Today marks the halfway point of our trip! Five weeks have just flown by and I expect the next five will move just as quickly. Good thing I've been documenting with the blog and photos (I do need to update flickr, though).
We wanted to get out of the house today to give Fred some peace and quiet before working again tonight, so we took a road trip to the coast. Heading to the coast also gave us a break from the oppressive heat that's gripping the valley right now. Our first stop was the Heceta Head lighthouse where we met up with Ron's aunt, Christy, his cousin Sarah and her husband, Brian, and son, Matthew, and the kids' second cousin, Dayna. Today the weather on the coast cooperated. It was clear, sunny, breezy, and a very pleasant 70 degrees. Beautiful views from the cliff, but we couldn't go into the lighthouse because of repair work. Maybe next time!
After checking out the beach briefly, we got back in the car to go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. This portion of 101 is definitely my favorite. Every bend gives you a mind-blowing view of the Pacific from atop a spectacular bluff. I think the kids even managed to tear themselves away from their video games to enjoy the view. The Aquarium also did not disappoint, although the seals, sea lions, and sea otters were pretty lackadaisical in the heat. Our favorite area was the Passages of the Deep which are three very large tanks that are hollowed out in the middle so you can walk through them to see a vast array of fish. Elli was initially freaked out about sharks swimming next to her, above her, and below her, but she recovered quickly. She and Jonah even named the biggest shark "Bruce".
Our last stop was Depoe Bay to walk along the sea wall and eat at a seafood restaurant. We didn't have a recommendation, but just picked Gracie's Sea Hag because it was open and near our car. Luck was on our side because the food was fantastic! Elli even tried some Dungeness crab for the first time. She didn't like it, but at least she gave it a shot. We were treated to a beautiful sunset on the return drive, although the tranquility was interrupted by bugs pelting the windshield so hard it sounded like hail. Disgusting. I think I'm going to need a chisel to get all the carcasses off.