Monday, March 17, 2008

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Four days ago, I prepared to leave the café in the hands of my capable crew and take Café de la Rue (my old concession business) west to Tillamook for a rare road appearance. Back in January, when I had to sign up for this thing, it seemed like a good idea. Who knew I would not be fully recovered from February--new menu, new pricing, Valentine’s Day, great sales, v-e-r-y t-i-r-e-d… But I figure, what the heck…I’ll be away from the café for a few days. It will be a vacation. Right.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version:

The Event:

Great White (my truck) craps out four days before event. Great White goes to truck hospital. Doctors at truck hospital are as cooperative as MDs. No one answers phone or returns calls; Great White will be out of commission indefinitely. One large (500 lb.) oven now has no ride to Tillamook.

Thursday…Rent a truck to accommodate oven. Arrive at truck rental place. No reservation. Whine, moan, and cajole them into coughing up truck. Get truck home. Truck rental place on the other side of town calls to ask why we have not picked up reserved truck.

Roll ramp out of back of rental truck. Prepare to roll 500 lb oven up ramp. 500 lb oven is 29 inches wide. Ramp is 26 inches wide. 500 lb oven is not going up ramp into truck.

Frantic phone calls ascertain that taking smaller, lighter, narrower electric oven is an option (had been told in the past there was no power source for it.)

Load truck with smaller oven and other paraphernalia. Go to bed. Intend to spring out of bed, be on the road at 7 am and arrive Tillamook 9 am. Forget to go to bank for change. Bank opens at 10 am. Intend to spring out of bed, be on the road at 10:05 am, arrive Tillamook noonish. Realize I have no clean pants. Load washer before toppling into bed after midnight.

Friday…Up at 8:15 am. No personal stuff packed yet, and pants are in the washer. Throw pants in dryer. Shower, pack…pants should be dry.

10:15 am, arrive at café in damp jeans, gulp coffee. On the road at noon. Twenty miles of snow and slush up and down the pass. Arrive Tillamook 2 pm.

Three hours of "set-up" time left. Find our location and 220-volt power source. Power plug and oven cord do not match. Run to hardware store for replacement plug. Hunt down festival handy-man to make the switch. Repair completed…plug ‘er in. Elements glow but fan does not run. Remove back of oven. Fiddle with wires. Fan now runs. Speed-unload and set up remaining equipment. Pack up and leave for motel at 4:56 pm. Mission accomplished…four minutes to spare.

Umm…when do we get to the "vacation" part?

Head for overnight accommodations. Partner made reservations. Partner does not remember directions to motel. Or name of motel. Or phone number of motel. Get lost in very tiny town looking for motel. Partner calls husband on cel phone, sends him in search of torn scrap of paper containing name of motel. Husband (miraculously) finds scrap of paper and imparts information. Motel is identified and located. Possible dinner destination spied in process.

Check into cute, clean, warm cabin (motel fairies have ignited ancient space heater in anticipation of our arrival!) Admire partial ocean view worth $80 per night. Ask motel fairy for local dinner recommendation. "Any where but (previously identified possible dinner destination.)" Something about a history of near-fatal ptomaine … Drop off suitcases, go out in search of dinner.

Find a place with lots of cars. Looks like a bar, but we’ll give it a go. Walk in. Smoke…ack! Walk right back out.

Decide to scope out café up the road that we have always wanted to try. Café is no longer café. Is now Italian Restaurant. Sigh! But Italian sounds good… Italians drink wine, no? Butternut squash ravioli. 2006(?) Sangiovese. (Does red wine go with squash?) Mmmmm… not bad.

Stop at Netarts Grocery for wine and cookies to take back to cabin. Cheap Pinot Noir and chocolate Chessmen. Snack. Jammies. Bobby Flay and spider solitaire. Crawl into bed 10:30 pm.

This concludes the 5 ½ hour "vacation" portion of our weekend…

More later…bed is beckoning.


  1. Well, if you can find anything to laugh about that would be good.  ;)

  2. You definately need a vaction from vacation...

    I sense that the rest of the weekend was just as eventful.

  3. all you needed was a knock on the door at midnight...Bobby Flay challanging you to a throwdown!

    These are the challanges that make us stronger, wiser and fullfilled......May your tomorrow be a piece of cake!
    Peace ...Marc :)

  4. I can hardly wait for next chapter! You didn't need to follow Murphy's Law! Dannelle

  5. YOu kept your sense of humor in spite of it all. Or rediscovered it on the way home. Bring on the next installment. ;-)