About: Portland, OR
We have already been so spoiled this summer (well, and spring) - in the last 2 months we've touched down in 12 states! Over 4th of July weekend we went to Vancouver/Portland with Jen and Grant. It's such a beautiful drive.
We were invited to stay with Grant's parents - which was just so perfect. The back yard/deck/pool made it feel like we were staying at a resort, it had a gorgeous view of the greenery that western Washington is known for, plus a little slice of water. It was so relaxing. It was so sweet of them to have us.
Our first day we started out at the Oregon Zoo - the weather could not have been more beautiful, and what a super fun zoo!
Liam picked out a bat stuffed animal, got a bat pressed penny, and the bats we saw - yeh, they were creepy. Lina has always loved penguins the best.
We had a delicious lunch next to the river and then walked around downtown Portland, shopping, and seeing the sights. Afterwards we drove up to the Pittock Mansion, which gave us an AMAZING view of Portland and of Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams, Mr. Rainier, and Mt. Jefferson. Pretty incredible.
Mt. Hood above, Mt. Saint Helens below.
And as if that wasn't enough, we went to the rose garden, which I definitely didn't get enough pictures of. It was spectacular. Later that night Liam threw up - Todd and I were face-palming because it seems like our kids always get sick when there's a vacation... but then I realized that he hadn't eaten anything since lunch, and even then he didn't eat very much. He was so hungry that he was nauseous and had basically forced himself to puke. That happens to me too, poor kiddo. I felt so bad we hadn't fed them, but we'd been too busy to notice!
The next day was overcast and drizzly, it was weird to need to wear jeans and a jacket. We started out with the Portland must have - Stumptown Coffee (Grant was a great tour guide, and gave of lots of history and facts about the town... including where "stumptown" came from :) I have to say this cold brew was really weird and I couldn't even drink half of it, but later on I had the MOST delicious almond latte EVER. I will dream about it.
We went back to Powell's, because once wasn't enough, and really we could've gone back again but there just wasn't time. That afternoon we met with our dear friend Amy and her husband for lunch - how nice to catch up. By that time the sun had come out and it was warm enough for the kids to want to swim and for me to want to lay by the pool and soak up the sunshine.
On the 4th we went to a great outlet mall and did some serious, sales-tax-free, shopping - but on the way home we finally go to experience another Portland staple - Salt & Straw - seriously phenomenal ice cream, even if the flavors sound crazy!
To celebrate Independance Day we were invited to Grant's sister's in-laws house...which basically blew my expectations out of the water - see video below. Everyone was so friendly, the food was crazy good, and the fireworks were almost Disneyland caliber. We had such a great time.
Last morning - before we could leave we still had to get doughnuts. And if you don't know why, then you don't know us at all. VooDoo Doughnuts is the popular one, but we were told Blue Star - which was ohmyword delicious. This was the Passion Fruit & Cocoa Nib, my mouth is watering.
Just a short drive on the way back to Idaho we decided to stop at the famous Multnomah Falls. It really is as beautiful as all of the pictures I've seen. It was also insanely busy there - like Disneyland busy. We climbed up to the bridge, but not all the way to the top - maybe another day.
We drank coffee and had "church" on the way home - ie. Pastor Scott's podcast of Sunday's sermon and the kids napped. It was easy peasy. The kids were so well behaved, I just love how easy they are to travel with and how much they love it too! We could've easily stayed another day, we'll go back to Portland anytime!