Sunday, August 9, 2009

Portland 2009 - Part One

Part one of the the chronicles of our vacation to visit Ember in Portland.

I felt a little sad telling Finn goodbye on Wednesday morning before I left for a half of a day at work. To him, I'm sure it felt like a normal ol' day of Daddy leaving for work, but I knew that Mandy's mom was going to be whisking him away for time with the grandparents, so I wouldn't see him for almost a week. When Mandy was putting Finn in the car seat he said "Ju-Ju car seat?" because even though we explained it to him several times, his two-year-old mind really didn't understand the full implications of the trip, i.e. Julia wasn't going with him.

The flight from MSP to PDX went really well. Julia got to sit by the window and she thought it was pretty cool when we started moving. Soon after takeoff Mandy and I wanted to see if she was handling it ok, but Julia was peering out the window so we couldn't see her face. Mandy asked her how it was going and Julia said, "I'm smiling!" Julia got a little bit bored on the three and a half hour flight, but didn't complain and when we landed she said, "That was awesome!" and said she wanted to do it again. I told her that we'll have a vacation first, then we'll do it again.

Here she is sampling the complimentary cookies and pretzels while sipping some juice.

Ember took the light-rail to the airport to meet us when we landed and that was really cool. Then we got our rental car and drove to Ember and Kevin's house to stay the first night. Julia found some time to color and tried a few times to coax out the shy kitty. The next morning the four of us got on our way to the coast after a homemade breakfast by Kevin.

As we wound our way closer to the coast we stopped at Munson Falls, home to the second tallest waterfall in Oregon. The trail was a short hike but it was beautiful scenery. We saw a banana slug making its way slowly across the trail. I asked Julia if she thought it would taste like a banana, but she didn't want to find out. This specimen was probably 5-6 inches long. Along the path, we passed an older couple, some of the handful of other people at the falls at the same time as us. They noticed Mandy's UWRF sweatshirt and said that they were from the Twin Cities (later that evening, while eating at a restaurant for supper, another couple talked to Mandy about her sweatshirt – they were from Milwaukee).

After that we headed out and finished the last few miles to the coast. After stopping at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (the cheese curds were decent, the ice cream was really good) we headed to the Cape Meares Lighthouse. There were some spectacular views from high on the rocky cliffs jutting out into the Pacific. Julia climbed the steep lighthouse steps and seemed pretty interested in how the huge light worked at the top. On a side trail was the Octopus Tree.

Next we headed north to Rockaway Beach to find our oceanside motel. I was really pleased with the place, especially that it was right on the beach. Our window faced the ocean and so I left it open at night so we could hear the surf all night.

Check out this link for more pictures:


Anonymous said...

if banana slugs make so much mucus, why do they need chap stick ? nice pics!! DLK

Anonymous said...

What an awesome vacation, Ember's neck of the woods is gorgeous!! Lunch with Finn and Grandma Colleen today was fun - Finn is quite the handsome little gentleman. Enjoy the rest of your vacay.