Monday, May 02, 2016

An ISBL Travelogue

So ... we were on vacation ...

Toledo, Oregon, my father’s new, old home. He lived there with my Mom until she passed away, and then a couple of years later he moved way up north to Sumas, Washington. Sumas never felt like home, but he’d secured a long-term lease agreement for his Toledo house and waited the five years until the tenant moved and then Dad came back home to Oregon.

This is the The Timbers in “downtown” Toledo. I’m of a mind that every single coastal town has a bar called The Timbers or The Driftwood.

Newport, Oregon. The Newport Bridge, from the bay and from the beach, and the seal population in the harbor. Oy, the noise they make … like Carlos practicing his trumpet. [And, yes, I told that joke to him and he did not laugh!]

The Rogue Brewery in Newport where one can, and did, enjoy a Chipotle Ale whilst overlooking the harbor. One also enjoyed what was left of Carlos’ Hazelnut Ale, too.

Three lighthouses along the Oregon coast; the first, top left, is at Yaquina Head and is the tallest along the coast; plus the coastline there, the birds and the surf, is just so gorgeous and peaceful. The second, top right, is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport; it sits atop the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. It’s pretty, but holds a wee sad memory for me. My mother and father volunteered as tour guides there when they first moved to Oregon and, one day, my mother slipped on the stairs and broke her ankles … plural. That was due to years of smoking which caused the bones to become spongy but, as the doctor told my mom, there was no sign of lung cancer. A year later she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Sad memory, pretty house. The last is the Heceta Head lighthouse a bit further down the coast. It sits on a gorgeous point of land, and the keeper’s cottage is a B&B now, where my parents spent their fiftieth, and last, wedding anniversary.

Another view of the Heceta Head lighthouse and the beach …

Local Ocean Seafood in Newport. It’s run by fishermen’s wives, and all the fish is as fresh as fish can be when it’s caught, brought ashore, and then carried form the boat, across the street, and into the restaurant. Any and all profits from the business go to help local fishermen’s families in times of need, so it’s good for you and good for the community. 

This tree, in Toledo, seems to be trying to tell me something ….

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, or, as it’s called in Oregon, the Bridge Over The Devil’s Churn; just another gorgeous spot along the coastline.

The weather was so beautiful the entire time we were out there, save this one day when we visited Depoe Bay and the sky was gray and the seas were ragged. Even then … beautiful.

The night before, though, my Dad had taken us up to Depoe Bay to the Tidal Raves for dinner; the food was amazing, the view was spectacular, and our waiter had great guns and a nice butt. No matter where I looked, I saw The Pretty.

Nye Beach; kinda tourist, kinda quaint. And home to Nana’sIrish Pub where I had the best Irish Coffee—mostly Irish with a little java—and a killer Reuben Sandwich. After eating, we went into a little shop and started chatting up the owner. When she found out we were from South Carolina she told us she had a tenant upstairs who had recently moved to Nye from Ashville, North Carolina, So we were talking North Carolina and it’s crazy Bathroom Bill, and how beautiful Asheville is, when the phone rang; it was the tenant, from upstairs, who’d heard us talking through the floor, and was coming down to meet the two guys from Camden. She brought he freshly bathed dog with her and we chatted South and North Carolina for quite some time; just makes you realize how small the world really is.

Astoria, Oregon. That little needle at the top is the Astoria Column with spectacular views all around. You can climb to the top and walk out on that little teeny tiny balcony but, well, it was very windy that day and I was sure I‘d be blown—and not in a good way—of the top of that big rod so I stayed put. That last picture is a view from the Column looking down on Astoria; the bridge crosses the Columbia River into Washington. Now, is it just me or does anyone else expect Julie Andrews to come twirling across that hillside signing about climbing mountains?

While in Astoria we stopped in at Baked Alaska for lunch and views and a lovely glass of Albariño, my favorite Portuguese wine. It’s one of those wines, and restaurants, where you want to sit and sip all day long … we did not, sadly.

We had planned to stay in Astoria but then we chose to drive into Portland for our last day to see the Japanese Gardens. We’ve been before on a previous trip, but it’s so peaceful there, and so lush—no, they don’t sell wine …sorry—that we wanted another visit. That is the Zen Garden from above, and a stone pillar inside the garden itself.

More of the gardens, with the pure white sand gardens and the beautiful, almost neon, moss gardens.

Just two of the ponds and waterfalls in the gardens, and the hillsides behind.

And the Koi Pond, too. Plus a little stone temple icon; there are scattered throughout the gardens and sometimes you might not even see one of you aren’t really looking and enjoying.

On our way to the airport, whilst driving through Portland, I saw the Boy’s Fort. If anyone knows Stephen Rutledge — he has a blog called Post ApocalypticBohemian ... though he posts mostly on Facebook now — the Boy’s Forts is what he and his husband dubbed their back garden at their Portland house. Stephen’s husband, a designers, and a partner, opened a Boy’s Fort pop-up store last year that was so successful, it is now a full-fledged, thriving, fabulous Mecca for manthropology!

Anyway … those are few pictures—seriously, I took hundreds—of the trip. It was so nice to get away; so nice to see my Dad and help him get settled back at home; and so nice just to spend time with Carlos away from home and work …

Now, time to plan another getaway.


Mitchell is Moving said...

What a great post and great vacation! I knew nothing about Toledo, Oregon, but I've been to other parts of the beautiful state and really enjoyed your views and experiences. Your father sounds like a really exceptional man. (The apple didn't fall far from the tree.)

Helen Lashbrook said...

Oregon looks beautiful, reminds me of the north of England. I bet your Dad is glad to be home

Michael Dodd said...

I have yet to make it to the Northwest, and this post adds to my desire to get there while I can still get around well enough to enjoy it. Thanks!

the dogs' mother said...

A trip thru my childhood/teenage years. When we lived in the US we spent a lot of time on the coast and all the mountains.
Glad to have you back. Your Dad is a lucky fellow to have you two guys. :-)

Susan said...

It feels like you and Carlos had the trip you were hoping for. So glad you had a chance to share this time with your Dad. And thank you for sharing some of it with us. Welcome back. :)

BethB from Indiana said...

Thanks for the great pictures and commentary. I haven't been to Oregon since 1969, but I still think it is one of the most beautiful states I've ever been in. I would rate it up at the top with West Virginia and Maine for great natural beauty. What I love about Portland, Oregon, is the proximity to the ocean and mountains--both are a fairly short drive away.

A loyal fan

anne marie in philly said...

OMB, I have been to all those towns you mentioned! was there with the ex about 25 years ago; we did not visit the restaurants. it IS beautiful countryside there!

krayolakris said...

Anybody else for a road trip?

mistress maddie said...

I was hoping you'd share your trip. How Beautiful! I had no idea Oregon was so beautiful. What's amazing is how much it looks like Newport RI. My favorite part was the Japanese Gardens. Very picturesque. The shot of the waterfall took my breathe away. Sounds like a success all the way around, we missed you. and Carlos. And the kids.....and the snark. And the politico talk. And the, well, you get the point.

mistress maddie said...

ps. loving the vive of the Timbers Cocktail lounge

Bob Slatten said...

The Japanese Gardens are a favorite place of ours and we always visit when we're in Portland.
As for The Timbers, we didn't get a chance to go it, but it just looked like the perfect little dive bar for a little hamlet by the sea.