I just returned from a wonderful trip out to the Pacific Northwest - specifically Bend, Oregon and Seattle, WA. And places in between! I think it has to be one of the most beautiful areas in this great big beautiful USA! If you haven't explored it what are you waiting for??? It has something for everyone!
Bend Oregon is kind of in the middle of the state of Oregon. It sits on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountain Range and right along the Deschutes River. There is a small regional airport in Redmond which is right by Bend which has flights from the major closest large cities such as Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake, Denver and San Francisco. I have been there twice and both times flew into Portland, rented a car and drove the 3 and a half hours through the mountains to get to Bend. The drive is beautiful. You can go right past Mount Hood and through the Ponderosa Pine forest and then climb to the high desert where Bend is situated. There is so much to do there - biking, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, paddle boards, tubing, golf, shopping, great food, tons of breweries, and even scorpion hunting!! (My brothers did that last year and caught some!) The weather is very much like the desert - warm and sunny during the day and cool at night - perfect!!
I am so fortunate to have good friends that have a vacation home in Sun River which is about 20 miles south of Bend. Their home is lovely and sits right on the Deschutes River - hard to imagine a prettier place to wake up to!
Nancy invited some of our sorority sisters to get together for a wonderful 5 day visit and was an amazing host! I hadn't seen some of these Theta ladies in many years but it was as if we had just left the sorority house - so fun to catch up on the current and also relive the past. It was an action packed super fun trip - so here are the highlights!!
Nancy and Bruce took us all out kayaking on the beautiful Deschutes River. The River is so clean and while fairly calm it has a wonderful current that flows so makes the whole experience very relaxing.
We all took turns on the stand-up paddle board. And the weather could not have been more perfect!
Then a late lunch at Twin Lakes Lodge.
Then a small hike on the Fall River.
Back to the house for dinner and drinks on the deck!
Sunset on the river - spectacular!!
Have I mentioned that Nancy and Bruce are gourmet cooks?? This was our breakfast one day!!
We spent the whole next day in Bend. The town is so cute. Filled with interesting boutiques and lots of cool restaurants, coffee shops and bars. We decided to look for something that we would each buy to remind us of our time together - and settled on some cool silver earrings at a wonderful store called the Silverado Jewelry Gallery right on Main St.
Next lunch at one of the most well known places in town - 10 Barrel. A brewery but also has fantastic food! I did poorly on taking pictures of the food but we shared some amazing beef tenderloin and Gorgonzola nachos, fresh grilled tuna salad and hummus and pita.
Bend is one of the first places in the US where you can pedal from brewery to brewery on a cycle pub that accommodates either 6 passengers and a driver or 14 and a driver. Nancy said it was fun so we had reserved the bike for 6 for late afternoon so that was our next destination. The company is called Bend Tour Company and they rent other things as well like Segways. No slackers allowed - you need everyone pedaling!! And the driver is there to navigate for you. Our driver was a college student named Lacey and she couldn't have been nicer or more fun. But there are rules you have to abide by. Adhere to all traffic signs and lights and no drinking off the bike!
We got a pretty good work out so headed to Greg's Grill for a light dinner and drinks. Sat right along the Deschutes River and got to watch the sunset on another great day - then back to the fire pit for s'mores!!
We decided on our last full day we would take a big hike. There are so many great places to hike - really for all levels and all distances. We were feeling pretty confident so chose the hike to Green Lake which is considered moderate as there is some climbing involved. What we didn't account for is that there is still so much snow!! The hike was listed as 4 miles to the lake - but with all the snow parts of the trail were covered so we took a few wrong choices and ended up going 6 miles before we got to the lake! But is was so beautiful it was worth it! And then of course it took us almost another 6 miles to get back - but we made it and no complaints from anyone!!
We headed for a VERY late lunch at Elk Lodge, and I think it was the best burger I have ever had!! We were starving!!
That was our trip to Bend. The next morning everyone was out the door early heading to the airport or on to their next adventure. It was a fantastic time! Everything was perfect - great friends, food, fun and activity. When we pledged Kappa Alpha Theta all those many years ago we always said Theta for a lifetime and it is true!!! Thanks for a wonderful time Nancy and Bruce!!!
The next part of my trip was heading to Seattle to visit family and have more fun! My brother Dave offered to drive south from Seattle and pick me up in Portland - it's about a 3 hour drive. So nice of him!! I hitched a ride with Nancy and Kim who were heading back to Portland and met up with Dave. We made a side trip to a beautiful area in Oregon called The Gorge. It's a spectacular area of waterfalls and dams right along the Columbia River which divides Oregon and Washington - and starts only about 30 miles east of Portland. It extends all the way to Mount Hood but we stopped to see Horsetail Falls and the biggest waterfall called Multnomah Falls.
Multnomah Falls is spectacular!!
We climbed the switchbacks - all 11 of them all the way to the top! Worth it!! We are both afraid of height so the sheer drop offs on the path on the way up were scary - and then neither of us could look over the side when we got up but I held my phone over to snap the picture. The bridge you walk over is about 70 feet from the base.
Thanks Dave - it was wonderful and we always have fun together!! Now off to Seattle!
I have been to Seattle many times as my brother has lived there for over 30 years. And now that Keeley and Matt are there I've increased my visits - I just love it there. I've been to many of the places you think of as Seattle - Pike Place Market, the Piers, the ferry, the islands etc. This time I wanted to head down to Tacoma and see the Chihuly Glass Museum and Art Bridge. Dale Chihuly is one of the most well known glass blowers of our time. I love seeing it whenever I can. There is a beautiful museum of his work in Seattle right by the Space Needle which I have already seen. It's wonderful and worthwhile. In Tacoma they actually have the studio where the glass is blown so that's where my brother Dave and niece Angela and I headed. First we stopped at a great little restaurant and brewery in downtown Tacoma called The Forum. It's in a beautiful building that used to be the Olympus Hotel.
The art bridge has 3 installations of Chihuly glass.
This is of the Hot Spot where they blow the glass.
Met up with my good friends Pam and Lance at a great little bakery/cafe in Kent called Wild Wheat!
Picked up Keeley at Starbucks World Headquarters and went for drinks in West Seattle at Beveridge Place Pub. Lots of the breweries here don't serve food so they allow you to order food from where you want and have it delivered - so we did! Pizza from Zeek's - Yumm!!!
My next and last day was action packed. Dave and I headed into the West Seattle area to pick up Keeley and Matt for some house hunting - but stopped on our way in to have coffee and split a scone at a cool Coffeeshop called Fresh Flours.
Went to an open house and then a great place in West Seattle for lunch! Whenever I'm with my brother we eat often!! I'm going to make him take the blame.
Another open house and then a trip to the famous Fremont Brewery!
Fremont - a neighborhood on the north side of the downtown area is also famous for the Fremont Troll!
I was gone 8 days but it's never long enough. It was a wonderful trip and I can't thank my family and friends enough for hosting me and being a part of another great Patti adventure!!