Newport

Oh my, I am such a rotten blogger–I can’t maintain a slack every-Federal-Holiday schedule for even half a year. We’re all lucky my charming and thoughtful co-blogger gives us good, solid posts to chew over. And in lieu of a similar thoughtful, meaty post, I now propose to fob you off with pictures from our trip to Newport weekend before last. Bad, lazy blogger! But, ooh! Pretty pictures!

We stopped at the first scenic overlook that gave us a glimpse of ocean, because that first sighting is still so thrilling to me:
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We had lunch in Lincoln City (at a Li’l Sambos–no, really! No relation to the infamous chain, however) and then pushed on. Just outside of Newport, we stopped at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse for a photo op. We stopped first at the visitors’ center (which claims to have been there since 1996, though we totally didn’t notice it when we were there in 2002), then walked around to the lighthouse for pictures. We stayed inside a bit too long, however, for we had barely set up and started shooting when we were set upon by a fast-moving and relentless fog:
4:45 PM

4:48 PM

4:48 PM

4:49 PM and uh, wasn\'t there a lighthouse right there?
The time between the first and second shots is 3 minutes; from first to last is 4 minutes. We could see the fog rushing up the cliff face toward us–it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed. But it did put a damper on the sightseeing, so we packed up and headed for the hotel, trusting that Newport was still somewhere in all that pea soup.

Sunday, we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium to see the current show, Oddwater, and to visit all our old favorites (jellies!) I liked the Oddwater show a lot–it was all funky, lumpy, ugly, strange creatures of the deep, and they’d decorated the tanks with art glass–very cool!
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I looked at these bits of glass for a while before I noticed one of them was alive. He’d be awesome at freeze-tag!
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These are Lookdown Fish, well named because they do, indeed, look a bit down. Maybe because that pretty grass is really glass?
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Do the glass baubles in this tank look like fish heads to you? More importantly, do they look like fish heads to the fish?
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The critters were in saucy moods: we saw seals racing; otters playing; rays picking on a fledgling skate; penguins um, er,’fighting’; a splashy puffin:
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a chilled-out starfish:
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and a hilarious octopus who was obviously entertaining himself by teasing the gawping tourists: he’d hide off in the corner of his tank, nearly invisible among rocks, and then SPROING! He’d jump out and splay himself against the glass. He really seemed to be having fun.
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Yeah, I’m anthropomorphizing, but man–he was making me laugh!

Hey, you think you hate doing windows? Try doing them in scuba gear, in a tank full of sharks:
Remind me to add \"doesn\'t do windows\" to my resume!

And, best for last, my favorites: the jellyfish! They seem so serene as they float along, following the circulation of their tanks.
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I could watch them for hours, just hanging there weightless and mostly aimless, occasionally getting up the gumption to motor somewhere, then relaxing back into the float:
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Such tiny, delicate animals, almost structureless, but by no means defenseless:
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Translucent, ethereal creatures, ancient and unchanging:
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And yet with lessons for us, highly-evolved creatures though we may be. You might think that being a faceless, nameless, nearly formless mass of gelatin amongst thousands of identical creatures would condemn you to mindless conformity, but check out this guy:
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Dare to be square, jelly-dude; dare to be square!

Naturally, I had to bring one of these beautiful creatures home. It sits beside the bed, and I watch it floating effortlessly in the dark, until I join it the weightless depths of sleep.
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4 Responses to Newport

  1. CountessZ says:

    Wow!! I love aquariums. Absolutely 100% love them. And like you, I am a big fan of the jellyfish. They are just unbelievable. Tell us more about the one beside your bed. It’s so byoo-tee-ful!

  2. kaizerin says:

    Yeah, the visit made me realize I took a wrong road somewhere; I really should have arranged my life to somehow be in the water every day. I love to swim, I love to be in and near water, and I find sea creatures fascinating. How did that manage to NOT add up to a career path to me?

    When I was in high school, we had 6 gym units per year and one year, I took swimming for 4 of the 6. Eventually, Wags (ahem, Mr. Wagner, the swim coach and class teacher)stopped making me do the basic competancy tests, as long as I actively participated in the lessons. He would also let us do “free swim” on Fridays, which meant “not getting my hair wet” for most of the girls, and “bring toys!” for me. That was the only year I didn’t thoroughly hate gym.

    I’m not ignoring your request for info on my pet jelly; I’m waiting ’til tonight so I can get some other photos to show you.

  3. kaizerin says:

    PS: I’ve now added a pool to the courtyard of the Dream Duplex. Shall we glass it in and have a pool/greenhouse complex? Year-round swimmin’!

  4. CountessZ says:

    I am totally in favor of the pool/greenhouse and year-round swimming. I know how you feel about water. It is one of the things that makes me hate living in Philadelphia. The best I can do is a gross, polluted river. Not good. I am the girl who grew up in the land of 10,000 lakes. I was so young when I learned how to swim I don’t remember NOT swimming. Ever. I think you should totally go back to school and become a mermaid marine biologist.

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