3rd anniversary

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 Falls 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.  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. 😉

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. 😉

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. 🙂

Mystery Road Trip – Part One

Friday I got home to Michael’s car packed and he was ready to go on our anniversary weekend away. He informed me that I was driving and that he was the navigator. I climbed into the driver seat and found this:

A clue! I still had no idea where I was going or even if I packed the right stuff. I said okay and we stopped at 7-11 for road trip snacks (I got a Perrier) and I drove us South to Woodburn. The first stop was the Outlet Mall–which was a good idea because in my haste to pack I forgot to bring any sort of jacket of long-sleeved anything. I bought a cheap sweater at the Gap and then we went back to the car where I found Clue #2:

Now Salem isn’t exactly a “hot spot” for fine dining but apparently it was en route to our final destination. I drove us to Salem and we found Christo’s Restaurant. Michael had everything planned for this trip. He researched the best rated place in Salem and that’s where we went. Christo’s was a Pizzeria and Italian joint with the typical things on the menu.

We both got the Greek Salad to start and a small pizza to share.

The Greek salad was stellar. We both raved about it. Not only was the dressing tangy and yummy but the spinach was fresh, the olives were salty and the feta cheese was strong. The salad came with two long bread sticks which added a lot to the salad too. We couldn’t stop talking about this salad. The pizza was good–nothing compared to Apizza Scholl’s or our own but still good. After the romantic dinner in the dimly lit restaurant that played good jazz music, we were off to our next destination. I had another clue waiting for me in the car. And as soon as I saw the clue I knew my speculation was correct!

The sun was setting over the hills as I drove us through the Willamette Valley.  We arrive at Grand Ronde when it was dark: Spirit Mountain Casino!

We checked into the room and got situated and then talked about the plan for the evening. It was nearly 10 p.m. by this time. The room was HUGE. Michael had splurged for a really nice room with a king sized bed.

We had a few different options for what we could do. I told Michael he should play poker (he loves it and he’s good at it) so Michael went to the poker room and I headed down to the roulette table!!

I love roulette. I know it’s totally not a game of skill and it’s probably the worst game to play in a casino in terms of chance but I love it. I love how exciting it is. I totally get a rush when I have chips on the table and the little white ball is spinning around. I’m a really conservative player but I play solely for fun. I almost always WIN or come out EVEN. I rarely have a bad time!

I was able to play for several hours making a little bit, losing a little bit and eventually I walked away with $1 plus the original amount I bought in at. I could have kept playing but I wanted to be able to walk away a “winner”. The next morning we had breakfast at the casino. I ate two sausage links, most of the eggs and half of the biscuits and gravy.  We also got a complimentary fruit dish and coffee cake. We ate all the fruit and I had a few bites of the coffee cake but didn’t really want it.

Michael informed me that we were only staying at Spirit Mountain that one night. Then I got another clue!

While Michael was checking us out of the hotel, I snuck over to the roulette table, drank a cup of coffee and had a few successful hits:

Michael won a little bit at poker the night before so we left Spirit Mountain feeling pretty good about our trip! I had no idea where the next location was. The day was GORGEOUS. It was hot and sunny out as I drove to the next location. We went by an old covered bridge and I wanted to stop and take some pictures.

The bridge was built in 1914. Oregon has TONS of old covered bridges and I’d love to do a day trip to see them all. It was cool. We got back in the car and drove up the old road and then got off onto an old forest road.

The day was sunny and gorgeous but the single lane road winding up the side of a mountain was slightly terrifying. Especially when other cars came down and we had to try and fit two cars in a single lane road.

We arrived at our destination: Drift Creek Falls! The day was perfect for a hike. I changed into my shorts and we set off on the trail.

To Be Continued….