Josh Levinger

Adventures at home, abroad, and online

Tag: Oysters Page 1 of 2

Oregon Coast

Drive thru tree

Drive thru tree

Ruth swinging inside a redwood

Ruth swinging inside a redwood

Left Oakland after a short breakfast with James, and drove north on 101. Stopped in the Redwood National Park to view some living giants, and to drive through a tree. Saw a truck inching through the hole, with the wife of the driver looking on telling him not to be a pussy. The Fit had more clearance, so we looped around to do it again. Got our money’s worth out of those five bucks.


Petting a tiger

Petting a tiger

On a friend’s recommendation, we stopped at the West Coast Game Park to pet their menagerie of baby animals. The place doesn’t feel like a professional zoo, the bears look quite sad in their cages, and the goats are pretty aggressive in demanding treats from the children, but the opportunity to pet a 15 week old tiger is not to be missed. I didn’t pay them $10 for a posed photo, so got to play photographer while Ruth tried her best Rafiki impression.


Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast

Starfish!

Starfish!

Proceeding up the coast, we climbed sea mounts at the Whaleshead, and splashed into the frigid water to marvel at starfish. We gorged ourselves on oysters from Clausen farms in North Bend. We bought one hundred for $60 to take advantage of their volume pricing, but were saddened to only be able to comfortably eat fifteen each. The creamy silverpoint oysters filled us up faster than the bluepoints we were weaned on in Massachusetts, and we couldn’t help but feel like failures. We donated the rest to a friendly park ranger at the campground where we spend the night, and waddled to the beach to watch the sunset.

The Visit Home

Went home this week for a myriad of reasons: Hannah’s 21st birthday, to help stack wood with Janet and Lou, the Knight Conference at the Media Lab, and just to smell Vermont’s sweet summer air. Ate dozens of oysters, buckets of steamers, at least three lobsters each, and the world’s best homemade key lime pie. Laid out under the stars gazing at the milky way, until we were frightened inside by the terrifying scream of what we can only imagine was a bobcat. Swam in a river, slid down a waterfall, and kayaked around an island.

I know you say that you can’t go home again, but I sure enjoy trying.

Pastoral Farm

Pastoral Farm

Tomales Bay

Apprehensive Brett

Apprehensive Brett

Audra and Maude

Audra and Maude

Oysters by the Bay

Oysters by the Bay

Convinced some friends to go on an adventure. What better way to spend a Saturday than shucking oysters and drinking beer in the warm California sun?

St Augustine

Our last day in Savannah, we tried to eat at the famous Paula Dean Lady and Sons restaurant, but the line was insurmountable; apparently you need to show up at 8am for a noon seating. Whatever, I’ll just eat dinner at her home on Sea Island next year. Get working on that, Hannah.

Before leaving town, we stopped by the Mikvah Israel Synagogue, which is the third oldest in the country, and the only gothic Jewish building I’ve ever seen. It being Sunday, the place was locked, but a fellow tourist had called the rabbi to come down and show us around. He with arrived with a “Shalom Y’all” and a Hawaiian shirt, kvetching that we had removed him from his hot tub. Still, he gave us a tour, and was quite proud of their history and collected artifacts, although it went on a little long for my shiksa.

We hoped to find cheap fireworks in South Carolina, and were not disappointed. There was an eponymous shack mere feet from the border, and we bought as many as our wallets and conscience would allow. Then back into the car towards Florida, stopping in Jacksonville for an iPhone. Ruth made me drive the rest of the way, while she played with her new toy.

At Janet and Lou’s beach condo, we began construction of a monument to our lasting glory. Ruth wanted an art deco skyscraper, but it’s hard to make vertical walls without internal support. We compromised on the best one can do with sand, a pyramid. We made a full a Gizan complex, complete with Sphinx and Queens’ tombs.

Had dinner at Hurricane Pattie’s, which like all hidden seafood gems is tucked away by a marina. Their happy hour specials, actually from 3 to 7, include cheap oysters, excellent cajun grouper, and tasty fried shrimp. Ruth was attacked by a giant crawfish, and I posed with my pirate alter ego.

Savannah

After saying goodbye to family, we went back to the airport for a car rental. Ruth managed to get Avis to waive the under-25 fee because of her corporate affiliation, but I’m still angry that this ageism is still around. I own a car, have a (sort of) real job, but they want to charge me $25 a day over the regular cost to drive some compact car? Bullshit.

Got on the road after making our getaway, and then on to Savannah. Stopped in Vidalia for some onions, but they are out of season. Pork rinds and moon pies were a good substitute.

Savanah is beautiful, filled with tree lined squares, which apparently make it easier to subdue a colonial city. I love traveling with an urban planner. We walked along the river, where we had some mediocre oysters at one place, followed by an amazing experience at Bayou Cafe. The first floor was filled with a crowd listening to the blues stylings of Brett (apparently the least black name for a blues player, but that dude could play). Fried catfish, a pound of crawfish, several Sweetwater 420 and Jack and Cokes later, my pool game was still worse than Ruth’s. But she did let me win at darts and take her home.

The next day we took a scenic trolley ride around the city, getting a better lay of the land. Gorged ourselves at the Fiddler Crab, where we ate as many $6-dozen Appalachicola oysters and pounds of crawfish as we could handle. Drunk on seafood, we wandered back to our hotel for an afternoon nap. We found a Victorian ghost tour, complete with properly attired undertaker and foggy night.

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