Monday, April 29, 2013

Honeymoon: Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters

Monday April 29, Cannon Beach, OR

After passing out last night at 7pm local time on Sunday night, I managed to stay abed until 6am. I'm the guy who sleeps 6 or 7 hours a night and 8 hours is a long night. Eleven hours is unheard of, but then I was exhausted from not only 15 hours of travel and a change of time zones, but from a whole year of grind without a break. During the night, the wind, the lapping waves, and the occasional seagull ruckus were very comforting. Ann said there was a big downpour in the night, but it didn't register with me.


Excellent Coffee in Cannon Beach
Before we left Virginia, Ann scouted the local restaurants including the Sleepy Monk, a fun coffeehouse a pleasant and easy 1/2-mile walk from the motel south down old 101 (the main drag) through the center of Cannon Beach. I'm not sure how she found it, but it was a cool find.

It was just slightly confusing to figure out where to enter the coffeehouse because there is signage for both the Sleepy Monk and the Irish Table, an Irish-themed restaurant that the space becomes after the coffee crew packs up for the day at 4pm. The coffee part of the space becomes the bar for the restaurant! Cool concept.

Have you ever walked into a place and just known intuitively that you belong there? I had this feeling when I stepped into the coffeehouse. The warm wood, slightly rustic worn look, and eclectic decor appealed to me. The place fit me and my mood like pulling on my favorite pullover on that first crisp fall day, an old friend that is both warm and comforting.


Coffee Beans Cooling
The coffee aromas on entering are intoxicating, in part because they actively roast beans on site. Newly roasted beans were cooling when we were there. We were immediately and warmly greeted by two women from behind the bar who bore great resemblance to each other. It didn't take long to discover that they were twins. They and almost everyone else that we met along the coast were super friendly.

The shop was filled with an ever changing mix of regulars, tourists, and bicyclists coming in off the highway to recharge. We even met a bicyclist who started in Montana and was on his way south. That guy climbed some crazy hills!

On our walk down from the motel, it threatened rain all the way and the threat finally became a reality: rain started slashing down just as we were sitting down, me with my coffee and Ann with her latte. Oh, the hardship of sitting in a funky warm coffeehouse drinking excellent coffee during a cold downpour!


Ann and Her First Latte
Ann's lattes, yes, she had two, looked fabulous and were served in short, wide Italian maiolica cups.  I went with the Guatemalan dark roast; I love espresso, but plain coffee was what I wanted. I think part of the deal is that drinking espresso is like a quick fling and drinking coffee is more of a long term relationship. I wanted to sit and sip and linger. Both of us got outstanding bacon blue cheese scones with a hint of green onion that were a fun twist on the traditional scone. The scones are baked fresh daily. Delicious! Our stomachs still being on East Coast time, we attacked the scones and soon enough we were feeling fine. I called it a bacon-coffee buzz.

And a Heart for Her Second

Bacon Blue Cheese Scones. Yeah Baby!

Right? How Awesome is This Chandelier?

Before, during, and after coffee, we got to chatting with the twins about this and that and naturally our foodie mission became known. They sent us off down the coast with a sheet of notes about what to see and do. And before we left, they had talked us into dining at the Irish Table that evening.

After the rain stopped we somewhat reluctantly took our leave to get started on our day.  On our walk back, we really took notice of the spring flowers blooming everywhere. The climate here seems perfect for a lot of plants; plants that we grow as shade plants are growing in full sun. Everything is so lush here.

Perfect Calla Lilies Everywhere

Huge Rosemary Bushes

Rhododendrons and Azaleas Everywhere

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