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.