My favorite place to escape the modern conveniences of city life has always been the coast. For several years I would stay at Oceanside, a quiet little beach town outside of Tillamook. I liked the fact it didn’t have a thriving tourist center and did have an accessible beach with an excellent view of the Three Arch Rocks. But, sad for me, it also has a lot of ex-husband related memories. This year it seemed like the right time to start creating new memories elsewhere.

My Little Love Kohlrabi and I pondered where we could go that would meet our high standards for beach access, view and low human population. We fed it into the amazing computer-like brain things we’ve got and came up with Rockaway, Oregon. We remembered it having a seven-mile long flat stretch of clean beach with driftwood for sitting on and gazing at the sea dragon-like Twin Rocks. One of my favorite bands from my teen punk past, the Ramones, even has a song about it (well, probably not the same Rockaway Beach but a girl can pretend, right?). Having settled on a town, we needed a place to stay. Here was the hard part. We surfed (bad pun) the Internet for accommodations and came across some good information, but the source that gave us our ultimate choice was Just Out, a regional paper serving the needs of the gay and bi community.

The Bear and Penguin Inn at Rockaway Beach was exactly what my darling Kohlrabi and I needed to squeeze the stress out of our bodies and minds. Danny and Geoff, our friendly, attentive and intelligent hosts, made us very welcome and were always cheerfully available for advice, conversation and clean towels. Each of their five rooms (one is an English Cottage) has a different theme. We stayed in the Southern Comfort Room and were stunned by its...well, comfort. We decided to leave our cat at home, although the Inn welcomes pets...there’s even a carpeted and painted cat house next to the Southern Comfort Room. We enjoyed a bottle of birthday-girl champagne and refreshed ourselves frequently from the complimentary muffin and fruit basket placed in our room by our hosts. Do yourself a favor by spending a night or four at the Bear and Penguin Inn; information and reservations can be got by calling (503) 355-8610. Say you heard it here.

Before we could go to our coastal heaven we needed to make sure the car (still kicking and complaining at 17) would get us there alive. Mike McMillen of Affordable Tire & Brake Co. gave me the oil, lube and filter job of my life (oooo, ahhhh) and popped a new battery under the hood to boot. He rotated my tires, (found a puncture and repaired it) and let me watch as much of the process as I wanted. All of my questions were answered respectfully and, when the patch didn’t hold, he fixed it with good grace, honest apologies and no back talk. I recommend Affordable to anyone who is sick of getting a raft of shit from mechanics who want to replace everything, hand you a huge bill, explain nothing and run you off when their work sucks. Give Mike (or Frank or Tim) a call at (503) 235-1808. Again, mention my name.

And finally...I’ve made an important Internet decision; I’ve left Teleport and moved to SpiritOne. My new provider doesn’t disconnect me randomly, keeps its news server up, has more newsgroups, no busy signals and is a better deal all around. If you’re searching for your first, or a new, Internet provider, feel free to check out SpiritOne’s web page at or call (503) 240-8200 via voice . If you decide to sign on, please mention me because I’m greedy for free months.

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This is reprinted from Exotic Magazine © 1996 X Publishing