People always tell us how lucky we are to live this life and I guess in many ways they are right but for most of our days this is pretty hard work. During the active art show months the times when we are home when Steve is not in the studio printing, we spend long hours matting and framing new pieces and packing up more unframed pieces. We make more greeting card sets, go through the inventory to decide what pieces will work at what show and try to determine just how many panels to bring to set up the booth given the space we have been given for each show. We have to clean the tent, especially if the last show was at a dusty location and in addition I am always shipping out packages from that trips activity. This all usually takes place in a matter of days before we turn around and pack up the truck and head out again for parts unknown.
Most of the time we leave ourselves no free time to stop and just relax and have fun along the way. We may stop for an hour or two to stretch our legs but usually not for much longer than that because we have to get home to restock or get across the country for the next show.
Recently we changed that though and we took a detour and went to the Oregon coast for a few days between two of our favorite shows in Oregon. After living 14 years in the Northwest we had never done that and it was wonderful to just drive along the shore and take in the scenery and all it's splendor. We forget sometimes that just stopping to enjoy a simple roadside meal is oh so special. Along the way we discover two very special stops that everyone should visit someday.
The drive along the coast and turn around the bend and see the Pelican Brewing Company in Pacific City Oregon has to be close to Nirvana for any beer lover. It is definitely the most beautiful brew pub I have ever seen and even if you don't like beer it is a beautiful place to stop and watch the ocean for lunch.
We had rented a little place right on the ocean but on the last day we decided to drive up the coast and just stop when it felt right. I had read about an old hotel that had been converted in Wheeler, OR but I wasn't sure if we would go there and yet the minute we saw it we knew. The hotel , The Old Wheeler Hotel has been many things including a brothel during the height of the lumber industry boom and for the last three years it has been lovingly restored to it's glory into an 8 room B&B. The town is very small but it feels very warm and inviting. The hotel faces the river and there is a tiny restaurant around the corner run by a master chef who came there from Nantucket. It is very informal, the waitress even hugged Steve goodbye. The stay was short and magical, We should do it more often...
Bonnie Harmston works side by side with her husband Steve and travels the art show circuit with him.