll get that part of the update out of the way immediately. It went well. To be perfectly honest, I was more nervous about the benediction (something I've never done) than about the preaching (which I've done four times). The service felt so short. It felt a lot like a musical performance or a fancy meal: lots of time to prepare and then it's all over in a moment. Most people gave me positive feedback. Apparently, my clear, slow speech makes me an excellent preacher for the hard of hearing. There weren't a lot of comments about the content, but I'm sure I'll get more of that when I meet with my supervisor tomorrow.
My weekend was pretty full even without the preaching assignment. DJ, a friend from college who's now studying in Spokane, came out for a visit and one of his friends from Corvallis got a ride to Salem to join us. They both arrived on Friday evening. Getting everyone together was sort of a comedy of errors involving lots of people unfamiliar with Salem. It only took us about an hour of calling back and forth and driving hither and yon to gather everyone in the same place. I cooked for the first time in months and had a great time doing it.
Since neither DJ nor Keun Ha had been to the Pacific Coast before, we drove west to see the ocean. We went toward Lincoln City and turned north once we reached the coast and headed up Route 101. Our journey took us to various places, but the one stop where we spent the most time was at Cape Lookout, where we hiked the Cape Trail. It was an easy to moderate hike, which zig-zagged across a peninsula for two and a half miles. The weather was nice and cool and the sun was shining. My feet were killing me because the Chacos I recently acquired either weren't adjusted properly or simply are not made for hiking, but it was still a fun time. Having lunch high above the ocean, looking back at the Oregon Coast, enjoying the cool breeze coming off the water was spectacular.
After our hike, DJ wanted to stick his feet in the ocean, so we continued north. Along the way, we stopped at Tillamook Cheese Factory and got some ice cream. Even further north, we stopped at Rockaway Beach, where DJ and I stuck our feet in the water. On our way back to the car, we stopped at the shower to rinse our feet. There was one button that operated the shower and another that operated a lower faucet to clean feet. Without thinking, I pressed the wrong button and gave myself an unexpected shower. A little surprised and disoriented, I tried to press the correct button and gave myself another shower. Third time was the charm. Fortunately, there were plenty of people around to enjoy the show.
Before we returned to Salem for the night, we went to dinner in Lincoln City. We were hoping for some delectable seafood, but ended up getting overpriced, sort of bland seafood instead. If you're ever in Lincoln City, I do not recommend Maxwell's. It's not bad, but it's definitely not good either.
Yesterday, I preached, but I already told you about that, so we won't go there again. After the service was over and I'd met with a few people for some extra feedback, DJ, Keun Ha and I went to Pita Pit, my favorite lunch place in Salem, to eat. There was a festival by the river, so the place was packed, unusual for a Sunday. After finishing lunch, DJ and I went to see Wall-E. The movie was super-cute. It's definitely worth the price of a matinee and the big screen adds to the viewing experience. It would actually make a really terrific date movie.
After the busy weekend, I was glad to get back to the place I've been staying and just veg on the couch. I might do some more of that this evening. Sitting in the back yard reading a book sounds like just the thing to do.
Btw, Daniel, several people here have recently schooled me on the proper nomenclature for the land abutting the Pacific Ocean. They assure me it is "the coast" or "the beach" and never "the shore." I demur to your greater experience of the West Coast. The people talking to me about it before must have been mimicking my own incorrect usage. ;)