Sunday, September 13, 2009

Relaxing at the Coast

All this work lately and no play was making Jeffy a dull boy, so this Saturday I suggested we head out to the coast for the day. Our destination would be the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport; A two and a half hour drive away.

The trip out there was pretty uneventful. Just the usual "How much longer?" and "Are we there yets?" from the back seat, along with a few more "Stop picking on your brother." and "We'll eat later." comments from the front seat and we were there.

As we headed through the exhibits one of the first things to catch our attention were these jelly fish. Completely mesmerizing .

Around the corner from the jellies, we found couple of "touch tanks". There were several star fish, anemones, crabs, abalone, various icky-slimy-sticky things, rays, and even some small sharks. Want to guess which ones the boys liked the best? Yep, you are right. Matt spent the better part of the day telling anyone who would listen, "I touched a shark!"

We found this very colorful tank. It just screamed, "Take a photo of me." I obliged.

A school of hundreds of silver fish (ya, that's the Latin name for them I'm sure)

A little bit further along the path and we came to this strange looking fish. Very prized and loved by all. It was none other than the Matt Fish!
There was a "bubble" in the bottom of that particular aquarium where the kids could crawl under and poke their head up into.

Another favorite (yes that's an oxymoron) were the series of tanks where you walked through tubes and the fish swam all around. Once again, the one that had sharks in it was the clear cut winner. I took several pictures, but none of them turned out great. This was about the best I could come up with. Definitely a "you had to be there to truly appreciate it" thing, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. The squarish shadow near the top-center was a large Manta Ray.

After about three hours there and exploring every nook and cranny of the aquarium we decided it was time to get a bite to eat. I wanted fish and chips, but after viewing all their brothers and sisters earlier, I opted to go to the Sizzler and have Malibu Chicken and a salad bar. I should have gone with my first choice.

One the drive into town we noticed a lighthouse and since there was plenty of day left, we decided to go check it out. What we didn't realize was that there are actually two lighthouses in Newport. One on the north end of town and, as you might expect, one on the south. The first one we went to was the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. Built in the early 1870's it was only in use for three years. This one might look a bit different from other lighthouses you've seen, because it isn't a stand alone tower. It's a house with the light on the top of it. It also has a bit of ooky-spooky lore to it too. It's rumored that a visitor to it mysteriously disappeared leaving no trace except for a pool of warm blood on the floor. True or not? Who knows, but it does make for a good ghost story none-the-less.

The other lighthouse is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse. More of the traditional style. Cool thing about this one is that you can walk up the 114 steps to the top. Round and round we went, all the way up.

Did you notice the sky in those two shots? Even though they are only about four miles apart, one was sunny and warm, while the other was several degrees cooler with coulds/fog around it.

This picture is of the stairwell in the first one. I loved this unique shot of the boys.
Click here if you want to see the lighthouse(s) website. Some very cool photos there. Much better than my point and shoot camera these were taken with.

We were all pretty tired by the time we got home, but it was well worth it.

It was a great day filled with plenty of priceless memories.

OK, one last pic. Waves crashing over the rocks. This particular rock was about 25-30 feet tall, so in person these splahes were quite impressive.


Jeni said...

Wow, Jeff! This was quite the impressive posts. Interesting reading about the aquarium and lighthouses but the pictures -now those REALLY set off this post big-time! The fish tanks were awesome to see and I really enjoyed those pics very much but I absolutely loved the last shot -of the waves against that rock! Terrific!

quilly said...

I can't believe you went to Newport and you didn't stop and see my brother or eat a Mo's! That's just wrong!

Glad you had a good time though. I've been to both the aquarium and the lighthouse. I loved them both!

Jeff B said...

Jeni- Thanks for the kudos. Getting shots of the tanks was challenging because of the lighting. A flash would have just bounced off the glass and washed out everything.

Quilly- We did homemade clam chowder for dinner tonight! Every time I see a billboard for Mo's, I laugh at their claim of "world famous".

BJ Roan said...

Great post! I love the pics, and the one of the tunnel tank really lets the viewer see what it's like. I tried taking shots of the tunnel at the Dallas Aquarium, but they didn't work as well as this one.

Dianne said...

I love the Matt-Fish! where can I get one of those

your photos came out great, aquarium shots are hard to get right

a lovely family day :)

Jay said...

Aquariums are lots of fun to visit. It's great how kids think they're just having fun when actually they're learning something. Don't worry, I won't tell them. ;-)

Lighthouses are cool too. I think I would enjoy visiting that area.

Sandee said...

What a fun day indeed. I would have enjoyed this little trip very much. Hubby and I have done just this many times. Not where you went but the aquariums and lighthouses. Awesome.

Have a terrific day. :)

Akelamalu said...

What a fun day you had and great photos to prove it! :)

Finding Pam said...

It is good to see you and the family take off for a little fun. The photos are fantastic, especially of the boys climbing up the light house stairs.

Ron said...

OMG...I freakin' love lighthouses, so this was totally cool!! Interesting to hear about the different skies because they look like they were shot on two completely different days. As you know, I really enjoy cloudy, gray days, so I this was a beaut!

The last shot was super, Jeff. There's something so wonderfully dramatic about seeing waves crashing over rocks.

What a beautiful part of the States you live in!

Thanks for sharing this, bud!


Thom said...

What a great post. I love that lighthouse. And the waves on the last one are just awesome. Thanks for sharing :)

Starrlight said...

Yaquina Head is my all time favorite viewpoint. The park land and the stairs down to the tidepools are awesome =)

Jeff B said...

BJ- I probably took twenty pics of the tunnel to try to get one that was decent. Lots of flash bulbs going off and the curve made it an extra challenge.

Dianne- I'm afraid he's a one of a kind. The mold has been broken.

Jay- That reminded me of what Bill Cosby would always say, "If you're not real careful you might just learn something.

Sandee- These day trips can be a lot of fun. This one sure was.

Akelamalu- Thanks. I took about a hundred pics all totaled. It was fun to look back through them after we got home.

Pam- I really liked that one too. Not the usual pose at all.

Ron- I know I keep telling you that you have to come out here, but I'll say it again, "You need to come out here!" You'd love it.

Thom- Glad you liked them. We had fun watching the wave roll in as we tried to figure out which ones would really make a big splash.

Starrlight- We didn't make it down to the tide pools this time. We'll have to check them out next visit.

Travis said...

Looks like a great day!

Matt-Man said...

Great pics Jeff, but seriously...Jellyfish freak me out. Cheers!!

Jeff B said...

Travis- It was indeed!

Matt-Man- Note to self, Noe Jellies and no Clowns for you.

katherine. said...

you're getting pretty talented with that camera there...

what is it about sharks that so amaze us?

the staircase pic with the boys is great...tell them and lisa we say hey.

Marsha said...

I've always wanted to go to one of those acquariums, but down in podunk we don't seem to have them.

I LOVE the jelly fish pictures. I can completely understand the compulsion of wanting to touch one.

Kelly H-Y said...

LOVE the Oregon Coast Aquarium ... we were just there a few weeks ago and had a blast! Great pictures ... that last one of the waves crashing over the rocks is amazing!

The Things We Carried said...

Can you believe all the times my family and I have been to the Oregon coast we have never been to the aquarium?! It looks really cool!

The Things We Carried said...

PS welcome back!

Lu' said...

Nice post Jeff. Great pics.

Jeff B said...

Katherine- I used to dive off the Northern Calif coast and sharks were always in my thoughts.

Marsha- There were a few different types of Jellies there and each one was incredibly fun to watch.

Kelly- Can you believe all these years we've lived here and this was our first trip there?

TTWC- I've got to get by your place. I see you are back to posting as well.

Lu- Thanks. Nice to hear from you.

San said...

I love all of your pictures, Jeff, especially that great shot of your boys on the staircase. The Matt-fish is a new species for me--I will have to look that one up on Wikipedia. A very photogenic species for sure.

I haven't been to an aquarium in years--thanks for the once-removed adventure. Now, can we eat?

Bond said...

Sounds like a load of fun- can't see the pics here through - dang IT people...

Glad you are back to the blogging

Mel said...


I'm just gonna wander around and take a leisurely tour with the photos......don't mind me.

Dana said...

If I could live anywhere, it would be the Oregon coast. I've been up and down both the west coast and the east coast and nowhere is as beautiful as the Oregon coast!

Jeff B said...

San- I'll have to check Wikipedia now, cause you know that's where all the information is these days!

Bond- Sorry you couldn't see the pics. It's good to be back.

Mel- Take your time. Lots to see here today.

Dana- There are plenty of fun things to do here. We're off to the coast again this weekend for a camping trip.