It was equally frustrating that it took us so long to find the car but we finally hit the I-5 and didn't stop 'til we got to Salem.
We ate at You're Almost Home diner in Salem. Once we'd stopped giggling like school boys at the menu option 'The Bennys' we enjoyed our food very much. The service, of course, was impeccable. I had huevos rancheros. The further south we travel the more Mexican options on the menu it seems. I can see myself indulging again.
The Oregon coastal road was as breathtaking as we'd been warned. It led us to Newport. A pleasant coastal city with a strong odour of fish and a penchant for Willie Nelson lookalikes driving pick up trucks.
Check in to our hotel, which looked like something from Homicide:Life on the Street, was a bit long winded as it seems we were arriving on training day. The manager was showing a confused looking Indian guy, sporting the classic socks and sandals combo, the ropes. With some difficulty. An Indian lady, presumably his wife, looked on silently and redundantly.
Finally settled in we met at Moby Dick's for PBRs. Lovely cold ones. They were playing non stop Pogues and the friendly barman engaged us in chat and extended the happy hour to our convenience. Simon even helped him lift a keg.
The graffiti in the bogs (sorry, rest rooms) was amusing and the other clients were worth observing too. Most sat nearly motionless dropping coins into fruit machines. One lady called the bar man a motherfucker because she nearly missed happy hour. He took it in good spirits. A local we assumed.
We took a wrong turn trying to find the historic Bayfront and asked directions from some likely looking locals who, it seemed, had put in a shift in the bar. 'What language you talking? You boys from Norway?" said the lady as she twirled a cigar around. Her male friend then gave us incorrect directions. He was overruled by some even more refreshed looking guys so we bade them farewell and headed to the bay.
In the Rogue Ale House the atmosphere was jovial and family friendly. Simon had meatballs in blue cheese sauce and I had even cheesier things. The real winner was the jalapeño beer which needs to be tasted to be believed. I loved it
I wasn't in the mood for much of it though. We were both knackered and as we strolled back up hill for a 10pm bedtime we heard the noise of sea lions from the bay. We wondered if we'd see them tomorrow.