The first part went well other than we got away later than we wanted, arriving at the Dodge City Shooting Gallery pinball palace at Noon -- they're only open 11-5, Saturdays and Sundays only. We spent several very enjoyable hours playing numerous pinball machines, all of which were in good working order aside from a soft flipper here and there.
About 3:30, Lisa decided she wanted something from the Vanagon, which was parked out back. She came back a few minutes later with a dark expression on her face.
"I can't find the keys to the van," she said. Of course, all game playing stopped while we searched about the place for her keys. She went thoroughly through her backpack looking for them. We retraced our steps -- not a lot of them since we'd made a bee-line for the pinball machines before arriving. Finally, Lisa found the keys.
Sitting on the rear seat of the locked van. Sigh.
Okay, this is why I have AAA coverage. I got my AAA card and mobile phone out and called the number on the card. California AAA transferred me to Washington AAA. I was on hold for a while. I finally got to talk to an agent, and got the details on where we were (fortunately, it was pretty easy to locate, I thought). It did seem to me that he was asking the same questions over and over. Before he could complete the dispatch and give me a call number, though, my phone died. And it had shown a 50% charge before starting the call!
I hunted around and found a pay phone and called AAA back. They searched and found that that they had actually completed dispatching a locksmith, having had sufficient information before the phone cut out, so all I had to do was go wait by the van.
In the meantime, the owner of the pinball palace, having had no more customers once we ran out to worry over the vehicle, decided to close early. So much for the five games I still had on Medieval Madness. Lisa and I started walking laps of the parking area. I was glad the weather had stayed pleasant, as my jacket was locked in the van and I was wearing only the light Hawaiian shirt I bought the previous day.
About 35 minutes or so after initiating the call to AAA, a little white Scion drove up and a locksmith appeared. After around ten minutes of fishing with a probe, he managed to unlock the door, and our day was saved. We thanked him, he said he needed nothing more from us -- all of the paperwork having been done when I opened the call, apparently, and he went on our way.
There was no more pinball for today, but it was certainly well past time for a meal, so we walked along Long Beach's main street and picked out a place where we had clam chowder and calamari and plotted our next move.
Lisa suggested that we go back to Seaside and get my one annually-allocated elephant ear there -- and we could go back to the good ice cream shop we'd found yesterday as well. I agreed to that, as I knew we were in no particular hurry today. The good part about not having to fly out Sunday evening -- I'm working from Oregon this week -- is not having time pressure.
Following this new route, we retraced our steps, parking at the Convention Center parking lot a block away from where we'd started the morning. We noted in passing that the Holiday Inn Express had resurfaced the portion of the parking lot where we'd started the day during the hours we'd been gone.
Walking over to We're All Ears, we found that we were too late -- they close at 7 PM on Sunday. Fortunately, Zinger's Ice Cream was still open. I splurged on a double scoop, and to partially counteract the effects, we walked down the Promenade to the north end and back via the beach -- the same route we took as yesterday. Ah, smell that sea air!
For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to head back by way of US-101 through Tillamook and Oregon Route 18/22. I'm not sure why this seemed like such a good idea, other than it may have appeared shorter on the map, but we really should have known better. It was after 8 PM, and this is not a fast way to get home.
On the other hand, driving down the coast meant that we came upon the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, running over the rails of the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad, and we did so before dark. (No pictures, sorry.) Unfortunately, after that it was dark and the road got twisty, and Lisa started feeling the effects of most of the past two weeks of constant driving.
It wasn't really the most comfortable drive home after Tillamook. We did not get back to Mehama until after midnight, and as quickly as possible, we moved out stuff in and did enough unpacking to get to bed. In retrospect, if we'd wanted to do what we did yesterday, we would have been better off with me taking an additional vacation day and not coming home until this afternoon.