PSALM 104:34

May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Today we did a quick tour of Seattle.  Basically, the Space Needle, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, and the Pike Place Market.  We're staying near the airport, so the ride in took about 45 minutes and we got to use the Light Rail and the Monorail.  The monorail was built along with the Space Needle for the 1962 World Fair.  The theme of the fair that year was space, hence the "space" needle.  The day was nice, and the warmest we've had yet!

View of the Space Needle from the Monorail station.

 I really enjoy Chihuly's art.  It is all large scale installation blown glass.  He makes "gardens" and "ocean scenes."  Allen and I have both seen his work before in Indianapolis, but this is the largest collection we've come across.

I  loved this display, it was in a dark room, the floor is mirrored so the installation looks doubled, and soft classical music tinkles softly in the background.

After the gardens, we walked across the street to the Space Needle and lunch.  We almost didn't get to eat in the revolving restaurant because of all the reservations I had made for this trip, this was the one that was messed up!  We really had been debating about the merits of even eating there at all...its expensive, and reviews online were mixed.  But when they told us our reservations were not for today, I immediately knew I would be sad if we didn't get to go up and eat!  Luckily, they got us in.  The restaurant is pretty amazing, it looks very 1960's, but not in a run down way.  The revolutions are slow, once every 45 minutes or so,  I was worried about being sick by spinning around and eating at the same time, but you can barely tell you're moving.  The scenery just slowly turns beneath you.

The views were spectacular and the food was good.  Probably not as good as the amount we paid for it!  Lol! But, good none-the-less.   We had an appetizer of mussels and oysters which was my favorite part of the meal, then Allen ordered fish and chips and I ordered crab mac and cheese.  We sat and ate and enjoyed the view for about 2 hours.  It was a relatively clear day and we could see all the way to Mount Baker, the most Northern peak of the Cascade Mountains.  Our waiter told us it is on the border of Canada and about 3 hours drive from Seattle.  We also enjoyed beautiful views of Mount Ranier and the rest of the Cascade Mountain range.  To our West, the Olympia Mountain range was also beautiful and imposing.    

Mount Ranier and downtown Seattle
We took our very full selves down to the Pike Place Market this afternoon.  It's awesome, a huge open air market selling anything you can think of, but specializing in fresh fish...and the original Starbucks!

Waiting in line for Starbucks!

Double shot espresso!


Yesterday we said goodbye to the wild, cold Pacific.  I had loved it and miss it already.

Cape Meare's Lighthouse, our final viewpoint of the coast.

Driving east we came to Portland around lunch time.  Let me just say, Portland's roads are crazy.  We both loved the town, it was very beautiful and the downtown area where we ate lunch looked like it would be fun to explore, but our GPS gave us about 20 turns getting off the highway and to a little sandwhich shop I had found online.  Then when leaving later to head to Seattle, there was literally about 30 turns and instructions to get back on!  At one point we were in a double lane on ramp and we came to a flashing red light and each lane would flash alternately.  I didn't get it, but Allen said "its getting us back to a single lane!"  He thought that was funny...and low a behold, he was right.  In about 20 feet we were back to a single lane.

In Portland, we went to a sandwhich shop called Bunk, and also to the Japanese and rose gardens.  

Bunk was a tiny little sandwich shop, we were proud of ourselves for actually finding it!

The Japanese garden was beautiful, quiet and green.

Beautiful view of Mt. Hood from the gardens.

After the Japanese garden we went to the International Rose Test Garden.  It is free and completely open to the public.  The garden began in 1917 because a group of Portland nurserymen were worried about the roses in Europe during WWI.  As we walked down the steps from our car into the 4.5 acre tiered hill, we did not expect how dazzling the garden would be.  Its hard to describe, there are thousands of roses, everywhere you look, they blanket the hillside.

The pictures do not do it justice.  If you are ever near Portland, you must take the time to visit.  

Cape Perpetua

Yesterday we drove up the Oregon coast from Bandon to Garibaldi.  We loved it.  The Oregon coast is very different than that of the Northern California.  The cities are much more clean and the road is easier to drive...they're different.  We loved Oregon, but don't be offended my California friends.  CA did have it's draw as well. :)

Other than driving, we spent most of our day at a state park called Cape Perpetua.  When we got there, we went to the visitor's center to ask for directions and the ranger told us that really, it was not the greatest day to visit the park.  It was foggy so views were limited, and the low tide was not going to be very low...we were momentarily disappointed.  With only hours to explore, we worried that we had come all this way just to be disenchanted.  But when we walked down the short trail, through the tunnel under the highway and emerged onto the beach, we were anything was amazing and gorgeous and probably one of my favorite places in the world...  

It is an unforgiving landscape...a black rock beach, difficult to walk on, you had to be very careful not to twist your ankle or fall and scrape yourself on the sharp and unforgiving shards.  The waves smash the edge of the rock and its not even tempting to get too close to the edge.  If you fell in, you would be crushed against the rock before you could ever find a hand or foothold to climb out.  

The receding waves left tidepools with small sea creatures stranded for our delighted discovery.  I think this is why the ranger told us it was a bad day to visit.  When the tide is lower, the small animals are more plentiful and I think you can often see starfish and sea urchins.  We did not see these, but what we did see was enough.  

The other thing that was so amazing about Cape Perpetua, and actually the whole Oregon Coast, is that the forest is yards away from the beach.  We left the shore for a mile walk inland in order to see a giant spruce tree.  The walk felt like jungle as the cold wind of the coast hit the slightly warmer air inland.  Giant ferns, ivy and clover cover the ground and every tree is cloaked in heavy moss.  With the fog rolling in behind us, I felt like we were walking through a scene from Jurassic Park.   

Roots of the Spruce

I was really sad to leave Cape Perpetua and would love to return someday.  It was a place so different that its difficult to describe and a memory I will cherish for a long time.

Miles on down the road to Garibaldi we stopped for some fun dinner at a little dive in Newport.  It was my favorite type of place!  People were lined up out the door, it was simple, and good!  Allen had a crab sandwhich and I had fried oysters.  I wanted the oysters because we had seen so many at the cape earlier...I knew they must be fresh!  I also slurped an oyster shooter.  Basically a raw oyster in hot sauce...I swallowed it whole pretty much.  It was spicy and oceany.

Ah! Oyster shooter!

 We ended the day in the Tillamook/Garibaldi area.  Its very rural...dairy farm meets the ocean.  A funny combination, but it works!  I'd love to live here.  A Tillamook Cheese factory tour fixed our sweet took with fresh ice cream.

Finally, we made it to our hotel and went for a short walk around the bay's small port, admiring the ships and marveling at how they must brave those crazy, scary waves we had stayed far back away from earlier in the day on the tide pools.  

This guy was mounted on the bow of a ship.  We laughed because it takes someone about that brave to take on the waves!