Monday, November 10, 2008

ELLEA, Tuesday, November 4, departing for, going to, and arriving in Lincoln City, Oregon, on the Pacific Ocean coast

When we found out Lucy's schedule for her visit to Portland, we made a reservation at the Ester Lee, cottage 232. If you click on the link and then click on Cottage Rates, then 232 (one of the two-bedroom ones), you can take a virtual tour of the one we reserved. Not that we needed all that room for the three of us and Duncan, the darling dachshund, but it was the easiest one for us to get into from the parking lot. And what a bunch of great windows looking over the Pacific!

I decided early on that we ought to rent a car to make the trip. I might be a dingbat now and then, but I have enough sense to know that going off on our own--a nearly 61-year-old, two octogenarians and a 15-year-old dog--in a 12-year-old automobile sounded like more risk-taking that I wanted to have in my life. Plus, I could walk to Enterprise six blocks away, so why not? Here's the photo of the Toyota Corolla I picked. It's the first-ever red car I've driven!
Although we were going to be gone for only two nights, we didn't want to have to make a grocery store or drug store run, so we packed accordingly. Each of us had a bag for our clothes and toiletries--Lucy used a rolling bag, Mama had her little carry bag that we used to use to go to the casinos in Mississippi when we'd spend the night, not to carry home our winnings--we wish! I used a carry bag that I received several years ago at Christmas, from the Donna Ladd, editor of the Jackson Free Press, the alternative newsweekly where I used to write, edit, fact check and photograph back home in Jackson, Mississippi. I had another, smaller rolling bag with battery charger and phone charger and bungee cords and the computer with its power cord, the camera, the zoom lens, and my other camera plus the extra memory cards and batteries and the download cords and a paperback book. I also decided to take the little wooden snack table that I do most of my computer blogging on, as well as my comfy bed-time pillow and each of us a fleece throw--we had no up close and personal experience with the temp in the cottage or its ability to keep out the ocean winds, so best be prepared, especially since none of us feel very well in a too warm room which meant we wouldn't be turning up the thermostat very much. I bungee-corded the pillows and throws to the table top and bungee-corded it shut in order to get it to the car and into the trunk. In the car itself, we had our purses and our rain coats and/or jackets. I took an extra pair of shoes, too, in case I got one pair too wet to wear.

Since our cottage came with a full kitchen, plus we could reserve a blender--no, not for margaritas, for Mama's Shaklee protein drink that she mixes with lactose-free milk and Hershey's chocolate syrup--we got one of our coolers from the kids' garage. However, I knew full well that I couldn't carry a loaded cooler to the car, so I decided to put cold foods into the every-day rolling black bag and roll them to the trunk of the Corolla where I would transfer them into the red and white cooler--it took two trips. We took two half gallons of milk, the chocolate syrup, two kinds of margarine, some mayo and sweet pickle relish, part of a head of iceberg lettuce, some thin, almost shaved, sliced oven-roasted turkey, a bowl of mixed fresh fruit, a loaf of raisin bread, one and a half bags of English muffins, part of a loaf of wheat bread, a box of Kellogg's raisin bran, a box of unsalted saltines--is that an oxymoron?--and a package of ground beef. You see, I had decided to make chili, so on the second trip, I loaded the bag with a can of red kidney beans, black beans, two cans of petite diced no salt tomatoes, a can of Rotel tomatoes, the paprika and Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, salt and pepper, and canola oil. When I got all of the foodstuffs to the car, I realized that the cooler wouldn't hold all of the refrigerated stuff, so I put some of it into our blue insulated shopping bag and zipped it shut, with a brown paper bag sitting on top of the food, for extra insulation. I managed to get the rest of it into the cooler, and left the canned goods in the rolling black bag and other non-refrigerated items in a big water-resistant bag that I had bought last winter to use on especially rainy days when I didn't want to soak my rolling black bag--you can see the canola oil and the loaf of wheat bread sticking out of it in the photo of the trunk, below.
As we headed for Highway 26 with me as the driver, I knew I couldn't take many photos on the trip. However, when I stopped at this intersection to make a right turn, I grabbed the camera to get a shot of these beautiful trees at SW 20th and SW Jefferson.
Having heard from several people at work about the Otis Cafe in Otis, Oregon, our plan included lunch there. Here's Mama and Lucy standing in front of the local post office which is right next door to the cafe. It had just started to sprinkle lightly, again.
After we had ordered, I went back outside to take a photo of the front of the Otis Cafe. Y'all know how much I like neon signs.
Here's a shot of the interior--it's a small place, without a crowded feel.
And here's our food. Lucy got sausage gravy and biscuits, Mama got a biscuit, scrambled eggs and hashbrowns, and I got a hamburger with hashbrowns. While we found the food OK, we really enjoyed the desserts--Lucy had walnut pie with a scoop of vanilla, I had apple pie with a scoop of vanilla, and Mama had a slice of marion berry pie to go.
Since it was only seven and a quarter miles from Otis to Lincoln City, we got to the Ester Lee before it started to rain. I got all of that stuff out of the car and into the cottage without getting wet! And I walked down the steep, narrow, dead-end lane to the beach. Well, almost to the beach.
I decided against walking down the pile of rocks resting at at least a 30-degree angle from the lane to the sand. The rocks said out loud to me, "We're just the kind of pile of rocks to cause you to twist your ankle(s) and then land on your knee cap(s)." If you look at the lower left corner of the photo, you'll notice some dark gray dirt. That might give you an idea of the height I'm standing on in relation to the rocks that spill downward to the sandy beach.
Here are several photos I took once I'd made the decision to stand put.
Looking southwest, several minutes apart ...
Looking northwest, several minutes apart ...
Looking west ...
Before I walked back up the lane, I took this photo of our cottage which is the downstairs portion of the white house with the red roof. That big window on the right is in the living room; the bit of window you can see between the tree trunks is the bay window in the kitchen.
The view of the lane, headed up to the top of it. Then I had to turn left and go up another steep bit before making a sharp left back to our cottage.
Here's a shot from the living room window. Before long, it was too dark to take photos.
The gals played lots of Hand and Foot while seated at the kitchen table, with that glorious view awaiting their every glance, in between shuffling, drawing and playing cards.

We got a good night's rest, with the sound of the waves in our ears. I didn't take lots of photos inside the cottage, though, so I can't show you where each one of us slept, other than Duncan's napping place which I'll show you tomorrow.

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