We drove out to the coast again. After hours on Interstate 5 and then smaller highways weaving through the stubbly, clear-cut hills, it was a relief to see the Pacific again when we reached Newport. We quickly found a room at the Shilo Inn, which had a fabulous view overlooking Newport’s enormous beach. From our room, we could see a few people, tiny as ants, traversing the vast expanse of sand, bordered between a scrubby hill and the gentle surf. I completely failed to get a photo of this. So, I present, instead, some horses from the previous morning at the treehouse place.

After checking in, and settling in a bit, we went out in search of a restaurant with a view of the ocean, so we could watch the sun set as we ate dinner. You’d think it would be easy to find this, but you’d be wrong. There were few apparent restaurants in Newport with a nice view of the sea. We finally found the Best Western hotel’s on-site restaurant, which had a partially obstructed view. The atmosphere was dismal, and the food was forgettable. Driving around town later, eventually finding an all-night Safeway grocery store was actually much more fun.

Ok, I didn’t entirely fail to get a picture of Newport’s beach, but I did fail to get a picture I liked. After we went back to the hotel, I grabbed my camera to take some night shots of the beach, but I struggled because the hotels had huge flood lights aimed at the beach. These threw awkward and unnatural shadows of everything everywhere, and I just couldn’t find an angle that looked good and worked with these shadows.

Anyway, we decided that the next morning, instead of heading up the coast to another beach town, we’d make directly for Seattle. This would give us two nights in the city, and some time to enjoy and explore a little. We drove back inland, and got to Interstate 5 again, and plowed directly up the middle of Oregon, through Salem and Portland, and into Washington State. We got to our Holiday Inn in downtown Seattle around 5. After our usual settling-in routine, we selected a restaurant from among a zillion mouth-watering choices, and made a reservation online. Dinner was great. Laura and I both had wild salmon. It was served on a bed of whipped avocado and grapefruit, of all things. We also had a small dish of wild mushrooms, sauteed in garlic butter. Yum. Later on, we went for a dessert at an artsy cafe/bar.

Now it’s time to sleep. It’s our last full day of the trip tomorrow, and Seattle awaits exploration.