Thursday, August 17, 2017

24 Hours in Portland. WCRT2.0

After camping for a few days and being eaten alive by mosquitoes at the Umpqua River, we drove into Portland to meet up with our close family and friends.  We planned this whole road trip on a very tight budget but I knew I wanted to splurge on at least one night at a fancy hotel half way though our trip to refresh and recover for camping for weeks at a time.  I'm so happy with our choice to stay at Kimpton's Hotel Vintage in Portland but more on that below, here's a look at our 24 hours in Portland... 
Our first stop was at StormBreaker Brewing to meet our friend Jaxon.  Brutus could hardly contain his excitement to be out of the car and joining us for lunch.  We totally ordered him a paleo burger for his patience in the back of the Jeep. 
Unfortunately, I can 't even remember which beers we ordered but they were all great; so, I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with any of your choices.
However, I do remember what I ordered to eat and it was amazing; Kale and Bacon Salad (minus bacon for me) with aged gouda, nut brittle, soft egg, with brown butter balsamic and a side of Papas Bravas (my favorite tapas!) // full menu here.
 After lunch I knew I wanted to check out some local love, so we walked down to Pistil's Nursery to check out some plant love.  Thanks uncle Jaxon for helping with the heavy lifting.
 Obsessed with these mini mortar and pestles, unfortunately, I didn't have an intended use for them and a limited budget so they did not come home with me, but next time!
 Also, this sage smudge stick would last me all year!
 The girls explored the back outdoor area of the space.
and we found this back patio area full of more plants and beautiful ceramics, Vera found a tiny leaf on the floor.  Inspiration for my next living room remodel. After getting our souvenirs we walked next door for some ice cream at Ruby Jewel. 
 Vera Basil ordered the Strawberry Basil.

This sweet note and assorted chocolates were waiting for us in our room when we arrived.
When we called earlier in the day to see if we could check in early, they actually offered to upgrade us.  When we got to our hotel; Hotel Vintage in Portland, we were shocked at how amazing the room actually was, it was like an entire apartment and we'd been used to camping in a three person tent (if you're keeping track there's four of us and a dog).  Felt like we were in a penthouse!
and here my friends, is the tub of all time it was just as deep as that side wall with a bit of a bench seat in it.  Thankfully, I had purchased a bath bomb earlier in the day 'just in case.'  Manifest your dreams people, the results are real.
There was even a bottle of wine waiting for us.
 But we were just there to check in and clean off and then we set back out in search of beer.  We wanted to go to 10 Barrel but they didn't have outdoor seating so we opted for Rogue a Portland staple.
 Excuse Husband's hair, poor guy didn't get a chance to clean up after driving around portland trying to find somewhere to park our jeep.  Apparently there a no parking garages (including the hotel parking) that were tall enough to fit our roof rack and all out stuff in, just an FYI if you're planning something similar.  He found a street spot and moved the stuff into the car so no one would steal it and was able to find a garage overnight that was just barely tall enough for the rack alone.
 As you can see Vera was not phased by the inconvenience of it all as long as she has her 'egg' chapstick.
 I couldn't be bothered either, I had a flight to finish, stouts and lagers but no IPAs please.
And another kale salad with a side of potatoes (tots). Must have been my travel meal.  We had a great time in Portland but left early the next morning to drive to my sister's house in La Grand, Oregon.  If you still want to know more about our trip, Husband shares his view of Portland and La Grand here


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Camping in Oregon. {West Coast Road Trip 2.0}

After our time in Northern California we made our way up and east into the Oregon forest home to Umpqua River.  We camped at Island Campground in the Umpqua National Forest.  We picked a spot right on the water, which was both amazing and huge mistake, georgous rushing water and beautiful view + too many mosquitos to count and not enough bug spray.  The girls had a great time splashing around in the water and we put our beers in the river to get them ice cold in the heat of summer.
Husband was the first to rush in, the water was almost freezing but it felt nice in contract to the humid heat of the forest.
I love watching their childhood in the summer, finding natural treasures, playing make believe with sticks and leaves, running barefoot on the shore. It's all pretty magical.
We laid down on the rocks and got some vitamin D.
Relaxing and joking around before calling it an early night.
We woke up with the sun the next morning and drove to the Umpqua Hot Springs.  When we here two years ago it was still a bit more unknown, now every road trip blog in the world has been to the easily accessible and quite instragram-able mountain cliffs.
A short hike and you're greeted with hippie artwork and trendy hot springs. 
I found some free time the day before to finally put some henna on my skin.
Everyone loves the warm water, even though in the sun it was pretty warm to begin with.  Even our dog Brutus jumped right in (don't worry we got him out right away-it was definitely too hot for him for more than a minute).
We didn't stay long since it was so warm and turns out both our kids needed to pee, so we walked back down to the car soaking wet to keep cool.
Back at our campsite we went back down to the water (after loading up on the deet - which by the way still barely kept the mosquitoes off of us).
I love this photo that my 4 year old captured of me and her sister in the water.
more of my favorite Oregon Porter.
tiny finds.
Kept the girls busy with journaling while Husband drove up the highway to get me some ice.  I love camping but the one luxury I miss is ice cold water.
If you're looking for places to stay in Oregon I'd definitely suggest here, but just know that you need lots of bug spray and the toilets don't flush.  Anyway, if you want to read my Husband's version of this stretch of our journey find his post here.