Monday, June 29, 2009

Final Vacation Pictures. Last day, Florence, Oregon 6/18

It's hard to believe that this trip ended almost two weeks ago. (:sniff: :sniff:) Flying out of Eugene wasn't going to happen until 6pm on 6/18, so we headed south from Waldport down the coast passing Devils Churn, Haceta Head and the Sea Lion Caves again with the ultimate goal of heading to Eugene via the coastal and Siuslaw riverfront town of Florence.

(left) Couldn't help but pull over on the side of the road for this picture. Christian's Papa and Grandma Georgia gave him this T-shirt almost 2 years ago, and it is just as appropriate today as it was then!

Lovely construction work, but here are the signs pointing the distances to all the other Florences in the world. This particular one has the United States Florence, and here in Queen Creek, we're not too far from the Arizona Florence (drove through the western edge of it today, as a matter of fact), so this picture is a accurate representation of how far away from home we were.
Check out the difference in weather from December 2007 with this picture of Mikelle and I from then (Christian is playing on the anchor behind us). You can't tell, but that day it rained non-stop, and Chris wasn't thrilled standing in the rain taking all these pictures. Now HE is someone who is a true Arizona desert rat. Not me. I enjoyed every bit of rainy Oregon weather in frigid December as well as more sunny June:

Christian and I didn't take anymore pictures with the signs, but since we're on the subject, here's one a couple of blocks away (taken December 2007) of the distance to Florence, Italy in both directions:

Anyway, back to this recent trip, here is Christian with the Siuslaw river behind him. The historic area of Florence is along the riverfront. And Mo's seafood restaurant is right there too. We ate at this one in December 2007, but this particular trip, the Mo's in Newport had our patronage.

And this one below makes me crave fried shrimp and clam chowder. Good thing Red Lobster is a little pricey to go on a whim, and Joe's Crab Shack is too far away (over in AZ Mills)!

And so many times when taking pictures on this trip: "Christian, put your shirt down!"

More pictures with the river in the background (and my thick beefy arms and fat face):

And then we headed east to Eugene (sounds like the name of a book or movie!). There was some road construction along the way and we had to sit on the highway for a few minutes. Look at this view (below) of the river that hugged the highway into Eugene? It's so neat that in Oregon, when you go over BRIDGES, there is WATER under them. When the sign says "river" the river actually contains water. Yesterday I drove over the Gila River bridge, but the only way you know it's a river, is well, I just know it's a river "sometimes" and more often NOT a river. There isn't a sign on that particular bridge to indicate the "river". Otherwise, it's a brown dry riverbed that happens to have a bridge over it. And Tempe Town Lake? It has water in it, because they put water in it for about a mile and call this river area a "lake" and the actual water that used to flow in the salt river is all dammed up. How lame is the logic in that? Oh well. At least when driving by ASU on the 202 there is an "illusion" of water that used to flow in the "river".

Anyway, back to this view of the
Siuslaw. So nice to know that places like this with the actual color green and the water under the bridge, actually exist!

Bye bye Oregon. Someday, I'll call you my home.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Vacation pictures now becoming yearning nostalgia... I DIE in this heat!

Yes it is the end of JUNE in Arizona, so here we are:
  • Looking for trees or any other shade source to park under, even if its a mile from the entrance.
  • Having Chris start the car in advance because I won't get in until the air is blowing.
  • If I need to go to the store or another errand, I wonder if the task can wait until after 6pm when the sun starts to head down in the west and will have more shady spots behind buildings, etc....
  • Feeling my patience running out very quickly as the sweat forms on the back of my neck and my lower back.
  • Wishing the Declaration of Independence was signed between October and March, rather than July 4th. It would make those Independence Day gatherings all that much more pleasant.
  • Considering moving the kids and me to Oregon and having Chris come home on the weekends (no, Chris would never go for that and we wouldn't be able to afford him to fly back and forth each week. But man, I fantasize about it!) But I just might do that by myself when the kids are grown and Chris can come up on the weekends! are the pictures of Christian and I enjoying Haceta Head on June 17th.

First, we had lunch on Yachats just south of Waldport. Just like a few days before at Yaquina Head, the day was very sunny (but cool).

A quick pit-stop at Devils Churn on the way down. Seeing it in calm June is much different than the water show we got seeing it in December when we were there for Christmas 07!

The beach just below Haceta Head:

The walk up the lighthouse was a beautiful, woodsy and green 1/2 mile. The trail and view was very worth it. Although, this was the day that Mikelle flew back home from Idaho and Chris had a hard time reaching me by cell phone when Christian and I were on this trail.

The Haceta Lighthouse in view from the trail:

And here is my little "vacation model" in front of the lighthouse.

Christian loved these telescopes. I just never seemed to have a quarter to put in one when we ran into one (note to self: Next time taking a 5yo gadget boy on a vacations with lots of spectacular views, bring quarters!)

Haceta gives actual tours in their lighthouse, which Christian was understandably experiencing boredom to endure. With Yaquina, he could go directly to the stairs and make his way up. With Haceta, he had to move with the tour and wasn't too thrilled to do so. He survived, however, because he did get to eventually climb to the top, just like Yaquina.

Diagram of the French lens. Most of the lenses were from France, except one which is British. However, I don't know which lighthouse has the British lens.

The lighthouse stairway, going up.

View of what makes a lighthouse a lighthouse! Christian was of course, very fascinated.

Heading back down the trail, is the old lightkeepers house, which is a now a Bed and Breakfast. See that large area next to it that is fenced in? That used to be another house that was torn down for lumber! I would love to go back in time and buy that house before it gets torn down!

And the beautiful trail back down. The bridge is the 101 Highway and on the right end of it is a tunnel.

More beautiful green and lush sites along that little trail. I miss all that green! And it's located in a state that cares and preserves its environment instead of selling it to developers to obliterate the land with strip-malls, apartment complexes, cookie-cutter houses and worst of all, Wal-Marts. Oregon knows its beauty and keeps it! Arizona has its beauty, but our inept leaders (local and state-wide) don't care enough to defend it and preserve the Earth that God gave us.
Another beach view from the trail:

Back down by the beach and parking area, here is the view of the Bed&Breakfast. The lighthouse is just beyond the trees to the left.

A really cool sign down by the beach. I love stuff like this:

This is a view of the Haceta lighthouse from the other side of the tunnel (south) just before the Sea Lion Caves. This is one of my favorite view-point/stops along the side of the 101 highway!

Looking down from that same viewpoint, the sea lions playing on the rocks below:

And another shot of the Haceta lighthouse view from that same point, because for some reason when I play with the pictures on the blog they come out blurry, when they're really not that blurry! :-(

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can you stand more vacation pictures? The Local Waldport scene 6/16.

Yes, because I have more. lol

Waldport Local Scene June 16th
This is a little park just around the corner from his Papa and Grandma Georgia's house! I love how
woodsy it is! It would be so awesome to live near a place like this!
( Especially on a day like today that I type this entry. 108 degrees.

And after taking a long walk on "Papa's beach", we had some salad, clam chowder and pizza (well, Christian got to have the pizza) at a place there in Waldport.

And sometime on this day (I suspect late that night) it looks like Christian tried another series of self-portraits. I say "series" because it's pretty clear these three are meant to go together.

I was going to post about the Haceta Head Lighthouse we visited the following day, but I'm grumpy. It was SO HOT today. It's 10pm and I'm still hot. It's hard to believe that a week ago, I was in perfect climatic bliss, and now I'm back to reality. It bites and blows at the same time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 4 Photos: Yaquina Head Lighthouse and beautiful surroundings!

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Newport June 15th

My June 15th post from that day includes additional information. But here are the actual photos. There were a couple photos with me in them, but I am not happy with the results. It was like I gained 15 pounds in the face alone in only 2 days or something. And I only had one vacation "cheat" meal of fried shrimp and clam chowder. What's that all about? Anyway, here are the exterior lighthouse photos. If you look closely, Christian's pants are on backwards. SOMEONE wasn't paying attention when we got ready that morning.

One of the northern viewpoints of the coast and north of Newport next to the lighthouse. Gorgeous, isn't it? 60s, breezy, perfect! In art-speak, this is referred to as a "Worm's Eye View".
One of the cliff-side views of the northern part of the little lighthouse peninsula:

Interior lighthouse stairwell!

Christian checking out the French lens on the top as it blinked. His worry about the blinking and insisting that the light was broken made the guide at the top way more angry than was merited. Good grief. Pick your battles, man.

Next, we headed down the cliffs (with trails and stairways, of course) on the south end of the little peninsula there. You can see the stairway trails on the far right. I didn't edit this photo. Hence why the lighthouse suddenly looks like it's in Pisa, Italia! It's not. It's straight, I promise. I was the one who was off kilter, not the lighthouse.

LOTS of Seals!
I tweaked some of my seal photos to get a better view. Still kicking myself at forgetting to bring the super-duper zoom lens. I know, I won't let it go because I'm still kicking myself.

See this guy poking his head up to say hi? (Click on these photos to get a better look!)

Numerous seals in the water and on the rocks! Especially on the rocks in this shot! And that's not dirt on the photo. It's birds in the sky.

Southern view of Newport, on our way out of Yaquina Head.
(If you look closely, you can see other wildlife in the water. Human surfers)

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