I love to travel if you haven’t noticed that yet. Last weekend was one of the most memorable 36 hours I’ve had in a long long time. Everything seemed to fit into place and life long memories were made!
It all started a year or go or so when Becky was watching a Man vs. Food with Brock and the episode featured Portland Oregon. The show usually shows 3 different locations. One location was VooDoo donuts. Fast forward to last fall when Becky’s absolute favorite TV show, Leverage, had an episode which was shot in Portland and they ate VooDoo Donuts. In January, when Owen and I went to Seattle for our Anniversary, Becky started asking when she could go to Portland. Once, her friends brought her back some donuts, but Becky still wanted a “Trip”. Thursday night Brett had a fever and so I went into work early on Friday so that I could be home soon after he woke up. I got a text at 8:45 from Owen – “should we pull Becky out of school at noon and go to Portland?” I said let’s talk when I get home in 30 minutes. By the time I had gotten home we had figured out what needed to happen. Owen suggested that we go to all three locations from the Man vs. Food Portland show. So we had our agenda. By 11am we were at Becky’s school surprising her as the office called to say she was leaving for the day.
Her smile as she walked out of school with Owen was priceless.
We hadn’t gotten a mile away when we remembered we had forgotten a few critical things – so we turned around to go and get Becky her swimsuit and my camera. I had been debating if I should bring the camera or just use my phone’s camera. Since we were going back to get her suit I grabbed my camera too. I would have been so sad not to have gotten the 300+ pictures from this weekend, had I not brought my camera. I realized how much photography is a part of who I am now. I want to be able to captures all that is going on and the places we have been to, because I love to collect memories and the pictures help remind me of my favorite places, people and experiences.
I have tried to figure out how I want to organize the blogs about this weekend and have come up with four blogs entries:
- This entry, the Trip Overview
- The Man vs Food theme
- The Beaches we visited
- Pictures from a moving car.
Feel free to read the ones which interest you and skip the ones which you aren’t interested in. I will warn you know that there are LOTS of pictures. We did so many things and saw so many great places and, of course, I want to be able to remember all of them.
We headed away from Sammamish, and the first stop along the way was to visit the one and only Sonic in Western Washington. It is located in Puyallup and Owen has wanted to go since it opened a few years ago. Today was the perfect day. We had no real time commitments (Voodoo Donuts is open 24/7) and we had a full tank of gas, change of clothes and 2 great kids in the back seat who were game. Sonic tasted great. It was a few miles off the freeway in pretty bad traffic so we checked to see if there was a more scenic route to Portland. Turns out it was only 30 min longer to get to Portland to go the scenic way. LOVED IT. After about 20 minutes of trying to get pictures out the window with my camera phone and it not getting showing the amazing colors, Owen happily pulled over so I could get my camera out of the trunk and I started snapping pictures from the front/side windows the rest of the trip.
We arrived in Portland and headed to Salvador’s Molly’s for dinner. Great food – the restaurant has a Caribbean theme – and the first Man vs. Food stop was checked off and enjoyed.
As we were getting off the freeway to go to the hotel we saw a rainbow right over our hotel area. I do believe that we found a pot of gold size memories this weekend.
We headed to the hotel when the kids and I headed down to the pool. We had the place to ourselves. Brett and Becky had a great time swimming and sitting in the hot tub. Once again hotel’s with pools are critical to a great family vacation.
Our Hotel was a half a mile from the LDS Portland Temple so we stopped by with the kids. I had never walked around the grounds before and it was beautiful. The sun was just about to start to go down and the lighting was amazing.
We then headed to fulfill Becky’s dream of visiting VooDoo donuts. It surely didn’t disappoint us and lived up to its hype. 2 stops now checked off and 1 more to go tomorrow morning.
We headed back to the hotel and it seemed like the Food channel on the hotel television was having a “Dinner, Drive-Ins and Dives” marathon. Now we have a few more cities added to our list of fun cities to visit.
Saturday morning we woke up to go to breakfast at the last of the restaurants on the episode – Stepping Stone Café. That morning I had tossed around going to Astoria, OR and thought it would be a fun side trip. While we were at breakfast we realized that it was not much further to go via Seaside, OR and then up to Astoria – that way we’d be able to go home a different route back to Portland after visiting Astoria.
We enjoyed the drive to Seaside. Brett even was entertained by taking pictures out the window and in the car as we drove.
Seaside was so fun. Becky loved swinging on the swings finding sticks and climbing on drift wood (a very common theme for the rest of the day).
Brett on the other hand did not want to go on the sand (something I was surprised about). He preferred to check things out through the view finders.
After spending time on the Beach we headed for lunch in Astoria. Not having any Man vs. Food locations here we used Yelp. I picked the highest rated with the most reviews. Lunch at Bridgewater Bistro was a great restaurant to add to the tour list.
I wanted to drive over the Astoria Bridge (since I never had) and Owen had been reading about the lighthouses and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment so we headed over the bridge and on to Cape Disappointment in WA. It was not a disappointment in the least. We loved learning so much and it was fun for Becky who had studied Lewis and Clark this year in school to see it for real. Couple of more beaches and lots of sticks and drift wood to climb on.
We then headed up to Long Beach so we could drive on the beach. We then figured we should start heading home.
Here is a map of our trip:
We got home at 9:30 on Saturday night just about 36 hours after we decided to go. We had so much fun. The kids were amazing and I loved being spontaneous once again. I would be surprised if you hear more about 36 hours trips a few more time this year. This is a general overview and the next few blogs will be much more descriptive and have TONS more pictures.