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On our way back up the coast from Hayward to Portland, Hanna and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary (a few calendar days early) at the Sylvia Beach Hotel — one of my favorite retreat spots on the West Coast.

It probably tells you all you need to know about my relative level of irredeemable nerdiness that it was in the Alice Walker room at the Sylvia Beach Hotel the summer after my 21st birthday, on a solo road trip vacation, that I enjoyed my first “hard” liquor (a Smirnoff Ice — I know, right? So daring!).

If memory serves, it put me to sleep.

This was the morning view from our bedroom window this time around.

We had less than twenty-four hours in Nye Beach, but we definitely want to go back. Particularly given the friendly company of hotel cat Shelley.

Sylvia Beach hotel is a book-themed locale with each bedroom named and decorated after a particular author. We were in the Emily Dickinson room. On the third floor is a cozy library space with a kitchenette for coffee and tea and lots of chairs with glorious ocean views.

In the morning after our night over, we soon hit the road for Portland — but not before stopping at Carl’s Coffee for, well, coffee and Books on Beach for a great selection of higglety-pigglety books. Including a number of H.P. Lovecraft collections that Hanna was particularly delighted to find.

The store was a converted tea shop, and this was their “waiting to be shelved” system.

Through most of adolescence, it was a pretty specific dream of mine to end up living on the Oregon Coast running an independent/used bookstore like this in one of the tiny towns along Route 101. I’d sell books to the tourists in the summer and the locals in the winter, filling the long periods between wintertime customers (or the days when the storms blowing in off the ocean made going outside a formidable option) hunkered over my notebooks writing novels and drinking tea in front of a crackling fire.

As you can tell, even then I had no head for business.

We were sorry to leave, and we’re both looking forward to going back!