As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. Because she’s currently between troops (for reasons I won’t go into here), she’s taking this journey over the summer with us, and our Oregon Coast trip was a big part of it.
After leaving Astoria, we drove down to Seaside to visit the Seaside Aquarium. The aquarium is small and easy to miss. It can’t compare in size or scope to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, but it features one activity that its larger cousin lacks.
You can buy fish and feed the seals.
The seals are smart and like to show off, one-upping each other with cute tricks to get attention. Clapping, jumping, rolling on their backs—each seal has a unique trick.
After we fed the seals, we walked through the rest of the aquarium. Anna’s favorite part was the touch pools, where she and other kids could learn about the various creatures that live in the tide pools along the Oregon Coast.
A volunteer stood behind the two touch tanks, pointing out the various creatures and answering questions from both kids and adults. We all learned a lot about mollusks, clams, sand dollars, sea cucumbers, anemones, and many other animals native to Oregon’s coastal waters.
We wanted to visit the beach while we were in Seaside, but it was far too windy so we stopped by the Seaside Carousel Mall instead. The mall boasts one of the most unusual carousels I’ve ever seen.
Not just horses, but reindeer, rabbits, bears, sea horses, cats, dogs, pigs, and more—a menagerie of carousel animals. After three rides, we explored the various shops, including Mostly Hats, the most wonderful hat store we’d ever visited. After trying on every silly hat we could find, Anna picked out a bright multi-colored fedora that’s totally her.
From Seaside we drove south in search of a beach. After getting lost in Cannon Beach, and giving up on finding a route to the shoreline that wasn’t blocked to public access, we finally stumbled across Hug Point.
The sandy stretch gave us a nice place to enjoy the ocean air and dig in the sand, before we drove down to Garibaldi to spend the night. The next day would take us to a cheese factory, a lighthouse, an octopus tree, and a pottery studio, plus more ocean views, and seabirds by the millions as we continued our trip down the coast toward Newport.
(To be continued …)
Photos of the Seaside Aquarium © 2005 by Julia M. Ozab. All other photos © 2014 by Julia Ozab.