#tbt Oregon Family Vacation


The FIRST #tbt trip I decided to Highlight was our family trip to Oregon. We started the trip in Portland, and then ventured to Mount Hood. We did everything from hiking to white water rafting. Warning this will be a long picture filled post!

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Starting in Portland was quite an experience. We stayed in the city and spent a good amount of time simply exploring. We were able to see the Portland Saturday Market which was full of eclectic vendors and was the perfect people watching experience. We also made sure to stop at Voodoo Donuts. Completely worth the crazy long line!

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Driving to Mount Hood was one of the most beautiful drives I can remember. We drove up along the Columbia River and we were treated to spectacular views like the one below. We stopped along the drive to hike and see several waterfalls. The first stop was to see Latourell Falls, but my most favorite waterfall was definitely Multnomah Falls. I must confess I was lazy here and didn’t hike up to the bridge. I guess that means I need to make a return trip!

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If you know my family, you know we are quite into Craft Beers. This meant we had to stop at the Full Sail Brewing Company. Unfortunately this was prior to my 21st birthday, so only mom and dad got to enjoy the beer. My favorite part of this stop was the lake nearby where everyone was wind surfing. It was awesome to watch!

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The drive continued and we were given a glimpse of Mount Hood. I think we were quite lucky to get such a wonderful clear day. We stayed in the small town of Mount Hood. We rented a condo, rather than stay in a hotel. This is generally what we do on vacations given we have five people traveling together!

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skate park right by our condo. Shaunn White skated here! 

Our family is quite big into White Water Rafting, almost every family vacation includes it. I remember the year we went to Maine being devastated that we wouldn’t get to go rafting. This was the year we ALL got thrown from the boat. Very memorable.

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all happy going into the rapidScreen Shot 2015-02-04 at 6.22.01 PM

being tossed from the boat

The next stop on in our Oregon Adventure was Bend. Bend is probably one of the top cutest little towns I have visited. Their farmer’s market was one of the greatest I had been to. It is situated right along a little river. Many of the restaurants had outdoor seating.

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family at Crater Lake

The reason we stopped in Bend was so we could see Crater Lake. My poor mother sprained her ankle the day before we were supposed to see Crater Lake. We spent a few hours in an ER, she got a brace and was determined to see the lake. I honestly had never heard of Crater Lake, so I did not understand her strange desire to see it. All I knew was we were going to have to hike a mile down to the lake, take a boat ride, and hike a mile back up.

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Crater Lake may be the the biggest hidden gem in the United States. I have never seen a lake so blue. The water acts like a mirror and reflects the snowy mountains. This made for quite the spectacular photo opp.

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After our treacherous hike to the bottom (mom made it). The boys decided to jump in. To this day one of my biggest regrets in life is not jumping in this lake. The parents then forced us onto the LONGEST MOST BORING BOAT RIDE OF OUR LIVES. It was hot, and miserable…and it left us stuck on a boat with Ranger Randy who was possibly the most obnoxious park ranger ever.

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yes. they are seriously sleeping

The only perk to this three hour boat ride in the glaring sun was getting to see the lake up close. As miserable as I make this boat ride sound, I still think it is a must if you visit Crater Lake.

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Okay…I promise I am almost done! We only had a few more stops on our Oregon trip. I should note that our trips usually lasted about 10 days.Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 6.39.29 PM

one stop along the way to Astoria, this is where the picture on my blog header comes from

Our final stop was Astoria, Oregon along the coast. Driving up along the coast made for some great photo opportunities. I had the hardest time just picking two! I seriously could devote an entire post to this part of the trip! We stopped at Cannon Beach which can be spotted in the classic movie The Goonies.

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family at Cannon Beach

#tbt Exploring the Great USA


I have had this little idea sitting in the back of my mind for quite some time. I realized that a lot of my favorite trips all occurred before I started blogging. Each summer growing up my family would take some sort of adventure out west. It usually involved visiting a National Park, hiking, and some other form of outdoorsy things.


Yellowstone National Park circa 2004

I feel like that vacations that get you outside and in nature are some of the best. You really get to experience and appreciate the world around you. I am always shocked to hear people say they have been to Paris, but they have never seen Half Dome in Yosemite. I think it is important that we explore our own backyard, as well as abroad.


Halibut Fishing in Alaska 

So, I am introducing my newest blog segment. #tbt, also known as THROWBACK THURSDAY. Each Thursday I will post about a past family trip from somewhere in the great United States. The majority of them will involve a National Park of some sort.


Family Vacation Snapshots

I am going to be having my dad help with this…since he was the mastermind behind all these trips. I will never forget all those trips when he would force us to write DAILY in a journal. Seriously, there were trips where he would pay us a $1 per entry. Who would have thought I would be wishing I still had those! Lucky for me, he saves all the trip itineraries.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see where the FIRST #tbt will be!