Ah! The coast! I couldn't even stand it. We went through the beautiful Tillamook Forest and spent some time with Marcus' lovely friend Amber. We explored a little around her cute little house in the forest, and then headed into Tillamook itself... a town well known for its cheese.
This was the Blue Heron, and specialized in brie. So that was yummy. Lots of samples and cute little gifts.
And the cheese factory! With samples to spare. We went through the line twice. And we bought fudge. And ice cream. I gained 5 pounds before we left.
And I just like this picture.
So then we headed down the coast toward Newport where my cousin Russ lives (he's in the Coast Guard and is stationed there).
My first views of the ocean. I melted. I love it.
So the first place Russ took us was to the tidepools. We had to walk over this smooth lava rock that was really hard to walk on. But it was very cool. So when the tide is high this area is covered. But when it recedes, it leaves little pools of water caught between the rocks that act as home to all kinds of life.
Looking back toward the rocks.
Looking out into the ocean.
The anemones and starfish and mussels.
When you touch an anemone, they grab hold of your finger. I squealed. The boys laughed. Rude.
We hiked back up the stairs and to the point where we saw the lighthouse and this rock covered in sea birds. It was windy and cold.
Then we went to the downtown area to grab some clam chowder for dinner and to see the sea lions. They can be loud. And they get annoyed with one another and start barking. Russ said they are kind of annoying sometimes.
Russ also took us on a quick tour of his station and the boats he drives. Definitely cool.
This was the bridge you could see from the station.
We also watched a video about Surfman Training. Russ is a Surfman, which means he can pilot boats when the waves are really rough. Comes in handy in that area.
This is one of the oldest boats and only 1 of 2 in existence of its size.
The men check out the mechanics of it all. Because they're men.
We went back to the house. Dinner was wonderful...and Russ's 2 daughters thought Marcus was pretty awesome. We enjoyed our time with them quite a bit.
And then we played "Ticket to Ride" before heading home.