Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday was one of those devilishly fun days. Hubby and I had spent several days in Warrenton and Astoria visiting our friends Dave and Vicki and my parents. We left for home at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Little did we know we wouldn’t actually reach home until after 9:00 p.m.!
First stop was Fort Stevens State Park, where we found one of the smaller day use areas to park. We took Oliver over a few grass-studded sand dunes and down a steep path to the beach – Oliver was in doggy heaven (and so was Hubby).
Oliver soon discovered a couple other dogs out playing on the beach and joined right in with his new found beach buddies.
All the while and Hubby and Oliver were running on the beach, I was beachcombing. JACKPOT! I started finding sand dollars littered along the pristine beach. Some perfect . . .
. . . some not.
(except for one unfortunate dollar, who had a run in with a tire)
After a nice long walk to the end of the beach, we began our walk back to the car. A beach fairy had written me a message in the sand, which I discovered on our return walk.
Next up: The Astoria Sunday Market, one of the best on the west coast. While there, we had not one, but TWO vanilla soy lattes from the Astoria Coffee House. Their Stumptown coffee makes the best lattes: so smooth and delectable!
While sipping our FIRST latte, we strolled the booths of the Astoria Sunday Market and I bought some earrings. (Hubby actually encouraged me to purchase a pair of larger-then-what-I-usually-wear green beauties). We chose to eat Greek food from one of the many food booths and I ate my salad and pita bread while listening to live music.
Sated on food and shopping, we found ourselves back at the Astoria Coffee House for our second latte, this time choosing to sit at one of their outside tables. We had Oliver at our feet and we met two fellow poodle owners – both had black standards like Oliver!
We eventually moseyed to our car and headed east on Highway 30. We got as far as Svensen, only to be lured into a right hand turn (Hubby’s suggestion) so we could stop at the (drum roll here) Svensen Grange for a FLEA MARKET!
Here are some of my treasures:
After a quick romp in the grass (for Oliver or Hubby? not sure), onward we went.
We made it as far as Clatskanie and the lure of yet another flea market, this one a permanent one (and with a brand new sign announcing its presence).
It was here that I discovered my prized adding machine/cash register, marked AS IS – not to worry, I told the seller, I was buying it for the keys and the handle:
Hubby wanted to drive through the heart of Clatskanie and there on a little fingerling of a river in the middle of town was an antique/collectibles store. It was a gem of a store and I found a small bag of goodies:
Back into the car and we made it as far as Jones Beach. We drove away from Highway 30 and toward the Columbia River – the only requirement for these agricultural plots: a minimum of four junker cars parked outside and covered with overgrown blackberry branches. Cars on blocks? Optional, but worth two hundred bonus points. We eventually discovered Jones Beach. It was not a quiet, quaint, out of the way beach, but home to four-wheelers romping and rolling all over the sandy dunes. Not the beach if you're looking for peace and quiet.
By now it was edging toward dinner time and our tummies were rumbling. We found the perfect place in St. Helens, a tranquil and pretty little town (and the county seat) right on the Columbia River. We discovered an Italian restaurant on the main street, which had sidewalk seating (so Oliver could join us) and jazzy music on the outdoor speakers. We shared a quite tasty veggie pizza, then climbed back into the car for the final leg of our trip.