Portland Tourists

Finally! My last post about our trip to Portland over a month ago. Life has been super crazy lately and now that the kids and I are back in Utah I haven’t seemed to have much time to write.

Our final two days were spent being tourists and we loved it!

First stop: VooDoo Doughnut! If you haven’t been you NEED to. They have so many delicious and unique doughnuts to choose from. Like sprinkles,(which Memphis chose) to the famous “cock n balls” for those who like a good laugh and have a huge appetite (it’s enormous!). The line was about a ten minute wait, but from what I hear that’s short! We enjoyed every delicious bite! Memphis like I said got sprinkles, Shay got an iconic VooDoo guy, Calvin got a VooDoo Bubble which tasted like bubblegum, and Jess got a Portland Creme. I had a great time taking nibbles off of all of them.

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The rest of the day we spent perusing the famous “Saturday Market” which is Saturday and Sunday mornings. I didn’t take any photos of the market because I was too excited looking at all the amazing booths! I did manage to get a picture of the famous “Mr. Statue”.

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On our final morning and afternoon we once again drove into the gorgeous Columbia Gorge. But this time we went along the historic scenic highway. It was much curvier but had such beautiful views! Our first stop was the Vista House. It sits atop the Gorge and has absolutely breathtaking views. The building itself is historic and had a museum in the basement but it was so unbearably hot that day and there was literally no airflow down there so we decided to skip it. Usually it’s quite windy up there so we lucked out that day!

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From there we made our way to Multnomah Falls. It’s one of the most photographed and well known waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge.  It was super crowded so we only hiked up to the first bridge instead of going all the way up.

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Our last stop was Horsetail Falls. It was much less crowded so we stayed here for a while and the kids had fun tossing rocks into the water.

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With that, we had to say goodbye to Rick and Sherri and head back to Boise. It was such a fun trip! The Pacific Northwest is absolutely gorgeous and so cannot wait to plan another trip!

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette

Oregon Round 2

Life has gotten so busy and I am really behind on keeping up with our adventures this summer! Here is day two of our amazing trip to Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago.

We spent the entire day on Saturday at the coast. I have seen the beaches in California but never up in the PNW. It was breathtaking! The drive itself was beautiful, and windy, (thankfully my very carsick prone children did not throw up!).

Once we arrived at our first stop of the day, Oswald West State Park, we hiked down to the beach. The hike down was yet another iconic greenest green forest. I could have just sat in that little patch of forest all day and been just fine. But, the beach was calling! The pathway was filled with natural tree houses and little caves which the kids, particularly Memphis, loved exploring. The beach we hiked to is called Smugglers Cove.

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So, in an epically bad move on my part, I left our swimsuits at Sherri and Rick’s home back in Vancouver. Oops! We ended up lucking out and coming on a super warm day too, so it was even worse. Thankfully, I had on a tank top so I was okay, and the kiddos are still small enough to not be embarrassed so they stripped down to their undies and had fun regardless!

Jess, my sister Missy, and her boyfriend Nate surfed for about 3 hours. It was fun to watch them out there. The water was extremely cold so they needed wetsuits, but all three of them had a great time. It has been quite a few years since Jess has surfed, but he seemed to just pick it right back up.

Meanwhile,  Sherri, Rick, and I braved the high winds and watched the kiddos play endlessly in the sand and water. Rick even found a whole dead crab which Memphis played with non-stop for an hour. He kept sadly saying “Mommy when will it wake up?”. I finally could no longer handle the awful rotting smell of the crab meat and we threw it in the ocean.

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After we were done with that beach, we went and ate dinner at a lovely little seaside cafe in Manzanita called the Big Wave Cafe . It was delicious, and everything is fresh. The Chef, Brian Williams, even came and chatted with us for a moment and when we commented how delicious the crab was, he said they had been crawling around the kitchen just a few hours before! If you’re ever in the area, check this place out!

Sherri and Rick headed home after dinner, but the rest of us wanted to see Cannon Beach, so we headed back up north to see the iconic rocks. As soon as I saw them, I couldn’t help myself and had to let out a “Hey you guyyyysssss!”. Please tell me you all have seen ‘The Goonies’??

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Driving home that night Memphis fell asleep and barely even noticed when we removed him from the car, got him changed and put him to bed. It was such a good, long, and fun day for everyone.

The pacific northwest coast is something I will dream about until I see it again.

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette

Wahclella Falls and the Fish Hatchery at Bonneville Dam in Oregon

What a weekend! We drove up to Portland to visit my family and we definitely packed as much as we could in the 4 days we had up there. I wish we could have stayed longer, but it’s just a good reason to go back! We took two days to explore the breathtaking Columbia Gorge. There’s so many hikes and waterfalls- it would literally take a week maybe two to see it all! Because we have littles and little legs we needed to pick holes that were kid friendly.

The first day we went to the gorge, we hiked Wahclella Falls. It was not a flat or easy hike, and Memphis protested and demanded to be held several times, but we survived. Us out of towners were pretty cold at first and all had our layers on, but by the time we reached the falls I was sweating! The weather here is so unpredictable but we got really lucky and it ended up being sunny and pretty warm.

 

 

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The hike itself was gorgeous. I still cannot get over the moss covered trees! My kids called them “fuzzy trees”. My stepdad Rick was a fountain of knowledge pointing out every plant we passed and telling us what it was stinging nettle, and Poison Oak which thankfully no one walked through or touched! We even picked some delicious wild raspberries along the trail, but also saw salmon berries,Oregon Grapes, and huckleberries! We saw a few garter snakes and Rick picked it up while the littles squealed with delight.

The Falls were quite impressive. The greenery surrounding Wahclella makes it seem like you should be in Ireland instead of Oregon. It was quite magical really. We made our way to the water which was too cold to swim in, but the littles had a good time throwing rocks in the water for a long time. Okay, the adults threw some rocks too! The kids explored a cool dripping cave, and then we headed back down the trail to the cars.

That same day, we visited the Fish Hatchery which is across the road from the Wahclella Trailhead at the Bonneville Dam.

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We saw lots of fish, and even Bigfoot! It was worth driving over to see the hatchery.I had never been to one before, so it was very interesting to walk by all the huge tanks holding the baby fish in them. Tons of tiny fish were leaping out of the water which the kids enjoyed watching. We moved on to the Rainbow Trout which were so vividly colored, and the kids liked throwing in fish food and watching a giant writhing pile of rainbow fish fight over it.

From there, we moved to the sturgeon viewing areas. Man, were these prehistoric fish impressive! They even had a viewing window under their pond so you could watch them swimming underwater. The largest one they had must have been at least 10-15 feet long! Memphis loved looking at their eyes, and Calvin loved to point at the pieces of dead fish along the bottom of their tank. Shay just couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that they are as old as dinosaurs.

Once we were done watching them, we drove up to the actual dam. Inside, we took the elevator down so we were underneath it, and they had these viewing windows where you could watch the fish swimming up the ladder from under the water. We maybe saw one fish from under there, but were much more interested in the alien-like Lamprey which were suctioned to the windows! Their alarmingly sharp little teeth made it look like a horror film! Honestly, I could have watched them all day. I never knew that they are basically leeches and suck the fluids out of the fish they attach to! Calvin started talking to a group of people and told them that “They are basically related to Dracula!” which made us all laugh! He’s such a good tour guide!

We walked outside to watch the fish leap up the ladder from the top of the water. Sadly, we saw plenty of fish but none of them were jumping so we didn’t stay long. We got a good view of the dam from up there, and then called it a day.

It was such a jam-packed day of fun and we really lucked out with the weather being so nice and sunny! I snapped this photo of Memphis when we pulled into my birth mom Sherri’s house.

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You know it was a good day when he’s asleep in the car (which he never does anymore) AND covered in dirt!

XoXo,

Heather

The Raw Brunette