4th of July

Happy 4th!

I’ve been looking forward to this week for months! I took some vacation time (Thursday and Friday) to have “me time” and then ended up getting sick over the weekend and was home on the couch Monday. So my work week consisted of Tuesday! That was it!

I had a few things planned for my time off. Michael had to work, which was a bummer, but at least he got the 4th off. We got to do some fun stuff. (And he kindly put together our new bistro set that I bought for us to spend time together in the evenings this summer.) It looks so cute:

For the 4th of July we spent the day pretty low-key. Logan and I got up early and had breakfast then went for a walk/jog on part of the neighborhood loop we used to do a lot (and stopped for coffee and lottery tickets!). We did about 3.5 miles and he started getting fidgety in the stroller around mile 2.5!

The rest of the day was easy and quiet. Then we went to a friend’s house for a holiday BBQ. Logan’s BFF was there and they played so hard. Logan was covered in dirt, bubbles, chocolate and god knows what. 😉

Our friends have a nice little enclosed yard in inner SE Portland, perfect location for all things Portland. And the yard was perfect for a little BBQ. They did burgers, chicken, sausages, veggies and veggie burgers. People brought sides. I made a Greek Orzo salad that turned out really yummy.

Someone made a blueberry pie and homemade cupcakes (both were delicious and decadent!). It was a bit crazy with two 2 year-olds just running wild, but…that’s what summer is for, right?

Only a few minor meltdowns…it was way past Logan’s bed time so we headed home. Long before any fireworks really started (but I did bring the pop things that you step on and they pop–the kiddos LOVED those).

I still wasn’t 100% from my gnarly cold so It was ok with me to go home before the fireworks. Way different than the old days when our neighborhood would get the GOOD stuff (aka illegal fireworks from Washington) and it would be a show late into the night. I was in bed at my normal bedtime this year, with my book. PARTY ANIMALS!

Falls Creek Falls

On our last day in the Gorge we got up early again and had breakfast out on the deck one more time before packing up and heading home.

We stopped at the North Shore Cafe again so I could get coffee and then we started the drive toward home–with one stop first: Falls Creek Falls hike in Gifford Pinchot wilderness. It was sort of on the way to the Bridge of the Gods just by Carson. It was a really beautiful drive through the forest and then you go off the main road and drive about 2 miles–VERY SLOW miles–on a dirt road with humongous potholes. It was slow going and very bumpy. We got to the parking lot and it was about half full (when we left it was all full).

The hike started out in the trees immediately and we hiked alongside a creek that was sometimes pretty fast. There was a suspension bridge we had to cross that was pretty cool. Usually Bella is super freaked out by bridges and won’t cross without a lot of coaxing and help but she did GREAT! Maybe she is getting over her fears.

It was nice that this hike was in the forest and shaded. The day was warming up nicely. Logan loved the hike. He babbled and high-fived Michael and talked to people and dogs that we passed on the trail. 🙂

The hike was deceptively uphill. It gave us some nice breaks and leveled off here and there (unlike Weldon Wagon trail hike that was constantly uphill) and we got to a fork in the trail and saw this sign:

We were almost to the waterfall! Apparently this hike is a 6-ish mile loop but we didn’t plan on doing the whole thing. And talking to some hikers that were coming down the trail, apparently the other part of the hike is a lot of scrambling on rocks. Not ideal with a dog and baby.

We got to a few parts of the trail where there were washouts but for the most part it was a well-maintained hike.

There was another little bridge near some mini waterfalls. It was cute!

Then we were finally to the waterfalls! It was about 10 degrees cooler by the falls. They were gorgeous! So much prettier than Multnomah Falls, in my opinion.

The falls would have been a perfect place to have a picnic lunch but we didn’t have one. 🙂 So we headed back down the trail. Logan was on borrowed time and would need food and out of the hiking backpack soon. We are good if we have 2-ish hours to hike with him. He’s getting better, though, each time we go.

I posted a video on my Instagram if you’d like to see it. 🙂

Pretty good stats for a hike! Afterward we drove to Cascade Locks, crossing the Bridge of the Gods back into Oregon, and stopped at the East Wind Drive in for lunch. FABULOUS burgers and curly fries! The place is always crowded. I’ve only been there for ice cream cones after hikes, so it was nice to get food there. We’ll definitely be back!

We went to the Cascade Locks marina and park for lunch –devoured our burgers–SO HUNGRY! And then let Logan run around a bit for the drive back to Portland.

It was a pretty fabulous little vacation for us!