Jul 202015
 

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My weekend was spent with family and friends, good food and drink, and the calm and peaceful world of farm life. Look at those gorgeous horses!

It was my family reunion! It’s been happenin’ since 1981 on my aunt’s farm not far from Salem, Oregon. Out in the country. We packed up our camping gear (which sadly hasn’t been used for a few years) and dropped Bella off at the dog walker’s house for the weekend. Bella was having her own little weekend getaway with her boyfriend Raja! Check out this photo:

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Amy said she caught them smoochin! So adorable. Raja looks pretty proud of himself and Bella looks a little guilty. :)

My aunt’s farm is huge and two families have been meeting there in July for the last 34 years for a weekend of festivities and catching up. Most of my happy childhood memories revolve around this weekend and this place. Running around unsupervised as a kid, swimming in the river, playing flashlight tag in the dark, trying to avoid your parents so they don’t make you go to bed when you just want to stay up and play!

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That tree was planted in 1997 in memory of my grandpa. It’s so huge now! My aunt’s house is an old farmhouse that they’ve been adding on to over the years.

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They recently added on a new section of the house (which is so weird to see) and they uncovered some old newspapers from behind the walls! This one is dated October 1899!!! How cool is that?!

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They also discovered an old letter that someone had written that had somehow fallen between a wall, too. Looks like it was written in 1912.

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And here is the long shot of the newspapers:

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Here is the barn:

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As kids we spent so much time in that barn! Jumping down from the loft into the soft hay. Playing games and hanging out. Aww so many memories!

Everyone camps in the hazelnut orchard. Over the years some people have graduated to RVs, but we’re all still camping together. It’s so much fun.

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Friday afternoon Michael and I arrived and set up our tent next to family that flew up from Texas. The furthest anyone has ever traveled for the reunion is England. Most of the family is from Washington and Oregon, though, and a few from California.

Here is my cousin Adam with his new boot courtesy of Michael! :)

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Friday night my aunt and uncle grilled up brats and burgers. There was potato salad and baked beans for dinner. It just felt so good to be with family and unplug for a weekend, hanging out in nature. Friday night we built a bonfire (very carefully because everything is so dry in Oregon this summer) and hung out drinking and chatting and making s’mores.

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It’s so cool to watch the “next generation” experience the fun. It’s like I get to relive my own childhood watching them running around. I went to bed a little earlier than usual Friday night (11:30). I was really glad that Michael brought our solar-powered tiki torches from our backyard. He set them up around our tent and made it so much easier to find our tent in the dark!

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Saturday morning I woke up a bit early–that tends to happen when camping. I just wake up with the sun. I laced up my shoes and Michael and I went for a run. We’ve got a 5k coming up in a month and I wouldn’t say that I’m actually “ready” for it…the back injury set back my training a month. :(

It was early but already starting to get warm out. We ran down the country road and into the little town nearby and ran by the river.

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We did a little bit more walking than running, honestly. Run a little but, walk a lot, run a bit, walk. We made a loop and ran by some giant cows (longhorns) and then by this old country church:

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Then back to the house. It was a good little run and I was glad I got my butt up to do it while on vacation! Here are our stats:

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Not too shabby. There were muffins and pastries and coffee for breakfast. I had half a muffin and some fruit. I should have brought some more “real” food and was kicking myself all weekend for only bringing snacky stuff. Thankfully my cousin Kristin shared some of her stuff with me! I was dying. I had two mini bagels, one with cream cheese and one with hummus and cucumbers. Delish.

I was sweaty and gross and REALLY HOT. Saturday was going to be a really hot day. Me and a few of my cousins changed into our swimsuits and walked down to the river to go swimming. It felt so good to “wash” the sweat off. :)

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The bad news: our “usual” spot at the river is no longer accessible. The new owners didn’t want us cutting through their field to walk to the river where we’ve swam for 34 years. :( It was such a bummer. But one of my aunt’s friends up the street offered their swimming hole which was so generous! It was an easier walk, too, on the road and not very far. Then just a few rickety, steep staircases down to the river and we were in the secluded spot!

The water felt fantastic. I love swimming. :) We swam for about an hour and then walked back. Soon it was lunchtime and then the SCAVENGER HUNT!

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Jul 142015
 

On Saturday I hit the gym early for some reason. It wasn’t crowded, which was nice. I did weights (I’ve been adding pull-ups and chin-ups to my routine lately!), my physical therapy exercises and body weight exercises and then went for a run on the treadmill. It was one of those runs that was FABULOUS. Where I didn’t feel the need to walk, that I felt like I was too slow and sped up the treadmill and my legs just wanted to RUN. It was a fantastic 2.75 miles and then I walked down the stairs in the gym and all of a sudden my knees were like “we are not HAPPY!!!!” It wasn’t good. :( Despite that my knees were doing okay, as long as I didn’t go down any stairs…I burned 646 calories! Wowza.

Michael and I went to the Mississippi Street Fair next. It’s been about two years, I think, since we’ve been. Of all the street fairs in Portland it’s my favorite. I like the vibe and there’s a bunch of different stages with different kinds of music playing. It’s always crowded, so be prepared. This year it wasn’t quite as crowded as it was in the past, so it was slightly easier to walk up and down the street checking out the booths.
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First stop: LUNCH. We decided to bag street food and went straight to a restaurant. Little Big Burger. It’s been a really long time since I’ve been there. I like that the burgers are not ginormous. I got a cheeseburger and we split an order of their AMAZING to-die-for truffle fries.

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We wandered around and saw some of the booths (lots of arts and crafts and jewelry) and there was music everywhere. I’m not sure what this instrument is but it was fascinating to watch.

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Does your cat need a bowtie? I think it might! I almost got Fat Kitty a bowtie (this photo kinds of looks like him!) but I knew he’s never let me put it on him and would either a) give me the grumpy cat face or b) immediately take it off and destroy it in a rage. :)

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We walked around a little bit and met up with some friends. Our friends that came over for the 4th of July were hanging out doing the kid stuff (bouncy house) so we hung out with them for a little bit.

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Michael got two t-shirts and I got one (I will wear the shirt soon and post a photo–it’s so Portland). I ALMOST got a Sasquatch bumper sticker. Almost.

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We left our friends and met up with some other friends, who also have a daughter the same age as Rowan (2.5). It’s such an adorable age. We walked up and down the length of Mississippi with them and looked at the booths (she got a Kimchi Hot Dog for lunch which really fascinated me–I might need to try that combo soon). I bought a jar of kimchi from the hot dog vendor (can’t wait to eat it!). Then we ended up at Ecliptic Brewery.

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It was a cool, modern, high-ceiling and concrete floor and walls kind of a place with a ton of outdoor seating. Our friends ordered some food and drinks. The Orbiter IPA was a really smooth, balanced IPA. It SMELLED like a super strong, hoppy, intense bouquet of citrus and it smelled like it was going to be a face punch IPA, but once you took a drink it wasn’t like that. It was very mellow, which was kind of odd. Our friends shared their appetizer order of deviled eggs with us. They were topped with a sardine, which I didn’t eat. They assured me that it was the best part but…yeah, no thanks. I love deviled eggs, though!

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After hanging out drinking and talking at Ecliptic we realized it was pretty late in the day and walked back to the cars. Check out Charla’s super awesome cobalt blue shoe in this picture:

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Somehow it seems fitting with the Willy Wonka quote and I don’t know why. :)

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Sunday

I went back to yoga!!!

I hadn’t been since March when my back went out. One of the moves that hurt the WORST with my whole back issue was downward dog. As I continued with my healing and did physical therapy, downward dog was still something I couldn’t do at all. It was a benchmark for me. I periodically checked to see if I could do the stretch and for months and month, not at all.

I decided recently it was time to give it a try again. I tried downward dog at the gym one day as a stretch and didn’t have the immediate, searing pain in my low back so thought¬†hmmm, maybe it’s better?¬†I decided on Sunday I’d give it a go, with the caveat that if it hurt, I’d leave the class. I warmed up with the elliptical and then went to yoga class.

I spent the majority of the class subbing child’s pose for downward dog. I did to downward dog a few times in class, and it was just fine!! But I defaulted to child’s pose just to be safe. The rest of class went really well and I was able to do most of the stretches in class and I was SHOCKED to find that my balance hadn’t decreased after months off. I’m guessing that the combination between doing the One Leg Romanian Deadlift for my knees and all the core work I do with physical therapy for my back have maintained my balance (thank goodness!).

There were a few rotations in a lunge that felt not fabulous but overall it was a great class.

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After class Michael and I went and saw Jurassic World! I was so looking forward to seeing it. I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the original, of course, but I had high hopes. Then…I started hearing from people it wasn’t great. I was disappointed and dragged my feet in seeing the movie but we finally had a free afternoon so I caved.

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How was the movie? It was okay. It was fast-paced and had some exciting moments. There were definitely a lot of cheesy moments that made you groan but they’d switch gears pretty quickly so you didn’t have time to dwell on the cheesy for too long. Overall it was a decent action movie. Just don’t try to compare it to the original too much and you’ll enjoy it.

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