If you have followed along at all you know that we love to get away to Hood River for a relaxing night away with great food and good coffee shops. It's such a romantic place to go, but it's also very much an outdoorsy place to go.
This time we stayed at the Hood River Hotel right in downtown Hood River. It's the best location since it's walking distance from all these great restaurants and coffee shops. Plus they serve a pretty mean breakfast. You will get a $10 gift certificate that comes with your stay to go towards your breakfast.
This is our 2nd stay and it will probably be our last time staying. We really do like it and we want to really, really like it enough to stay again, but it's just old. I think they keep it plenty clean, I mean it smelled great when we walked in, but it's just old and dingy. The showers are older. The floors creeked so much. The people above us got up early and walked around for hours. So needless to say we were awake by 6, even though we didn't actually get up til 8:30.
I am a hotel snob, so don't write it off. Trust me, this place is always busy and because of the fact that it's so old, it's kind of fun to stay in. Just be warned, it's not brand new or renovated for that matter.
Even if we don't stay here, we might make our way back just to eat or listen to some of their fun live music.
Check out the places we ate. We ate at Celilo for dinner and lunch. Yep, that good, we went back. We did a dinner at 3 Rivers Grill and of course our breakfast here at the hotel. In the past we have also stopped at Double Mountain Brewery for great beer and wood fire pizza.
We did go back. We told them about our last experience and the kindly put us on the 3rd floor and our stay was pleasant. It's so hard to not stay here because of the location. Thanks Hood River Hotel for making our stay enjoyable. We will be back.
For people living around Portland it might be quite hard to justify going on a ski holiday to France as there are plenty of great resorts in the area, and France is an awful long way away. Yet skiing is all about exploring, and going down the same runs all the time loses its appeal a bit. Checking out a new part of the world is definitely worth it if you are an avid skier, and it’s a great excuse to do some traveling.
The skiing in France differs quite considerably from what you will find in America. There is a bit more control, and resorts like Alpe d’Huez and Chamonix tend to have groomed terrain and less dedicated to off-piste. Off-piste slopes are also not patrolled so if you venture into that area you are truly on your own. This can be a negative for some extreme skiers, yet most will love the abundance of perfectly groomed piste.
The skiing in France is also incredibly varied. Many resorts, like Espace Killy, give you access to multiple mountains. With miles and miles of runs you can ski for days on end and never repeat the same runs; this is great for those who love to combine a little exploration with their skiing.
While the skiing may be different, there is one really big reason to take a ski holiday in France: it takes you to France! This is one of the most amazing countries in the world, and it has incredibly memorable food, scenery and culture. You can get a taste of this country while enjoying a fantastic skiing experience. Additionally, you can always take a day trip to towns close to the Alps like Lyon, or venture even further afield to see the Eifel Tower in Paris, the City of Lights.
At the end of the day, taking a ski holiday to France is a significant trek – yet with great skiing, food and the chance to see more of this amazing country it might well be worth it.
This guest post was provided by Lucas Macri who enjoys finding affordable ways to take extravagant vacations.
Thanks for all of you that participated in the giveaway. The winner of this giveaway is Cindy. Congrats Cindy, enjoy the event and don't forget to let me know all I missed out on.
Thanks everyone for the beer suggestions. There are a few I have not tried, but plan to try.
photo courtesy of billaday
One of the places that we visit often is Hood River, OR. For those of us living in Portland it's a great place to get away too. It's only an hour away, they have hiking, biking, breweries, wineries, the Fruit loop and great places to eat as well. They even have some pretty great hotel accommodations.
The other beautiful thing about Hood River is you can drive out and back in a day. It's that close. So if you can't stay the night, just go for the event.
On Saturday, October 1 they are having the Hood River Hops fest. I am giving away 2 tickets for this event. Each ticket will have give you ::
- One Mug
- Four Tokens
They are hoping to have close to 40 beers on tap for sampling at this event. Many of the beers that they will pour will be less than a week in the keg.
Here's multiple ways you can enter to win ::
- Go to Vacation Thrills Facebook page and "like" it
- Go to Eating My Way Thru Portland and "like" it too – we go there often and I have a reviewed a few restaurants.
- Sign up for newsletters at each of these sites. (1 entry per site.)
- Leave a comment here about your favorite beer and tell me what other entries you did.
You will get one entry for each thing you do upping your chances of winning. Winners will be chose at random using Random.org.
The contest will close on Sunday the 25th. At that time I will get contact info from you so I can get the tickets to you ASAP. So please make sure you input your email when you leave a comment on this blog.
Your chances of winning this are pretty great since it's a narrow crowd that will be available, like beer and be willing to drive to Hood River. So what are you waiting for? Enter today.
Keep in mind you must be 21 or older to enter the event.
One more thing. I am giving these tickets away because I can't go. It's my 20 year college reunion and yes I am choosing it over this. So I will need you to tell me what I missed.
This is a great hike for those in or around Portland.
You can hike up just to Mirror Lake and hang out. This is a pretty easy 1.5 mile hike (3 miles round trip), with almost a 1000 ft elevation climb. If you want to keep on going you can jump on the Tom, Dick and Harry trail. Doing this hike will take your elevation climb up to 2000 ft and right at 6.5 miles round trip. You will go right past Mirror Lake, so take time to enjoy the view and the peacefulness.
You can see from the picture above how the lake gets it's name.
If you turn and face the ridge behind you, you will see the top of the Tom, Dick and Harry trail.
Once you reach the top, the view is truly amazing. Even though I only took pictures of Mt. Hood, there are 5 mountain peaks you can see from up there. Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Jefferson and …….. (someone is going to need to help me out here.) Maybe it's Mt. Washington.
The trail head is right before Government camp on a corner to your right. You will often times see many cars parked at this corner and you will see an bridge you have to cross immediately. That's how you will know you are in the right spot.
The trail does have switchbacks, but it's more of a moderate trail. Once you get to the the split if you stay left on the Mirror Lake loop you will be able to walk around the whole lake looking for the perfect spot to sit down for lunch. If you stay to the right on the Tom, Dick and Harry path you will also go around the lake (in the opposite direction) until you see another little left turn off to the Tom, Dick and Harry path.
Give yourself time to do this, because it is fun to have time to hang out at the lake for awhile.
It's been over year since we have been on a roller coaster. It was last June right before my back surgery. It was so much fun, but it's been way too long.
We are in the process of figuring out annual trip that we take every year with our kids. Lucky for us the park we are visiting is located in sunny California and it's open all year long. It has fewer hours in the off season, but it's still open.
The plan right now is to head back to Six Flags Magic Mountain in early November for a few days. Here are the reasons we are choosing this park and that time frame ::
- It's one of the few parks open this time of year.
- It has the most roller coasters of any other park.
- It has a new ride we have not been on.
- We always go during the off season, keeps us from having to use a Flash pass
- With kids in high school trying to work around sports, activities and work gets trickier. This is between sport seasons.
- It's an affordable time to fly. It's not yet the holidays and it's no longer summer.
- We will probably really enjoy getting out of the rain into the sun for a few days by then.
So we start the process of watching airfare, figuring out tickets and hopefully using Hotwire to get us a deal on hotel and car. I really like where we stayed last time.
Stay tuned as we put this together, hopefully affordably.
photo courtesy of Keoni Cabral
I love roller coasters, thus the blog. I love looking at them, riding them and hearing about them. I love living the dream of heading off to my next roller coaster trip. So you can imagine how sad this makes me to see roller coasters just get abandoned.
This is a picture from Six Flags in New Orleans that was destroyed during hurricane Katrina. The word on the street is that it's too expensive to rebuild yet too expensive to abandon all together, so it just sits there.
There are several posts that talk about this and show all the pictures of the abandoned coasters, rides and walk ways. Check out this post. It's pretty crazy.
It's back! If you are looking for discount tickets to Cedar Point or Coupons for Cedar Point, I have found them.
I am an avid couponer and I make my way to Coupons.com often. Just today I noticed that you can click and print a $7 off coupon to Cedar Point.
All you will need to do is install a coupon printer on your computer. This will do nothing to harm your computer. Trust me, my husband is an IT guy and he has even allowed me to put it on his so I can print more coupons. I am not sure how many people can use the coupon. Just know that if you need more you can print 2 coupons per computer.
Enjoy the ride!!
The Tigard Balloon Fest is already over, but don't worry with these lists you won't miss another Fair or Festival.
If you are looking for something to do this summer during your staycation or your trip to the great Pacific Northwest this list is for you.
Frugal Living Northwest has compiled a list of Portland Metro, SW Washington, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon.
The lists include county and state fairs, beer festivals, Street fairs and so much more. Head over and check it out.
Thrifty NW Mom has all the festivals and fairs listed for the Puget Sound. Don't miss the Lake Union Boat festival or the Renton River Days. She covers all 14 counties and their activities.
Happy Money Saver has the list of all the fairs and fests in Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon, including the Thunderegg days in Nyssa, OR.
There is way to much to list and they have links to everything everywhere. Your trips just became a little easier.