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.
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.