Saturday, February 28, 2015

happy Portland day

We had a very happy Portland day of sports and outdoor play and amazing food. I went for an early morning run along our local network of trails, and then Sebastian had a basketball game at 9 am. His team, the Falcons, looked pretty good out there - it's really fun to see the difference that a little regular coaching and practice makes in a child's skill level.  Liesl stayed outside at the playground for most of the game, chasing daddy, playing pretend games with mommy, and climbing everything.

Afterwards we visited the Japanese Garden, always a favorite spot, which is just now coming into spring bloom. I had fun experimenting with my new camera, taking pictures at various angles and trying to get the lighting and framing right. It was a little too bright and sunny for good quality shots - lots of glare, and the camera struggles with dappled sunlight - but fun anyway.

For lunch we headed over to our favorite stretch of SE Division. We got dal, curried cauliflower, and a chicken kati roll from Bollywood Theater, a pie from Pizza Maria for the kiddos, and then we shared a berry and dumpling vanilla ice cream sundae at Salt and Straw. It was like a pie, but with more ice cream than dough. It was amazing.

Feeling possibly a little overstuffed, we wandered over to Laurelhurst Park - we made a loop around on the trails, splashed sticks in the pond, and did underdogs on the playground swings - and serendipitously found our friends Mary, Rowan, and Camille playing there as well! Liesl was so tickled.

And then we returned home for a quick dropoff and pickup of supplies - Sebastian had a 4:20 soccer game at Beaverton Indoor. He played well, although it was possible he was slightly tired out from the day...  They played the best of the teams in their league and lost badly, although not as badly as previously (how's that for faint praise?).  Back home again for dinner and then it was Steve's turn to head out for his 8:10 soccer game.  Phew!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

home time


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

moms' weekend trip to Bend

Anne, Adrienne, Mary, and I took a weekend trip to Bend. We drove out Friday morning and rented a small house in town for a couple of nights. We talked, we laughed, we ate good food, we hiked, we snowshoed, we shopped... it was wonderful. I felt like I got to know them better as people and friends, and it was great to feel free of responsibilities for a few days.*

On Friday morning, we drove on Hwy 26 past Mt. Hood and through the high desert, heading to Smith Rock State Park, a mecca for rock climbers. We hiked Misery Ridge trail up and over the rock face, and then came around past Monkey Face, and then back along the Crooked River.  It was about 3.5 miles and absolutely gorgeous - warm, sunny, stunning red/orange/greenish rocks.
 Love this picture of Adrienne in front of Misery Ridge trail sign. Up up and over the top!
 You can see a rock climber working his way up this cliff face.
Looking back down on the trail that we hiked up. Steep and winding.
Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters.
Standing in front of Monkey Face, an iconic monolith.

There was a small cave, with a hole in the side. I had to scramble up the side and then crawl through it, channeling my dad.
The Crooked River - we saw a coyote carrying what looked like a rabbit on the far side, and a pack of deer, and a bald eagle soaring overhead, as well as the usual ducks, geese, and falcons.
We drove to Bend and settled into our house before heading out to a casual restaurant called Spork for dinner. We had posole with pulled pork, Korean short ribs over rice, and green coconut curry with catfish between us, and then headed home to sleep.

On Saturday morning we woke up early and ate a quick breakfast of fruit and eggs before piling back into the car and going out in search of an alpine adventure. We found plenty of snow across from Mt. Bachelor, and headed up to the top of Tumalo Mountain. We snowshoed about 2 miles straight up to the top of the hill, most of it in brilliantly cold sunshine. The views of Bachelor and the Three Sisters were amazing and the trek was really fun. We reached a clearing which we thought was the peak, but turned out to be false - the actual summit was a steep little hill another 20 minutes up.  And then when we reached the peak and peered over the other side, it was covered in black stormy clouds and the wind was gusting across the top - it looked like the abyss. So we didn't stay long, fearing snow might be on its way.
We had a long and decadent lunch at Chow in Bend and then showered and changed before heading out for some window/actual shopping in Bend. We spent an hour in a bookstore; we browsed clothes, knickknacks, house-wares, jewelry - everyone bought a few trinkets and outfits.  We intended to go to a Spanish place for dinner, but the wait was too long and we ended up at a cozy lounge place, drinking fun cocktails and eating bar food for dinner instead.

On Sunday we packed up, breakfasted at Chow, and hit the road. We came back along a different road, from Hwy 20 to 22 to I5, making time for a short hike to see Sahalie and Koosah Falls in the Santiam Forest.  The McKenzie River was incredibly fast and deep, and the trail was a beautiful forest walk alongside the banks.
 The frost on the moss and lichen was really beautiful.
 Looking down over the second waterfall to the gorge below.
These next icicle pictures were taken from above Sahalie Falls looking down, and the spray had created gorgeous icicle patterns. I can't decide which one I like best.

*That being said, I was a little homesick for my family, especially in the evenings. I missed talking to Steve and getting hugs and kisses from my kiddos. I wished I could share the beautiful views and hikes with them and am excited to return to Bend as a family!