Sunday, September 15, 2013

Road Trippin' with Mom

Ramsay's taking us on another trip! This time Mom and I are on a very scenic route from Sisters to Anacortes, WA, via Hwy. 101 from Newport, up the Oregon coast to Washington and through places my mother's parents lived in their final years. It's been a bit emotional and some interesting and unheard stories have come out. I really thought I'd heard them all, but seems not. As Mom says about her father,  "You can tell your grandchildren that their great-grandfather was a bit of a free spirit."

He spent his working life doing many things, among them mining in Idaho and sailing around the world as a journeyman electrician in the Merchant Marines. All I really remember was that he brought us fun and exotic presents on his infrequent visits.

Back to the road trip...

Our first port of call was the Esther Lee Motel at Lincoln City, right next door to the Inn at Spanish Head. My grandmother lived in a cliff-edge house there in the 60's before the Inn was built. They tore her house down.

The Esther Lee, built in the 40's, was Grams' next door neighbor and not a lot has changed. Especially the views. They are always stellar on the Oregon coast.

But there was a lot of fun stuff in that old motel. Mom was most taken with the shower, a testament to creative tile work.

My favorite was this quirky window, also in the bathroom...

And then there were the hundred or so cupboards in the full kitchen. With everything except a toaster.

The sunny days hoped for on our September trip haven't quite appeared.

Except for this brief moment at Nehalem Bay.

But part of the allure of the coast is walking through fog, everything all misty and drippy and mysterious. Or so I told myself as we struggled to actually see the the ocean.

But weather makes no difference to shopping so we stimulated the economy of the outlets at Lincoln City on our first morning and eventually hit the road north.

My mom is finding that walking isn't as easy as it once was, so we drove on toward Astoria and finally found Manhattan Beach.

It was easy to access and fulfilled my need to feel the ocean breeze in my hair. It doesn't have to be much of a breeze these days since my hair is so short! But that squeaky feel of sand under feet and stopping to empty it out of shoes is part of the beach experience. Mom was able to walk out to a convenient bench and feel the breeze in her hair too. And get sand in her shoes.

We scooted through Astoria, saving exploring that funky town for another day. South Bend, WA was our destination. Granted, a town with only one motel doesn't generally rate as a destination, but we had another reason for staying in that neighborhood.I'll share that in the next post...

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