Monday, June 3, 2013

Spring Break Part 1

Day 1: April 1st

On April 1st we spent much of the day driving to the rental house.  We did make a quick stop at the fish hatchery at Bonneville Dam.  Ellie enjoyed throwing food out to the trout in the ponds and seeing their giant sturgeon through the viewing window there.

After Bonneville we kept on trekking till we got to the house.  We stayed at a rental house at Bella Beach on the Oregon Coast near Depoe Bay.  All the houses had names, and ours was Starry Starry Night.
The house was so homey and had everything we could have needed.  It was fantastic and we loved staying there.  Especially since we got to have family meals and Lori planned for some delicious food throughout the week!  This was the little bed area Ellie stayed in, which was nice because it was right off of our room.

 We didn't have too much time to do anything after driving to the rental that day, so we spent the first night just settling in, finalizing plans, and of course - Steve made steak for everyone.
 When Steve is around, there must be a meat night!

Day 2: April 2nd

We started our second day by heading to a whale watching charter boat company that operates out of Depoe Bay.  They were one of the few companies with large enough boats that little ones can come too, and we really wanted Ellie to be there if and when we saw a whale.  They also had a 94% success rate, so we were sure to see a whale.  So, of course, we didn't....

Here we are waiting while the men-folk went and fought over who got to pay for our tickets - which was the story of the whole trip.  Highly entertaining.
It was a little foggy and fairly cold outside that day, so Ellie was really bundled up so she would be warm enough on the boat.

While we waited for the boat on the dock we enjoyed watching this seal pop up around us.

 When the boat first took off Ellie was not at all sure she liked what was going on.  Thank goodness for her wonderful Aunt Lori and Cousin Bridget.  Ellie was soon doing just fine on the boat.
 This was how Mckayla started out the trip with Daddy - awake and happy in the Bjorn.
 The rest of the trip Mckayla spent this way - under a warm blanket sleeping soundly thanks to the rocking of the boat.
 Whereas Ellie spent all of the boat ride in the cabin with Lori - looking for crab pot floats and birds.  She loved spotting different colored floats and counting birds with Lori.  Apparently she was very clear that it was her job to find floats, Lori's job to spot birds, and Grandma's job to spot whales.  Grandma felt bad that she was the only one who didn't spot what she was supposed to...  At one point Lori did ask Ellie if she wanted to go outside, but Ellie told her "No, it looks cold out there."  And she was right.  It was.  But it was also fun.
 Unfortunately, we never did see a whale, but the captain did bring us past this buoy - their sure-fire sighting of wildlife.  So, we ended up enjoying a nice boat ride with some sea lions, crab floats, and family.

Later that day we decided to go to the Yaquina Head Natural Area because Tuesday had the best weather forecast for the week.  We enjoyed our last trip to Yaquina Head and enjoyed it even more this time.  First we headed down to Quarry Cove to see the water coming in and see what wildlife we could find in the cove.
Steve always has to climb on top of a big hill of rocks.
 Ellie of course loved playing with sticks in the sand.
 Some creatures from the man-made tide pool down at the cove.
 Proof that you can have blue sky at the Oregon Coast.

 Everyone looking out at the ocean on the trek up the hill back up to the parking area.
 Between this picture and the last one you can ALMOST get a feel for the how many different shades of blue we could see in the ocean that day.
 A picture of the beach headed down into town from where we were.

After we left the cove we headed up to the lighthouse.  
There was a team of scientists in a roped off area when we went up to the lighthouse who were there to do whale counts.  So..... we finally got to see a whale in the wild!  We saw lots of spouts, but it was hard to get photos of anything.  Here are the two best pictures I got.

 And when I was looking through the binoculars I even saw one whale put its flipper up in the air!  Sooo cool!

We also stopped and watched the seals in the bay for a little while.
And they watched us back.
 Such a pretty lighthouse.

The last stop at Yaquina Head (for us - not hiking with little ones) was to head down to Cobble Beach.  It's name is VERY appropriate because the whole beach is made up of large round stones and we got to enjoy trying not to fall as we slid down the rocks towards the tide pools.  It was worth the effort though to see all the urchins, anemones, little fish, crabs, starfish, and whole areas of rock just coated in muscles.

Ok, this blog is already far too long, but because we did lots of fun things on Tuesday!  
Here are a couple of pictures of our group that day at the natural area.  

If you head towards Depoe, you have to stop by Yaquina Head.  We find new things to love about this park every time we go and we haven't even done any of the trails yet!

Our last stop I don't have any pictures of, but whenever we're on the Oregon Coast, we head to Mo's for chowder.  We went while there was a high tide and all enjoyed chowder and seafood - except Curtis, who found something else to eat.  All in all, Tuesday was a lot of fun with family!

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