Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oregon: Part One - Portland/Redmond

10 days after Lucas finished 1st grade, we set off on another summer adventure. The hot, humid weather is not welcome in this family so we made friends with Southwest Airlines and various rental car companies to avoid the a summer in The Swamp*. This was going to be a 6 week trip that would lead us from coast to coast!

*Affectionately called "The Swamp" only for the months of April thru Sept. Come October, Florida is very pleasant....still flat but pleasant! :)

Portland, OR
Redmond, OR
Denver, CO
Evergreen, CO
Manitou Springs, CO
Longmont, CO
Lander, WY
Boston, MA
North Conway, NH
Kennebunkport, ME
Boston, MA
Atlanta, GA

 After our April trip to Oregon, we were eager to get back.We love Portland and Redmond is a new favorite for sure. The first few days were spent waiting for Dad to arrive. We stayed with our family (Aunt Jen, Uncle Dan, Cousins Henry and Duncan) but while they were at work/school, we toured downtown Portland.

There is a bakery on every corner along with a coffee shop, ice cream shop and a million other cute stores and awesome restaurants.
Love Joy Bakers did not disappoint.

They had a beautiful selection of tasty treats and Stumptown coffee, a Portland must-have!

Of all the choices, the boys decided to share the worlds most expensive homemade oreo cookie. It was also the smallest by portion but the boys LOVED it!

I guess is was worth the $3. I opted for an apple crumb bar which didn't last long enough for a photo.
 After taking a few sneak peeks in some other bakeries and some downtown sight seeing, we headed to Mayas Taqueria. Dad had checked out cool restaurants and this one popped up on the list for good Mexican. It was a perfect place to meet up with our dear friend, Karissa!
Anxiously waiting for Karissa at Mayas Taqueria

She was instantly attacked by two boys. The cool thing, she's pregnant and we couldn't be more excited for her and Jason!! Whoot!

4 Tacos: Rojo, Verde, Carnitas, Pastor

Axel patiently waiting for Mommy to stop talking.

What a treat to see Karissa! She is a loved lady!

Oh yeah, I was there too! Thanks for posing with me Axel.
 After lunch we snooped around some more shops mostly window shopping.
I'm telling you, I could weigh a million pounds living in this city!
 It was window shopping until we hit this place!
Aunt Jen (a reporter) had done a story on Salt & Straw so we had to check it out. They are a small business that uses amazing ingredients. Their flavors are super awesome and their method of handing out samples is very unique. You walk in and someone greets you asking what you would like to try. Before you know, numerous samples are handed to you on cute little silver spoons. It doesn't end there, you can sample each and everyone that you please and are totally encouraged to do so. The hardest part is making up your mind on which flavor to buy.

People waiting and sampling.
 Aunt Jen also recommended a few other places so we set out on day number two searching for some more tasty treats. Random Order Coffeehouse hit number one on my list when she said, "Awesome Pies!"

I picked the Ginger Rhubarb and it was AMAZING!!!

This was one of their top sellers. I would get this next time. The crumb top on the rhubarb pie won my vote this time around.

 The boys were getting sick of all this looking a food and window shopping. The straw that broke the camels pie whipped cream (which I gave to them) was unsweetened! The boys were NOT impressed.
 It was time to change gears. We decided to take the tram and get a view of Portland.
Yes, it was chilly! I loved that it was chilly. :)

The view was cool but the clouds blocked Mt. Hood.

We had fun at the top which was the hospital. They had a little play area so it turned out perfect.

Lucky Mommy and her boys! Daddy, we are ready for you to come join us.
 So, we stayed with our family and took ZERO photos! I'm sorry, maybe Aunt Jen took some.

After a wonderful time in the city, Daddy flew in and we were off to Redmond to get settled in our new condo. This one was smaller but in a great location. Grandma & Grandpa A were going to join us so it was the perfect size.
Watching some shows in the living room.

Grandma was awesome and agreed to spending every other morning with the boys on her own. This gave Mommy & Daddy an opportunity to go climbing alone. On climbing days, we woke at 4:00am, hiked an hour to the Monkey and climbed until 11:00am or so. It was perfect. We would be back to the condo by lunch time so we had plenty of time to do activities with everyone.
Morning sunrise on our hike to the Monkey. You can see Broken Top, North, Middle & South Sister.

Part of the Monkey with Mt. Jefferson in the back ground. It was hard to wake up early but what a treat it was to see so many amazing sunrises.
We always joke about having "REST DAYS" in this family but if anyone knows Daddy, there is no such thing as rest! There are really just climbing days and non-climbing days in this house hold. :) Daddy spent 7 months in Afghanistan coming up with lists of things we needed to do as a family. Oregon had it's very own list so our "rest days" were jammed packed with excitement and just a little driving...HA!!!!

This was one of our "rest days", not just the next few photos but all the way down about 13 or so photos. :) We checked out every corner of the Redmond/Bend area and I have to admit, although tiring, IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!
The family at the Dee Wright Observatory.

This lava flows goes on for miles and miles and miles. We walked the interpretive trail and learned all about it.

Here is the observatory. We like to call it the Lava Castle.

There were numerous trips to the Sisters Bakery! Our little secret...the day old stash in the back! :)
 After fueling up on freshly baked cinnamon swirl bread, we tried to go to a beautiful lake at the foot of the Sisters. The mosquitos instantly attacked upon opening our doors so we headed back towards town. Along the way we made an awesome discovery, DUST DEVILS. One popped up right by our car and the boys were thrilled. We thought that would be and one time event and spent a lot of time discussing just how cool it was to see one so close.  To our surprise, this was just the tip of the ice berg. There were numerous dust devils, ones that rose hundreds of feet in the air. It was suck a cool thing to witness. The combination of wind, temperature and the dry, burned forest
 floor made for quite a show!
Dust devil in the distance.

Look close in the middle of the photo and there is another one dancing around. We saw at least 10 to 15 of them.
 We made our way over to Black Butte and trekked up to the top, a four mile round trip adventure. The trail wraps around the butte so you get stunning views 360 degrees around.

The summit of Black Butte. We had to hurry down before the thunderstorms began.

We even had time to stop at the Metolius Headwaters.

The water just pops up from the ground right here, pretty cool!

Two nuts we found there!

We stopped at a neat little store and took some time to check out the peaceful river. What a gorgeous place!!!

I took a few photos the next climb day. This is a great angle to view the Monkey Face!

We arrived back at the condo to find we had a monkey of our own!

This was a great day, Grandpa A showed up and bought some sweet thrift shop bikes for the boys. The bikes turned out to be a perfect addition to our condo. More to come...

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Above Photo: Downtown Portland Oregon Bike Ride

The Danger Zone needed a little update to include not only LUCAS DANGER, but also his little brother...AXEL ADVENTURE!

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DANGER and ADVENTURE Around Every Corner!!