Once upon a time…..I was the “Not-From-Around-Here” Girl: flashy car, acrylic nails, Sun-In hair and 20 pairs of high heeled sandals. I drove up here on a whim, fell in love with the coast, gave my notice at my job and started house hunting. That was 15 years ago. Since then I have learned a lot about becoming an Oregonian here are my top 5:
#1 SLOW DOWN! That was a hard one for me. The coast has a different time frame than the rest of the world. Things are more relaxed…which is great because you actually have time to meet people, remember their names and make lasting friendships and enjoy the view all at the same time.
#2 Don’t expect all directions to include a street name. This one floored me! I needed to get from a friend’s house in Toledo to a friend’s house in Waldport. It went as follows:
- Turn left out of the drive way and drive until you reach that church with the red door, turn right (OK…what street is that? No Answer)
- Take that street until you see the police station and turn right (Ummm..OK, but I’m scared now)
- Follow the road until you see DQ (OK, seriously, what street am I on now? Still no answer),
- Turn left on HWY 20 (YES! A STREET NAME)
- When you hit Newport turn left at HWY 101 (We are on a roll, that’s two street names in a row!)
- Take 101 to Waldport and turn left at the street after the one with the light (are you kidding me?) there is normally a nice old man named Earl on that corner (I kid you not, my friend not only said this, but Earl was actually there! I waved.)
- Follow that until you get to a polka dotted mail box, take that gravel road until you get to the white house and You Are There! (This last part was said with a cheeky little grin that I know was meant to humble this California girl! It worked.)
#3 If you think you know how to pronounce some of the landmarks, you probably don’t! For example:
- Yaquina (ya-KWIN-a)…not Yakeeena
- Not to be confused with La Quinta (Keeen-ta)…..not La Qwinta
- Siuslaw (Sigh-u-slaw) Not sue-we-slaw
- Philomath (Fill-LO-muth) Not Filowmath
- Yachats (YAW-hots) Not Yaa-chets
- It’s Lincoln City, not Lincoln
- Siletz (Si-LETS) Not SI-letzzzz
#4 If you show up with an “I’m a Food Snob” attitude, like I did, you will be put in your place…nicely. We have the best food here! From fabulous seafood with a view at Georgies to awesome locally made beer and Kobe burgers at Rogue. We have something for everybody!
#5 If someone asks you if you are a Ducks Fan or a Beavers Fan, answer quickly and decisively and stick with that decision, forever! That, my friends, is how I became a Ducks Fan!!!
I am thankfully still learning, daily, about the Central Oregon Coast. This is where I work, play and raise my family, and I love it here!!