Oct 112016

Michael says I need to adjust my expectations for things now that we have a baby. Probably good advice. Over the weekend we went to Hood River with Bella and Logan–our first big family trip. We booked it over a month ago as a getaway, a family trip and an excuse to pick up our case of wine from Cathedral Ridge for our quarterly member pickup. And it took a ridiculous  amount of time to pack everything and the car and hit the road AND we had to pack a ridiculous amount of stuff for one weekend away! I certainly need to get used to THAT fact for sure.

So…four hours later, we finally arrived (it’s only an hour drive from Portland). 😉

We booked a little house in Hood River that was about 5 minutes from a few of our favorite wineries. The location of the house was perfect! So close to wine tasting, close to downtown Hood River and on the Fruit Loop.



We were a little early for check-in on the house so we went to Cathedral Ridge to pick up our wine and I got to do a little wine tasting! (We went to Cathedral Ridge back in August and I think that was the first time we’d been wine tasting in almost 2 years!) I was really looking forward to this!



Since we’re members we got to do our tasting in a different room (less crowded–mega benefit right there!), we got a tasting plate to pair with the wines and we could basically try anything we wanted. I’m glad we did because we ended up swapping out the Zinfandel for a Barbera Reserve that was fantastic!


After the tasting we hung out outside for a little bit and enjoyed the early Fall sunshine and warmth. Logan was doing great and not too fussy or bored.


After that we went to the house and got unpacked and settled and then Michael walked a few blocks to pick up take out Mexican food for dinner.



I ate almost half of my burrito but it was really big! The Mexican food was just ok–nothing outstanding but it had good veggies inside. We called it an early night because we were both tired and I had been sick earlier in the week and still wasn’t feeling fantastic.


Sunday we got up and Michael made us breakfast as I planned out our day. The Fruit Loop/Wine tasting map that you get anywhere in Hood River is super helpful and makes it easy to plan your day! It’s like a 35 mile loop through the mountains and valley in Hood River with spectacular views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, the hills across the river and the rolling farms in the area. It’s so scenic and you can do it year round–either in berry season in the summer, or go in the spring to see the wildflowers and be sure to stop at the Lavender farms! Or in the fall where you can either pick or buy apples and pears.


We got an early start to our day. We made it to our first stop at 11 at the Packard Orchard Stand and Bakery.

They had stuff set up in front for the kids, which we of course took advantage of! Logan’s first Halloween! I was so excited to take the obligatory pumpkin patch pictures. 🙂 He was a good sport, even if he didn’t really smile much. He seemed kind of confused and just curious about everything we saw.





We took Bella with us and left her in the car for the stops along the way that were not pet-friendly. The Fruit Loop/Winery Map does a good job listing out where dogs are welcome and where they aren’t. (Basically if it’s a farm with animals they don’t want you to bring your dog out of the car.)

The Packard Orchard stand had a bunch of samples. I tried a few of their jams and jellies and they had some cookie samples. Mmmm good!


After that we went to a few other fruit stand and then ended up at another Packard Orchard one but this one was bigger and had a pumpkin patch and tons of stuff for kids! Logan was too young, obviously, but we had some fun taking pumpkin pictures! He seemed to like it.

There was a corn maze, too, but it was really muddy so we skipped that. The pumpkin patch looked fun. I’ve never actually picked my own pumpkin. A few years ago Michael and I went to Sauvie’s Island and did a corn maze and it was really fun! When Logan is older it will be an experience we’ll have again for sure. But I do remember that one was REALLY crowded. The ones in Hood River were more low-key.


The Packard Orchard had sooo many yummy treats you could buy. Cookies, caramel corn, any baked good you can think of…all made there and from their fruits. I had way too many samples of everything and it tasted so good. In the end Michael and I split this amazing apple cider donut that was made right in front of us:


It was so delicious! Michael said it was good but he wished it was kind of greasy and fatty like donuts usually are. I kinda liked that it wasn’t greasy. It tasted fresh and perfect and I could trick myself into thinking it was healthy. 😉

I’ll write more about our outing in the next post.

Jan 022013

Long ago, I used to make monthly goals and post them here. I was usually pretty successful in my goals and accomplished (most of) what I set out to do each month. I think the biggest component of that success was choosing goals that were realistic and attainable. If I made a goal of “lose 5 pounds this month” I would not achieve that because I don’t really have 5 pounds to lose. My body seems to like where it is at and I rarely see a loss on the scale anymore. Yay for maintaining!

Despite that success, I stopped doing monthly goals in 2012. Part of the reason was that I chose to do the 32 Things List. While that was (mostly) fun, it was also a lot of pressure to have a huge list of things to accomplish in a year. I realized I preferred the monthly goals better, so I’m bringing it back for 2013!

 January Goals

1. Limit alcohol intake to 1-2 nights a week only.

2. Go snowshoeing (if knees allow).

3. Focus on positive emotional health: thinking positive, ignoring negativity, and work on being HAPPY!

I chose these specific goals because two of them are timely. I would really love to be able to snowshoe a lot in January and February and I hope my knees allow that. The physical therapy I was doing for months seemed to improve my situation; unfortunately it didn’t cure it completely. Time will tell. I may be limited in the miles I can run for a long time.

The alcohol goal is just a continuation of the goal I made to myself after Thanksgiving. Limiting the liquid calories is a pretty easy thing for me to do and I think it will help the weight loss goal as well!

Another January tradition I’m bring back is the “work out at home” a few times a week. The gym is always flooded with new people January 1st. I’m happy people are trying to get healthy and lose weight, but I’m less happy about the small percentage of those people who ignore common sense and etiquette. Those people make the gym experience miserable. So I just start doing some home workouts to save my sanity.

First Workout of 2013!

My first workout of 2013 was on Mount Hood! Michael and I headed up to the mountain on New Year’s Day to go snowshoeing for the first time of the season. I was nervous how my knees would hold up. I was anxious that we’d drive 90 minutes up to the mountain and two steps in I’d be riddled with pain and we’d have to turn around. Thankfully, that was not the case.

It was a GORGEOUS day on Mt. Hood! The sun was out, the weather was nice and crisp, the snow was fresh. It was picture perfect up there.

We went to White River to go snowshoeing. It was a new-to-us place and on the other side of the mountain from where we usually go. I didn’t want to do Trillium Lake because that’s where we usually go and I was honestly worried about the big hill at the end of the trail. I didn’t think my knees would like that much. What I read about White River was that it was a popular place for sledding, but if you kept going it wasn’t that crowded. That was most definitely true.

Robyn's Birthday

The entire trail was facing the beauty of the mountain and it was the perfect backdrop for a picture. Someone needs to paint this. 🙂

Robyn's Birthday

Because of the perfect weather and holiday, the place was packed with families enjoying their holiday and sledding with the kids. It was super cute to watch. Parking was packed but we had no issue finding a spot in the huge lot. The only complaint: the line for the bathrooms was a mile long. Other than that, it was a great place even on a crowded day.

We got our shoes on and with a few stops to make adjustments, we were on our way. It was freakin’ cold up there–I think about 21 degrees (which is nothing compared to the 11 degree day a few years ago). I mistakenly put on way too many layers and about 5 minutes in I had to take off the gloves and jacket. When will I learn? I ALWAYS get too hot.

Robyn's Birthday

The snow was magnificent, soft and fresh and shimmering like diamonds. I am so glad my camera was able to capture even a fraction of how glittery it was.

Robyn's Birthday

The trail had a lower part and then up on the ridge in the tree line for whichever you picked. We went the low route. Again, I was being safe with my knees. I’d wrapped them up like crazy beforehand and that helped a lot. We trudged along and passed other snowshoers and some cross-country skiiers. Lots of them had adorable dogs who were loving the snow. It was cute to see them frolicking.

Robyn's Birthday

Michael ran up and down the side of a hill, I was a party-pooper and stayed on the trail for the most part. I was much more concerned with having a successful snowshoe hike with zero pain and I didn’t want to tempt the gods.

Robyn's Birthday Robyn's Birthday

The trail goes along side the river, which was mostly hidden but had some sections where you could see the fairly fast-moving water. Because the entire valley was covered in a thick, mostly undisturbed snow mound, it was hard to tell where the river actually flowed. We stayed on the trail as much as possible since neither of us new the area very well.


We trekked along the trail at the base and then turned a corner and went up on the small ridge. The tree-line was nice and there was a bunch of different trails we could have taken. I felt like I was so close to the mountain I could reach out and touch it.

Robyn's Birthday

The decision was made that it was probably time to turn around. The sun was starting to dip behind the trees and neither of us wanted to be on the mountain in the dark.

The hike back to the parking lot was easier and slightly downhill. About half a mile from the trailhead my hip started to hurt but thankfully neither of my knees gave me any trouble on the trip. I was really, really happy about that!

Who is that creep in the background?!?! He looks like a total psycho lurking in the woods. 😉

Robyn's Birthday

We made it back to the car in no time at all, spent a good 15 minutes getting out of our snow gear, eating pickles and homemade Chex mix as a snack and then we said goodbye to a lovely day to drive home. I don’t know how many miles we did–I’m guess around 2 or 2.5?


Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone else on the mountain had decided to leave at the same time, too, and the one lane road down the mountain was a parking lot. We’ve been stuck in that before and it’s not fun. Michael decided to turn around and go down the other side of the mountain. The drive down from Government Camp is a scary one in the dark and neither of us wanted to sit in traffic for hours. Driving the other way was 39 miles out of the way, but neither of us had ever gone that way before so it was a nice change. The traffic was slow because the roads weren’t as clear, but at least it was moving.

The above picture was an accident we drove by. It was really scary. The car was upside down. I’m hoping that since we didn’t see ambulance or police or lots of remnants on the accident that everyone involved was okay! I really really hope so because it was scary to see. PSA: drive safely in snow and ice!!

Taking 35 dumped us out in Hood River and we decided to stop at Double Mountain Brewery for dinner. I got the Hop Lava IPA (it was dang tasty) and we ordered the pizza with capicola and Mama Lil’s hot peppers. The pizza was really good. It was a bit chewier than I’m used to but the crust was thin and smokey just like Apizza Scholl’s.

Robyn's Birthday


I ate two slices and we hung out for a little while to relax before driving back to Portland. Double Mountain was packed to the rafters with people, 90% of them also wearing snow gear. It was a good little spot to rest, eat and drink after playing in the snow. I definitely recommend it!

I also highly recommend White River. It would be an especially perfect place for a newbie snowshoer. There wasn’t anything too strenuous about the hike, there were tons of people there in case anything happened, and it was beautiful! Don’t forget your camera!

QUESTION: What are your goals for this year/month? What was your first workout of the year?