At the End of the Trail
Our first trip to Oregon was a wonderful whirlwind, taking Erik and I from downtown Portland, to the Oregon Coast and then up to the Mt. Hood in the Cascades. We did quite a bit of driving for a four and a half trip but it was a great way to ring in my 24th year (I still can’t believe I’m in my mid-twenties…).
The flight out of Newark was at 7 a.m. which meant getting up so early there wasn’t any traffic on my street (NEVER happens), so despite arriving early enough to enjoy a full day, Erik and I succumbed to a two and a half hour nap. Wednesday, therefore, was a simple day, chatting with the folks and enjoying dinner with my parents and younger brother, who was in town for my birthday (he is spending the summer in the town where he goes to college, about an hour from my parent’s house). My parents had done some SERIOUS redecorating of our house, to the point where it doesn’t much look like my house except for the layout (no walls were knocked down… yet).
Thursday was my birthday! Erik and I spent the better part of the afternoon meandering around Portland, buying books at Powell’s Bookstore, drinking coffee at Peet’s, and taking pictures of some Portland landmarks. Since the weather was kinda crummy (low 70s, but overcast), we canceled our reservation for a restaurant on the 30th floor of the U.S. Bank Corp building and instead went to Claim Jumper over by Clackamas Town Center. It’s a great restaurant, and although it’s a chain, there are none near me so I don’t feel too guilty about it (it’s not like Applebee’s!).
On Friday, my dad drove us to Thrify, where Erik and I picked up a car to use for the weekend. My parents have one car each, plus my brother’s car, so we would have left someone stranded if we didn’t get one for ourselves. Erik and I drove to Tillamook, where we hung out at the cheese factory for awhile before driving to Rockaway Beach to take some pictures, then Cannon Beach to buy taffy and look at art galleries, and then finally to Fort Clatsop, which, historically, is the final destination for Lewis and Clark (you know, those guys who discovered Oregon?). After that, we drove back to Portland for dinner at Montage, a funky cajun restaurant with family-style seating and an art-deco mural of the Last Supper that features a flying saucer. I love Montage.
Erik and I at Rockaway Beach
My brother had already left by the time we got home on Friday, so on Saturday, it was just my parents, Erik and I who drove up to the Gorge and Mt. Hood. We saw Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam (where we said hello to some rainbow trout and sturgeon), Hood River, and the historic Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood, before driving back to grab pizza at a new pizza parlor across the river from my hometown.
Erik and I at Multnomah Falls
The sun FINALLY came out on Sunday, so we were able to enjoy a nice warm day at the Bite of Oregon and Portland’s Saturday Market (which, yes, operates on Sunday, too). We also grabbed a few donuts from the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts (don’t worry, we split one and saved the others – we didn’t want to spoil our appetites before dinner!). Afterward, inspired by our trip to Bonneville Dam, my dad cooked up some salmon, sturgeon and oysters for dinner, which, coupled with all the chicken and pork I had at the Bite of Oregon, was way more protein than I needed, but at least my insulin intake was lower!
Listening to some musicians at the Saturday Market
Our flight out of Portland was delayed a couple of hours on Monday, so we managed to get home just after one in the morning. I have declared I shall never take a flight scheduled to land after 6:00 p.m. The extra hours of vacation are seriously not worth the sleep deprivation.
So that was my birthday trip, and Erik’s inaugural trip to Oregon (and his first time meeting my mom and brother). He liked Oregon. And my family. Both very important things.
Erik, who is allergic to cats, also managed to survive Emma. Not an easy accomplishment…