The flight to Portland went well if you don't count the screaming babies. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about the toddler seated immediately behind us who's vocabulary consisted only of "mama," "no," and "waaah," and coordination skills seemed only linked to kicking and jumping. Other than that, our flight went well.
Upon viewing the countless street lights scattered for miles around Portland, Feda and I agreed that we were definitely rustics in the big city. We arrived at PDX around 9:45pm where my Uncle and Aunt met us on their way down from Puyallup, Washington.
Uncle Paul drove us down to Corvallis, about a two hour drive south of Portland, while Aunty Jean pointed out all the factory outlet malls and neat-O places of interest along the way. It was terrific just to be there driving through all the pine and even more interesting to see all the big rigs and trucks coursing down the highway at midnight. Wow!
We headed out to Newport on our second day, courtesy of my wonderful uncle and aunt. Newport is about 45 miles west of Corvallis, a nice little seaside town where obviously fishing and crabbing has an important economic and social role. Feda and I were able to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The aquarium boasts a jellyfish exhibit with big, small, transparent, colorful specimen. The volunteer manning one of the habitats mentioned to me that one of the Sea Otters attempted his own "Great Escape" the previous week by using a piece of rock to bash at one of the glass walls. They caught him in the act and gave him "a long time out."
The Hatfield center is home to research projects involving Oregon State University's Marine Science department. There is a visitor's center where they have ecology related exhibits featuring local marine ecosystems. One aquarium housing a reef and kelp forest habitat interested me particularly because it was home to a pair of giant Abalone. I'd never seen live abalone before and didn't think they'd be quite that large. They look like the illustrations on the cans of abalone-like shellfish but damn, they're huge!
Feda and I were able to take a bunch of pictures of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and Lighthouse. Oh yes, my Uncle and Aunt are kickass tourguides and I've learned to take advantage of their enthusiasm for sightseeing.
We shared a quick lunch at the Newport Wendy's where we noticed that all the meal combos are at least $1 less than in Hawaii, they have Mr. Pibb instead of Dr. Pepper and free drink refills!
more to follow - soon.