Portland, Day 3

You will never guess who was up and ready to party at an ungodly hour. Again.

Yeah.

I resigned to the fact that this was going to be our new normal, and dragged our butts to the main building again. Made a giant vat of coffee this time, hells yes. Mornings like this, it is important to take a coffee to the face first thing. I even was nice and brought a cup back to Scottie when we finally wandered back. Hours later. At SIX A.M.

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Last day of the reunion, LORDY that went by fast. We had some breakfast (MOAR COFFEE) then played in the trees for awhile, waiting for the rest of our party to finish up.

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That last photo above is Pete’s personal masterpiece. He was curious while watching me edit photos, so I explained what I was doing and then let him play around a little with the cloning tool. And that’s what he decided to do. Weirdo.

Anyway – once everyone was gathered and accounted for, we hopped in our cars and headed off to Multnomah Falls. It was just a few miles down the road, and we had some Locals in the family that knew an easier (lesser known) route to get in. We were able to park super close and never had to sit bumper-to-bumper, like at the other entrance. Sweet.

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So glad we went along because Multnomah Falls is gorgeous. Photos do not do this thing justice.

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We walked the trail up to the bridge, then some of us kept going to see if we could get to the top.

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I think pre-kids, it would not have been a non-issue. Post-kids: they wander, they climb and explore. And obviously, that’s great. But eventually they also hurt themselves, as Pete surely did, so we had to do some knee-bandaging and then he was officially Over It. So we met the others and walked back down.

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We could have hung out there all day, but eventually it was time to head back. There was a spiced-nut vendor guy at the bottom, peddling to the tourists, which I have to admit smelled lovely even if it was 90 degrees and the last thing in the world I wanted was something piping hot. So when Pete asked for a cone of spiced cashews, I actually obliged (and got an ice-cold bottled water for me). He ate the whole thing. THE WHOLE THING. Well, he did let Scott and I each have one carefully chosen nut (pretty sure they were the smallest ones), and he saved the biggest one to give to Pearl, but otherwise yes he ate them all.

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We stopped at Vista House to soak in the beautiful view of the Gorge one last time. I decided to change lenses as I was getting out of the car, so I pulled my 50mm out of my bag. Then fumbled it. Then watched my 50mm, still tucked in its beer koozy for ‘added protection’, fall straight to the ground. And bounce off the concrete. And make a sickening crunching noise in the process.

I straight-up screamed, you guys. MY PRESHUS AND EXPENSIVE LENS IS DEAD. I picked it up, pulled it out of the koozy and gingerly took off the lens cap(which was already grainy with glass dust). And what do you know: the filter clearly took the entire hit, and I mean the filter glass was shattered, portions pulverized to glass dust. The lens itself – perfectly fine. No cracks, no scratches, nothing. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. So we cleaned it off carefully and took some shots. Worked perfectly. YOU GUYS, ALWAYS HAVE A FILTER ON YOUR LENS. I was taught this by some wise pros when I first got into photography, and that is no joke. I have shattered 3 filters now but in every case, my lens survived without so much as a scratch.

Anyway. Vista House. Lovely views from there. Linus was tiring of all of the stopping at that point though and sure gave us the sour expressions. SHUT UP AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION, UNGRATEFUL BABY.

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We made it back to Menucha just in time to pack up the car and head to the dining hall – Peter ‘signed up’ for lunch duty, which entails making sure everyone has drinks and the food isn’t running out at tables. Guess who else had signed up for lunch duty, which prompted Peter… yeah. Pearl. After lunch we made all of our good-byes, and headed to the city.

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PS – you guys, the rock pile in the photo above: Pete’s obsession with rock-collecting continued while here. He would find a dozen or so rocks he liked every day (mostly from the gravel drive…), and he would deposit them outside our cabin door. By the end of our stay, there was quite the pile. I had him pick out his favorites, then we put them in a bag and took them with us. He collected some throughout the rest of our stay and dudes: I dragged a heavy bag of mostly-gravel stones back to WI with us, letting them take up precious real estate in our luggage, OH YES I DID. The things you do for your kids… Anyway. So we made our final good-byes and stuff and blew that joint.

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Poor Pearl. That is a look of pained acceptance. I am sure that poor girl was not terribly sad to see us leave.

It took us maybe an hour to make our way to our hotel, which was riiiiiight on the Washington border. It was actually on Jantzen Island, which is in the river in-between Washington and Oregon. We had to take Interstate 5 between our hotel and the city, and can I just say? Might not be the best location next time we’re here. Every day the traffic was INSANE on that portion of the I-5, no matter the time of day we found ourselves stuck in stand-still traffic (10am, 9pm, it was like a never-ending rush hour). Guh.

So – got to our hotel, dropped our bags, and got settled. There was a Safeway down the street, so we stopped there and loaded up on sandwich fixings, chips, and fruit. We planned to picnic some of the time, to save on meal costs, and just to have things around just in case of emergency… After unpacking our groceries, we thought we’d head to the city for a few hours to wander and maybe grab dinner.

First stop – Powell’s City of Books location. Okay I always thought this was just some tourist-y stop like Voodoo Donuts, that was all hyped up and would be somewhat disappointing. Uh, no. It’s huge. It’s amazing. We wandered all over the place and still didn’t see most of it. We dropped some dough on books and a sweatshirt for Scott (he forgot to bring one) and then headed back to the car.

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We were going to check out Powell’s and then walk the neighborhood a little bit, maybe find some dinner (Deschutes was just ’round the corner and down a block or two). Instead: we blew so much time at Powell’s that we were reeeeeeally pushing the baby’s bedtime, so instead we just headed back to the hotel. Linus had a big bottle and right to his crib, where he crashed HARD. The rest of us had an impromptu picnic on the master-bedroom floor, then off to bed for us as well.

A spoiler: the baby slept well that night, I think he only got up once. HALLELUJAH. And that was good, because the next day we were driving to the coast, so we all needed a good night’s sleep.

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