Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Break....OREGON Style

A few months back my friend from Missouri told me that she and her family wanted to come to Oregon for their Spring Break, so I quickly went to work on putting together the perfect itinerary.  I didn't want to leave out any detail, as I wanted this to be a Spring Break to remember...and that is was!

After flying in late Saturday evening, we heading to Crater Lake Sunday morning for their guided snowshoe walk; the rangers always make it a fun, educational experience.

While there wasn't a lot of {and no fresh} snow, it was the perfect day.

Beyond blessed by this friendship!

A Crater Lake snowshoe walk isn't complete without a penguin slide.

Shhh...don't tell anymore, but this picture was made possible thanks to a selfie stick.

Picture perfect!

Later that evening we headed to the Craterian Theater to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo, for a little cultural experience. 

Monday, while I was at work, the crew headed to Wildlife Images, where they met Nubs the badger. Evidently Nubs loves the smell of feet...which the boys thought was hilarious! 

For dinner and some evening fun we headed to Ashland.  Oregon is home to several breweries, so we hit up one of my favorites, Standing Stone Brewery, for dinner and their infamous sweet potato fries! Not only are the food & beer great, but I also love their mission to be a sustainable dining venue. 

A total tourist thing to do, we drank some lithia water.

Tuesday, while I once again went to the office, the crew headed up the road to Wildlife Safari! Its pretty amazing that right here in Oregon you can have encounters with bears, lions, giraffes, cheetahs,  and more, all for less than $20/person.

I mean, where else can you make friends with an ostrich!?

That night it was time for some adult fun, as we headed to the Rocky Tonk for a James Otto concert.

Bonus for the night, the opening act was from Missouri, and Heather was able to snag a picture with one of them.  

Girl I just got started love you...

While we were out on the town, the kiddos were having a blast with Grandma Shawn & Grandpa Vern {my parents}.  This grandma relationship started a couple years back when we all did the Seattle Rock N Roll marathon and my mom watched the boys while we ran.  I love that Ashton and Parker are not only comfortable to hang with them, but have a blast doing so.  All night long Heather and I were receiving texts with pictures of their hole in one at miniature golf, dances moves on Dance Dance Revolutions, and results from the slick car race track.

Oh my, whip cream on the straw was the highlight of our daily trips to Dutch Bros! 

Wednesday was perhaps one of the highlights of the trip...a behind-the-scenes, VIP tour of the Landfill and Transfer Station.  Garbage, its a fun and fascinating business.

After the tour and a 3 hour drive to central Oregon, an ice cold beer, fireside at 10 Barrel was heavenly.  

What day are we on now!? Oh right, now its Thursday, and the fun continues.  After a {much needed} relaxing morning at the pool {which we ran and rode bikes to} we headed to Smith Rock Oregon State Park , for a hike up Misery Ridge Trail...

...for the perfect Christmas Card photo opportunity!

Truly breathtaking!

As Friday rolled around we decided that a horseback ride was a MUST while staying at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon. Let me be really upfront and honest, I am not a huge fan of horses..BUT...I rallied for the team and had so much fun {and now want to go to a Dude Ranch!} ! Meet Billy, Bon Jovi, Strawberry, Indiana, and XXL! 

Billy and I got along quite well...

On the road again...headed for Portland! The boys waited ALL week to eat at a food truck, so our first stop was at Cartlandia, for chicken & waffles at The Coop and Voodoo Doughnuts! 

We officially wore the boys out, but the itinerary had one more thing on it for the day...a Blazer Game!!! Phil stayed back at the hotel, poolside with the boys, while Heather and I had a Girls Night Out at the game. 

Saturday had arrived, the day we would say, "until next time!" But that didn't mean the fun had to end! We checked out some beach cruisers from the hotel and rode to Starbucks and then around the parking lot! Perhaps one of the highlights of the trip! Seriously! 

FREE Beach Cruisers to ride...Aloft is for sure my new go-to-hotel! 

Spring Break 2015, Oregon Style...That's a wrap! We squeezed every ounce of fun out of the week.  What's up next!? The next trip to Oregon will include a trip to the coast to ride quads on the dunes, a day at the lake, and perhaps a float down the river! Many more fun & exciting adventures to come!