Several years ago, my husband, The Saint, and I found a delightful restaurant in San Diego. It was a seafood joint called Point Loma Seafood. The fish was fresh, the prices cheap, and the place was always packed. One evening I noticed a photograph on the wall. It was a photo of seagull legs and feet. I found this endlessly amusing.
This was very much on my mind when we took our first trip since Winter over the coastal range from Philomath, OR to our favorite beach town of Newport, OR. I was determined to get that elusive shot. One would think I would have more important, more meaningful things on my mind. Alas, I do not.
On a deserted jetty, we found a whole herd of seagulls just standing around, apparently waiting for their close-ups. Hunkering down on the ground, I took shot after shot of seagull feet. Suddenly, a voice startled me. "What're you doing, woman? Why are you taking photos of stupid seagulls?" I looked up and there was a grizzled old guy, carrying a fishing pole. He looked for all the world like someone who should be featured on a package of Gorton's Fish Sticks. "Further," he continued, "it looks to me you're not getting a picture of the whole gull -- just his feet." I smiled. "Yes, that was my intention," I said. He studied me for a moment. "You from Callyfurnia?" he asked. "Why, yes I am," I chirped. "Figures," he said as he wandered off, shaking his head.
Exhausted from our extreme photographic efforts, we went to Mo's in Newport. Established in 1944, Mo's has been serving up delicious clam chowder and other seafood dishes to people from all walks of life. Because it's such a tiny little restaurant, you eat at communal tables. You might be sitting next to a diamond merchant from Amsterdam, a cowboy from Wyoming or two travelling evangelists.
As The Saint was studying the menu, he erupted into loud, hysterical laughter. "You find the menu amusing?" I asked. In recent months, we have discussed that we are both way too easily amused. He nodded, tears of laughter running down his face. "Look!" he said, pointing to an item on the menu. It said. "Cioppino. A seafood stew served with a rich Italian." That's exactly what it said. The waitress came over and asked if there was a problem. The Saint said, "Can we take the rich Italian home with us?" She explained it's been on the menu like that for years. She didn't know if the original typo was intentional or not. What amazed her is that although many folk order the cioppino, they almost never comment on the "rich Italian."
As we tucked into our clam chowder, we congratulated ourselves. A shot of seagull feet, clam chowder and a rich Italian. How could a day possibly be more perfect?