4th anniversary

4th Wedding Anniversary

Hey, wow! Where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday Michael and I were saying “I do.”

It really is hard to believe it’s already been four years married. I swear, having a baby/toddler just sucks the brain cells out of your head. 😉 It must be from that first year of sleep deprivation! It feels like a blur right now and it’s probably a good thing we make an effort to get away for our anniversary!

Wedding Anniversary – 1, at Crater Lake

Wedding Anniversary – 2 , at Feast eating Franklin’s BBQ!

Wedding Anniversary – 3, at Edgefield 

This year we wanted to go to Vegas for the weekend but the planning didn’t quite work out and so we looked for something different to do in Oregon. We found a loft to rent out past Hillsboro on the way to the beach. It was all we needed: a cute space in the country with a hot tub!

Life is pretty busy these days and there’s been a lot of stress and changes in our lives this year. When we talked about our plans for our weekend getaway, Michael said the sweetest thing: “If you want to just hole up in the loft and stay in bed watching netflix and eating Haagen Daz all weekend we can.” LOL! I have to admit, that did sound pretty good….

So Friday my parents drove down to babysit Logan for the weekend and we took off for our weekend getaway. The loft was cute, up on Bald Peak, with amazing views.

We were surrounded by farms, fields, vineyards and huge houses. We saw one house that was humongous and had an indoor pool and gym overlooking the above view. Amazing!

For dinner we went to Ridgewalker Brewing in Forest Grove. Neither of us have ever been to Forest Grove. It had a cute little downtown area. Ridgewalker seemed to be the place to be on a Friday night.

They had my Boneyard RPM on tap so we got one of those and shared the hushpuppies before dinner. They were fantastic! Perfectly crunchy and had good flavor. I ordered the BLT with a side of brussels sprouts instead of fries. The BLT was nothing amazing but the sprouts were great.

Michael got a corndog. 😉 He said it was great. The fries were really good (I might have had a few of Michael’s). After dinner we headed back to the loft. Lots of winding roads and cool old barns like this one:

We spent some time in the hot tub, which felt amazing and so relaxing. The owners had fairy lights nearby and there was a nice view from the hot tub. And we both had the most amazing night of sleep and SLEPT IN UNTIL 9AM!!!! Holy moly!

On Saturday we had a quickie breakfast and then drove out to the Tillamook Forest to go for a hike. The hike we did was at the Summit Trailhead.

We did the Gales Creek Trail because of all the hikes I found, it was the closest to where we were staying (and it was still about a 45 minute drive). It was a nice, quiet hike without a lot of people. It started with a fairly steep downhill hike.

There were parts of the trail that were a bit muddy and I slipped but then it leveled out a little bit and was kind of flat.

It was a really pretty trail and once you got further down, you couldn’t hear the highway at all, just the sound of the recent raindrops falling from the trees.

We saw a bunch of cute little lizards on the trail, too! No doubt they were heading back to the creek.

Because we got such a late start to the day and because the trail was so steep going down, we decided not to venture too far on the hike since it was going to be all uphill on the way back.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Celebrate

I wanted to work out Sunday morning but the hotel was charging $10 to use the gym. Meh, no thanks. Not worth it—especially since we were heading to another hotel that had a free gym and pool. It really bothers me when hotels nickel and dime guests. Despite that, the hotel was beautiful and an enjoyable stay.

Michael and I had a quick breakfast with his Dad and stepmom in the hotel restaurant. My cousins Melina and Leah were able to join us! I was so glad I got to see them. They both live in Dallas. The last time Michael and I were in Texas, it was for Melina’s wedding. It was so good to see them.

After breakfast we checked out and rented a car. Destination: Austin. Wedding stuff was over and Michael and I were off to celebrate our 4th anniversary!

The drive from Dallas to Austin is brutal—long, boring, nothing to see. We arrived in Austin around 3:45p.m., checked into our hotel (The Doubletree—very nice, glad we stayed there) and then headed downtown to start our festivities!

We walked around Congress Street—the heart of the action—and it was HOTTER THAN EFFING HELL. Oh my god. Sweat was dripping down my back and face at an alarming rate. It was so uncomfortable. See the above photo? Most restaurants and bars in Austin had these fans and misters to keep people cool. It felt nice.

We finally found refuge in a shaded outdoor patio beer garden. The huge trees shaded the guests and we settled in with some Texas beer (essentially like drinking water) and relaxed.

There was a band playing and it was just such a fun, cool vibe. I had plans to meet up with a friend who moved to Austin a few years ago. Neal met us at the food carts on Congress Sunday evening.

Michael and I got an order from the Fry Baby food cart to-go. It was 2 pieces of fried chicken (which Michael ate) and 1 piece of fried cod (which I ate) and some delicious, salty fries.

The three of us took dinner over to Barton Springs park to eat in the shade. I was so glad that we spent the evening with Neal. He was a fantastic tour guide. He suggested that I return to Barton Springs to go swimming, and took us around town to show us around.

Eventually the three of us ended up at the water front to see the bats.  It was clearly a popular event. The place was packed. We ended up waiting over 2 hours to no avail. Perhaps the heat wave made them not want to fly, but we eventually gave up. We were all disappointed.

Despite the disappointment, it was a fun evening with a friend. We dropped him off and then Michael and I headed to 6th Avenue to see the “action.”

6th Avenue was the party. Even though it was Sunday night, the place was popping! It was a row of restaurants, pubs, clubs, drive bars and crowded with people. It had a very Las-Vegas –Strip-vibe. It was just one big party!

We walked around and just checked everything out and then ended up getting a drink at The Driskill hotel. It’s right downtown and totally worth a visit. We both want to stay there next time—granted, if we can afford it. Something tells me it’s pretty spendy.

The Driskill is where the Top Chef contestants stayed last season for Top Chef Texas. It was totally cool to hang out there! The bar was classy and beautiful, and The Driskill does Air Conditioning right! It was like entering a walk-in meat locker. Gorgeous.

We tried the Texas version of an IPA. Yes, I am aware I am a total beer snob. If I can’t get the good microbrews that I like (and can find everywhere in the NW), I usually just drink wine. But I thought I’d give it a try. It was ok but not great. Better than Shiner, for sure.

It was a very, very long day and a late night but I was glad we stayed out and “partied”. If by partied you are imaging we were back at the hotel and asleep by midnight. 😉

QUESTION: Have you ever been to Austin? What was your experience?