corner view: happy anniversary

Author: angiem, 04 14th, 2010

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Jane of #mce_temp_url#on one year of bringing happiness in the form of Corner Views from around the world. I am new at this so I have no favorite to post, but looking through Jane’s I was inspired to post a photo of a beach and tell a story of one of my favorite times there.

Years ago, a friend and I took a few sunny summer days to explore the Pacific Northwest coast. Our main goal was to stay off the beaten path and experience life at a slower pace. Antique shops, flea markets, and art galleries were our destination, as were berry farms, deserted beaches, dusty book shops and coffee houses. We had reserved a couple of nights at bed and breakfast places along the way, provisioned ourselves with a picnic basket overflowing with Belgian chocolates, crusty bread, and the best cheeses we could afford, and set out.

She was to be married that summer, and soon after to move away. I suppose, in a way, we were gifting each other a last memory of our girlhood. Ours was a friendship that had carried us from childhood, through the turbulent, self-conscious adolescence, and into our twenties.

The views were stunning. Rolling pastoral beauty giving way to dense emerald forests. We followed a river that shined like mica and came into a village right out of a nautical painting. The sun was setting, all rose and apricot colored over the bay. We parked our car and strolled the heart of the main street in search of a coffee house. With steaming drinks and chunks of cheese filled bread, we made our way to the beach, content to sit on the sand and soak up the beauty before us.

As darkness was approaching, we didn’t linger too long. Somewhere along those dusty roads, the hostess of a white Victorian house was awaiting our arrival, probably eager to lock up and go to bed. Our bedroom, at the top of three flights of stairs, was under the eaves and decorated with a large-scale lilac print wallpaper right out of a Victoria magazine. The brass, queen-sized bed was piled up with fluffy pillows, and in the bathroom a claw-foot tub occupied most of the space. We loved it.

A misty morning arrived too soon. We took our time over breakfast in the ornate dining room, both decided that the food could be better, yet stuffed ourselves nonetheless, and set off for a day of treasure hunting. It seemed that time stood still. The clouds and morning drizzle cleared away, and our minds emptied of everything but the joy of each other’s company.

That night’s bed and breakfast was a far cry from the first. We took one look at it and turned our car around. It was spooky! Our overactive imaginations had us roaming the dark roads in search of acceptable lodging. Finally, after it seemed as though we drove for hours, we found a newly built hotel, devoid of character, as expected, but with views of the silver ocean lapping at the rocks below.

Before we headed home the following afternoon, we stopped into a local bookshop and sealed our three days together by each purchasing a copy of Jane Eyre. It was a favorite book to both of us, and a talisman to remember our friendship and our last adventure before matrimony.

In case anyone is wondering, each comment will be entered in the book giveaway.  Now go on and visit more Corner Views!

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a weekend getaway

Author: angiem, 08 31st, 2009

After an early, misty morning trek to our favorite boulangerie for croissants and coffee, we decided that the best way to spend the weekend was at the beach. The husband and I have very opposing views of what constitutes a perfect day at the beach. I tend to be drawn to gloomy, stormy weather, relentless crashing waves and pelting rain. After an invigorating, brisk walk on the water’s edge, I look forward to the coziness of the beach cabin, with its crackling fire, mugs of hot coffee and cocoa, countless board games, and hours of staring at the incessant waves from the comfort of my wing chair, open book ignored in my lap.

The husband, on the other hand, wants scorching days where he can spread out his blanket and doze off to the lively chatter of kids playing in the sand and seagulls calling to each other. Later on, he wants to fly the kite with the kids, go in search of dripping ice cream cones, and have a game of beach volleyball, after which he’ll take another long nap.

But hey, we know a happy marriage takes a lot of work and compromise, so that’s exactly what we do.

The only clouds to be seen were far on the horizon, but the wind was picking up. We laid our blanket and bags down and the husband, sweatshirt zipped up, hood on, and went for a nap. I opened my book and started daydreaming. In another couple of weeks school would start, and shortly thereafter the preparations for the holidays.

And then the rain came in errant little plops at first, and then in great big ones. The mountain whose road we had meandered on, had donned a cap of foggy gray descending in waves, it seemed, down the side. We gathered our things and ran to our little cozy cabin where we quickly built a fire. Snuggled in our blankets, hot drinks in hand, we all agreed that we were in the perfect place to watch a summer storm push through.

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