Hooks for Cooks™

We had big plans last week. My sister in law was visiting from Missouri with her family, and we were all heading out to Washington’s Grayland and Westport, which are located smack on the Pacific Ocean. The weather was supposed to be clear and gorgeous. westport-by-the-sea-wa2

We planned on staying in our travel trailer at Grayland State Park. Siobhan was staying in a large oceanfront condo in Westport. I had planned on cooking dinner each night at the campsite. Even though I was serving nine people, I was organized and was confident my “kitchen on wheels” would pull through as usual. We also planned on making s’mores and Dutch oven cobblers over the open fire.

When we arrived at Grayland, we set up the camper like clockwork. Hooking up the water lines was the final task. Unfortunately, once the water was switched on, our plans went awry. We quickly discovered a busted water line, and water was spewing everywhere. A tsunami of water had been released inside and outside the camper.

After a few meager attempts to control the situation, I knew my kitchen on wheels was destined to be shut down. My son raced to the ranger station to ask if there was mobile RV repairman in the area. I eventually got Jerry on the line, but he couldn’t help with such an intricate repair.

My husband was heading into crisis mode and felt we could “get by.” I’m not generally high maintenance or demanding, but I declared “game over” on this one and called my sister in law’s condo contact at Westport Beach Escapes. Needing an alternative, I asked if they could accommodate our family of five on short notice…like within the hour.

Aha! I was in luck. They had a two bedroom/two bath oceanfront condo available at Westport by the Sea for our time frame. I booked it, packed the car and moved to Plan B. It was a good move.

Our condo was large, spacious and best of all, my alternate Vacation Kitchen was a knockout! Boasting granite countertops, a double sink, a dishwasher and tons of space, I was relieved.

A quick survey of the equipment revealed a massive George Foreman grill, an electric Cuisinart tea kettle, and a tidy spice cupboard stocked with a delicious array of Indian spices. The nearby clubhouse was centrally located in the community and featured a full kitchen plus two large gas grills.

Even though we hadn’t planned on this expenditure, it was a reality check. It reminded me that you can travel and still eat well while doing so. It’s just important to seek places with kitchens and to use them wisely.

With the tools at hand, we ate in every night. We didn’t spend a dime on eating out and no one felt burdened. We reserved the clubhouse in order to grill chicken, steak and local oysters. In the evenings, we headed to the beach, stoked a campfire and crafted s’mores while watching the sunset and listening to the surf. In the mornings, my sister in law made pancakes for the kids, and I walked the dog on the oceanfront trail in the adjacent state park.

So, as the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

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