First of all, let me just say that Oregon and Washington are beautiful. In fact, that's a huge understatement. I don't know how to describe it. I took a gob of pictures (I'll share a few in my coming posts about the trip and the rest will go up on Facebook) that ALMOST do the place justice.
This may be one of the best vacations I've ever had. The combination of a beautiful place and fun people made it a fun-filled time. I want to go back. I actually think I'm experiencing a little post-vacation blues.
My friend Jenny joined me, and we headed out on Friday afternoon. We were a little disappointed when our flight was delayed out of Nashville because the plane we were supposed to be on got delayed coming out of Baltimore where there was bad weather. We had a reservation to grab drinks at some trendy bar in Portland, but a late arrival would pretty much keep us from making it.
We made up some time flying to Phoenix, but when we got there we flew around in circles for 40 minutes. I was not happy. We could see a thunderstorm with crazy lightning off in the distance and as we made circles, it got closer. Next thing I know, we're IN the storm. The turbulence was insane. I heard the landing gear come down and I was excited we were finally landing. It was rough as we headed down, and next thing I knew we pulled back up and pushed forward again. You know it's rough when the pilot can't make the landing on the first try.
We made another circle, the landing gear came out again and we started for attempt #2. I can't even describe how rough it was going down. I've flown a lot and never really felt nervous... until then. You could tell everyone was kind of holding their breath. We could tell that the pilot was struggling to hold us both level and straight.
When we finally hit the ground, the entire plane burst into applause. I've never been on a flight where people clapped over the landing.
We didn't have to change planes, but we did get to change seats after everyone else got off. We moved up to the first row to get the extra leg room and were so glad we did. When everyone else boarded, we ended up sitting on the runway for 2 hours before we finally took off. It ended up that we were on that plane for 8 hours! Ugh!
We finally got into Portland around 1am, three hours late. We were tired and starving, so my cousin Chris took us to a little place called The Montage for some of the most amazing mac and cheese I've ever had in my life.
We went home and finally crashed around 3am (5am for us!). I slept so hard that I woke up in the same position as I fell asleep.
Chris took us to Washington Park for a very short and simple 2-mile run. I wasn't really supposed to run that day, but we took it easy and it felt great to be out in the fresh air. And oh the fresh air! It smells wonderful around there!
We checked out the Rose Garden, but I'll share photos of that in another post. We stopped at SkinniDip and had some frozen yogurt and fruit. It was sooooo good. Frozen yogurt around here is actually just frozen soft serve ice cream, so it was kind of neat to get the real thing.
We went back and cleaned up to get ready to go to the coast. Chris's sister Tish and his friend Zack had planned on joining us. We all got together and headed out to have lunch at Burgerville before making the drive over to the beach.
We stopped along the way at an awesome viewpoint and got some amazing pictures. The Pacific Ocean is so pretty!
Chris, me, Jenny, Zack
We made it to Oswald Beach and enjoyed the last bit of the afternoon taking pictures, tossing a frisbee, playing with Tish's dog and enjoying what a beautiful place we were standing in!
While the others built a fire, Zack and I headed to the store to get some food for dinner. We were afraid we wouldn't make it back in time for sunset so we pulled off at another little beach and watched it set over the ocean. I just felt like I was in awe... it's so beautiful out there!
We got back and had hot dogs and smores for dinner and ate around our campfire. I've never sat around a fire on a beach, and I kind of felt like I was in some scene in a movie or something.
We sat out and watched the stars for a while. I couldn't believe I was in such a beautiful place. I could stand to have some more star gazing by the ocean with good people in my life.
We headed back to Chris's place and crashed kind of late. We were certainly worn out, but we had a fantastic day!
More to come soon.