It's hard to believe that only a few weeks ago we were jet-setting to the west coast for my mom's wedding! Outside of California, the west is uncharted territory for us so heading to Oregon was really exciting. Plus, I got to check another state off my list of places to visit
[ 26 states = ✔ ]
The wedding was a family affair with siblings flying in from as far away as Australia! The whole "Brady Bunch", as we've fondly been nicknamed, except for my oldest step brother was unable to make the trip and we had the perfect cabin to house us.
2 mini-van rentals later, we arrived at the base of Mount Hood. The air had dropped 20 degrees since we left the Portland International Airport and we had hot pizza and calzones in-tow to feed the crew. The cabin was breathtaking and arriving sort of felt like camp-- room assignments written on sticky notes stuck on each door and the sound of cabinets opening and closing and people dragging luggage up and down the stairs echoed loudly between rooms.
After 1,500 + miles of travel, we were finally all together.
We arrived on a Wednesday which gave us a day to spend together before the wedding. Mom & Dave had plans in mind and the rest of us were more than willing to follow along [the scenery alone could have entertained me for days]. Into the vans we piled and off we went for a day of exploring the gorges, mountains, lakes and rivers of the greater Mount Hood area.
Our first stop was a little trail right off the highway. Seriously gorgeous. And distracting if you're the driver (aka me). At one point we pulled off at a sort-of scenic overlook and I immediately grabbed my camera to start capturing the view. Of course, as soon as I attached the appropriate lens [a 16-36mm I rented for these instances], the lead van was leaving, apparently not interested in the sights surrounding us! At the next stop I gave my "photographers move slow when there is this much beauty around, thank you in advance for being patient" disclaimer. Hopefully my family agrees that "waiting on the trail" was worth it ;-)
I've been to Colorado a lot and at first, the Portland scenery made me almost feel like I was there. As we continued traveling, however, I challenged myself to find the subtle differences: a greener landscape, copious amounts of natural waterfalls along the highways and a sky so wide you'd swear the world was flat.
As usual, I couldn't wait to enjoy the local cuisine and counted down the minutes until lunch nearly the whole drive. My dad had been to the area earlier in the year and sent a text with a restaurant recommendation right as we were trying to coordinate the group.
Three Rivers Grill was the place we decided to try and wow was it a good choice. The views were incredible and the food delicious, except for the fact that they were out of salmon patties [sorry, fam].
My favorite memories from this trip were when all of us had the chance to sit around a table, eat, talk and enjoy one another//the food//atmosphere etc. Sharing a meal together has always been a cherished activity by my family and it was amazing to have the opportunity to do it together.
Post-lunch lead us to the third and final adventure of the day: Multnomah Falls, a place I'd been anxious to visit. After all, how many times do you think this Kansas girl has seen something like this:
The answer? Not very many times. I was pretty much in awe... and terrified when I braved the bridge that goes over the falls.
We packed a lot into a day, especially for a big group, but I'm so thankful we had the time/resources that allowed us to explore & enjoy. Plus, Oregon won over my heart this day. Yep, the girl who swore she could never visit the west coast again now has to go back. And this revelation happened before we'd even visited downtown [stay tuned for a later post!]
My [gorgeous] sister and her beau-- more of them coming soon, too!
"Portland is for lovers", right? :)
Quality time is core to this family and I'm so thankful God created the opportunity for us to explore together.
Stay tuned for a more Portland photo//foodie//shopping//people watching adventures coming soon!
in His love,