Monday, October 6, 2014

We're Back!

We recently returned from a wonderful and relaxing trip to the west coast. The scenery along the northern California and Oregon coasts was so spectacular that I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos with you!!!

We flew into San Francisco and rented a car. Our first stop was for a few days in the Sonoma Valley. Last year I discovered a wonderful B&B in Healdsburg, and we stayed there again.

About half the grapes had already been harvested, but there were some still on the vines.

One day we drove over to beautiful Bodega Bay.

After leaving Healdsburg, we leisurely headed north, often stopping to enjoy the sights.

Bandon, Oregon was one of our favorite places.

We found the beach in Bandon covered with beautifully colored pebbles.

We quickly discovered that the pebbles are most beautiful when they are wet, so when we got back to our inn, I wet some pebbles we had gathered so we could enjoy their beauty. We want to figure out how to permanently keep them so beautiful.

Here are some more photos we took as we walked along  the beach.

This poor ship ended up nestled among some trees quite a bit from the water, most likely the result of  a very bad storm, or perhaps a tsunami.

Lighthouses dotted the coastline. With the very rocky coast, you can well imagine their importance. Here is one we visited.

Newport is known for its sea lion population.

Our next stop was Depoe Bay, which claims to be the world's smallest harbor. Whales are frequently seen offshore here. In fact, about 10 whales are year-round residents. It was so  much fun to see whales from our window!

Here is a photo taken at sunset our first night.

And here is another taken the following night before dinner.

We continued our drive north towards Astoria, stopping along the way to view the sights, walk along the beaches, etc.

 These next photos were taken at Ecola State Park. The entrance looks like a magical forest.

Perhaps you can spot the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse in the distance on top of the very large rock in the sea. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1957 and is now privately owned. It now serves as a crematorium and is designed to hold the ashes of more than half a million people.

Next we stayed in Astoria. Our hotel was on a pier on the Columbia River in the shadow of this magnificent bridge connecting Oregon and Washington.

We didn't have a lot of time to explore Astoria, but we made it to the Maritime Museum. I'll save the photos we took of some scrimshaw until my next blog post. For now, I'll leave you with  this view of the Columbia, which is a floating lighthouse and part of the museum's collection.

We both agree that this was one of our most relaxing vacations ever. We had no plans other than where we were staying and a couple of dinner reservations.  We simply took each day as it came. We enjoyed our trip so much that we are already thinking about a return trip in the not too distant future.


Marilyn said...

Your trip sounds wonderful.
Glad you had a great time.
Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful pics.

samplerlover said...

Ellen, it looks like you and Tom had a wonderful trip. Beautiful scenery.

MartyG said...

Ellen, that is really great. My husband Steve and I spent 5 nights at Bandon Dunes 3 years ago. It is a golf resort near Bandon. We just loved it there. Well my husband loved the golf. I loved having nothing to do and being able to stitch while looking at the great views. And the coffee. It was the best.

Jackie said...

It sounds like a fabulous trip Ellen! Oregon is one state I'd really like to spend some time visiting. The coast is so different from what I am accustomed to seeing.

Ann said...

Such a beautiful trip--I enjoyed it vicariously through your fantastic photos!

Margaret said...

Looks like a perfect trip to me! I love Northern California and the coast there. I've never been to Oregon and Washington state and would love to go someday. Love seeing all the beautiful scenery. I'm totally envious!!!

Barb said...

I'm so glad you had a great trip to the NW. We love Astoria and have been there several times. We have only been as far South in Oregon as Manzanita. That is just south of Cannon Beach. Beautiful pictures!

Marjo said...

Glad you had a relaxing trip. The pictures are gorgeous.

Teresa S. said...

Oh, Ellen, maybe your next trip could be a "working" vacation.

I'm taking over as education chairman for the Northwest Sampler Guild and would love to have you out here to teach!!

Vickie said...

Wow. You have truly inspired me to take a trip out West. It has many, many years, and we never took the relaxing approach at all. FAB U LOUS

gracie said...

Thank you for taking me the pictures....

Angie said...

When we lived in Oregon while my husband was working with the National Guard we were out exploring almost every weekend. It's a beautiful state.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

What a fun post and a fun trip you two had! I've been out that way before and it was so beautiful. Glad to hear you are planning to go back.

Sharrieboberry said...

Experiment with a glossy polymer coat on a couple of your stones and see if that gives you the look. Thanks for sharing your pics and your trip!

Woolwoman said...

Looks like,a beautiful trip Ellen. Have you ever tried the Tillamook cheddar cheese? Delish! Wonderful to see the photos from your trip. Hugs Mel