A couple of weeks ago my cousin Joanne and her husband Alain flew out from Montreal for a visit. They had never been to Oregon and maybe once or twice to the Northwest. I could not wait to show them what they had been missing!
it isnt very often, I discovered, that one gets to take 10 days off work and stay home to play tourist. I didnt have to pack, get a house-sitter, deal with security at the airport or manage jet lag. I did get to visit all the places locals never bother to revisit just because…well why would you? I HAD A BLAST!
So 9 days of fun. I started them out in the city and bless their little canadian hearts, they brought fantastic weather with them! We went through the city and up to the Rose Garden, then ventured over to the Japanese Garden. I forget how gorgeous the gardens are. When i moved here in 1992, you could see the cityscape from the rose gardens. Now i know i have been here for a loonnnggg time because the view is gone,the trees are all blocking it out. I kind of like that i was here when the view was and now it is a like a hidden secret.
i want this in my back yard
Anyway the following day i took them out to the gorge. We hiked every single waterfall and traipsed down every moss laden trail to view more waterfalls. it was so gorgeous. I forget how fun the gorge can be and how fun it is to stop at each fall with the same people doing the same thing.
We are like this pack of turtles bouncing from one fun thing to the next. it was also great to have the same people take out pictures and vice-versa. We stopped at the Bonneville damn to watch the salmon climb the ladders (they are HUGE) and then stopped at the fish hatchery to see the 10 foot Sturgeon. I have to say that was all very cool and something i had never done before. We drove all the way out to Hood River, ate 20 lb hamburgers with bacon AND cheese and the 6 glass sampler at Full Sail Brewery. We also picked up a case of beer for the BBQ and then drove up to Mt Hood to visit Timberline Lodge. On the way we stopped at a couple of wineries and grabbed some wine. And might i just add at this point thank god because the staff at Timberline really really suck! We got to stay in a bunk room that sleeps 6 (we were only 3) and swam in the pool and hiked the trails. it is hard to believe at that point you are 3 miles from the top…3 looonnnggggg miles.
It was just gorgeous up there. We didnt even have to eat because of the 20 lbs burgers. Which, again is good because i swear the staff are so stoned they dont even know there are guests milling around scavenging for ground squirrels and nut nourishment.
The following day we headed home and prepared for my annual Green Bean BBQ. it was so much fun. It still amazes me to see all of my friends with their little minis. (children not skirts, my friends aren’t floozies unless they want to be and they dont. We had chickens running away from screaming children, dogs eating whatever they could find and everyone eating great food. I even got my annual drunk person entertainment. There always has to be one right? AMEN!
The following day, i turned 35 DAMN! and headed to the beach with my cousins and my surrogates and all the dogs. Again the weather was incredible at 85. we celebrated with a fantastic meal and lots of walks on the beach.
It was the perfect way to roll into the next age-checkbox on every form I see…i am now associated with the 35-44 box WTF? ironically that same day i swear i found a liver spot on my cheek and my pinky toe on my right foot went numb …oh and i cant sleep on the floor anymore because no matter how much yoga i do, i just cant get up in the morning. (come to find out i just stepped on a jelly fish so my toe hasn’t fallen off yet from old age). On our way home we stopped at Munson Falls just because i had never even noticed the sign before and Stacey had heard it was really cool…it was.
We got home, celebrated at my FAVORITE restaurant in the whole world Andina’s and the following day i whisked them off to the airport and laid on the couch for 2 days…i swear i didnt move.
So i highly recommend staying home and playing tourist. It is just so much fun and if you are lucky enough to have people with you who have never been here, you get to see things for the first time all over again.