From Ocean to Vineyards

Trip Start May 04, 2010
1
17
Trip End May 21, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Thursday, May 20, 2010

DAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

-      Breakfast at the Heceta Lighthouse Inn.  It is a treat meeting interesting people around the breakfast table and enjoying a special seven course breakfast.  Before departing, we take the 11 AM tour of the lighthouse learning a bit about its history and walking up to see the prism and its mechanics.  The Heceta Lighthouse Inn has lots of character and staying in the lightkeepers home and with all the photos and information about the period, history comes alive.  It is a really unique experience and I am really glad that we stayed here.  Highly recommended.

      Driving along Highway 101 north, we continued to enjoy the dramatic ocean views from the road with lots of turnouts for views.  We didn’t dally and steadily made our way to our turn-off for Route 18 and then 99W towards the rolling hills and vineyards of the Willamette Valley.  As we drove north from Yachats, there were larger unremarkable towns on highway 101; at times it is lined with strip stores and without any sense of place.  We are glad that we spent the majority of our trip in the southern portion of the coast.

      Lunch at Andaman Thai Cuisine in Lincoln City.  A very special find, an oasis of serenity and very special crafted Thai dishes.  Located at 660 SE Highway 101, 2 blocks north of Tanger Factory Outlet.  www.AndamanCuisine.com  541-996-8424.

      We check into The Allison Hotel in Salem.  We chose this hotel for our last night in Oregon so that we are out of the city of Portland yet conveniently located to get to the airport tomorrow morning.  When we walked in the reception area, the hotel staff are warm, welcoming and helpful.  In the main lounge area, there is a group meeting of perhaps 20 people and both Harvey & I have this feeling that this was a hotel that caters to events and meetings; we were told that their meeting would be ending soon, but I didn’t understand the reason that the group wasn’t in a private meeting room.  When we are escorted to our room and we arrive on our floor and look down the long hallway, we are impressed with how big an 85room hotel looks.  As an independent traveler, after being in the small more intimate lodgings of our trip this is overwhelming.  We decide to retreat to our luxurious room which is more like a suite.  This is a beautiful new facility with lots of amenities.  However, we have a new criteria to add to our lodging preferences list and that is to screen for lodging size, preferring the more intimate boutique type of lodging.  As an independent traveler, we would recommend this luxurious hotel if you want to enjoy their spa facilities or their restaurant.  Note however that if you like an intimate boutique hotel, then perhaps consider bed & breakfast options either in the Willamette Valley for a taste of wine country or a bed & breakfast in Portland.



MEMORABLE MOMENTS

      Waking up and gazing out the window of the Mariner’s Room at Heceta Lighthouse Inn, seeing the cliffs & ocean in the early morning light and listening to the pounding of the waves.

      Sometime during the night, I wake up with an image with the picket fence and gate of this Inn in my mind.   Instead of the gate closed, I imagine a photo with me opening the gate – symbolically opening my mind to possibilities.  I say to myself that I would like to try to capture that image before departing today.  We do that.

      Delight in walking into the Andaman Thai Cuisine Retaurant in Lincoln City.  I could feel a warmth and care for the place, the ingredients and recipes and after speaking with the owner and learning about he and his wife’s life, I am reminded at how good it feels for serendipity to create these opportunities to experience and meet unique people and places.



      As I am driving today, I realize that I’ve become comfortable driving again and actually having fun on the winding country roads.  I used to like driving, but at home in Miami and Miami Beach the congestion has taken all the fun out of it.



      At lunch, Harvey & I talk about our next trip.  We are spending 13 nights in the Robbinsville area of North Carolina, just south of the Smokey Mountain National Park; we have rented a cottage.  We have two weeks at home before leaving again.  We are in sync that we both want unstructured time to independently contemplate, study, read, create and that we don’t have to have a scheduled activity every day.  It will be our Schoodic Peninsula, a place that we had seen off the coast of Maine maybe 35 years ago; we had been exploring the Maine coast and saw this home on a remote dirt road facing the ocean and we wondered what it would be like to spend a winter there, burrowed in.  This coming trip to North Carolina will be a 13 day trial.  We’ve never done anything like this before.  We are both ready.

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