9 Reason to See Crater Lake National Park Oregon

Yes! Crater Lake really is that blue

Yes! Crater Lake really is that blue

I’m embarrassed to say I have lived in Oregon most of my life and I had never been to Crater Lake. I had flown over it and thought it looked beautiful, but I had never driven to it and looked at it in all it’s glory. I will also be honest and say it wasn’t even on my radar as a place to visit, just a thought in the back of my head.

Then everything changed… [Read more…]

Spending a Day in Portland

The Stone House in Forest Park Portland, OR

The Stone House in Forest Park Portland, OR

I love my city. There is so much to do here, and when the sun is shining there is no place I would rather be. My all time love of the city is the food scene, but I love to combine that with some of the other great features of our city…Hiking, right in the city. [Read more…]

5 Great Day Trips Out Of Portland

Sunset at Pacific City

Sunset at Pacific City

There is so much to see and do within Portland, but the best part of Portland is the fact that it’s so dang close to so much you can experience all kinds of adventures.  As summer winds down these are some great places to get to before the school season starts. If you don’t make it before then, don’t worry, September and October are usually good months to take in the last of summer. Enjoy any of these as day trips or weekend getaways while the weather is still great. [Read more…]

Hiking and Eating in Long Beach Washington

Stunning day at the coast

Stunning day at the coast

For our anniversary we decided to head to Astoria, Oregon since we hadn’t been there in a few years. It’s a great little town on the Northern Oregon Coastline with great food options. There was a hotel we went to a few years back, that we loved, and decided to stay again. Once our trip started to get closer, we decided we would like to take one extra day. The hotel was booked, as it was the weekend of 4th of July, so I began broadening our search. By doing that we started our trip in Long Beach, Washington.

We found the Adrift Hotel for a somewhat reasonable price and with very mixed reviews. We decided to lower our standards, expect less, and [Read more…]

Mirror Lake Hike

Mirror Lake with Mt. Hood in the background

Portland!  You not only have the city, but the beach and the mountains can be reached within just over an hour. This is a great hike for those in or around Portland or even those that are visiting Portland and want a great view of Mt. Hood.

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. [Read more…]

Planning a Staycation in Portland, OR

It’s spring break and there is plenty to do in and around Portland if you don’t plan on leaving town.

One minute you can be shopping downtown, eating at a great little place that serve fresh local ingredients, hitting some breweries, laughing at a comedy club, then the next minute you can be driving out of town to a completely different atmosphere.

If you go east you will hit the mountains which have hiking trails, biking trails, obviously skiing and snowboarding.

Right now Mt. Hood Meadows is offering a spring unlimited pass for $139. That is a killer deal and a great way to spend spring break.

For those that just want to put there feet up, then you can head West to the beach. This time of year there are storms and whales to watch. Great chowder and salt water taffy to be eaten.

Really all it takes is deciding what it is you want to do. Deciding how much money or energy you want to spend.

I know Portland might be extreme and that is why people move here, but what about where you live? There has to be some fun things to do in your area. Trust me, I came from a town of 150 people and believe it or not, there were things to do in our area as well.

Looking for Ideas of What to Do In Portland If It’s Raining?

How Far Would You Drive For In-n-Out?

in-n-out

I wish I could say the reason I haven’t posted in awhile is because I have been off traveling, but it’s not true.  We have just been getting settled into the school routine, but I did want to share the trip my husband and son took to In-n-Out.  That’s right they drive 6 hours, grab a burger, see some sights, grab a burger and come home. They drive from Portland, Oregon to Redding, California just for In-n-Out Burger.

This is the 2nd year they have done it.  This year they stopped in the Redwoods.  [Read more…]

The Weekend in My City

frolicing-through-the-meadow

I had a great day planned yesterday.  It included hiking in a place I had never been, going to a theater I hadn’t been to either and ending the day watching the sunset from a great location.

All that changed when we woke up to almost rainy weather.  I decided I wanted to stay closer to home, but still get out.

If you remember my husband and son are in CA eating at In n Out, leaving my daughter and myself here to fend for ourselves.  I just wanted to make sure we had a good, fun day. [Read more…]

Taking in the Last of Summer

Some of the beauty you will see out hiking around Pacific City.

Some of the beauty you will see out hiking around Pacific City.

Where has summer gone?  As summer starts to come to a close you have to ask yourself, Did you do it all? Did you get it all in?

If not, it’s not too late to get in a last minute trip or at least do some day trips.  Let’s look at some options.

1.  Camping.  You might find many camp sites full, but there are still quite a few that are first come first serve.  Try and take off a day early and arrive on Thursday if you can instead of Friday.  Although if you can camp in the middle of the week you might find some openings.

2.  Beach House or Hotel at the Beach. Again if weekends are booked you can try and do some midweek stuff.  Have little ones?  Wait an extra week and go once all the older kids have started school.

3. Day Hikes. The great thing about where I live is I can get to the coast, mountains, rivers within an hour in any direction and there is hiking at all those locations.  I know we are super fortunate, but take advantage of what you might have.  Pack a lunch, find a trail with a waterfall and enjoy your day vacation.

4.  Beach day.  Ok, so you don’t live near the ocean.  Do you live near a lake or river that has some sandy beaches?  Take the day and frolic in the water to cool off from the hot summer days.

5.  Go to a local pool or water park.  For some of us that might be a drive making it a full on day trip.  Others can make a vacation out of it because the location might be so far away.

6.  Hit the Amusement park.  Check out planning the perfect roller coaster vacation. In the past we have done Cedar Point because they started school a few weeks before us.  We would go after the locals start and the parks wouldn’t be as crowded.

7.  Go to the local park and play games, sit in the sun and enjoy a picnic.  Better yet, invite others as well and make a party out of it.

8.  Throw a party at your house with cocktails, friends and great food. Taking in the last of the summer nights.

9.  Visit a farmers market and plan on eating at one of the venues.  Nothing says summer like a farmers market.

10.  Take advantage of summer programs your city offers. We have Concerts on the Commons, Third Thursdays or First Thursdays (where they close off streets and have food and goods for sale).

11.  Choose another city to enjoy.  Last summer we did a few days in Seattle and a few days in Vancouver, BC.  It rains often in those cities, so the summer months are great for getting to know them on foot.  Our time in Vancouver was one of our best vacations last year.  Our whole family wants to go back.

12.  Go for a bike ride.  We have a great trail in a neighboring town, that takes you along a river and you end up in a small town.  We found a little place where you could sit down and get ice cream. We then got back on our bikes and rode the path back to our car.

13.  Hit the river.  Grab the canoe, kayak, tube if you have too, one more time and go down the river.

Whatever you choose, just choose it now.  Take in the last of summer and enjoy!!

Don’t let summer pass you by just yet, there are still summer days ahead that need some thrill, enjoyment and excitement.

Linked to Top Ten Tuesday

The Outdoorsy Side of Hood River

Triple Falls Columbia Gorge

I have easily passed through Hood River 100 times.  I kid you not, I have driven back and forth to Eastern Oregon and Portland for nearly 18 years now.  We did discover the quaint downtown and for a while our stop included the Taco del Mar.   I know, why would a foodie stop there??  It was easy and the place was so quaint, it was a fun stop, and always guaranteed fast.  Every time we drove in and back out, I would look around and just want to take my time.  But with 6 hours still ahead or 6 hours behind you, stopping to look was not an option.

Finally last summer I met up with a friend and we stopped in Hood River.  We had the the most amazing meal and I decided the next time we came through we would stop as a family and enjoy.  And we did!!  That was the stop that made me want to come back for a weekend. So here we are 3 months later enjoying Hood River again.  Before we even entered the town we enjoyed hours of hiking and [Read more…]