Monday, April 25, 2011

A Tourist in My Own Hometown

At last year’s Rubber Ducky Race, part of the Fourth of July celebration in Yachats (LaDeDa!!), I won a night at Ambrosia Gardens B&B. Finally, in mid-April, I was going to claim my prize and spend a night at the cozy inn, located about six miles south of Yachats.

I arrived to find proprietor Mary Coello on her knees pulling weeds out of the immaculate lawn. This appears to be what she does when she isn’t greeting guests and making breakfast, and the gardens demonstrate that loving, constant care. My room was on the second floor, off the common room, with handmade quilts on the bed, a private bath, and a view to the west.

It’s not easy to be a tourist in your own hometown. I almost forgot that travelers who stay at bed & breakfast inns need to plan for dinner on their own, which is part of the travel adventure, of course. I called some friends and arranged to meet them at Ona, Yachats’ newest restaurant. I chose a light supper—tomato bisque with grilled cheese sandwich. It sounds pretty down home, but the smoky grilled bread from local Bread & Roses Bakery elevated a childhood favorite to something more sophisticated.

    When I returned to Ambrosia (Mary once again pulling weeds in the gathering dusk), the sun was just slipping over the edge and the sky was filled with warm orange light. This was significant: it wasn’t raining! It’s been a wet month and it was pure joy to be able to see the sunset, with black shore pines silhouetted against the sky.

    Morning, and the air was fresh, clear, brisk. I bundled up and headed down to the beach, where an outgoing tide revealed contorted shapes of ancient lava flows. Seabirds fluttered, swooped, cried their shrill cries, and scattered before small waves. The sun peaked the forested ridges to the east and filled the white foam with light.

    Back at Ambrosia, there was hot coffee and pleasant conversation with the other guests, a couple from Crescent City who had spent the previous day exploring Yachats, including the historic Little Log Church, before having dinner at the Drift Inn. We tucked into Mary’s scones, frittata and fruit cup until it was time to pack up and head home.

    Not a bad way to start my hometown adventures!

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