We have just returned from our first driving vacation in years which sounds pretty crazy in these days of high gas prices, but we had a great time, and the traffic was very light, especially on the coast. We first made an overnight stop in Portland so we could have breakfast at the Heathman because it has the BEST granola ever. Dick also indulged me in a stop at the Button Emporium & Ribbonry and of course, we dropped in to see our nephew Andy and his seven-year old twins; then, we headed over the the Oregon Coast. Normally, we like to stay at Tolovana because it's fairly close, but this time we spent 2 nights exploring the Lincoln City area. We stayed at Otter Crest Inn which is within walking distance of the Devil's Punch Bowl and Mo's, another favorite place for clam chowder.Otter Crest Inn
Devil's Punch Bowl
We walked to the Punch Bowl a couple of times, and once we watched a family feeding the ground squirrels. It appears they are quite used to being handfed, doesn't it? They also walk fearlessly right on the edge of the cliff!
How about another peanut?
After leaving Otter Crest Inn, we meandered slowly down to Florence, OR, where the topography is quite different with lots of sand dunes to explore. We struggled up several and were quite amazed at the wind. We were told that the coastal wind picks up as the inland temperatures rise. Enroute to Florence, we stopped at an interesting spot where the ocean had cut a chasm through a crack in the rocks. We both agreed that it wouldn't be good to fall in here!
From Florence we headed inland to Medford, but first we enjoyed lunch at Tolly's in Oakland, OR, a spot we discovered last year. We were quite surprised to see haze in the air from the California forest fires, but it meant beautiful red sunsets. We arrived at Bob and Mary's in Palo Alto right on time and spent an enjoyable couple of days there catching up. We also went into San Francisco to a wonderful exhibit of Dale Chihuly's glass art; he has many pieces of his work in our area as he is from Tacoma, WA, but we'd never seen so much of his work in one spot. We also enjoyed these mosaic steps on one of San Francisco's many hills. I suppose you could get caught up in the details of the mosaic and forget the climb?
We left Palo Alto on Friday,the 18th, loaded down with goodies, including homemade plum jam and freshly picked lemons, and headed over to Route 1 on the California Coast.