After our visit to Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon, on July 27, 2016, we hit the road and headed to Portland. On the way there we had some lunch at Safeway and treated ourselves to a big iced coffee. Thankfully, our route had us drive through the Mt. Hood National Forest and the views were amazing!
What else was amazing was the amount of traffic heading up to the city. We were hoping to arrive about 5pm, but we did not pull up to Shalanna’s (Niner’s younger sister) place until after 6pm. When we got to Shalanna’s front door, her dog Peppy (an 11 lb min-pin mix) barked at us ferociously. However, the minute he saw us, he realized that his aunties were there to visit and he flipped out in the most excited way! We were excited too – we were in need of doggy snuggles!
Shalanna was able to arrange us a free place to sleep for the night at her friend’s condo across the street from her place, so we treated him out to dinner. Shalanna decided to make an event out of the meal and a couple other of her friends joined us at the famous Pok Pok Noi. We were all very happy to have some unique Asian food and of course, some of those fantastic spicy chicken wings!
After dinner we hung out at Shalanna’s porch, drank some cold ones, chatted for a while, and then we walked across the street to crash.
We woke up the next morning to meet Shalanna at her place before she left for work. We hung out there all day with Peppy (BTW, he is the younger brother of our dog Nacho), drank tea, and lounged around all day.
Then we drove downtown, got some frozen yogurt and picked Shalanna up from work. All of us were hungry so we headed to Cracker Jack and her boyfriend met us there and we all had dinner together.
Next, all of us loaded up Becky and we left for the coast! The drive out of the city and through the woods was very peaceful. We stopped at a Fred Meyer and stocked up on food, drinks, and snacks for our 2-day stay at a fully-equipped cabin near the beach.
When morning came, none of us were interested in waking up, except Peppy. He hopped into our bed when Shalanna and her boyfriend were still knocked out. After we got some puppy snuggles, we took Peppy outside so he could do his business. When we came back in everyone was up and Shlanna made us bagel and lox sandwiches.
Then we packed up the cooler with some drinks and headed to Fort Irwin State Park to hang out at “Shipwreck Beach.”
After our time at the beach, we headed back to the cabin and hung out in the yard. When the sun started to go down, Shalanna’s boyfriend started up a nice fire in the fire pit. Then Shalanna and Niner went into the kitchen and started prepping the ingredients for dinner. Shalanna’s boyfriend put together an eggplant pasta in the cast iron pot we found in the cabin’s kitchen and placed it in the fire pit.
Meanwhile, Shalanna was making her famous garlic parmesan bread. When the two culinary creations came together all of us were very happy! We ate the delicious meal outside, under the stars, with the fire going. For dessert, we naturally did what you do when you have a fire going… we made s’mores. When the fire died down, we called it a night and went to bed.
The next morning, we cleaned up, packed up, and headed for the Bell Buoy for lunch. We had the “captain’s platter” which is a variety of different fresh seafood fried up in a light, perfectly crunchy batter. We were really impressed with the shrimp. Niner says it is the best fried shrimp she has ever had because the shrimps were huge, fresh, and not dominated by breading.
We then stopped at the outlet shops and Shalanna’s boyfriend was the only one of us to find any bargains worth buying. In search of a sweet treat for the drive home, we went through the busy little town of Seaside. Traffic was pretty insane and finding a parking spot was just as crazy. DB and Shalanna hopped out of the car and got some gelato at Sea Star, which was very good, but not quite worth the congested drive into town.
When we got back to the city we dropped off Shalanna, her boyfriend, and Peppy, back at their place and we headed over to our Airbnb in the Alberta neighborhood. We took a nap and then Shalanna and her boyfriend picked us up to grab some din and do some bar hopping. Shalanna’s boyfriend treated us to some fusion tacos at the Cruzroom. He also bought Niner a cocktail with the Cruzroom’s house-infused orange cream vodka and it came with a special surprise… a toy fish! It is now our pet. His name is Cruz and he now lives with our precious SUV Becky and they are best friends.
The next day we met up Shalanna’s friend’s place to meet her new baby and hang out for a bit. We had to cut our visit short because it was time for us to pick up DB’s little brother, Kris, from the airport to join us for a week of PNW adventures.
With Kris and all his luggage stuffed in Becky’s back seat, we met up with Shalanna at Podnah’s BBQ for a delicious, super carnivorous lunch. Then we all acted like tourists and hit up the Pittock Mansion and the International Rose Test Garden
We all bid a fond farewell to Shalanna and little Peppy, and we headed to DB and Kris’ Auntie Elena’s house in the city of Damascus (about 45 minutes away from Portland). Auntie Elena and Rick invited us to stay at their house for the night; they were the perfect hosts! We were treated to a Mexican dinner and they made us feel at home in their comfy house with a gorgeous yard. It was so nice to chat with them and catch up!
We are both so grateful for the hospitality of our incredible family members for our great time in Oregon!
The next morning we left Oregon to begin our adventures with Kris in the state of Washington!