pumpkin patch

Pumpkins in the Gorge

Michael’s dad came to Portland for a short visit this weekend. On Saturday we were all up bright and early for various reasons (baby and time changes!) and I went to the gym, then home to clean up and we hit the road for a day trip. We listened to the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers greatest hits as we drove out to the Gorge, destination: Hood River.

It was pretty crazy seeing the damage from the wild fires. Multnomah Falls is closed, as are a lot of other popular hikes in the Gorge. I posted some photos on my instagram. It was really sad, and kind of shocking, to see the damage in person. I think I-84 only opened up a week ago, too. It’s been closed for almost a month I think. Crazy.

We stopped at Double Mountain Brewery for lunch. Logan did great. We timed the drive right and he napped for an hour on the drive so when we arrived he was ready for lunch. We also lucked out and got there before the mad-rush for lunch. Usually there are super long lines to get in.

We got a pizza and I got three tastes: Killer Green, Killer Lion and Hop Lava (all IPAs).

It all really hit the spot. After lunch we stopped at Cathedral Ridge so we could pick up our quarterly case of wine from our membership (like 2 months late–partly because we had no time and partly due to the wildfires). I was surprised at how few people were there on a Saturday afternoon. Usually the tasting room would be super packed. I guess a lot of people haven’t ventured into the Gorge since the fires.

Then it was time for pumpkins!

We got to Packer Orchards near the Wy’East Winery after lunch. We discovered it last year around this time when Logan was an itty bitty baby! This year was SO much fun because Logan is big enough to DO stuff now! He was so excited when we got there. He was ready to explore!

We chose not to do the corn maze/hay ride extravaganza this year. Logan is still a bit too young for that and it was about $20 for a family to do all the activities together. Next year I think it will be great! The nice thing about Packer Orchards is that there was TONS of stuff to do for free. They had the places you could take photos and the giant pumpkin, of course.

Logan was sort of good while we tried to take photos. 😉 He was just too excited and distracted to sit still for long.

They had a ton of carts you could use for picking pumpkins. Logan just wanted to ride around in the cart. So Michael and his dad took turns taking Logan around in the cart.

There was a giant (free) hay stack that kids could climb and play on. The hay rides looked really fun. Next year! Then we discovered that there was a giant “sand box” that was filled with dry corn! Wow! It was so cool. All the kids loved it. Logan wasn’t quite sure at first and then he loved it. What a cool idea.

So we walked around a bit and then decided it was time to pick a pumpkin. Logan zeroed in on the one he wanted right away.

He picked the tiny white pumpkin that fit in his hands. We tried to get him to pick another bigger one to take home, too, but he wasn’t having any of it. He just wanted his tiny pumpkin!

And Packer Orchards was super sweet, we went up to pay for it and I guess because it was so small (and Logan is so cute LOL) they said it was free. Sweet!

The above two photos are my absolute favorites of the day. He looks so dang cute! I am so glad we went and had a great day. It was such a fun, sweet outing to see everything through Logan’s eyes. Everything was amazing to him and he had a blast. Can’t wait for next year!

It was getting late in the afternoon so we got three pipin’ hot fresh out of the fryer apple cider donuts to go and Logan loved that, too. Of course he did! He’s my kid. 😉 And we headed back to Portland.

Pumpkin Patch

Michael says I need to adjust my expectations for things now that we have a baby. Probably good advice. Over the weekend we went to Hood River with Bella and Logan–our first big family trip. We booked it over a month ago as a getaway, a family trip and an excuse to pick up our case of wine from Cathedral Ridge for our quarterly member pickup. And it took a ridiculous  amount of time to pack everything and the car and hit the road AND we had to pack a ridiculous amount of stuff for one weekend away! I certainly need to get used to THAT fact for sure.

So…four hours later, we finally arrived (it’s only an hour drive from Portland). 😉

We booked a little house in Hood River that was about 5 minutes from a few of our favorite wineries. The location of the house was perfect! So close to wine tasting, close to downtown Hood River and on the Fruit Loop.

img_3827

img_7465

We were a little early for check-in on the house so we went to Cathedral Ridge to pick up our wine and I got to do a little wine tasting! (We went to Cathedral Ridge back in August and I think that was the first time we’d been wine tasting in almost 2 years!) I was really looking forward to this!
img_7381

img_7384

img_7385

Since we’re members we got to do our tasting in a different room (less crowded–mega benefit right there!), we got a tasting plate to pair with the wines and we could basically try anything we wanted. I’m glad we did because we ended up swapping out the Zinfandel for a Barbera Reserve that was fantastic!

img_7437

After the tasting we hung out outside for a little bit and enjoyed the early Fall sunshine and warmth. Logan was doing great and not too fussy or bored.

img_7403

After that we went to the house and got unpacked and settled and then Michael walked a few blocks to pick up take out Mexican food for dinner.

img_3781

img_3782

I ate almost half of my burrito but it was really big! The Mexican food was just ok–nothing outstanding but it had good veggies inside. We called it an early night because we were both tired and I had been sick earlier in the week and still wasn’t feeling fantastic.

img_7473

Sunday we got up and Michael made us breakfast as I planned out our day. The Fruit Loop/Wine tasting map that you get anywhere in Hood River is super helpful and makes it easy to plan your day! It’s like a 35 mile loop through the mountains and valley in Hood River with spectacular views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, the hills across the river and the rolling farms in the area. It’s so scenic and you can do it year round–either in berry season in the summer, or go in the spring to see the wildflowers and be sure to stop at the Lavender farms! Or in the fall where you can either pick or buy apples and pears.

img_7488

We got an early start to our day. We made it to our first stop at 11 at the Packard Orchard Stand and Bakery.

They had stuff set up in front for the kids, which we of course took advantage of! Logan’s first Halloween! I was so excited to take the obligatory pumpkin patch pictures. 🙂 He was a good sport, even if he didn’t really smile much. He seemed kind of confused and just curious about everything we saw.

img_7493

img_7495

img_7509

img_7511

We took Bella with us and left her in the car for the stops along the way that were not pet-friendly. The Fruit Loop/Winery Map does a good job listing out where dogs are welcome and where they aren’t. (Basically if it’s a farm with animals they don’t want you to bring your dog out of the car.)

The Packard Orchard stand had a bunch of samples. I tried a few of their jams and jellies and they had some cookie samples. Mmmm good!

img_7517

After that we went to a few other fruit stand and then ended up at another Packard Orchard one but this one was bigger and had a pumpkin patch and tons of stuff for kids! Logan was too young, obviously, but we had some fun taking pumpkin pictures! He seemed to like it.

There was a corn maze, too, but it was really muddy so we skipped that. The pumpkin patch looked fun. I’ve never actually picked my own pumpkin. A few years ago Michael and I went to Sauvie’s Island and did a corn maze and it was really fun! When Logan is older it will be an experience we’ll have again for sure. But I do remember that one was REALLY crowded. The ones in Hood River were more low-key.

img_7535

The Packard Orchard had sooo many yummy treats you could buy. Cookies, caramel corn, any baked good you can think of…all made there and from their fruits. I had way too many samples of everything and it tasted so good. In the end Michael and I split this amazing apple cider donut that was made right in front of us:

img_3788

It was so delicious! Michael said it was good but he wished it was kind of greasy and fatty like donuts usually are. I kinda liked that it wasn’t greasy. It tasted fresh and perfect and I could trick myself into thinking it was healthy. 😉

I’ll write more about our outing in the next post.