I was sooo excited to arrive in Portland! To experience heaven on earth in the form of the state of Oregon, to be free of responsibility for my girls, to have lots of lots of girl talk, and to just know adventure in my life again. I had not flown anywhere in nearly three years! This is definitely a blessing, especially with 2 small children, but still, for someone who moved constantly that is a strange, strange thing!
Let the adventure begin! I was the last one to arrive at the airport and here we all are reunited at last (missing is Brooke, who was busy studying away - she is a genius and is in med school).
The rest of the gang, geniuses in our own right...me, Sara, Caroline (and Thomas), Liz and Kim in front of the trusty Rampton van, which Sara's family kindly let us use to get around. We headed through downtown Portland to see the city a little and pick up some lunch (at the Laughing Planet)before driving towards the coast. It has been so long since I have been somewhere completely new to me and I had forgotten what a thrill is it to be overcome by entirely new surroundings. I wanted to take pictures of everything to capture it all. The city was beautiful!
Caroline's little boy, Tommy, was the only baby along for the ride. He was absolutely adorable and was super easy going and happy pretty much the entire time. Tommy has many great qualities, but my personal favorite is his hair. It really just does this all on it's own! It sticks up everywhere in a soft little poof that refuses to lay flat - it is spectacular!
One more stop in Portland at Washington Park's Rose Test Gardens. They were beautiful AND free, what more can you ask for?! (also, a note for group shots from the trip...we asked a lot of strangers to take our pictures, some faring better than others, and also tried to take turns taking pictures of the rest of the group - hence a lot of shots only have 4 of the 5 us)
Sara is the resident plant expert and proved to be quite useful at the Rose Garden and on our never-ending hike I'll blog about tomorrow :-). Below is Mount Hood, which I heard we were lucky to have such a clear view of that day.
After our leisurely walk around the gardens we drove out to the coast. This inlet was completely full of water that afternoon, and the next morning completely empty. I was amazed at how far the tides came in and out!
Sara's aunt was so generous in allowing us to spend our long weekend at her cute beach house. We were at the very top of the hill and had the best of both worlds, amazing views of the ocean and gorgeous forests surrounding us.
These next pictures were taking from the balcony of the second floor room I stayed in.
The next morning we visited the Tillamook Cheese factory - I was ecstatic! I am a firm believer that cheese makes pretty much anything taste better, so it was really exciting to see TONS of cheese being processed and then get to taste all the free samples we cared to try afterwards :-)!
This is an example of a stranger's picture gone wrong. This poor little lady tried a few times to get a picture of us with the Tillamook sign in the background, but just couldn't quite figure it out :-). We definitely appreciated the effort anyway!
Tommy trying to look at the ceiling fan, waaay up there, and also showing off his turtle neck which was actually his dad's as a baby :-)!
I'll try to post the second half of the trip tomorrow...my picture taking did slow down a little as time went on.