Rainy Day Women Takes on New Meaning in Newport, Oregon

Pier in Newport Oregon

Selling fish at Newport Pier in Oregon

Rainy Day Women #12 and #35 sprang to mind yesterday when the calendar rolled over to July 1, that long-awaited date many Oregonians have anticipated, that day when possessing and growing small amounts of marijuana became legal. Granted, you still can’t buy it anywhere without a medical prescription but at least they can’t bust you for possessing pot and throw you in jail. We celebrated July 1 in a different way, though, and drove from Yachats to Newport, Oregon, along Highway 101.

Newport Pier in Oregon

Crab pots on Newport Pier in Oregon

Turns out the original Mo’s restaurant is located in Newport. So, even though we passed on the Mo’s restaurant in Florence, Oregon, we decided to give this one a try. It was pure tourist all the way, families with little kids screaming sitting on hard benches tucked next to wood tables. Artists in the area had gifted artwork depicting the restaurant that hung on the walls, and at least there weren’t any of those horrible families of yellow-jacketed ducks we’ve seen all over the place.

Newport Pier in Oregon

Elizabeth Weintraub at Newport Pier in Oregon

An older sister turned to her two squawking siblings to warn: Only one of you can win the contest of who can keep quiet the longest. I’ll have to remember that line because they both immediately shut up, stopped fidgeting and with downcast eyes and sad little turned-down grins stared at the wooden table in silence.

Newport Pier Gift Shops

Mother warns her child not to touch anything at the Newport Pier gift shops

The healthiest thing on the menu seemed to be Mo’s famous cabbage and bay shrimp, tossed with mayonnaise because everything tastes better with mayonnaise. I also ordered the pan seared and lightly breaded Alaskan cod with a side of grilled green beans. We blew up a few Ingress portals and captured them while we waited for our food.

After lunch, it was time to cruise the gift shops. I hate to say this, but why does everything have to cost $8,000? It’s not that I couldn’t buy it, but I couldn’t justify spending $8,000 on something I don’t really need. Perhaps it’s my Minnesota upbringing, common sense sort of thing, speaking to me, I don’t know. But when I was in the Mike Carroll Gallery in Linai City, Hawaii, last winter, I had felt myself pulled toward a painting at the back of the gallery. It was almost floor-to-ceiling, an ocean scene, from an artist based in Montana. Each brush stroke bounced the light. It was magnificent. I still think about that piece and it, too, cost $8,000.

Bridge in Newport Oregon

View of Newport, Oregon, and bridge

In one gift shop, we encountered a five-foot seahorse I fell in love with. It was made from bronze and cast marble. The artist is from Australia. Price tag: $8,000. I stroked it, petted it, admired it and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Of course, it is HUGE and probably too large for our home, and I have to remind myself that we still have a 5-point, shoulder-mounted elk head sitting on our family room floor.

Sea Nettles Jellyfish

Sea Nettles Jellyfish at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Since we didn’t buy the seahorse, off we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for the remainder of the afternoon. There were dozens of Ingress portals, all green when we arrived, turned all blue by the time we departed. In between, there was a giant octopus, which meant there was something behind the Octopus’ Garden song after all. Turns out there really is an octopus garden. It is cast off shells, the remains of whatever an octopus eats.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Elizabeth Weintraub checking email on her iPad at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

We toured the seabird aviary of puffins and murres, the rocky shores, sandy shores, coastal waters, viewed sea otters, harbor seals and sea lions. One of my favorite types of exhibits, though, are the jelly fish. We saw jellyfish in Seattle and also the Monterey Aquarium, yet I never tire of watching them. Jellyfish are also viewed live and in person right off the Newport Pier, of all places, hundreds of moon jellies. Newport, Oregon is such a magical place! Even without it’s history-making getting high is legal day.

Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub and Adam Weintraub

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