weekend update

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 kidsย 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And we headed back to Portland.

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!!!!!