Vacation

Weekend on the Water

One of my favorite memories as a younger person was when I drove to Montana (from Portland) by myself to hang out with my friend Rachel. She lived near Glacier National Park and it was very cool and empowering to go on a road trip all by myself (I think I was like 23 or so at the time). I drove for hours in my Buick LeSabre (classy) to Spokane, Washington, spent the night in a motel 6-type place and then the next day drove the rest of the way to see Rachel in Montana. It was a GREAT trip with lots of stories (some we will never share with anyone ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and it was just me on the road with good music and my Road Atlas (yes this was before GPS and smartphones).

(The above photo was me in Montana!)

Over the weekend I got to spend some quality time with my bff Rachel! A few months ago we made plans to have a girl’s weekend somewhere half-way in between Portland and Seattle. I’ve been looking forward to this for months! A weekend away to do girl stuff and recharge…sign me up!

We booked a really adorable guest house on AirBnB. Rachel found it and I highly recommend it!ย It was pretty remote–you are about 30 minutes from anything, like if you forget your chocolate (like we did), you to have drive 30 minutes to the nearest store. But despite not being near anything, it was the ideal location. It was right on the water on Harstine Islandย near Shelton, Washington.

You cross over a bridge and then you are on the Island (probably 30 minutes or so from Olympia?) and you are surrounded by trees and the water and quiet waterfront homes. We barely saw anybody out, maybe a few fishermen on the water, that was it.

There was one bedroom and then a loft bedroom.

There was comfy furniture for movie watching.

The bathroom was nice, but slightly weird. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The deck overlooking the trees and water were absolutely amazing! And the house had all these big, beautiful windows overlooking the trees and Sound.

There was a pool that Rachel and I were really excited to use but sadly, it was closed up for the season by the time we got there. Bummer!

Friday afternoon I left Portland and unfortunately I a) didn’t get to say goodbye to Logan because he was still napping when I left and b) hit rush hour Friday traffic trying to get out of Portland so it took longer than expected to arrive, but it was fairly nice and easy drive once I got out of Portland/Vancouver.

Rachel had already checked in and was doing some work remotely and just relaxing. When I arrived we cooked dinner (steaks and baked potatoes and lots of wine) and stayed up way too late gabbing and catching up.

I got the bedroom downstairs and the bed was glorious and so comfy! I might have slept at an angle, taking up the entire bed, because I could. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I slept so good. It was so quiet and peaceful and comfortable.

Saturday I got to sleep in!!!!!!!! Wooooo hooo! I slept in until almost 8am. The bed was so comfy and I didn’t want to get out of bed but Rachel made coffee and I could smell it so…yeah I got up. ๐Ÿ˜€ We had breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon, coffee, juice) and then we went kayaking!

I didn’t take any photos of us kayaking, which I’m bummed about, but I was worried about my phone so it was just better to leave it behind. Rachel went in on a kickstarter years ago with Oru Kayaks, which are kayaks that fold up into something compact and easy to transport. So it was pretty fascinating to watch her put together these kayaks that were essentially folded up into boxes. It’s a pretty ingenious idea!

So it took about 30 minutes to put the kayaks together and then we were in the water. I can see where the process of putting them together could be kind of a pain in the ass…Rachel admitted that it’s her least favorite part of it and has discouraged her from using them more often, but also admitted that when her and her husband used to go all the time, it was a lot quicker to put the kayaks together because they had more practice.

I can see this being a good alternative to people that don’t have an ideal way to transport or store, traditional kayaks.

Anyways, we got in the water right in front of where we were staying. The sky was perfectly blue, the sun was out, the air was cool but not cold. The kayaks worked great and we didn’t sink or tip over (even though they were a little wobbly) and we didn’t get wet at all. We kayaked around for about an hour. It was really fun and kind of the perfect way to spend the sunny morning. We saw some gray clouds off in the distance so we decided to turn around and head back. We literally missed the rain by like maybe 10 minutes!

The beach was rocky and had a little bit of sand. There were tons of oyster shells and barnacles, lots of seaweed.

We had lunch outside on the deck overlooking the water. We made big, crunchy salads. It was delicious. The water was calm and there was a light breeze mixed with some rain sprinkles.

Then we kind of spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the couch watching chick flicks and watching the alternating sunshine and rainy stormy weather outside the windows. It was really chill and relaxing.

Dinner was baked chicken and baked potatoes. Then more chit chatting and hanging out. ๐Ÿ˜€ It was great!

It was such a good way to spend the weekend. It was definitely chill. I didn’t really work out. The kayaking was fun, and sort of active, but not really a workout. I could have maybe gone for a run, but I didn’t feel like it. It was just nice to relax and honestly do nothing for a change.

Sunday we had a leisurely morning. I made breakfast, we drank a ton of coffee. I walked down to the water because it looked like the tide was out and I wanted to explore a bit. The tide was WAY out! The below pictures was right where we were kayaking the day before!

A lot more seaweed that morning. It was a really quiet morning. The water was like a mirror and there wasn’t anyone else out on the water or beach but me. It was so nice.

I wish we could have spent a little more time relaxing Sunday morning before packing up. It was such a delightful little spot to spend time!

So we packed up and refolded the kayaks and hit the road. We decided to make this weekend an annual thing. We’re going to alternate who picks the spot each year. I have to say, I’m already super excited for next year’s weekend!!!!!

Fiery 3rd Anniversary

So Michael and I both had to think for a second to try and remember which anniversary it was…we’ve been together over 9 years now but this September we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! We must be getting old (or maybe it’s just baby/toddler/brain fog) because it’s hard to remember. LOL

We planned on spending our anniversary staying at Edgefield in The Gorge. We stayed there in January for my birthday and loved it! We loved the food and wine tasting and the hotel was great. We were bummed that we didn’t get to check out the soaking pool (because it was the middle of an ice/snow storm) and wanted to go back to try it.

I’m not sure if anyone else in the country is aware of what’s going on here in the NW, especially with Harvey and Irma and all the other natural disasters happening everywhere (!!!), but there have been tons of wild fires burning all over Oregon and Washington.

It is so absolutely heartbreaking and devastating the damage that has been done. The Gorge is a wonderful, beautiful, picturesque place to visit. I’ve been hiking in The Gorge too many times to even count. For awhile there, Multnomah Fallsย was being threatened by the fires. I was glued to Twitter and newsfeeds looking for updates, holding my breathe and hoping that the fires wouldn’t completely destroy everything. Thankfully the fire department was able to save the Lodge and Falls.

We are 35 miles from Multnomah Falls and the next day we woke up to our cars covered in ash, the air thick with smoke and ash. In the days after the fires started, there have been many harrowing stories. This one in particular is a good read and a GOOD REMINDER (even to me, who already knows “be prepared in the woods” and has ignored it many times) to be prepared for EVERYTHING. Read this.ย ย How amazing is this below photo?

We had plans to stay at Edgefield for our anniversary but in light of the wildfires, we weren’t sure if we should cancel or not. We decided to wait it out and watch the news and weather. I’m really glad we didn’t cancel (although my first instinct was to) because by Sunday (8 days after the fires started), the air was clear, the skies were blue, it had rained in the Gorge a bit and the fires were more contained.

It was so weird driving out to the Gorge and then getting of I-84 at Troutdale because 84 was closed! It’s been closed for a week and I think it will be closed even longer. We stopped by my aunt’s house to see everybody for a short visit (they were in Evacuation Level 2 — Level 3 was GO!) and then we headed to Edgefield for our anniversary. We were happy to discover no smoky air, no ash, and clear blue skies! (My parents were down from Seattle to babysit Logan overnight.)

We had a nice room — a King sized bed with three windows overlooking the trees. It was a nice room and super comfy bed. We were right by one of the 2nd floor balconies, which we enjoyed several times. It’s European Style, so the bathrooms were down the hall.

We checked in and dumped our bags and then walked around the grounds. We didn’t get to do that much back in January (snow and all) so it was cool to just walk around and see everything. There were several cute little bars tucked away in different parts of the grounds. Michael got an Old Fashioned at one of the hidden bars by the concert area.

We walked around a bit more. It was nice because you could walk around the grounds with your drinks. Then we did the wine tasting. It was part of the package and came with a tasting, a snack plate and free bottle to take home.

We picked the Syrah as our bottle to take home.

After wine tasting we changed and went down to the soaking pool! They give you big, fluffy robes in your room. So we put on our suits and made the short walk down to the spa.

The soaking pool was SO amazing! We LOVED it! It was really big, my photos don’t do it justice. It’s kind of like a lazy river. The water was 102 degrees and felt amazing. We were there about 6pm or so. We ended up spending almost 2 hours in there.

We relaxed in the pool with our drinks. I got a sort of pina colada and Michael got something called funkadelic. LOL We just chilled–for the first time in a long time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After spending two hours in the pool, we cleaned up and then walked down to find something for dinner. We ended up at one of the outdoor restaurants. It was really nice out, warm and romantic and there were lights all over.

Michael got a burger and I got the BBQ pork slider with coleslaw on it and tater tots. My dinner was incredibly salty, which was disappointing. Last time we were there the food was pretty good. I was disappointed with the food in general this time. But the atmosphere was perfect outside.

We shared a dessert, brownie with ice cream and caramel drizzled on top. The brownie was piping hot. It was really good! We were totally stuffed!

The next day we got to SLEEP IN! Until like 8:30!!!! I can’t remember the last time that happened and it was so nice!

We went down and had breakfast and then packed up our stuff. We checked out and then went over to the spa.

We had appointments at the spa but before that we got to enjoy the soaking pool again. We had the pool to ourselves, too! We spent about 1 hour in the soaking pool and then got ready for our massages. They had showers and tons of towels and robes for spa guests, so it wasn’t hard to clean up since we checked out already.

We got the couple’s massage. I got the relaxation massage and Michael got the cyclists massage. It was so nice to just unwind and relax. After our massages we got beers (for lunch lol!) and relaxed on the deck. I was pretty stuffed from breakfast so didn’t get food. The place was pretty empty since it was a Monday and after checkout so it was nice to just chill with no one around. We laid back and enjoyed our beers and eventually had to make our way home. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are a few photos of some of the art from around Edgefield:

I’m really glad we didn’t cancel our trip and I’m glad the fires are more contained. I am crossing my fingers that the damage won’t be too severe. I think hiking in the Gorge will be closed for a long time, sadly.

It was nice to get away but it was nice to be home, too. I missed my little buddy. ๐Ÿ™‚