Thursday, May 3, 2012

Portland #2

Wednesday was our Road Trip day!  We rented a car to explore a little bit outside of Portland and had quite the day!

It started with renting the car...  Uffda.  The hubby lost his ID in the Denver airport, so I had to be the one and only driver on the rental car.  And we got a Dodge Avenger.  Seriously?  It's the Bat-mobile.  It was all black, huge, with tinted windows.  Did I mention it was HUGE?!  You could have put two of me in the driver's seat (and I do not have small hips!).  I'm used to driving a FIAT.  Goodness.

So we picked up the car - and could not get our little selves out of the city of Portland!  (No wonder I like the public transportation so much!)  We even went the wrong way down a one-way at some point...  If I was in my FIAT, it would have been no problem...  In the Dodge?  Big problem!  Geesh.

Once we were on the freeway, we were off to explore some of the most gorgeous parts of Oregon that I've seen so far!  The only downer was that it was a foggy, rainy day.  We kept hoping it would lift, but it was not to be.  No matter.  We still loved every minute!

We ended up driving the Columbia River Gorge scenic route - waterfall after waterfall.  Gorgeous - even in the fog!  (Although, we surely plan to make this drive again on a sunny day!)

Multnomah Falls was spectacular!  Just standing there and feeling the spray was amazing.

Once through the Gorge, we headed up Mt Hood.  And the snow started.  Seriously?!  On MY vacation?!  Yep.  So, we decided to stop by the ski resort at the top - 18 feet of snow in April!  Wowsers.  Mike was sad he didn't bring his snowboard...

Next, we headed down the mountain into Bend, Oregon.  Super cute town - lots of breweries!  We only stopped at two - Deschutes (a favorite of mine - with yummy food!) and Bend Brewery (a cute little local spot).  We walked the main street and looked in some shops...  Pretty spendy.  No souveniers from Bend - but the art galleries look pretty cool!

Pretty soon it was time to start the drive back, hopefully to avoid driving through the mountains in the dark.  We took a different route back, heading through Salem, Oregon - but on the way had to go back over Mt Hood.  This time?  REALLY snowing!  Yuck.  Yet, strangely beautiful....

We made it.  We got back to the city pretty late, dropped off the car, and walked back to our hotel.  Pretty interesting walk at night - lots of people out and about. 

A great day - with lots of surprises.  That's what adventures are for, right?

Thursday, we simply explored more of Portland.  More neighborhoods.  A snack at Voodoo Donuts - YUM! 

Lots of walking and shopping in the Hawthorne District.  Tried some more beers at the Hop House. 

Met some interesting people.  Stopped for dinner.  Tried to go to a concert...  Hubby's lack of an ID prevented us from getting in.  Goodness. 

So we walked back to the hotel - quite a ways, but a gorgeous night! 

We even stopped for one last beer at the Portland Deschute's Brew Pub.  Yum.  Black Butte Porter.  Gotta love it.

Friday morning, we simply took a walk.  One last stop at Powell's Bookstore - the only bookstore I've ever gotten the hubby to spend a lot of time in!  (He found the hiking and brew-your-own-beer sections.  I had plenty of time to browse!)  My favorite souvenir?  My Powell's hoody sweatshirt! 

Then it was off to the train and to the airport...  Always sad to leave...  But a great place to visit!

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Vacations.  Love the adventure!
2.  God's beautiful world.
3.  Hoodies.
4.  My little FIAT.
5.  Powell's Bookstore.
6.  Our newly painted loft!
7.  My new challenge to myself - do something creative each week. 
8.  Pinterest.
9.  A great training today! 
10.  Beer tasting tonight!

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