Friday, August 19, 2011

Last Gasp of Summer - Knitting, Pirates, Books, and Fish

Poor hubby has to go back to sch... sch... er, S-word next week. Mine starts up in a few weeks. With one week between the end of the summer classes I was teaching and his return to the working world, we were able to squeeze in a little bit of vacation time.

Spent doing what? Whatever we wanted, really, and for me that meant knitting on my Clarissa cardigan while looking out on a beautiful ocean view:

The view here is from Room 12 of the adorable Inn at Arch Rock in Depoe Bay, Oregon, looking out on the outer bay where we've been told that the Gray Whales frolic in August. However, they were shy beasties this August. I saw one spouting waaaaay off shore the whole time I was there. Apparently they were all here in July. Isn't that always how it is? Kind of like when you go fishing, and the guys at the bait shop say, "Boy, you should have been here last week, the fish were biting right and left, but this week, they're all hiding." Every time I go to Depoe Bay, it's always, "There were 500 hundred whales all dancing the cha-cha and juggling squid yesterday, but today, nothing. Ya shoulda been here yesterday." As for why I specify Room 12 -- we couldn't get one room for all three nights that we wanted, so we were in a ground floor room for the first two nights and moved to a somewhat more expensive upstairs room for the third night. Since the upstairs room also came with a gas fireplace and was a little bit nicer (and more private), we might go with that if we have the chance to stay there again.

We did manage to get out and about to do other things than knit, of course. We drove down to Newport to visit our favorite bookstore, the Canyon Way Bookstore. With the stagnant economy and with people buying fiction in alternate forms (like ebooks and audiobooks), their business has dropped a lot in the past few years, so they're a bit smaller than they used to be. But they've still got all kinds of wonderful treasures to discover. It's a browser's bookstore. They also have a great restaurant, where we had lunch out on the patio, after we did our bit to boost their income by buying a stack of books:

From there we walked down the hill to stroll around Newport's bayfront. The bay bridge is in the background. It's an interesting district, where the industrial fish processing plants are mixed with tourist shops that have grown up around them, and where you can buy fresh fish and crabs straight off of the docks.

On the other side of the bridge is a touristy little pirate-themed shopping place:

That's where you go to find Yarn for All Seasons:

Inside the shop is a delicious assortment of luxury yarns, as well as old standbys like Cascade brand.

I came away with two skeins of self-patterning sock yarn -- Opal and Trekking -- and I splurged on a skein of pure silk from Blue Ridge Yarn that came with a simple scarf pattern to show off the gorgeous colors and shimmer. (That bottle? Complimentary cream sherry that came with our room at the Inn!)

The next day we hit the science geek highlights. First the Oregon Coast Aquarium, with its tanks full of fish like these seahorses:

The famous tank of Moon Jellies:

Deep sea wildlife:

Adorable Tufted Puffins:

And the Passages of the Deep exhibit, where you walk through a glass tunnel that goes through the giant tanks, and where everyone converges on the shark tank. This ray gave quite a show, swimming at us and over the top of the tunnel:

Practically next door is the Hatfield Marine Science Center, a research station that is part of Oregon State University, where their Visitors Center has been educating people about coastal ecology and marine science for many decades:

Exhibits include fish tanks, interactive science displays, and displays showing current research at the Hatfield center.

On our way out of Depoe Bay, we popped into Ainslee's for salt water taffy (we like to stop either there or at Read's in Lincoln City to get fresh made-on-the-premises taffy, rather than shops that stock taffy bought by the case from who-knows-where). We spotted this fellow atop the memorial, who was a little less shy and a little more observable than the whales.

"Well? Ya got popcorn or not?"

1 comment:

Mereknits said...

It looks like a lovely trip with fabulous weather. So glad you had a nice, relaxing time.


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