Friday, July 29, 2011

Great Sleeps: Overleaf Lodge & Spa, Yachats, Oregon

Overleaf Lodge & Spa 280 Overleaf Lodge Lane, (800) 338-0507, (541) 547-4880. Some kitchens & gas fireplaces. Full breakfast. Fitness room; full-service spa with soaking tub, hot tub, steam room, sauna (must be age 18). No smoking; no pets. 3 stories; 54 rooms. Set way back from the highway, this motel offers sweeping oceanfront views from every room. Big picture windows slide open to fresh air and the sound of the surf, yet a blackout curtain permits sleeping in. An expansive breakfast buffet, with fragrant muffins and a hot egg dish, is served in a corner of the lobby, but there is no restaurant, bar, or room service. The small full-service spa provides an exceptional rectangular hot tub kept at 99 degrees and with an ocean view, as well as a more traditional smaller one kept at 104 degrees. These may be used at no fee. Nearby, a spacious fitness room also has an ocean view, and a guest laundry room includes complimentary use of machines and soap. In front of the hotel, the scenic and historic 804 Trail leads along the ocean ½-mile north to a sandy beach and also south into town. Part of Smelts Sands State Recreation Area, the trail was originally surveyed in the 1890s, when it was used by stage coaches and horses. Three rooms are handicapped accessible, with fully equipped extra-large bathrooms designed for wheelchair access; one has a roll-in shower.


For information on this area’s popular aquarium, which includes special information about visiting with someone in a wheelchair, see my guest blog at Barrier Free Travels.

More things to do on the Oregon coast.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.
image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sights to See: Sauvie Island, Oregon

Sauvie Island 15 mi. NW of Portland. This rural island is popular with bicyclists. It has several interesting nurseries and also some u-pick farms and fruit stands.

Cistus Nursery 22711 NW Gillihan Rd., 503-621-2233. Daily 10-5. This extraordinary nursery stocks plants from around the world and displays them in attractive outdoor “rooms.”










Blue Heron Herbary 27731 NW Reeder Rd., 503-621-1457; . W-Sun 10-5, Mar-Nov. Surrounded by a wildlife refuge, this funky herb nursery has an inventory of more than 350 varieties of herbs and more than 100 varieties of lavender--all for sale—but, according to owner Mike Hanselman, “not a stick of heather is on the property.” More than 275 herbs are planted in specialty beds, including tea, bee, and Shakespeare, and a u-pick lavender field is by the pond. They make their own spice blends and teas, and an exceptional gift shop purveys herb-related gifts, including sleep pillows and fragrant tea pads. Chickens run free.

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

images c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good Eats: Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest tour, NYC


Ahoy NY Tours & Tasting 212-209-3370. Tour group size is limited to 12 people.
Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest  Meets on Canal St. $45. This 3-hour tasting spree stops at five venues, and, according to founder Alana Hoye, “helps align history, culture, and cuisine.” Tastings include fresh housemade mozzarella paired with prosciutto, a Sicilian cannoli pastry, a sit-down Thai lunch, a Chinese dumpling, and Chinese ice cream. Shops on the tour are family-owned and have been in business for more than 100 years. Among the historical tidbits dished out are the site of a famous mob hit and also the location of NYC’s oldest tenement—which just happens to be a few doors down from where my daughter rents a very small apartment in a building that is almost as old. Alana also dishes on the best Italian restaurants in Little Italy.

More NYC tours.

More things to do in NYC.  

More food tours.   

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good Eats: Tasty n Sons, Portland, Oregon

Tasty n Sons 3808 N. Williams Ave., 503-621-1400; www.tastynsons.com. B-L-D daily; $$. High ceilings combined with industrial chic decor, plus both booths,and communal tables makes this a stylish, comfortable place for brunch, which is served all day. Specialty cocktails includ a Strawberry Alarm Clock made with Boca Loca Cachaca. Plates are meant to be shared, and among the yummiest are chocolate potato doughnuts, bacon-wrapped dates, a cheddar biscuit stuffed with fried chicken and a fried egg (is this begging the question about which to eat first—the chicken or the egg?), and a veggie frittata served in a cast-iron skillet, but many more creative items are options.

More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Good Eats: Crazy Norwegian’s Fish & Chips, Port Orford, Oregon

Crazy Norwegian’s Fish & Chips 259 Sixth St. (Hwy.101), (541) 332-8601. L-D W-M, 11:30am-8pm. The fish & chips here is simply the best--the batter is fluffy, the fresh locally-caught fish is tender and moist. Choose a regular portion ($9.75), or a large portion ($12.85) that can easily be shared by two average appetites. A variety of housemade sauces are included, including a tartar with plenty of dill, Cajun remoulade, and ranch. Other items that most diners never get to but which also have a good rep: rich housemade clam chowder; shrimp & chips, crab-melt sandwich, fish tacos, burgers, and local berry pie. The decor is a simple knotty-pine cabin feel with sturdy tables and chairs.

More things to do on the Oregon coast.

More things to do in Oregon.    

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good Eats: Panino Deli & Restaurant, Ajijic, Mexico

Panino Deli & Restaurant Carretera Chapala-Jocotepec 91-A, San Antonio Tlayacapan, 376-766-3822. M-F 11-4. This small, popular spot is within a former house--the restroom still has a shower—and has indoor seating as well as an outdoor patio. Ironically, as in many restaurants here, instead of a local hot sauce you see Tabasco sauce from Louisiana on the table. Specials include meat loaf with mashed potatoes, chicken-fried steak, and spaghetti as well as a superb shrimp Louis.
  
More things to do in Ajijic.

More things to do in Mexico.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
(image depicts a very good local hot sauce)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Great Sleeps: Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages, Taveuni Island, Fiji

Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages 9 Matei Rd., Matei, 679-888-0328. 3 bures. Unsuitable for children. Breakfast included. Located at the north end of the “Garden Island” of Taveuni, just five minutes from Matei Airport, this blissful spot is reached via a 90-minute small-plane ride north from Nadi International Airport. Guests find themselves surrounded by mango trees and coconut palms and feel as if they’ve arrived almost at the end of the earth. Owner Ronna Goldstein, who hails originally from Connecticut, says, “It was important to us that we retain the solitude and simplicity of the island way of life, which is one reason why we have no disco and no cable TV.” On-site activities are few but included in the rate--kayaking in one of the resort’s three kayaks, snorkeling (plus special trips out to the reef), mountain biking, and lounging in one of four hammocks. Diving is arranged with a nearby operator. The spacious white sandy beach is a special treat, allowing swimming in the warm water or just flopping on a chaise lounge under a flamboyant tree for a snooze. A complimentary half-hour massage is included for one of a couple on arrival day. For guests who stay five nights or longer, a cooking class with the staff is included, as well as a village visit and candlelight dinner on the beach. The restaurant has a large open-air deck overlooking the ocean, and serves three meals each day; breakfast is complimentary. On Village Night nearby villagers show up to perform meke (a traditional story/dance) on the beach followed by a lovo meal (food cooked in an earth oven over volcanic rocks).

More things to do in Fiji. 

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers