Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tillamook Cheese Factory

 After Portland we were on our way to the next part of our Pacific Northwest adventure.  Anyone else take dashboard pictures?  
This road out of Portland was so beautiful to me.  
 We drove out to the coast to the Tillamook Cheese Factory!
The kids were curious and then elated to hear about the cheese samples.  
My boys like cheese. 
A lot.
 There were some fun displays to mess around with.  
Now this is the part we LOVE about year round school schedules (for at least two of the kids!)  
Taking vacations while everyone else's kids are in school is the BEST.  
No crowds people!  
 You walk upstairs and there are large windows overlooking the cheese packaging floor as well as the large vats where they make ice cream.  It is interesting to watch the conveyor belts. 

After spending some time upstairs watching the workers and reading through a lot of the displays we headed back down to the cheese sample bar!  
Things like this gross me out and I was relieved to see everyone using toothpicks and NOT double picking.  
 This funneled us into a large cheese gift shop.  
And ice cream counter. 
 And restaurant.  
There are ways they can pack the cheese for you to take home where it stays cold for a few days but we just opted for some yummy ice cream cones. 
 Dan loves a good scoop of ice cream.
 More photo ops in the Tillamook "Loaf" truck. 
 We all loved our stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory!  
All the workers were so nice and it really is worth the drive and hour or so time it takes to stop and tour it! 
We headed up the coastline a bit, it is just so beautiful!   
I mean look at this, how can you not love Oregon!? 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Eating Our Way Through Portland

 We had to make a stop at VooDoo Doughnuts.  It's in a unsuspecting part of town and while the neighborhood is dirty and a tad off can't deny the whimsy and cleverness of it all. 
 The kids were delighted with all the funky choices they had. 
 And fascinated by the shop itself.  I felt like I was not really cool enough to be there but they still took our money. 
 Our choices.  Because who needs dinner anyhow.  Doughnuts for dinner on vacation, right?
 Lauren loving her pick!  I found out later that night on Instagram that my dear friend Kat from college was there with her family just mere minutes after we were!  I haven't seen her since her wedding and that would have been SO COOL to run into her!  I was bummed to say the least.
 Dan and I practicing our pouty faces in our efforts to

We really found this book to be helpful for our trip:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stump Town

We finally made it into Portland!  
I used to live here years ago and just love the area.  I worked for Delta Airlines as a Ticket Agent at PDX and got yelled at in Korean from passengers on the 5 a.m. arrival flight almost daily.  

I also attended floral design school here!  I was single and living with my mom and dad, it was right before my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  
We lived across the river in Vancouver, Washington so our first stop was taking the kids to see my old house.
 It looks so bad now, the front tree is so overgrown and they have let the landscaping go.  It was such a cute house with a great floorplan!

We quickly headed over to Fort Vancouver to tour the Marshall House.
Nobel Peace prize winner George C. Marshall lived here for a short time!
 A nice elderly man gave us a great tour of the place and even let Dan and the kids try on Mr. Marshall's hat.  
We all have big heads I guess, it didn't fit any of us!
 We crossed the river and my kids were ooohing and aaaahing over all the cool bridges Portland has.  
I'll admit it's a beautiful site and the sun was peeking out to welcome us to this great city!
 We headed up to the Pittock Mansion, one of my favorite places in Portland.
 Such a grand house!  
I love how well the city has taken care of the estate.
 This is the library with the carved wood ceiling, I could see myself curled up with a good book here on a cold and dreary gray Portland day.
 The music room is huge and so beautiful!
 Lauren with piano that belonged to one of the Pittock girls.  
Pretty fancy.
 Exquisite ceiling in the Turkish smoking room. 
 Outside view of the front (side?) door of the mansion.
 Back side of the mansion...that large picture window is the music room. 
The grounds of the mansion are just gorgeous!  Oregon is so lush and green, the plants they had there were so beautiful and made me want to hurry home to start improving my own little yard!
 I have to start sneaking pictures of Graham now, he is not a fan of the camera.  Look at the view behind him though!  Handsome boy AND a great view!
 We stopped for lunch at Little Big Burger and this is where things took an ugly turn...we started eating our way through the city.  Burgers and fries here.  Delish!
 Then we happened across an ice cream shop.  It had a short line so we thought it must be good.  
Come to find out the Food Network has named the Salt and Straw the number two ice cream in America.  
I was perfectly content and delighted with second place in this case.
 It is decorated so cool and the ice cream is really....just amazing!
 We headed over to get lost in Powell's Books for a long while.  Each kid picked out a book to read in the car the rest of the trip and I reminisced about how lovely book stores smell.  I love my Kindle Paperwhite, but man there is something magical about those tall shelves full of books and the smell of paper.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We Interrupt this Trip for Hiccup

Greg was reading over my shoulder and asked me why I never blogged about his Halloween costume.  
From last year.
That kid...he kills me. 
He LOVES How to Train Your Dragon.  I remember watching him at the movie theater for the first time and knowing his deepest desire at that very moment was to own and ride a dragon.

I can't say that much has changed and How to Train Your Dragon II kept the dream alive.
Until last Halloween when he at the very least was able to BECOME Hiccup. 
 He made a pretty cute Popeye back in Kindergarten....but even I was thinking this was it.  
My pinnacle of costume making right here.  
No costume I ever made could EVER beat this because I could see his little boy heart OVERJOYED when it put it all on. 
 And isn't that why we do it? 
 Magical.  My little blondie became Hiccup with a wig, a cut up thrift store jacket and vest, some belts and old boy scout patches and a lot of sewing Wal-mart faux leather on jeans and arms.
 My fingers were numb but it was worth every stitch!  I had him try it on one more time and then we sold the costume to another lucky little boy. 
 Greg wanted to pass the dream along knowing it wouldn't fit him another year later. 
Here's hoping that someday there might be dragons to fly as well for this boy of mine! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cascade Locks and Multnomah Falls Oregon

After deciding we were grateful to not be pioneers, we headed back on the road towards Pendleton, Oregon. 
We thought it might be a fun stop to see the woolen mill tour.
 There was a store and outlet store there, but the outlet/seconds prices were still in the hundreds, so no thanks.
 The tour was 45 minutes long.  No thank you to that too, so we took a picture and got on our way.
 I guess Pendleton is famous for a big rodeo they host every year.  The town is trashy and gross.  I was thrilled to leave and get back on the road. 
 This dog in the parking lot had the same idea...
Let's go!
We continued on to Cascade Locks in Hood, Oregon.  What a fun stop! 
You can go down below and watch the fish swim up the ladders
 And talk to your kids about the importance of getting a solid college education. There are employees who sit here 24 hours a day and COUNT FISH!  Can you imagine?  I would fall asleep.
 This is Dan lecturing the kids on getting good grades.  Then we wondered if maybe the fish counter is some guy who has a masters degree in Fish Hatchery or something.

We arrived as they were closing so we buzzed across the parking lot to the fish hatchery.
 They have machines were you can buy fish food and feed the fish.  We had fun watching them swarm after the food.
 Cute little house on the property.  It was so pretty and well manicured.  It would be the perfect place for a party or reception.
 This was the best though....
 Yeah, THAT! A sturgeon.
 We took the scenic route up to the falls.
There are a few little ones along the way that are so cute
 But THIS is what I was excited for the kids to see!
 Multnomah Falls!

 It was so beautiful there and perfect weather!
 Then we spotted these crazy people....doing handstands on that bridge!
I took some pictures and then we hiked up to the bridge.  I offered to text them to him and it turns out one of the guys was from my small little hometown in Newbury Park, California. 
 Small world, right?
Crazy for sure....