Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One last jaunt down Highway 14

It was one of our last weekends at our house in the Portland area, and we decided to take advantage of the beautiful scenery of the Columbia River Gorge on last time. If you ever find yourself in the Gorge - always take Highway 14 on the Washington side. I-84 (on the Oregon side) runs parallel across the river, but it's just a boring straight interstate.

The first summer that Adam and I were together, he took an internship outside of Hood River, Oregon and I drove down a few times to visit him. We took tons of drives all up and down Highway 14 and just fell in love with the twists and turns of the road, cliffs that fall into the Columbia River (of course, so much geological history as well!), plethora of waterfalls, did several hikes and simply enjoyed being two college kids in love.

Now, 5 years later, we took our last drive out there as residents of the area and visited Maryhill Winery. It was a destination that we had been meaning to visit for the last few years, but the renovation always got in the way on the weekends. On a whim, we decided to visit and spent a good part of an afternoon and the start of sunset out there.

Wine tasting is one of our favorite things to do when we travel, but we haven't gotten to do it too much between my pregnancy and the early part of nursing.  Now six months in, I feel a lot more comfortable with how much I can drink and how to time it with nursing.

Penny was a little superstar in the tasting room - her boisterous squeals and now almost constant babble kept us, our server and neighbors entertained.  The website did say that the winery was dog and family friendly, but I wasn't sure how people would react to a happy (yet loud) baby.

We tasted some wine, were happy with the season's Riesling and bought a couple bottles. We had also packed a small lunch in our super cute picnic basket so we sat out and enjoyed the sunset on the lawn.

Afterwards, we pulled over for a short hike to a waterfall on our way home to cool off. It was my first time wearing Penny on my back in the Ergo - normally I wear her in front, but she wants so badly to see everything! Now I can usually get away with wearing her on my front when we're out and about and she could use a nap.

Oh, and we're totally a Keen (shoes) family. I've had my pair for 5 years- they go with me on all of my travels and have withstood everything I've put them through. They've gone hiking, to the beach, boating, river rafting, and my favorite - waterfall climbing in the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon. I've also been wearing them as an everyday shoe all summer when I get bored of flip flops. Zulily finally had them on sale so I picked up a set for Adam and Penny. I tried to practice some forethought and bought her a pair in a youth size, but I have no idea how big those shoes are. The day comes when they arrive.. and apparently youth size 7 is pretty equivalent to women's 8. So, mama got a new pairs of keens, in tangerine orange ;) Hey, I won't complain about new shoes!

It was a wonderful spur of the moment family trip that was exactly what we needed.. the last few months have been go-go-go with finishing the house, working with our agent and buyer on the sale, looking for a new home, all the while continuing to make an effort to be present in the rest of our family's lives. Sometimes, going off the grid and ignoring our phones for a few hours is just what the doctor ordered.

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