We’ve been on the go a lot over the last two weeks so it’s been a bit of blur, but I’ll try to capture some of what we did.
The first week, Kelly I took a bus out to see Cathedral Park one evening. I thought it would be just a bridge viewing trip that would be short and fun, but the evening was a non-stop adventure from 7PM to 1AM.
After walking around below and on the bridge, we headed back home and our trek was a journey of random bus rides and a ~30 block walk past parts of town that I hadn’t seen before. When we got home at 11, the kids still wanted to make good on the plan to get Tate a burger that evening, so we walked down Broadway to see if anyone was still open and we found that Broadway Grill was open until midnight. All five of us out for a late night dinner was a real treat. Lots of talking and laughing at dinner and on our slow walk back home.
Then this week, a friend of Rylee’s and her whole five member family spent three nights with us on the first leg of their annual three week road trip. Ten of us stayed in the tiny apartment and it was very comfortable and fun. I learned a lot from interacting every day with their family and I appreciate them spending this much time with us sharing their vacation experience. They were a fun and adventurous bunch. And when they had their fill of Portland on this trip, they were off to Washington, then to Montana and back to the open road again.
But while they were here, all of us walked clear across Northeast Portland one afternoon and biked to Mississippi Street on a different day. We had one long day where we took a bus out to Forest Park for a five mile hike (counting the walk to and from bus stops) straight up the hill to the Pittock Mansion from the Lower Macleay trail head. The hike was much more strenuous than I’d anticipated, but everyone made it with all smiles and we had great views throughout the day. After the long hike, we hit the food trucks downtown then took the streetcar back to our side of town. (Portland Hiker’s Description of this Forest Park trail)
Talking to our house guests about their family travels reignited my interest to get down to California again soon for some exploring of my own. And, of course, Rylee now has a couple of friends down there who she eagerly wants to see so she’s pressing for a definite travel date now too. So we are all planning and negotiating what our next California excursion will look like and when.
Kelly and I wrapped up the week with ride on the bike path on the east bank of the Willamette River from downtown, past OMSI to the end of the Springwater trail, away from the city through trees, wildflowers and a wildlife refuge. I didn’t know that this scenic trail existed before today but it was one of the coolest rides we’ve been on. Then Kelly, Tate, Rylee and I took an evening walk down Broadway to get homemade noodles from Frank’s Noodle House while Luke stayed home. Later that evening Luke wanted to take a walk down 21st to the overpass to watch the trains go by, so Kelly, Luke and I went down there for a little while too on a cool, quiet evening.
Every time we try something new and different, we run across unexpected experiences that remind me how much fun it is to explore.
Heading into August now. I don’t know what the weather will be like but we had a couple of surprisingly hot days here in July. Hot meaning low 90’s with evenings in the 60s or 70s. Not bad!