Out and About in Lake Oswego

Dear Liza,

Grandpa Nelson came to take me out to lunch the other day. I like it here in Lake Oswego, getting to know the cats and watering the garden, but I do love company!

We drove down to the actual Lake that Lake Oswego, the town, is named for. It is a very pretty lake, surrounded by groves of trees and houses, piers and small boats. There are lots of shops and restaurants, too. People rich enough to build and buy houses on the lake want fancy places to shop and eat. Once these lovely places are built, other folks, like us, come to visit and shop, too.

We walked in the sunshine past public art and fountains down to the lake, looking for a place to have lunch. We saw folks out on the lake, on kayaks and SUP boards, enjoying the sun and the water.

Stickmen’s Lakeside Smokehouse and Brewery served us a wonderful lunch. The staff was very friendly, the pulled pork sandwich excellent, the beer cold and sweet, and the views delightful.

We saw crowds of happy, pretty people, walking, eating, and driving all around town. Families with kids in swimsuits, life jackets and flip flops, teenagers on colorful skateboards, and lots of well-cared-for cars.

Up ahead, I saw a Salt and Straw Ice Cream shop, which I thought was Grandpa Nelson’s destination.

But nope, we continued past, finding a new and different ice cream parlor!

We have visited Tillamook, where they make Tillamook ice cream, and know that they do good work. Besides, a place to sit in air conditioning seemed a good idea. And so it was.

Once we had finished, Grandpa Nelson drove me back to ‘my’ house in the hills, and headed back to Portland. I had a quiet evening with Amy’s cats who are becoming more friendly by the day. Here is Charlie, showing how pretty he is.

Love,

Grandma Judy

To the Coast …and back again!

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

As you can see, I am posting even without my big computer! Clever Auntie Bridgett taught me how to upload photos with my iPad! What would I do without my wonderful people?

After sightseeing to the north of Tillamook on Saturday, on Sunday we headed south! First we all had breakfast in our tiny house at Sheltered Nook, took Bridgett to the “Ice Hangar” at the Tillamook Air Museum, and headed towards Lincoln City.

The day was much sunnier than the day before, but still cold enough that we needed coats and hats. The views from the cliffs were spectacular, and it seemed we were living inside every postcard of the Oregon Coast. Since highway 101 also runs a bit inland, we got to see the forest as it was waking up from winter. Huge meadows had become daffodil farms and were blooming in yellow and white stripes. Bare birch trees arching over the road promised a green tunnel when they leaf of in a week or so.

food today was a mixed bag. The pastries at My Petite Sweet in Lincoln City were wonderful, but at The Dory, just north of town, we got burnt, limp french fries and and over-sized, over dressed “chicken wrap” that was almost inedible.

When it was time to leave to ocean, we stood for a while and just stared. The lacy skirts of the Pacific Ocean ruffled along the beaches, as though the grand lady Pacifica were gently perched on the Hawaiian Islands, her majestic blue skirts flowing around her.

Back in Tillamook, Nelson decided he wanted some decent food. We stopped at the Dutch Mill Diner, which was a 50’s style diner in all the best ways. The black and white checkered floor tiles and red leather bar stools were visually satisfying. The music of my childhood sang out about how hard it was to be a teenager in love. And the whole place was run by extended family members. Youngest cousin Elijah made the wonderful milkshakes and his mentor cousin, whose name I didn’t catch, was our waitress. It was a delightful stop before we went to fetch Bridgett from the Comic Con and head back to Portland.

Back at our rental home, we had a simple dinner (I got to cook!) and slept. Tomorrow we work!!

And we did. We started pulling kitchen stuff from the many unpacked boxes so I could set up the kitchen like I want it before I head back to Salinas. It is a smaller kitchen so we are needing to be more selective. I think maybe our fourth and fifth cutting boards and five pounds of plastic containers may have to go by the wayside….but it is a small price to pay for such a nice place IN such a nice place. We made a lot of trips up and down all. Those. Stairs.

After dinner, we realized we were done for the day. We left boxes half packed and got into pajamas, and watched a documentary on people who raise chickens for shows. These were delightfully odd folks who dedicate their lives to breeding, raising, endlessly washing and showing their fancy breed chickens, such as silver lace Wyandottes and feather-leg Brahmas.

A wonderfully irrelevant way to drift off to sleep.

Love,

Grandma Judy

To the Coast

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

I am back in Portland! I flew in Friday after Uncle David fed me a tasty dinner at Nemea Greek restaurant in San Jose and dropped me at the airport. Grandpa Nelson and Auntie Bridgett hugged me as soon as I got off the plane and didn’t stop until we got to our NEW house! It was my first time in it, but it felt like home. It has three floors, with the garage and an office on the bottom, living, dining, kitchen and a bathroom on the second, and two bedrooms and a bath upstairs. The painters have come and gone, making major improvements and one mistake, which Auntie Bridgett will tell them about today. (Oops. Sorry painters, she’s gonna go all artsy on ya.)

Back in our rental, which has been home for eight months, we slept soundly and woke up early to head for the Oregon Coast Comic Con in Tillamook. We met Jack Kent and his wife Verity at Coco’s Doughnuts on the west side and then caravanned over the hills to the coast. At 2,000 feet, there was snow!!! Real snow, piled up by the road, carpeting the forest, decorating the trees, looking more like a Christmas card than Easter week. It even snowed on us, a bit.

Once we were out of the mountains, the snow turned to rain and the rich dairyland of Tillamook spread out green and wet all around us. We drove to the Tillamook Air Museum, which is in a blimp hangar from World War II, the largest wooden structure in the United States. Impressive from the outside, it was cavernous, dark and COLD inside. Artists were setting up their tables still bundled up for the 39 degree outside temperature. Grandpa Nelson and I helped Auntie Bridgett set up, then headed off to see what we could see.

Tucked into our nice warm car (with heated seats!) we drove up the Oregon Coast on Highway 101. Wonderfully wet views of the forest and the ocean ruled the day. I got out for a few short excursions, but 35 degree rain isn’t conducive to strolling along the beach. I had my third breakfast (I have Hobbit ancestry, I believe) at The Pirate’s Cove in Garibaldi. Breaded and fried Clams and eggs, made with local clams AND local eggs! Yummy!

We reached lovely Cannon Beach, bundled up, and walked along the main drag. It is cute and, in Summer, full of families having summer fun with ice cream, beach toys and sun screen. Today, everyone was after fleece jackets and hot tea. We stopped at Tom’s Classic burgers to get Grandpa Nelson some french fries. We will return another time to browse the shops selling recycled driftwood and other flotsam, shops with names like “Washed Ashore” and “Found”, with the “U” made from a rusty horse shoe.

Driving back south, we found our reserved lodging for the night, one of a collection of tiny houses called Sheltered Cove. We had reserved one for us, and Jack and Verity had one for themselves across the way. Our hosts, Hank and Dee, checked us in along with their friendly and protective standard poodles, Mook and Red. The house was adorable! Not more than 500 square feet, it had a living, kitchen, bathroom and queen sized bed downstairs, and two queen sized beds in a loft upstairs. It felt light and airy, not cramped at all, and had plenty of room for us and our stuff.

When the Comic Con closed for the day at 5:00, a nearly frozen Bridgett hitched a ride home with Jack and Verity, and we got her tea and warm socks until it was time to go to the Pacific Restaurant. The food was great but the service a bit slow, and our view was of the heavy equipment involved in major street repair downtown. But Jack and Verity always make for lively conversation!

Back in our sheltered no, we slept like rocks. More adventures tomorrow!

Love, Grandma Judy